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Chengdu
Chengdu Blogs, Discover Chinese culture, Food, Internship Experience

First impressions of family life in Chengdu

First Impressions

At the time of writing this blog, I have been in Chengdu for just five days. This is my third day as an intern in the InternChina office but I am already getting into the swing of life here. Having spent my year abroad as part of my degree studying at a university in Taiwan, I was eager to get a taste of living and working in mainland China. Chengdu appealed to me as it is a more manageable size and less international than the huge metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai, but still with lots to explore within the city and surrounding areas!

I chose to start my time in Chengdu staying in a homestay with a family and their seven-year-old son. While living in Taiwan and briefly travelling in China certainly broadened my understanding of certain aspects of Chinese culture and life, I had not developed an insight into Chinese family and home life. My family have been extremely hospitable and gone out of their way to help me get accustomed to life in Chengdu. Even in this short time, I have got an insight into their daily routine, met their family and colleagues, and tried a huge variety of delicious home-cooked meals. In Taiwan, I found that it was easy to learn what you liked on the menu and then stick with what you knew to avoid translating the menu every time. However staying with a family has led me to try new dishes, fruits and vegetables almost every meal, including foods that I would not usually have ordered myself, such as 美蛙鱼头火锅 (frog and fish head hotpot)!

 

Chengdu

 

Difference and Similarities to the UK

Whilst there are many similarities between family life in the UK and China, there are also some striking differences, most noticeably the pressure on young children to study. However, what particularly surprised me on my arrival, is that my family also have an 18-month-old son who is being raised by his grandparents almost 3000km away from Chengdu until he is old enough to attend kindergarten. While I had read about the phenomenon of parents living in urban areas sending their children back to their hometown to be raised by other family members, I had not grasped how common this was among Chinese families.  Only seeing your parents once or twice during your first few years of life seems almost incomprehensible to me, and 3000km away from my hometown of London would mean crossing multiple countries ending up in Turkey, for example. However, the pressures of Chinese working life and the lack of affordable childcare options in urban areas, mean that this is a necessity for millions of Chinese parents who have to instead make do with video calling their child.

 

 

Communicating in Chengdu

Although I have been studying Mandarin for over four years, the language barrier with my family can still be a challenge. While I generally understand what is being said on a one-to-one basis, group conversations at mealtimes are definitely more difficult, especially with my host dad often switching into Sichuan dialect! However, I am definitely becoming more confident to say to the family when I don’t understand, and, with the help of Pleco (a Chinese dictionary app), I am learning lots of new words and phrases so, as is said in Chinese, 慢慢来 (it will come slowly)!

 

Chengdu
Before your stay, How-to Guides

How Much to Budget for Living in China

So you want to come to China for an internship! But now you may be wondering, “How much money should I budget for daily life in China?”
The good news is, your money can go a long way in China. Many interns eat out for about 10-15 RMB per meal, and spend 60 RMB when they want to really splurge! Even drinks can be cheap, with beers and cocktails generally from 15-30 RMB. Some bars even sell Qingdao beer for as low as 5 RMB in efforts to draw in more customers. There is no sales tax in China, so the price you see is the price you pay. However, make sure to haggle down the price in market streets or small shops where haggling is accepted!

What is the RMB exchange rate?

For the current exchange rates, please see here.

1 GBP = 8.866 RMB
1 EURO = 7.615 RMB
1 USD = 6.69 RMB
1 AUD = 4.807 RMB
1 CAD = 5.08
1 NZD = 4.609
**Exchange rates as of 27/02/2019

What kind of budget in China is right for me?

There are two main factors that may determine your kind of budget:

  • Accommodation Choice – Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner as already included in the programme package.
  • Individual Lifestyle – Your budget in China will vary depending on what transportation you decide to take, personal dining preferences, nightlife, and more.

