Originally published in February, 2011
In early 2011, Get in2 China Group established a partnership with Southern Methodist University (SMU), located in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Through this partnership, 20 students from SMU were able to visit China while on their summer break. Participating in a 3-week long program, the students had the opportunity to get both professional and cultural experience while participating in an internship with a company in Beijing. For most of the students this was their first time in China and undoubtedly one of the most unique experiences they ever had.
According to the students themselves, the China Internship Program benefited them in several different ways. First, from the professional point of view, working for a Chinese company enabled them to learn first-hand about the peculiarities of doing business in China. In the light of China’s rapid economic growth and its increasing role in global affairs this knowledge will have good practical application for those who want to be involved in international business in the future.
Second, the program participants were offered full linguistic and cultural immersion training through taking Chinese Mandarin language and calligraphy classes, attending various social networking events and participating in sightseeing tours around Beijing. The students, who arrived speaking Chinese at an intermediate level, took classes taught by highly qualified teachers with many years of experience teaching Chinese to foreigners. This course, combined with daily communications with local Chinese people, allowed the students to significantly improve their language skills. The students were also able to practice their Chinese, while learning about Chinese culture through calligraphy and Kung Fu classes. During these classes the American students were able to interact with their Chinese counterparts, thus learning about local traditions, customs and mentalities. Cultural interaction also provided both parties with the chance to enlarge their international network of contacts, which, due to our globalized world, has become increasingly important.
Third, in order to better understand China’s history and culture, the students were welcomed to explore Beijing to the fullest extent. The trips organized by the Get in2 China team included a round-the-city sightseeing tour (Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Ming Tombs) and the Great Wall climbing tour. To enrich the cross-cultural experience, the visitors were invited for local food after each tour, including the opportunity to eat Beijing’s favorite and most famous dish – Peking duck. The students also participated in other extracurricular activities, including a visit to the Beijing Opera and an acrobatic show - two very popular forms of entertainment in China.
Needless to say that their short stay in China provided the students with a deeper understanding of the country and an incredibly rich experience covering such aspects as working in an international business environment, practicing the Chinese language with native speakers, embracing local culture, traditions and customs, travelling and sightseeing, meeting new people, and making new friends. This partnership has allowed the students of Southern Methodist University the fantastic opportunity of laying the corner stone to a successful career. Due to the great success of this year’s program, Get in2 China and Southern Methodist University have agreed to further collaborate in 2012, so that more people have the opportunity to enjoy their summer days in China.