Made in China: A Report from Beijing
When it comes to when I have to decide what I am going to do on my 5th semester, I first had my main interest to go on exchange in China. However, I realized I had exchange experiences from earlier and that I was already kind of on exchange in Denmark. I therefore decided that it is time for me to try something new and more serious, so I chose an internship.
As everyone knows, China is a very fast-going country which offers many business and self- development opportunities to grow. Apart from that, I would like to develop my working experience while creating new networks and also to learn the real culture and the language.
Day 1: Lost in translation.
“What have I brought myself into?” I came here a week before my internship started and everything during that period was exotic and a bit overwhelming. This is my first time in China and I am actually half Chinese but I have almost zero idea about the language! The fact that most of the Chinese people don’t speak or understand English could make the living here very challenging for someone who doesn’t speak Chinese.
Everything here is very different compared to Denmark, in good and interesting ways. One legit point involved my new fashion accessory inspired and enforced by the Chinese environment, the face mask. The romantic foggy scenario of the city is actually not so romantic because it is truly just the city’s pollution!
Things got a lot better after my first week when I started my internship. I am working as a Marketing Project Coordinator in a Sino-Scandinavian PR, marketing and communications company. The CEO is Chinese but the overall environment of the workplace is very international. We are mostly working with Scandinavian partners. I am glad and sad at the same time that I am not forced to use Chinese at work. This company is not that big but it has many projects in its hands at the same time so it is quite fun and the works are quite diverse. One of my main roles is taking care of external branding and maintaining a good partnership with Scandinavian companies and embassies in China. So far, the company has treated me like their real employee and provided me opportunities to attend many interesting networking events and conferences in the field of fashion, design, etc.
Friendly people, vibrant city.
When you work hard, you deserve to play hard. Fortunately, Beijing has a lot of great varieties to offer! The nightlife society here is a bit different than in Denmark, everything is about connections. Especially if you are a foreigner and know promoter(s), then your night out is all set. You are welcome to enjoy free bars until you drop anywhere and any day. It is Beijing, everyday including weekdays is a party day! Foreigners in Beijing are very lively and friendly, which make it so easy to make friends. You will never be alone here.
I have already been here a little bit more than one month. Time surely flies! I have to say Beijing has far better conditions than I expected. Despite the fact that there were some heavy polluted days and people who does not speak English, I actually found that Chinese people are very friendly and helpful (although there would be lots of hand gestures).
Beijing: The culmination of tradition and future.
The city is full of history and unique lifestyles and attractions: where modern meets tradition. Considering the fact with 23 million people living here in Beijing, the city is fairly clean. It is also very safe during the day and night to walk and go around, like in Copenhagen. Beijing also offers a great subway system and taxi is safe so there is no problem at all getting around here. Though, the living cost is pretty much the same in Copenhagen except from food and public transport which is very cheap and good.
When the sky is clear of smog and pollution and sun is shining, Beijing is really beautiful. So far, I have been enjoying working and living here very much. Apart from the work experiences I have achieved and the opportunities I have expanded my network so far with this environment, I am glad that my Chinese skill and the understanding of my cultural roots has gone much better even though I spent only a month here. I have different stories to tell everyday and I am sure there are a lot more to come. Although there are many differences between China and Denmark, I would really recommend everyone to come and try living in Beijing not just because it is great and exotic but also if you never try you will never know, right?