Weekly/Monthly Budget Estimates

Below, we have put together some budget estimates of your expenses in daily life during your time with InternChina. In general, many interns live on a low budget and are still able to live quite well. For those looking to spend a little more, there are also medium and high budget estimates. See which budget is right for you

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

For those looking to save money while still having fun and trying new thingsApartment:
Transport – walking or taking bus 4-8 rmb per day = 15-30 rmb / week
Food – 10-20 rmb lunch, average 10-20 rmb dinner, 5-10 rmb breakfast/snacks = 250-350 rmb / week
Treats – one night out per week including a few drinks and a taxi home = 75-125 rmb / week
Events – Attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 100-150 rmb / week

Total amount (average) =  2200 rmb per month (Approx. 290 EUR, 250 GBP,  330 USD, 460 AUD, 430 CAD, 480 NZD )

Homestay:
Transport – walking or taking bus 4-8 rmb per day = 15-30 rmb / week
Food – 10-20 rmb lunch/snacks = 70-140 rmb / week
Treats – one night out per week including a few drinks and a taxi home = 75-125 rmb / week
Events – attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 100-150 rmb / week

Total amount (average) = 1400 rmb per month (Approx. 185 EUR, 160 GBP, 210 USD, 290 AUD, 275 CAD, 300 NZD)For those who go to the gym, eat more western food or spend more in other ways:Apartment:
Transport – taxis, 20 rmb, 3 times a week, Bus 4 rmb per day = 80 rmb / week
Food – 25 rmb lunch/day, average 30 rmb dinner/day, 15 breakfast & snacks/day = 490 rmb / week
Treats – gym, occasional spa/massage, nights out with reasonable priced drinks, travelling to places within the region = 475 rmb / week
Events – attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 300 rmb / week

Total amount (average) = 5000 rmb per month (Approx. 655 EUR, 565 GBP, 750 USD, 1040 AUD, 980 CAD, 1080 NZD)

Homestay:
Transport – taxis, 20 rmb, 3 times a week, Bus 4 rmb per day = 80 rmb / week
Food – 25 rmb lunch/snacks = 150 rmb / week
Treats – gym, occasional spa/massage, nights out with reasonable priced drinks, travelling to places within the region = 475 rmb / week
Events – attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 300 rmb / week

Total amount (average) = 3500 rmb per month (Approx. 460 EUR, 395 GBP, 520 USD, 730 AUD, 690 CAD, 760 NZD)For those who would like to spend more on cocktail bars, taxis or foreign imports:Apartment:
Transport – taxis every day, 20-40 rmb average per day = 200 rmb / week
Food – 40 rmb lunch, average 60 rmb dinner, 25 breakfast/snacks = 875 rmb / week
Treats – lots of going out / drinking (cocktail bars/classy foreign places), buying foreign goods/western imports, etc travelling around China, gym membership = 750 / week
Events – attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 350-450 rmb / week

Total amount (average) = 8000 rmb per month (Approx. 1050 EUR, 900 GBP, 1200 USD, 1665 AUD, 1575 CAD, 1735 NZD)

Homestay:
Transport – taxis every day, 20-40 rmb average per day = 200 rmb / week
Food – 40 rmb lunch/snacks = 280 rmb / week
Treats – lots of going out / drinking (cocktail bars/classy foreign places), buying foreign goods/western imports, etc travelling around China, gym membership = 750 / week
Events – attending IC events every weekend (optional) = 350-450 rmb / week

Total amount (average) = 6500 rmb per month (Approx. 850 EUR, 730 GBP, 970 USD, 1350 AUD, 1280 CAD, 1410 NZD)

As you can see, you don’t need too much money in China to have a good time, while alternatively spending a bit more will make you feel like royalty. Be careful when you have a craving to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee (35 RMB) or the newest iPhone (7000 RMB), as not everything is cheaper in China. All in all, however, you should find that your monthly budget in China is significantly less than it is back at home!

For international payments, we always recommend using TransferWise. They’re cheaper than the banks, because they always use the real exchange rate – which you can see on Google – and charge a very small fee. They’re also safe and trusted by over 2 million people around the world. You can sign up here.

Daily Life in Vietnam, Internship Experience

On Reflection: Looking Back at My Experience Interning in Ho Chi Minh City

By: Jess Warren

So, you’re thinking about working in Vietnam? I’ve just come back from spending two months interning in Ho Chi Minh City for the expat-orientated magazine, AsiaLIFE, and it was one of the best ways I could have spent my summer. Instead of being sat at home, I was out gaining valuable experience in industry I’m looking to work in.

