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China Intern Review: Nadia Kerelenko

b2ap3_thumbnail_image002_20140306-093137_1.jpgNewly arrived intern, Nadia, came all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina to start her new adventure in China. She is 27 and graduated in International Business.

Nadia’s internship is at a chamber of commerce and industry and she will be focusing on market research and contacting both foreign and local customers. When we asked what she was hoping to get out of her internship she replied, “I expect to learn the Chinese business culture because the way that Chinese think is totally different compared with westerners. Nowadays many of the most important companies in the world are from China or focusing on China. One day it’s likely that your manager will be Chinese or have a Chinese background and connected in some way to this country.” With one out of every 5 people being Chinese, Nadia is right on the mark.

Nadia went on to say that she “chose China to do her China internship program because it is one of the most competitive and largest economies in the world. In China, I hope to learn as much as I can about their culture and especially their language, I think learning Mandarin is a useful skill and (in my field) people who speak it have a great advantage.”

Nadia selected Getin2China to help her find an internship placement after seeing the Gi2C Linked In profile. “I read about Gi2C Group online and from the information and comments, I found it to be a reliable company with experience in professional placements.”

She told us that she started preparing for her move to China two months ago by taking some online Mandarin lessons, but two months was not enough for sure!

When we asked how her family and friends took the news that she was moving to China she said, “The first reaction they had was that China is too far away. My family is a 28-hour flight away from China. They were also worried about the language as I do not speak Mandarin, and it is a cultural barrier. But after talking about it, they understood that it is a good personal and professional experience for me. However, I am going to miss my family, my friends and especially the food!”

Nadia was excited when she first arrived as she never imagined being in China. She is looking to take advantage of the opportunity as much as possible. After getting off the plane, she went straight to her apartment and walked around her new neighborhood. She also went to a nearby supermarket which is totally different from supermarkets in her hometown. She didn’t waste any time going out to try Beijing’s infamous roast duck and found it was delicious.

In terms of cultural differences, Nadia feels that the language is the most important difference. “It is the first time I am in a country that does not speak English or at least understands it. At the beginning was really hard to go outside, but now I feel a bit more confident. I learned some more words, but now the main problem is understanding their replies!”

Nadia’s initial impressions of Beijing were that is a big and city that mixes the modernity of the building and streets with some ancient temples in the middle of the city. Beijing has an efficient public transport system that allows you to go to any part of the city relatively quickly. “Beijing is a huge city compared to my hometown. I live in a city called Zarate, which has about 100,000 people and it is near the river, it is a very natural place and you can do many activities outside. Living in Beijing is the opposite. I found it is a very polluted city where you have to schedule your activities according to the pollution levels! Sometimes you cannot see the sky! And during the polluted days, it is not recommended to stay outside for too long.” The Chinese government has heard a lot of complaints about the air quality and says they are now working to improve it. Let’s hope it happens soon! In the meantime, we will enjoy getting out during the several blue-sky days per month and the rest of the time, be glad our internships are indoors.

 

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Anything but English teaching!

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