CAS '22 Michael Lin

PGS: Travel to South Africa
GRIP: Intern in China

Programs Abroad:

  • Penn Global Seminars (PGS): South Africa Rising: Past and Present in the New South Africa

  • Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): Keru Intern in Shanghai, China

Ask me about...

  • Planning trips outside of your host community

  • Interning at a social impact startup

  • Budgeting and time management while abroad

  • Cultural differences between America and China

  • Finding housing in your host community

My Experience Abroad:

In the summer of 2019, I participated in a Penn Global Seminar focused on the post-apartheid society of South Africa. Throughout the semester, we learned about significant people, places, and movements during the transition out of the apartheid regime; while in South Africa, we were given the invaluable opportunity to see and learn first-hand about these significant icons.

I also interned at a social impact consulting startup located in Shanghai. One of my consulting projects focusing on access to clean water was located in Cambodia, and a group of other interns and I were able to spend 10 days in the capital and surrounding rural areas. We learned quickly that Cambodia is a haven for developmental work, whether it's provided by the private or public sector. While we walked along the streets of the capital and villages, we saw many construction sites and trucks with Chinese characters printed on their sides. Our local client explained to us that much of the newer infrastructural development we were seeing is part of the Belt and Road Initiative. I learned through my coursework that the Belt and Road Initiative is part of a global development strategy the Chinese government is undertaking, and it was definitely interesting to witness the process in person.

Other Highlights:

  • Meeting and becoming friends with other interns from all over the United States

  • Traveling to Cambodia, Beijing, and Huangshan with my roommate

  • Seeing white rhinos in a safari in South Africa

  • Trying culturally niche foods from various places in China, Cambodia, and South Africa

  • Engaging with local customs and people for a truly immersive experience

On the Penn Abroad Blog:

First Day Lessons

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