Working for a magazine for two months was also a pretty good way to see the city. Instead of being in the office nine-to-five each day, I was tasked with finding stories across the city, and interviewing interesting people, from business owners to government staff. I had the chance to work remotely, and was trusted to manage my time efficiently, and turn in the articles on time, without needing to be in the office. A pretty good way to grow my own time-management and organisational skills.

“Travelling across the city by bike is a fantastic opportunity.”

Living in Ho Chi Minh City is a bit of a whirlwind, the traffic is constant and chaotic, with bikes passing you by at every angle. If you’re up to it, travelling across the city via Grab (a ride hailing service for bikes) is a fantastic opportunity. Of course, take all the necessary safety precautions such as covering your legs and arms and wearing a better helmet than they provide. My employer gave me a helmet to use, and I would fully recommend making the minor investment.

The strangest thing about living abroad for two months was the considerably lower living cost, it actually turned out to be more expensive to buy western food items in a supermarket and cook at my apartment compared to eating lunch and dinner in small eateries and restaurants. This meant I had the opportunity to try out a variety of cuisine. Whilst you might think Vietnamese food is the only option, it’s far from the truth. In fact, Ho Chi Minh City has restaurants featuring every food from around the world, and done to a very high standard. At the end of my street, I had a pizza takeaway run by an Italian man from Naples. However Vietnamese food is incredibly fresh and delicious, so I would fully recommend.

“By embracing living abroad, I found so many more opportunities outside of my working day.”

The one thing that made my experience even better whilst living abroad was joining expat Facebook groups, and going to local events. I stumbled across a trendy arts café about five minutes from my apartment, where locals performed live music, stand-up comedy and there was even a magazine launch party there. By embracing living abroad, I found so many more opportunities outside of my working day. I joined a group and practised yoga in a local park situated on the riverbank, and I followed recommendations of places to see and go from the people I met. Instead of seeing your internship as a temporary ‘holiday’, I found the best way to view it was that I was living abroad in a city I would call home for two months.

Interested in applying for an internship just like Jess’? Then apply now! 

Articles en français, Avant le depart

Bien se préparer pour la Chine : maîtriser WeChat!

Vous êtes-vous déjà demandé comment maîtriser la fameuse application WeChat? Voici un petit guide pratique afin de vous aider à devenir un pro en quelques minutes seulement !

Petite introduction pour maîtriser WeChat          

WeChat est le réseau social le plus utilisé en Chine, avec plus de 963 millions d’utilisateurs par mois. C’est en premier lieu une application de messagerie instantanée, mais c’est aussi bien plus que cela! Vous pouvez partager des photos et vidéos de votre vie quotidienne, ou même l’utiliser comme moyen de paiement ! WeChat ou Wēi Xìn en Chinois est essentiel à votre séjour en Chine. Vous en aurez besoin pour communiquer avec vos amis, collègues et famille tous les jours !

WeChat-Social Media Network

Comment créer un compte WeChat

C’est assez simple de créer un compte sur WeChat. De plus, si vous avez déjà utilisé WhatsApp ce sera simple. Première étape : télécharger l’application depuis ITunes, Google play… et créer un compte en utilisant votre numéro de téléphone.

Voici la procédure pas à pas pour configurer WeChat sur votre smartphone :

  1. Téléchargez l’application
  2. Une fois téléchargée, cliquez sur  “S’inscrire avec le numéro de téléphone”
  3. Entrez votre numéro de téléphone et enregistrez-vous. Pensez bien à utiliser le bon indicatif pays: +33 pour la France, +86 pour la Chine…
  4. Puis, WeChat vous enverra un code de vérification au numéro que vous avez utilisé à l’étape précédente. Ensuite, allez dans vos messages, retenez le code et entrez le dans l’espace prévu à cet effet. Il y a aussi un petit puzzle à faire pour des questions de sécurité.
  5. Une fois confirmé, entrez votre nom, ajoutez une photo… en quelques mots : personnalisez votre compte.
  6. Et c’est parti!

