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Cultural, Discover Chinese culture

Ben’s First Week in Zhuhai

Ben studies International Business and Mandarin at Bryant University Rhode Island. He is taking part in an extensive language and cultural exchange program in Zhuhai with 14 of his peers. Offering homestays and campus living alongside internships and University study, the program provides a fully immersive Chinese experience. When not enjoying downtime with his Chinese family, Ben gets to take part in InternChina activities like ‘wingshun’ or cooking. Moreover, the program also includes trips to Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai to mention but a few to be excited about. Arriving a little later than the rest of the cohort, and during a typhoon no less, Ben tell’s us his first impressions of Zhuhai …

Ben’s Arrival to Zhuhai

When I first arrived in Zhuhai nearly three weeks ago, I was kindly welcomed with a heavy typhoon. I had become fearful for the rest of my five months in China. My host parents held flashlights close to their faces as if telling a scary story, which I continued to think was coming true all around me. But the next morning, with my camera around my neck, I aimlessly roamed the streets of Zhuhai.

With toppled trees, smashed car windshields and trash covering the streets, it was hardly the paradise city I had envisioned. I thought it almost comical to see people in the streets even attempting to clean up the mess of the typhoon. It seemed it would take a lifetime to clear just one street. I was, however, very wrong in my assumption. Just like my mother had said to me growing up, “Many hands make light work”. 

I have never considered myself a “cat person”, but that’s just because of the negative connotation it often comes with. I personally prefer dogs. Dogs are more active, loving and just the superior pet. However, my love for cats deepened after having found two stray kittens crying and whimpering on the side of the road. I frantically ran over and bent down on one knee, waving my hands over them to keep away all of the flies. I rushed them back home and contacted the Intern China staff to ask for their help. Together we took them to the vet and a charity, and they are now growing and healthy.   

 
Just as we nurtured the cats, the people of Zhuhai came together to rebuild the city. I already love Zhuhai. I have met lots of friends from all over the world through InternChina who offer lots of trips and activities. The program is helping sponsor trips to Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai – I can’t wait to bring my camera and explore these places too.
Words and photography by Ben Murphy
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Meet Jess, Zhuhai’s New Office Intern

About Me

I’m Jess, Zhuhai’s new Cultural Events Management and Marketing intern. Given by my teacher, my Chinese name “má là” (麻辣, spicy) replicates the sound of my surname (but is also in part due to my hair’s reaction to humidity reminding her of a particular spice girl). Although just beginning to learn Mandarin, I recently graduated from MSoA and moved to China two weeks ago.

Jess standing in front of a fountain during her Graduation

Background

Film and photography are my passion, but I also have experience in project management of my own non-for profit social enterprise LightUp Collective. The allure of travel, language and culture drew me away from my UK projects to this internship in China. In hand with a fast growing economy, the country is investing record amounts in the cultural sector. Through organizing events and excursions, my role ensures that our interns are enriched in Chinese culture. My camera, captures them doing so.

Experience of Interning in Zhuhai

Leaving for China can be daunting. On the last leg of my 22 hour journey, stressed and agitated I trudged off the plane. Although most excited for the prospect of my bed, as I stepped off the aircraft into Guangzhou, the realization that I had an opportunity to work in paradise (or near enough) hit me as quickly as the wave tropical heat.

A cup of coffee and a plane ticket in the airport

Two weeks into my time in Zhuhai and my mornings consist of a commute lined with palm trees, my days spent working hard affront a view of Macau glistening on the horizon. China, Zhuhai especially, is not what you expect, it’s more.

Lovers Road in Zhuhai

Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Events in Qingdao, Food, Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao, Travel

About to graduate and confused?

May 4 Qingdao
May Fourth Square

Nothing is more daunting than the fact you are about to graduate and you have no concrete plans for the future. The questions that arise are; do I carry on with education and do a masters or do I take the plunge into real life by becoming a full time adult and start work as a graduate?? Well, that was my predicament until I came across InternChina. I applied for the marketing & business development position in the Qingdao branch and was offered the 3 months internship (yay!). Interning in China has given me the opportunity to gain great experience whilst figuring out my future plans!

Qingdao Coffee Street

On my arrival, I was picked up from the airport by one of my soon to be colleagues. She was incredibly welcoming and helped me settle in the shared apartment. What I like the most about the apartments in Qingdao is that they are graciously spacious yet have a very cosy vibe to them. My roommates are my fellow colleagues at the IC Qingdao branch, so it was great to be able to meet them outside of the ‘work’ environment. (I did find it rather humorous that each one of us were from a different European country, one Brit, one French and one German… it almost sounds like one of those bar jokes).

