Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): Keru Intern in China
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During my experience abroad, I was the only intern in my office who was not functional in Chinese. This language barrier at first was quite frightening to me, but I soon found that it was also what made my experience that much more interesting and rewarding. Through this process, I saw my Chinese proficiency improve drastically while also growing as a person. I would love to talk to any students worried about language barriers or interested in China specifically.
My Experience Abroad:
As an International Relations and East Languages and Cultures major, my time abroad related directly to my major. While abroad, I was able to learn more about Chinese culture in 3 months than I could have ever learned in years of studying it in the U.S. With this, my time abroad also helped me to explore ideas surrounding Chinese ideas of politics and their thoughts on their relations with the U.S. and other countries which directly relates to my studies as an international relations major.
While interning at Keru, one of my projects involved my traveling to rural China for 10 days to work with the client and mentor students. In this, I was able to see first hand the realities of living in rural China, eat amazing food, and make a huge impact for our partner.
As a part of my internship, I was based in Shanghai, China. Living in Shanghai was amazing, from the people to the food to life outside of work, it was truly amazing. I am hoping to return soon!
My top highlight (even though it is listed at #3) is the people that I met while living in China. Everyone I met, be it locals or those that I worked with, were open-minded, friendly, and always willing to help. Never was I looked down upon as an outsider, rather I was encouraged and praised for my drive to learn the language and my interest in China as a culture.