Ouvrir le clavier

Pour écrire un message, ouvrez le clavier comme dans WhatsApp ou dans vos messages texte. S’il n’apparait pas directement, cliquez sur l’espace à côté du symbole “haut-parleur” vous aurez accès à votre clavier!


Ajouter des amis

Maintenant que votre compte est opérationnel, c’est le temps de se faire des amis! Ajouter des amis sur WeChat est simple et rapide. Cela aidera votre réseau à s’agrandir si tel est votre souhait !

Cependant il y a plusieurs méthodes pour ajouter des amis. Le plus simple est de les rechercher selon leur identifiant WeChat ou numéro de téléphone. Sinon vous pouvez aussi scanner leur QR code.

Ajouter un contact via son Identifiant ou son Numéro de téléphone

  1. Cliquez sur le ” + ” en haut à droite de votre écran, puis « Ajouter un contact ».
  2. Cliquez sur la barre de recherche où vous voyez « ID Wechat/Téléphone ».
  3. Entrez le nom d’utilisateur/numéro de téléphone.
  4. Après avoir entrez le nom/numéro cliquez sur “Rechercher” à côté du logo vert.
  5. Le contact va apparaitre sur votre écran et vous n’aurez plus qu’à l’« ajouter ». En cliquant sur la phrase bleue en Chinois que vous voyez sur la photo 3.
  6. Personnalisez votre demande et envoyez la !

Ajouter un contact via son code QR

  1. Cliquez sur le ” + ” en haut à droite de votre écran.
  2. Sélectionnez “ Numériser ”.
  3. Demandez à votre ami de vous présenter son code (remplacé ici par un de nos stickers !).
  4. Mettez votre téléphone au-dessus du sien pour scanner.
  5. Le contact va apparaitre, vous n’aurez qu’à cliquer sur “Ajouter”.
  6. Bravo! Vous avez ajouté votre premier contact!

Permettre aux autres de vous ajouter

Ils peuvent utiliser votre ID WeChat, ou votre numéro de téléphone associé à votre compte WeChat. Ils peuvent aussi scanner votre code QR s’ils sont à coté de vous.

  1. Pour montrer votre code QR à quelqu’un, allez sur l’icône “Moi”.
  2. A coté de votre identifiant (ID), il y a un petit icone ressemblant à un QR Code.
  3. Cliquez dessus afin d’ouvrir votre code QR.


Créer une discussion de groupe

  1. Ouvrez l’onglet “contact” dans la barre de menu en bas de l’application.
  2. Sélectionnez Chat en groupe.
  3. A vous d’ajouter les contacts que vous voulez voir apparaître dans ce groupe de discussion ! Puis cliquez sur Ok.

Suivre des comptes officiels

Les comptes officiels sont très utilisés par la communauté WeChat. De plus, Pagoda Projects les utilise également afin de partager des activités, et informations utiles. Afin de vous tenir au courant de nos « Thursday Diners », ou des voyages organisés… Pensez à vérifier que vous suivez bien le compte officiel Pagoda Projects afin de rejoindre les différents chats de groupe.

Il est possible de suivre un compte officiel de la même façon que pour ajouter un contact – juste en choisissant la dernière catégorie “Comptes officiels”. Demandez à notre équipe de vous donner les comptes officiels à suivre pour votre destination !


Comment communiquer sur WeChat

Avec WeChat vous pouvez écrire un message, envoyer un message vocal, appelez en audio ou en Visio… C’est un peu un mélange entre WhatsApp et Skype.

Envoyer un message vocal

  1. Pour envoyer un message vocal, cliquez sur le bouton « Haut-parleur » en bas à gauche
  2. Pour enregistrer votre message vocal appuyez sur “Maintenez pour parler”

N’oubliez pas de maintenir le bouton tout au long du message. Votre message peut durer jusqu’à 59 secondes. Lâchez pour envoyer, et faites glisser vers le haut pour annuler.

Appel Vidéo

Il est fort probable que vous ayez à vous en servir lors de votre entretien avec votre entreprise pour votre futur stage. Il est donc impératif de savoir le maîtriser.

