China InternshipPosted: December 10, 2016
Today I filled out most of my application for an internship in China (Qingdao, Chengdu or Zhuhai to be precise). Just a couple of scanned documents and a reference from the Dean and I am set.
In order to get my written reference, Olwen asked why I wanted to go, and so I wrote out an email giving all the generic reasons why anyone would want to go to China to work for a couple of months: the language, learning new skills, gaining experience. Then I thought about it more and while what I wrote was all true, there is also a lot more China has to offer me, what I can give back and what it is exactly that I want from this. So here’s a more accurate, less formal response…
I want my life to open up before my eyes. I want to escape the South Wales community, if only temporarily, and come back with a bigger understanding, a wider reach. I want to roam around streets and fields and be completely overwhelmed, I want to not understand the language at all and have to learn for my dinner, I want to try new food and meet new people. I want to find happiness and strength in supporting myself, in knowing I have only my own judgement to keep me alive and safe. That kind of trust is exhilarating. I want the adrenaline rush of getting off a plane and the air feeling different, to be surrounded with unfamiliar smells, sights, people, animals, customs that I can only hope to learn about. I want to have conversations with people with completely different opinions to me and a completely different upbringing. I want to be swept up in the fast pace of China, to see the system with my own eyes, the quirks and subtle differences to the UK as well as the extremes, to be more aware of what the world has to offer. I want to find out what I can give back to the design industry, in China as well as the UK, to find where my skills are valuable and in which ways, and to come back hopefully alive, and proud and with stories to tell.
The more I think about this opportunity the more I want to grab hold of it with both hands and get on a plane and go. But I have to wait to fill out the rest of my application and there is probably so much competition the chances of me actually getting to go is probably rather slim. But this feels like something I really just have to do. Consider all of my fingers and toes crossed.