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Mexico City Streets
Before your stay, Mexico, Mexico City, Practical Advice

How safe is Mexico City?

I have just returned from a two and a half month stay in the great metropolis of Mexico City. It’s an incredibly vibrant place, every district has something new and exciting to offer. From delicious smelling Tacos, Churros and fruit stalls everywhere, to an endless selection of museums and cafes. There are also green parks throughout the city full of dog walkers and pop-up handicraft stands. But how safe is it?

Mexico does still have a bit of a scary reputation abroad. How well deserved is that reputation? Is safety something that you need to worry about when travelling there?

The answer is, sure. Every major metropolitan city in the world has its own risks and of course, all travellers should be aware of possible problems. BUT DON’T LET IT STOP YOU!

Risk Assess

Before running our first InternMexico programme we did a lot of research on the topic, with the help of our partners Fortress Risk Management and IBERO University:

Risk Assessing Mexico City from Pagoda Projects on Vimeo.

Be Prepared

As part of Orientation Week with our participants, we sat down and had a long discussion about any potential dangers or concerns and recommended precautions.

Here are a few top tips we’ve put together. I’ve also asked our InternMexico participants to reflect back on their experiences in the city:

We had a full day safety orientation day with a third party company who have talked us through potential situations. Luckily, I personally had not have to use any of those measures.

David, Hungary

TOP TIP NO.1

Uber is highly recommended as the safest form of transport for getting around the city, especially at night (on average between 29 MXN to 130 MXN/£1.20 – £5.40/$1.48 – $6.65*).

The Metrobus system is also great during the day (single journey costs 5 MXN/£0.21 GBP/$0.26*).

I felt very safe throughout my time in Mexico, however the safety briefing in the very first week was helpful as it made me aware of potential dangers in the city.

Sam, Scotland, UK

TOP TIP NO.2

Try not to carry ALL your bank cards, mountains of cash and favourite jewellery in your bag. Why not separate things out into a second wallet or purse?

Even better still leave your actual bank card behind and transfer small amounts of money onto a cash card (like Monzo or Starling) for daily use. Foreign cards are widely accepted everywhere in Mexico City (apart from some of the market stalls).

Mexico City is a safe city if you pay attention to everything and don’t do the things you are told not to do at the orientation week.

Matheus, Brazil

TOP TIP NO.3

Dumb down the bling. If you don’t stand out then you have nothing to fear! Be sociable, make friends and ask them for local advice.

Mexico city is safer than I thought. People there are friendly and outstanding.

Chang, China

TOP TIP NO.4

There’s actually a ton of advice out here on the internet. If you are thinking of heading anywhere off the beaten track, a good place to start is your government’s foreign office advice online.

It’s safe in Mexico City, but still need to be careful.

Jing, China

Be Aware

I’ll leave you with my final thoughts, so long as you are aware of your surroundings, watch out for your fellow friends and travellers, you’ll be fine.

If you have any questions about personal safety during an InternMexico programme don’t hesitate to get in touch!

*currency conversions on this blog were last updated on 6th September 2019.

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Cultural, InternChina News, Travel

Monika – new in Zhuhai

 

My name is Monika and I am the new intern at the InternChina Zhuhai office. I am studying International Business in Dortmund, Germany. I have chosen my major because it is not only about economics but it also gives me the opportunity to learn about different cultures, learn foreign languages and learn how to do business with people in different countries. 

VIsiting the big Buddha in Hong Kong near to Zhuhai

As part of my course, I took part in an exchange program at one of our partner universities for two semesters and an internship for one semester. This was also one of the main reasons why the major International Business was so interesting for me. Why did I choose China?

It was a very difficult decision to choose the country because I knew I’d have to stay there for at least one year and before China I had never been to a country out of Europe. There were several questions I had to ask myself: What do I expect from a year abroad? What do I want to learn? What experience do I want to gain? Well, I want to travel a lot and see things I have never seen before. I want to study and work with people from different countries and learn more about them. I want to learn a new language and I want to enjoy my life but still study hard and get a higher knowledge of International Business. I want a challenging environment where I can prove myself. After I answered these questions the decision was clear.

Now I am here In Zhuhai working with InternChina. So why have I decided to work in Zhuhai? Zhuhai is located in the south part of China like Guangzhou and I just love the South because it never gets really cold. It is smaller than Guangzhou and I prefer small cities. One of the main reasons was that I wanted to see something new so I didn´t stay longer in Guangzhou even though I loved it there. I just want to gain a new experience and meet different people. The reason why I am working now with InternChina is that I want to share my experience with other students. I want to support them when they are coming to China and I want to be a part of making their stay as amazing as mine was. Now it is my first week of work. I am working in a multinational team with great people and in my first week I have already learnt a lot. To stay in China and work with InternChina was the best decision I could have made. On Friday we had some beers on the rooftop of the office with a wonderful view over Macao.  It was just a  perfect end of my first week of work in Zhuhai.