  1. Ouvrez la conversation du contact voulu en la recherchant dans vos contacts. Ou ajoutez cette personne comme décrit précédemment.
  2. Ouvrir le menu en appuyant sur le “+” situé en bas de votre écran de conversation,  celui dans une petite bulle.
  3. Choisissez l’option Appel Vidéo
  4. Et c’est parti !

Faites de même pour passer un appel vocal !

Enfin, dans ce même menu, vous trouverez plusieurs façons de communiquer et de partager des informations avec vos contacts. Nous vous laissons les découvrir par vous même !

Une fois votre compte WeChat  configuré et ces quelques astuces maîtrisées, vous êtes prêts à entamer votre vie en Chine !

WechatIMG55
Internship Experience

A visit to Mao Xian with my Host Company

By Rosa Spence

On the 28th March, myself and four other representatives from the NGO I am interning with, CDNGO06,  organised and accompanied farmers from Yunqiao village on an overnight visit to Mao Xian. A district 5 hours north-west of Chengdu and only 40km away from Wuchuan (the place where the earthquake hit in 2008!).

The aim of this visit was to introduce the local farmers from Yunqiao to local Sichuanese Pepper farmers in Mao Xian. These farmers have previously worked closely with WWF to increase sustainable farming of Sichuan pepper. As a result of this collaboration, their Sichuan pepper crops have become organically certified. The farming community has become a co-operative, having received support from Sichuan Rural Credit Union – an initiative established by the People’s Bank of China to provide credit to rural areas in China.

This, in turn, has led to better access to national and global markets. The NGO hopes that the farmers from Yunqiao will be able to learn and adapt some of the techniques, used by Mao Xian farmers, and apply them to their Luo Bo crops (the main crop of Yunqiao) with the aim of increasing quality and production rates.

Maoxin1 Maoxin4

We left the sleeping city of Chengdu at six o’clock in the morning and traveled in a minibus to Yunqiao village. Two hours north of the City, to pick up the farmers who were coming with us. As we drove for another three hours from Yunqiao to Mao Xian, I was not prepared for the scenery that I was about to witness.

The concrete jungle of Chengdu disappeared and the skyline was replaced with towering mountains, so tall that the peaks were dusted in snow. The cloudiness of Chengdu’s city sphere also dissipated and we basked in bright sunshine and crystal clear blue sky. I think it’s the first time that I have seen cloudless skies and unobstructed sun since I arrived!

Maoxin5

Maoxin3

Arrival at Mao Xian

On arrival at Mao Xian, the farmers and NGO Staff were taken on a tour and shown how the pepper was produced. The first station was the warehouse, where the pepper granules were stored; next, we were taken to the building where the raw pepper granules were ground down into refined powder and packaged to be sold in the national market. They weren’t kidding when they said it had a kick to it, I tasted a single granule and my tongue went numb for the next 20 minutes!

This farming co-operative has won numerous awards for their work, all of which were displayed proudly on the wall in the meeting room. The meeting between the two communities lasted for over 2 hours, with the NGO workers and the farmers from Yunqiao taking notes about how the Mao Xian farmers’ model worked. My role as the NGO’s photographer was to document the event. The host farming community were really accommodating, with tea being provided throughout and the meeting came to a close in good spirits and a formal photograph was taken.

Maoxin6

Maoxin Meeting

After the formalities were completed, there was a chance to explore Mao Xian. We were taken to see some beautiful blossom trees, their delicate petals floating in the warm breeze. I got told that these trees and most of the surrounding area had been rebuilt after the area was flattened by the 2008 earthquake. The experience was also very culturally enriching, as the next day we were given the opportunity to observe a Qiang ceremony –an ethnic minority group, with a population of approximately 200,000, located in North Western Sichuan Province.

The ceremony was enchanting, consisting of singing, chanting, dancing, drumming and role play. We were then given a guided tour around an ethnographic museum, where we were told about Qiang history and also got to observe people going about their daily routines – these people still live very traditional lifestyles, making their own clothes and tools. We were fortunate enough to witness two Qiang men forging an iron blade, using two hammers and an anvil, the precision of the technique was mesmerising – clearly, a skill which has been refined over generations!

