A Pros Advice On Problems Faced During An Internship| 3 min read

Living in China is fun and exciting, but of course living and working abroad comes with a few challenges as well. That is very normal and to be expected. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that they are an essential part of living abroad as it is by facing these challenges that we grow and learn.

That said, it’s always nice to have a few pointers as to how issues may be overcome. Here are some examples of difficulties you may face during your internship and my best advice on what to do about them.

  • I don’t know how to interact with my colleagues

The Chinese do have a different way of thinking than many westerners which can make communication with Chinese colleagues frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. As long as you stay friendly and don’t make any accusations that may cause them to loose face you should be fine. In the end, we’re all human beings and most issues can be resolved if you just say how you feel.

  • I feel like I don’t get enough to do at work

This is, in my experience, a problem not unique to China. Your supervisor is probably busy with his/her own work and you might feel like you’re in the way. But don’t be afraid to ask for things to do! They may just not know that you are out of tasks if you don’t tell them. Also, why not try to think of things to do yourself? I promise you that that will go down well as it shows your ability to work independently and your creativity.

You will feel homesick every now and then, it is only natural. The trick is to not let it dominate too much. If you catch yourself thinking about things and people at home so much that it affects work or your willingness to go out and meet new people, then it has gone too far. The best cure for homesickness is to get out and do things. Meet people, see new things, and go explore the city. Do anything you can think of to keep you occupied, and before you know it that silly homesickness will be long gone.

  • I find it hard to find people outside of work

Although your Chinese colleagues may be really friendly, it is nice to know people outside of work as well. It may be hard in the beginning to meet people, but it is definitely not impossible. Use every possible connection you may have. Use expat communities and travel forums to find people in a similar situation. And don’t say no to anyone or anything in the beginning! Just go out there and introduce yourself and before you know it you will have a network of people in your new “home town”.

You can follow the stories of ImmerQi’s interns in 2014 on our dedicated internship page and don’t forget to like our company page and follow us on Twitter and Weibo!


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