Nick Freer-Smith has arrived in China! Last month, the London-native was gearing up for his internship in Shanghai at China BlueSky Ventures, and now he’s beginning to call Shanghai home – at least for the duration of his internship!
“It's certainly different to what I'm used to, but now that I've settled in I'm delighted to be here.
“It's not as hot as I thought it might be so far – in fact, there has been rain and storms instead. The size of the city was something I had never seen before, so I felt a little intimidated at first, especially as I speak no Chinese, however now I'm starting to work out where everything is I'm much happier, and luckily most people speak a little English.”
Before coming to Shanghai, China’s hip-and-happening financial capital, Nick was living in the English countryside.
“At home there are just peaceful fields and hills around me, but I don't think you could describe Shanghai as peaceful!”
How does Shanghai compare to financial rival London?
“The sheer scale of the city is phenomenal, even when compared to London, which I often visit at home. The London skyline is relatively flat, but the extent to high-rise buildings and skyscrapers has absolutely blown me away.”
And the way the rules of the road are obeyed in England, you’d think you were on a different planet in Shanghai.
“In England there are also very strict traffic rules, which seem in total contrast to here in Shanghai. In England you are not even allowed to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, but here it seems even motorbikes can drive on them!”
The London Tube is notorious for its unreliability and frequent breakdowns. China may still be a developing country, but it’s ions ahead of the West when it comes to transportation.
“The metro is fantastically convenient and cheap, and because it's much newer it's in a better condition than the London Underground.”
The first thing Nick did upon arriving in Shanghai was hit the sack.
“I went to bed early and had a very long sleep, because I hadn't been able to sleep on the plane, and the seven-hour time difference meant I was very tired.”
The next day, Gi2C introduced Nick to other interns and brought him to his host company to meet the boss.
Then it was chow time.
“Whilst on my own I've been fairly careful with food because I don't want to get ill straight away! However when Gi2C took me out for a welcome meal I definitely tried things I hadn't seen before, including frogs legs and this sort of white jelly that I'm still not sure what it was.”
He adds, “My chopstick skills also have a long way to go!”
We’re sure you’ll master the art of the chopstick soon!
Good luck during your China internship program, Nick. We’ll check back for an update soon.