Maoxin7

Maoxin2

It has been a fantastic experience, I feel very fortunate to be so included in the work that the NGO is doing for local communities, they are truly committed to helping to create change at a local scale.

Inspired by Rosa’s Experience? Apply Now!

ho chi minh city river at night
Daily Life in Vietnam, Practical Advice, Vietnam Basics

Ho Chi Minh City’s 24/7 Accessibility

Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, has many things do offer during the day time as well as during night time. If you need urgent medical help or just want to buy some snacks late at night, you can find it in Ho Chi Minh City 24/7.

Shopping

Shopping malls are mostly opened till 9 – 10 pm but many small convenience stores are opened 24/7. You can find most of the elementary products there if you need it in the middle of the night. Inside most of the 24/7 convenience stores or nearby them you can find ATM s where you can withdraw money anytime you want.

Citymart in Vietnam

Eating

There is no problem to find food place in Ho Chi Minh City at any time of day or night. Most upper and middle class restaurants work only until late evening but you can enjoy food from small restaurants and street food at night.

Transportation

Moving around Vietnam takes a lot of time, so choosing overnight travel might be a good option. If you want to go from/to Ho Chi Minh City to/from other cities or just around the city, you have choice of taking plane, train, bus, taxi or motorbike. Vietnam Railway Systems (VRS) and The North – South train are providing good quality connections across the country also during night. You can buy tickets directly at the train station or, if you need English service, some websites and travel agencies are providing it. The taxi and bus are relatively slow, as the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is extremely heavy. Good alternative to taxi and bus for going around the city is motorbike (you can get it as a taxi, rent it or buy – if you’re staying for longer).

Alternatively, you can rent a car. It is easy – requires only passport and valid driving license. The car rental company might only accept international driving license or one in common language such as English or French.

grab moped taxi in vietnam

Entertainment

The most popular (non-stop) party place in Vietnam is Pham Ngu Lao, well-known amongst backpackers as it’s comparatively cheap. If you’re looking for some more fancy clubbing places popular within young people, then you should check out clubs in District 1. If you’re a fan of Karaoke, you will be able to find a few places where you can rent a room at any time.

Healthcare

Hospital Symbol

In case you need urgent medical help, those places have 24/7 emergency service with English speaking doctors: Family Medical Practice Clinic, Franco-Vietnamese Hospital, International SOS Clinic, Columbia International Clinic and Hospital (3 locations), Cho Ray Hospital, Emergency Centre. For urgent dental cases you can seek help in Victoria Healthcare Dentist Department in District 1. 24/7 pharmacy can be found in Family Medical Practice Centre and International SOS Clinic.

Internchina-All-representatives
Charity, InternChina News, Uncategorised, Zhuhai Blogs

CTC and CPAZ hold charity event in Pingsha

On May 8th 2018 more than 30 representatives from CPAZ, CTC & InternChina visited the Pingsha Experimental Primary School to distribute funds raised at the Come Together Charity Music Festival 2017 and provide care packs to a total of 50 disadvantaged students.

The bursary money totalled 82,500 RMB, meaning over 1500 RMB was raised for each child in need!

This is CPAZ’s 12th year in a row working with families to support the education of those in need in Pingsha, and the 5th year that the CTC – Come Together Charity Music Festival has raised money for CPAZ’s mission. The day started when representatives of CTC and CPAZ distributed a total of 82,500 RMB to 50 local children in need.

The bursary for each child was 1,500 RMB, along with a care package which including a backpack and school supplies. Afterwards, representatives split into groups to visit some of the families who receive the bursary.

Come Together Community

Come Together Community (CTC) is made up of a collection of like-minded fellows who care about the community, helping out, and making a difference. The founders of CTC have collectively lived in Zhuhai and China for over 40 years, and consider Zhuhai home.

InternChina is a proud sponsor of CTC, and also one of the official organisers of CTC’s annual charity music festival each year, Come Together. The aim of the NGO is to help people in Zhuhai by uniting the expat and local communities to fundraise for charitable causes and local philanthropies.