Qingdao Cafe
You think the coffee is cute? Wait until you come to Qingdao and check out the cafe’s decor, it looked like something out of Harry potter!

As I had never been to Qingdao before, my roommates took me out and introduced me to fellow individuals who are part of the InternChina programme but are interning at different companies. As we are all connected through InternChina it was very easy to get along and feel comfortable with one another. Plans for the weekend were discussed and I was thrown into the mix and was able to explore Qingdao with them all!

Qingdao Malatang
Ever tried Hotpot? Well this is sort of like that but the non soup version, aka DryPot or as it’s known in China, Malatang!

There are really cool cafes, bars and restaurants in China, so regardless of the city you’re in, you will always be able to find somewhere that is to your liking. The food is cheap and cheerful -some meals will cost you max 3 pounds (I can’t find the pound sign on my macbook sigh). Moreover, you can actually find food that is halal and great for vegetarians!

Essence Trend cafe in Qingdao
Cool cafe called Essence Trend in Qingdao, owned by one of our work colleagues!

Honestly, I have only been here a few days and already I have some ideas on what I wish to do once I get back to the U.K. It also helps to be around people from all over the world as it is a great way to broaden your horizon and learn more. So if you’re currently unsure and undecided, I would wholeheartedly recommend an internship (especially one in China).

To start your own internship adventure in China, apply now!

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5 hidden gems of Qingdao

Hey there, This is Jack from InternChina back with 5 hidden gems of Qingdao. I have lived in this awesome city for over 2 years now and have found some places which aren’t the ‘top’ attractions but deserve to be discovered! So read on and go and see them for yourselves!
Xiao Qingdao
Little Qingdao Island is located in the old town of Qingdao, it is joined to the mainland by a small road and is in the shape of a Guqin (an ancient Chinese instrument) so some locals call it Qin Island.
In the mid 90s, after the German’s colonised Qingdao, a lighthouse was built on Little Qingdao Island to guide ships entering and leaving the Bay.
In the late 80s the island was made into a park covered with flower gardens and trees. The Qinnü statue (woman playing the Guqin), waterside pavilions and arbor make it a charming place to spend some time and relax. There is also a nice café in the middle and you can have fun spotting ‘about to be wed’ couples taking photos in the pavilions.
Xiao Qingdao




Laoshan mountain areas

Laoshan Mountain (i.e. Mount Lao), located at the seashore of the Yellow Sea, is a famous tourist destination. It has the highest coastal peak of China, Laoding, 1,133 meters above sea level. Since ancient times, Laoshan Mountain was regarded as the birthplace of Taoism and is littered with beautiful temples and monasteries.

On Laoshan Mountain, there are beautifully landscaped rocks, deep caves as well as clear springs and towering waterfalls. There are many tours and walking routes you can take – generally the north of the range is where you will find the temples and cable cars taking you to the summit. The south of the range is more of a national park, lots of walking trails, waterfalls, pools, rivers etc.
If you know InternChina or some locals in Qingdao I would fully recommend you take a walk in the south with them and swim in the pools! Don’t got by yourself though as the area is massive and easy to get lost.. –
Laoshan mountain area

Laoshan mountain area




The Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Zhongshan Park every Spring, when they have more than 2000 cherry blossom trees. The park is nice anyway and you can find a Zoo and the TV tower inside also for 360 degree views of Qingdao.
The Cherry Blossom Festival




Badaguan Scenic Area

Badaguan is a must-see attraction in Qingdao. Here you can see more than 20 different architectures with Russian, English, French, German, American, Japanese and Danish styles. At the foot of the area is Qingdao number 2 beach… my favourite. Secluded, sandy and clean it’s a great place to work on your tan, go for a swim or just stroll along. Most locals swarm on number one beach so this one is a great way to avoid the crowds!
Badaguan Scenic Area




Zhanshan Temple
is the only Buddhist temple in the urban area of Qingdao. Zhanshan temple consists of a courtyard, several halls and the palace of the heavenly king. You can see monks wandering around and lots of people praying. It’s a very tranquil site and a nice place to escape the busyness of the city without having to go far.

A lotus pond sits in front of the temple and is full of koi. In the east of the temple, a seven-floor brick pagoda stands twenty meters high.
Zhanshan Temple

Zhanshan Temple


My next blog will include 5 more hidden gems of Qingdao including the Qingdao eastern bear park, signal hill, Shilaoren lovers sightseeing park, tianhou palace and one more to be revealed!