China, here I am

There I am carrying my bags around Schiphol looking for the right check-in counter to drop my them off. I must admit that I was a little nervous. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re going to be in China for the next five months.

But back to the beginning, what’s happening here? About half a year ago we were first confronted with the fact that we will have to do an internship for the first half of the third study year. I knew immediately that I would go abroad for mine, as I always do when I have the opportunity to do so. I was so sure about my plans back then that I spoke directly to our contact person for studies abroad. She immediately suggested China. Stubborn as I sometimes am I hadn’t even thought about a location like China before. I always imagined doing my internship somewhere in Europe. Of course I first had to think about that and talked to some of my friends. After a while I thought: damn Daniel, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I decided to take it.

It turned out that the internship in China is organized by a cooperation of a few Dutch Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences with the University of Xiamen. Of course, one of these is Saxion. It’s called CHECK-IT, which is the abbreviation for China-Holland Educational Competence and Knowledge Center on Information Technology. Of course we couldn’t go there unprepared, so the whole team had a preparation week at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem. I also met the other students there for the first time, and we all had workshops on doing business in China, how to work with SCRUM and of course on intercultural communication.

So that’s how I ended up looking for the right check-in counter holding my passport with a Chinese visa in it. After I dropped off my bags it was time to say my goodbyes and board my flight. After sitting on the airplane for nearly 12 hours we finally arrived in Xiamen. We were picked up by Mrs. Lee, the international contact person of the University of Xiamen who brought us to our apartments in Software Park II.

There we were, standing in China with no idea what to do. It was at least 35 degrees Celsius and we were overwhelmed by what we saw. After we finally got our keys we dropped off our stuff before we immediately had to leave again for the police station. As a foreigner who intends on staying in China for longer than 30 days you need to register at the local police station within the first 24 hours.

After a long first day here I welcomed the cold breeze of the aircon to relax for the first time in a long while. However, now that I have arrived I welcome the challenge and want to see what this country has to offer. China, here I am.

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