Spending Summer in Shanghai

Through Immerqi and UTS BUILD I was given an opportunity to undertake an internship in Shanghai, I had family in Shanghai, so this trip would cover multiple bases.

My flight arrived in Shanghai early which was nice but when I came out of the airport it was sub 10 degrees which was quite a drastic change from the 30+ degrees weather I had experienced before I left Sydney.

The next day was orientation at Mandarin House, where I’d be taking Chinese classes twice a week for the next 6 weeks. Since I wasn’t staying at the university accommodation this would also be the first time meeting the Immerqi staff and the other UTS students who took this summer program. The orientation was a briefing of each company, the methods of transport to take, etiquette in China, protocol if anything went wrong and Chinese class timetable.

After the orientation we went to have lunch at the Shimao Festival City, a large shopping centre on the famous Nanjing Road. There was a 30-40-minute wait for the restaurant we went to, but it gave us an opportunity to explore the shopping centre. When out table was ready it was in a boat, it was a cool concept however it was a tight fit with 8 people. The food was good delicious and quite unique, hadn’t seen most of the dishes before.


Following lunch, we went for a walk down Nanjing Road exploring a bit and taking some photos, it had been raining so it was still a bit wet and the weather wasn’t too great. The end of Nanjing road was The Bund where Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Tower resided, however due to fog the view was obstructed, the view of the bay was still quite nice, and the area was quite packed with tourists.

foggy SH

During the weekend I would just prepare for my first week of my internship, as I was unpacking I realised I had forgotten to pack my laptop charger, something that would be vital during my time in China. Luckily, I saw an Apple Store on Nanjing Road, so I headed there on the weekend.

The Immerqi program consisted of interning Monday-Friday from 9:30am to 6pm, and Chinese classes on Monday and Wednesday classes, with the weekends free. Waking up early and working 8 hours a day made me appreciative of the weekend. I was fortunate to have a friend from Australia who was in Shanghai when I was, he was able to show me around to new places, we had a fancy hotpot afterwards walking to West Nanjing Road where we went to the biggest Starbucks in Shanghai which was connected to a major shopping centre in the area.

I was there for Chinese New Year, which in China is a public holiday for the whole week. The briefing suggested that many people left the Shanghai to go overseas and it would be like a ghost town, I didn’t believe this until I saw it, a busy street crowded with cars and people was deserted during Chinese New Year. There was a lot of celebrations and promotions that week, it felt like an Eastern Christmas which lasted the whole week.


The internship was good experience and was able to learn a lot about the marketing industry and working in China, I was also able to improve my Mandarin through the Chinese classes. It was definitely a good way to spend the summer.


Kuang Wu

Wuhan: The old and the new

My time spent in Wuhan at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) was a great experience. Wuhan is one of the major cities within Central China. Because of this, less foreigners frequent the city as they would Beijing or Shanghai. This means what I was exposed to was a very traditional Chinese culture, free from many more Westernised influences.

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The Chinese themselves were very friendly. Perhaps it was due to the fact that there were not too many foreigners in their city. Regardless, the citizens were always patient to listen to my broken Chinese and were very generous and welcoming in restaurants and bars.

Plenty of train lines intersect in Wuhan because of it’s location in Central China. Due to this they say that Wuhan is the best city for catching long distance trains. A great place which was only about 1 hour away by train was the Three Gorges Dam, the biggest dam in the world.

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If any other student does come to Wuhan it is important to know that there are not many native English speakers there. And by not many I mean during my whole 5 months on Wuhan I only met 2 Americans – they were the only native English speakers I had seen. The rest of the students in my class at least we’re South American, French, Russian and German. For me this was great as I was able to practice my Spanish a lot and a little Portuguese with my South American friends. So if you want to practice a European language whilst also learning some Chinese then I highly recommend Wuhan for that purpose.

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And also if you do study Chinese language at HUST then be prepared that the course is pretty intense. By the end you will have achieved HSK 3 (The Chinese language proficiency test.

All in all I had a very fun experience in Wuhan and I highly recommend others to interested in language and culture to visit there.

By Henry Birtwistle (11707243)