In March 2012, I decided to make the ultimate decision: quit my uninspiring job, pack my bags, spend much of the money I’ve saved the last two years and make Asia my temporary home for about 5 months. Not the smartest decision (I could have put a down payment on a condo with that money!), when I look back to that time in my life, but no regrets either! I created some amazing memories , lived the princess life (sort of) and cultivated some great relationships.
At the time, I felt that I needed an excuse for my super traditional Asian parents to understand my reasoning for making the decision I did. So I told them I would be working in Shanghai, and no I would not get paid, but I would learn Mandarin, be exposed to the international world, experience some independence and all the awesomeness that comes along with a once-in-a-lifetime experience like the one I was about to embark on! I also used it as an excuse to see more parts of the world that I wouldn’t have seen if I had stayed here. Being in Shanghai, I was only a hop, skip and a jump away from other Asian countries that I wanted to see. I visited Japan and Israel, where I took one of the amazing holy land tours. Without going to Shanghai, I would have never got that opportunity.
I was always drawn to Asia, and in particular, to Shanghai. I always dreamed of living in a place with European and Asian influence and never knew where that place was… until it hit me one day – the films I enjoyed took place in 1920s-30s Shanghai. I loved the style period of the time which was filled with glamour, decadence and seduction. I then realized the world over, that this was the period when fashion was at its glory and it was an all around fun and exciting time to be. I always felt that I belonged in another time!
So anyway, back to my internship story. I knew I didn’t want to just aimlessly travel and Shanghai provided the perfect backdrop. I worked at a small magazine company, called ‘Vantage Shanghai’ which my internship agency ‘CRCC Asia’ had set me up with based on my preferences. They were so accommodating and took care of all the little details so that my transition in a foreign country would be a smooth one.
If you’re thinking of interning abroad to Shanghai, here’s a great article on: The 5 Benefits of doing an Internship in Shanghai
The internship I chose to go with was: CRCC Asia
Here are some blog entries I wrote as an intern about: My Internship Experience in Shanghai
The magazine I worked for was: Vantage Shanghai
My article about my experience in China and interning abroad has been featured on: My World Abroad
Just remember to keep an open mind, soak in all the knowledge and culture and above all, ENJOY YOURSELF! Throw your hat over the wall on occasion and even if things don’t quite work out as planned… have comfort knowing that it happened/didn’t happen for a reason (and it’s perfect that it did/didn’t). It’ll all make perfect sense in time!