Come Together Music Festival

In November 2017, the 6th annual Come Together Charity Music Festival was held. It was an extremely successful event, with a total of 900+ people attending and raising a total of 255,000 RMB. The event has volunteers, bands and sponsor work alongside food and beverage vendors, the schools, the venue and more local groups to raise money for local children in need.

As CTC firmly believes transparency is of utmost importance, you can view all the income and expenses of the Come Together Music Festival 2017 here to see how they got the total amount of 255,000 RMB.

CPAZ

The Charity Promotion Association of Zhuhai (CPAZ) is a registered CSO (Civil Society Organisation) in China. They work to promote social activism and public welfare with the aim of providing compassionate assistance to vulnerable sectors of society.  They operate a range of projects with the aim of helping financially destitute, disadvantaged people and particularly young students living as orphans or with single parents.

Come Together Community's WeChat QR Code

Want to experience charity events like these yourself? APPLY NOW!

Feature-Pic-Kanghua-Trip
Chengdu Blogs, Internship Experience

Visiting Yunqiao Village with our NGO Partner Company

When I was asked by one of our NGO partner companies here in Chengdu to join them on a company trip to Yunqiao village accompanying one of our participants, I became very excited. This NGO are a non-profit Community Service Organisation approved by the Chengdu Civil Affairs. Their mission is to “improve ecosystems by working directly with communities to achieve sustainable development and the construction of an ecological civilization” – the organisation offer internship opportunity CDNGO06.

Rosa & Erika visiting an NGO

I was accompanying InternChina participant Rosa on the trip to Yunqiao Village, during the entirety of the trip I was discussing with Rosa about her stay in China and her internship with the NGO. Rosa has been here for about 6 weeks and is half way through her programme; her official role at the company is Ecological Marketing Associate.

Rosa’s Internship

Rosa is in charge of writing promotional material and placing volunteer activities on record but she has been involved with a lot more than this, she has actually managed entire visits to Yunqiao. Rosa has also been responsible for applying for grant schemes which has included the creation of projects and allocating budget.

I was happy to hear how much she enjoys her internship, before coming to China she didn’t expect to be as involved in the day to day projects. She has been very impressed with her colleagues’ passion, especially with the Yunqiao Project that she also tries to put her heart and soul into it.

On the day of the company trip I was very nervous as I didn’t know what to expect as well as being a representative for InternChina. Little did I know, how important this day was for the company itself.

My day started around 6 am wondering what the trip would be like, obviously it wasn’t a normal workday. I was informed that 50 students from Baruch College in New York would be joining us, so I was getting prepared to meet the students and talk to them about InternChina and its work as well as gathering my business cards to go.

With my breakfast in hand I headed out to meet Rosa at the hotel where the students were staying. There I met Alina, the students’ coordinator and two of Rosa’s Chinese colleagues at the NGO. After making final arrangements and assisting all the students into the buses, we headed out towards the North West of the city at around 8:15 am.

Two hours later we arrived at a small village named Yunqiao (云桥) in the Pidu District. After arriving we met the Project Manager and he informed us about their work, especially in the area. One of the companies projects is the rehabilitation and protection of Chengdu’s Yunqiao Wetlands Water Resource Protected Area.

YunQiao Village

But what is so special about this area? Yunqiao is located between the confluence of two of Chengdu’s most important rivers: the Botiao and Xuyan rivers. Botiao is one of the four “mother rivers” of Chengdu city. Along with Xuyan river, they both are the major source of drinking water for the city.

Map of the Yunqiao Wetlands

The “Magical Earth” project is an initiative to protect native plants and animal habitats in the Yuanqiao Wetlands. One of the major problems in the area is the alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) which is a non-native species; alligator weed is considered a major threat to ecosystems because of its negative effects to both aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Through the joint efforts of government departments, community organisations, scientific research institutions and entrepreneurs, the recovery and management of Yunqiao wetlands has been gradually and successfully implemented.

Even though the initiative is very important for the village itself, unfortunately only a few villagers volunteer. But several international companies not only provide volunteers, they also provide donations.

