Name: Kevin Norman
University: Swansea University
Programme: Chengdu, June 2015
Why did you apply?
I've always wanted to see the world, and China is a country I've always had a fascination with. This seemed like an amazing opportunity to productively spend my time in China, and it was fully funded!
What did you do?
I personally worked in a startup technology firm within Chengdu developing mobile applications as well as web apps, and I learned a lot from this too. This internship was a great chance to apply what I had learned on my Computer Science course in a real life situation! I learned a lot about Chinese culture but also myself on this internship, and I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given. I feel that I am now much more confident in my communication, as well as in myself.
What did you enjoy the most?
Chengdu is known as "The land of plenty"; and this isn't an exaggeration. No matter what it is that you want, you'll find it in Chengdu. The food in Chengdu is Sichuanese in nature but with some strange Chengdu twists, and a significant portion of it is insanely spicy but this makes for an amazing adventure of taste, and again you'll be surprised with what you like and dislike. Things which initially seem disgusting make a lot more sense when you're engrossed in the culture that enjoys them. I found myself enjoying Pig Brain, for example!
How did the programme benefit you?
It was a thoroughly amazing experience, and Generation UK were very helpful in getting everything set up. I have ticked one thing off my bucket list, and also have some great experience at a real company I can put on my CV, giving me a leg up over others.
Would you recommend the programme?
I won't lie, the thought of going as far away as China is a very scary thought, and the first few nights took a lot of adjusting; but now I am back in Swansea I find myself missing the people, the food, and culture. Don't let a fear of travelling stop you, if your experience is anything like mine, it will be one of the best things you'll do.