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On the fourth of August, which is in less than a week, I'll be going to China for educational purposes. I finished high school in June and I'm very likely going to study Eastern languages and cultures- Mandarin next year at the university of Ghent. This is one of the main reasons why I have chosen for Mandarin classes in Chengdu. These three weeks will probably have a huge impact on my life. A lot of things are going to change for me. I'll have to grow up in such a short time, nevertheless I am really looking forward to go. Asian culture and languages have been a passion (obsession) of mine for quite a while now. This trip will be a good preparation for my further studies and I'm rather sure that I will come back being more independant and grown up.
At this point it's hard for me to imagine what it will be like, since I have never been in an asian country before. Although my dad has told me lots about it and I have seen chinese dramas before so I have a small idea of how average chinese people live and work. I am looking forward to get to know all about the "made in China"place and I hope I'll make a lot of new friends.
I'm leaving on monday at 3.30pm at Brussels and should arrive in Chengdu on the fifth at 10.45am local time. It will be a long trip but I'm sure it will be worth it.
Ipek Karatepe (22), from the UK, is currently undergoing a two month law internship at Everbright Law Firm in Shanghai, China. In October she will start her final year studying for a LLB law degree at Middlesex University and she is hoping to be accepted on to an LPC course at a law school in London after finishing her undergraduate course. This ambition is actually what drove Ipek to come to China with Projects Abroad, because ‘the legal industry is very competitive so this experience will definitely boost my chances to be accepted for the LPC,’ she states. A trip to China has always been a dream for Ipek and she saw this internship as a great way to see a country that is often beyond imagination to the western mind while additionally obtaining some experience that will ‘stand out on my CV’.
Everbright Law Firm was established in 1994 as a small company, but now it has over 60 employees and it has partnered with firms such as Herzelia Capital Ltd and Aloni & Co. Additionally it has law offices in the UK and also Israel, that jointly provides legal service for Jewish businessmen in China. The firm specializes in corporate, real estate and Intellectual Property law. This is of particular interest to Ipek because ‘I have had no previous experience working with corporate law so I am very pleased to have obtained some knowledge in this area of law practice’.
Ipek’s main duty while at her placement is to help out with the international side of the business. This includes, proof-reading documents, checking if current contracts are void, contacting international clients through emails and analyzing business contracts and debts for international partners. ‘It is funny because I am currently liaising with a ...
Steven Summit (USA) Haibei Kindergarten
I’ve been working for the Haibei Kindergarten now for about six weeks and my experience here has been incredible to say the least. I teach the children English a couple times a week and spend the rest of my time taking care of them, helping the other teachers, and just having fun with the children. They are all quite excited to have a foreigner there among them so it makes every day an adventure and they all light up when I walk into the room. The teachers, though none of them speak English, have been very welcoming and fun to be around. We joke around and have a good time while teaching the children each day and I believe we have all learned a lot from each other. The lunches here at the school are also phenomenal and I look forward to them every day for I have yet to be disappointed. I have run into absolutely zero problems while being at this placement and, if given the chance, I would come back here anytime. Working for Projects Abroad here in China has been everything I hoped it would be and more.
My time spent outside of work in China has been incredible as well. I have found the culture here to be absolutely captivating in every single way. Whether it be the people, the food, the architecture, or the history behind all of these aspects, I have fallen in love with a country and a culture that is in no way my own. I have found every day that complete strangers on the street can strike up conversations with each other as if they have been friends for years. In multiple cases, people I have only known for a few days will surprise me with gifts of food or crafts that they have made specifically for ...
It’s my first week in Chengdu and almost everything is going as planned. The Projects Abroad team made us feel welcome with being at the airport gate upon our early morning arrival, showing us our accommodations, the local grocery store, the bank, and a few restaurants near our flat. The next morning despite being locked into my flat, the Projects Abroad team came to my rescue, helped me open the door and then went with me to my assignment to meet my assignment boss. Part of the experience besides going to meet my boss was to ensure I knew where to get on and off the bus. Not being able to speak or read Chinese was a bit intimidating at first, but by quickly learning how friendly the people were, and with a few creative ways to communicate and the importance of paying extra close attention to the building structures, I was able to get around and specifically, back and forth from work without any problems. My assignment is with BE, British Education, and within the first week, I assisted with planning an event and conducting a presentation for 16 Chinese students with ages ranging from 12 to 17-years-old, and their parents. The event and presentation was about preparing them for their UK study abroad programme experience for which they will depart for in two weeks. I also have been consulting with a few students on their placement to other UK schools for their senior school years and I had one student who is getting prepared to apply to UK universities in the fall. British Education is dedicated to assisting Chinese students study abroad in schools and universities. The assistance primarily pertains to help those who want to attend a summer programme, gain placement into junior and senior boarding schools, and to ...
Here is the highest and lowest denomination in Chinese currency. The top, 100RMB, is equivalent to approximately 10 British pounds, and the bottom is one Yijiao which is equivalent to one British penny (that's right, a one penny note!). A big meal in a local restaurant can cost as little as 9RMB whereas a small block of cheese costs around 70RMB!