Last year, I arrived in Guangzhou to study and I was scared because I didn’t know what was waiting for me on the other side of the world. I came to in August 2012 and the best time of my life began. Everything I was expecting from this year abroad was even better than I had imagined. I met great people in Guangzhou from different countries all over the world. I learnt a lot from my Foreign and Chinese friends and now I know how to deal with the cultural differences. It was just amazing to see how we have learnt to work and study together. In my free time I enjoyed going to the Chinese BBQ and having some beers with friends to have fun and talk about life. I love to travel in China. There are so many wonderful and different places you can visit. Shanghai for example is a big city with an amazing skyline and the Clubs are so good over there. But also cities like Yangshuo and Guilin where I could just enjoy the beautiful landscape and nature.

All in all, I can really recommend coming to China and getting some working experience as well as spending some time travelling, studying and meeting as many people as possible.

Do you want to gain experience in China as well? Send us an email for more information and visit our website.

Internship Experience, Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao

Qingdao – first impressions

Hi everyone!
My name is Franzi and I’m the new intern at Intern China office in Qingdao. I’ve been here for 2 weeks now, but it feels as if I’d just arrived yesterday. There are so many things do to, and to see that I’m glad to stay for 6 months so I don’t miss anything! I came here without any Chinese language skills and started taking the absolute-beginners-language classes. Our teacher tries her best to teach us the basics in a few weeks, but it’s still hard to communicate. Whenever I try, I’m not sure if the Chinese people laugh with me or at me. Nevertheless, they are so friendly and always trying to help and find a way to communicate.

Qingdao is a really beautiful city with a lot of nice spots to visit. During the last two weeks I’ve already been to the old part of Qingdao, which is definitely worth another visit. There are a lot of parks and nice streets which are completely different from the new part of Qingdao with all the high glass office-buildings.

At the weekend we’ve been to the Taidong night market, where they sell all the “really expensive brands”. We tried to bargain a lot with our very little knowledge of Chinese, but mostly the things were so cheap, you just couldn’t get them any cheaper.

I’m really looking forward to exploring Qingdao, and hopefully a lot of other places in China, much more! So far, I love China, the people are great, and the food is amazing.

 

Travel, Weekend Trips

Weekend in Shanghai

This weekend a small group of us decided to leave Qingdao and enjoy a three day break from our internships, courtesy of the Mid-Autumn bank holiday on Monday. After a little bit of group deliberation we decided to make the most of it and spend the time in Shanghai; one of the largest, richest and fastest growing cities in the world!
We booked our flights online with Air China. It took us just over an hour to fly to Pudong International and only cost 600 yuan return including taxes, which really emphasises both the ideal location of Qingdao as a base to explore as well as the low cost travel options available in China.
The weekend really was incredible! Fuelled by the sheer size of the metropolis and the millions of modern and forwarding thinking people who occupy it, Shanghai has a real energy about it which we’d guess is unique in Asia outside of Hong Kong and maybe Tokyo. As the beating heart of China’s booming economy, the skyline is just amazing with huge skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, and in fact, the air quality was much better than I had anticipated so you could actually enjoy it!
The first night after arriving we were really tired, so we just decided to go on a bit of a walk and get something to eat. Eventually we ended up at a hot pot restaurant, where you pick random things and they put them all into one large dish. Ours was definitely random! We couldn’t read the characters so we ended up with two frogs and God knows what but it was still pretty nice and not “Shanghai-expensive.”
The next day we had a casual look around the city including the famous Shanghai Bund, and we also visited a temple. Although it was very beautiful and had huge Buddha statues we were not really interested in the whole touristy pseudo-culture thing, but inside the shop/gallery there was a guy making really incredible black and white paintings using only his fingers which was very cool to see. For the rest of the day we just did a bit of searching and tried some of the local street, then got ready to sample Shanghai’s nightlife. That night we went to a massive club called Feebe’s which was really really good, and at 100 yuan all-you-can drink begging for absolute annihilation! Although being the boring old man we are on the inside we couldn’t help but think of the contrast of the practically pornographic grinding of the locals and the weird strip tease thing which started on every hour to the CCP’s 90th birthday celebration statues which are dotted around the city. Such is Shanghai!
We won’t do a whole minute by minute play of what we did for the whole weekend, but on the Sunday night we went up the Jin Mao Building, which is one of the top twenty buildings in the world. Enjoying a Royal Mohito in the Cloud 9 bar whilst overlooking the city was a real experience, and a great way to chill for an evening.
A personal highlight for us was going to one of the many fake markets, this one in West Nanjing Road. It’s essentially a normal crappy market, but if you mention the code words “Breitling” or “Rolex” they take you into the back of their shops, sometimes complete with false doors/bookcases and little secret rooms which we found really funny. Especially when one of them tried to convince us his Tag Heuer watches were originals when we were among the 30 yuan belts. We were pretty pleased with them anyway and picked up a couple of the children of North Korea’s finest timepieces.
Monday seemed to come too quickly and it was all over, a quick ride on the Maglev train at 300km p/h (which would usually deserve a proper mention but not in the context of this trip! :D), another easy flight and we were back home! If only we could have stayed longer; We’d really love to go back again sometime.

Ben & Phil