What We Saw

This day was a day to celebrate. After the Project Manager explained to us the importance of the wetlands, we witnessed the signing of an agreement between Rosa’s Internship Host Company, the local government and the head of the village. This agreement recognizes Yunqiao village as a natural protectorate, which gives the area an official status of a natural reserve.

NGO Representative, Local Government Representative & Head of the Village

We were able to see the wetlands ourselves and get our hands dirty by pulling out some alligator weed. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t in our favor. This made it difficult for us to stay longer and for me to explore the area a little more.

The overall experience was very rewarding. Sometimes we take for granted what nature can give us and this trip has been a eye-opening experience. Therefore, I am happy I was able to meet very passionate people within the company who are willing to give that extra push for the environment.

Yunqiao Trip group photograph

 

Especial thanks to our partner company and Rosa for providing us the diagrams of the area.

Come and experience China with us! Do your internship with a NGO and apply now! 

5 Vietnam Facts
Vietnam Basics

Vietnam Facts

So you think you know all there is to know about Vietnam? Well, let’s see! Here are some facts about Vietnam for you.

5 Vietnam Facts

There are approximately 20 times the number of motorbikes than there are cars!

According to the ministry of transport, there are only 2 million cars registered in Vietnam whereas the number of bikes exceeds 38 million! This number is growing year on year. In Ho Chi Minh over 90% of the vehicles on the roads are motorbikes!

Vietnam Bike Life

The Oxford Dictionary contains two Vietnamese foods

Whilst many words in a foreign language must be translated before entering the English dictionary, two Vietnamese dishes are so famous that they don’t need translation. Banh Mi and Pho both feature in the Oxford English dictionary!

Banh Mi Vietnam

Vietnam is the 5th happiest country in the world!

This is due to long life expectancy, 75.5 years, and great public services resulting in a low regional inequality. One of the highest levels of school enrolment at 98%. All these factors and much more add up to make Vietnam one of the happiest places on earth!

Vietnam is a hub for manufacturing!

Many global brands such as Nike and Old Navy produce their products in Vietnam. Also, Samsung assembly takes place in Vietnam!

You can be a millionaire!

With the exchange rate from most Western countries to Vietnam, you can have millions in your wallet every day! Whilst this may seem like the coolest thing ever you’ll have to quickly get used to using Vietnamese Dong to make sure you hand over the right amount of money!

Vietnamese Dong

Want to check out Vietnam for yourself? Apply now!

Internship Experience
Internship Experience

My InternChina Experience

Leaving Chengdu!

Since the first day I arrived in Chengdu I have loved every moment. From my first ride on an ofo to my last. From sweating through my first hotpot to a little brow mop at my last. Chengdu has shown me a completely new way of life, laid back, relaxed, slow paced. When you think of China you think of the crazy hustle and bustle of giant cities. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Chengdu despite being the biggest city I’ve ever been to is also the most relaxed.

IC New Years Dinner

My initial fears of relentless spice and unbearable huajiao, have ended in me wondering if I’ll ever find a comparable flavour back home. The range of delicious food that can be found here in Chengdu will be one of the things I miss the most.

QingChengShan

Alongside getting to know this fantastic city I have also made some fantastic friends! The InternChina family welcomed me with open arms. The office environment is nothing but great fun on a daily basis with great team spirit. As well, all the interns I’ve met in my 3 months have been fantastic in both helping me get to know the city and sharing great stories and experiences together.

leshan

My internship has allowed me to pass on the great experience I had previously on my internship in 2015 with the interns I’ve met here in Chengdu. Organising great activities and some extracurricular events have helped me form truly great friendships.

Dumplings with lysea

The skills I’ve learnt during my internship are so varied and extensive there is no doubt that I will be able to use them later on in life. From the daily tasks I’ve completed to meetings and marketing, I’ve gained a wide range of transferable skills.

car squat

InternChina has given me a platform from which I can only excel. This has truly been an unforgettable experience that I’m sure I will tell stories about for the rest of my life!

What an unforgettable life-changing experience? Apply now!

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