Now that Mike's been in China for a few weeks, it's about time to check in to see how he's doing during his internship in a Company. Is China exactly as he imagined, completely opposite or somewhere in between? Read below to find out more about what life in China is like with Gi2C.
How do you feel about being in China?
"Good. There's so many places to visit and so much to do in Shanghai. I've not even begun to explore it, yet alone the various different sites and cities outside of it. I'm also learning plenty of skills at work that will be relevant for the future."
What is one cultural difference that stands out to you in particular about China?
"The great emphasis on food: there are restaurants and kiosks dotted all over the city and none have really disappointed so far. Also how quick and busy everything is: shops and the like are often open until at the very least 10pm, allowing you to to plenty after work."
What are your initial impressions of Shanghai?
"It's huge. It seems every time you get off at a new subway stop, there's new places to explore. Quite unusually though, I keep bumping into people that share some past history with me: My Mandarin teacher studied in the same city as I did, a Chinese colleague sitting next to me at work went to the same University as me and in a party of about twenty people, I met someone from the same town as I am from. Shanghai definitely illustrates how big and international the world can be, especially if you're coming from a viewpoint of a different culture, but it can also show how small the world can be too."
How does Shanghai compare to your hometown?
"A lot busier and bigger, which has it's advantages and disadvantages. Transport runs more efficiently but is far more crowded, there's plenty to do and because of that, it feels harder to build a routine: you want to be out doing new things all the time and have little time for hobbies you may have once had at home."
What have you eaten so far?
"Many different meals ranging from expensive restaurants to the more unique street-food. It feels like there's a wide variety of foods on almost every street I've visited. It's easy to find dishes from all around the world and fun trying out foods that would be generally unavailable or hard to find in the UK, such as hotpot."