Before we could start our journey as the 17th Check-IT group we first had some preparation to do. This preparation consisted of 3 days where we got multiple lectures and workshops.
The kick off was on August 30th and started with Jan Dankers who could tell us a lot about what we could expect when coming to china, sharing multiple stories of things he experienced while in China. This was very insightful and when you hear Jan talk you know the man is someone with a lot of passion for the country. After that, Ardi Bouwers came to talk about the communication in China and how it differs from the Netherlands. Ardi wrote the book “Cirkels en rechte lijnen” a book that explains how to communicate with the Chinese people. After the talk there was a workshop where groups competed against each other and learned a lot about communicating with the Chinese people.
Day 2 of the preparation week, Jessica Sun from ChinaTalk came to talk about how WeChat is integrated in the Chinese society. WeChat is a mobile chat service like Whatsapp, only with a few more options and with a few I mean a lot! With WeChat you can not only do everything you know from Whatsapp but also pay in almost every store, buy tickets for a train or plane, call a taxi or rent a bike that is located anywhere in the city, you can almost say WeChat is a small OS-system. When you see how easily this works and how seamlessly it’s integrated in the Chinese society you can only think: why don’t we have an app like this in the Netherlands?
Jessica continued talking about the Chinese education system, taking herself as example she walked us through the whole process of a Chinese student. It was very interesting hearing the differences and how many pressure there is on the Chinese students to achieve.
The last part of the day was a Scrum training from Frans Diekstra, assisted by two fellow Check-IT students Samuel and Sander. They explained a lot about the scrum process, something most students already knew a fair bit about, but there are always some new things you hear. After the presentation Frans did a workshop where we were put in scrum teams and with Frans as product owner we had to make a product, in this case the product was a balloon with a specific face on it. Another part of this presentation and workshop was to gain experience giving a scrum workshop because this is something we have to do for the Chinese Check-IT students when we arrive in Xiamen.
The last day of the preparation week started with a talk from Margriet de Vos, a teacher from the same University as me, Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Margriet explained about the history of China, something that she said was impossible in 3 hours but she gave a very good summary, going through all the dynasties China had and continued to talk about some more recent politics in China.
When Margriet was finished two old Check-IT’ers Ruben and Dave came to talk about their experiences and we had the chance to ask questions. This was very useful, they told us about some apps we should install and where we could go to open a bank account and get a sim card. Overall their tips were very handy.
To be honest, before the preparation week I was a bit sceptical about some of the subjects that would be discussed, but everything was actually very interesting. The things that were explained did really contribute in my preparation for this internship.
Marco Woldering, Check-IT 17