After three days of ‘holiday’ in Xiamen, this Monday the first workday started. It wasn’t a real working day, today was the day of the opening ceremony and we would get to meet the Chinese students. There was an introduction to the projects as well, so we’d finally get to know what we would be doing during our internship in China.
The Check-IT building is pretty close to our apartment, approximately a 10-minute walk. The Chinese holiday was almost over as well and there was a huge amount of people coming from the apartment and going to their work. The elevator stopped at almost every floor, so when you are on the 30th floor, it might take a while before you get downstairs.
Once arrived at the Check-IT building we first had to register our names at the entrance. The doorman was an older Chinese man who couldn’t speak English, so the communication was a bit difficult. After a few minutes and some sign language we were registered. Then we crammed ourselves into the elevator. There were already a few Chinese students waiting upstairs.
After a short meeting with the Chinese students the presentations started. First the director introduced himself and welcomed us to Xiamen. He was very proud of Xiamen and very positive about us visiting Xiamen. He is absolutely right because even though we haven’t seen much of Xiamen at all, it is a beautiful city! Then the resident teachers introduced themselves. When they were done it was up to the Dutch and Chinese students to introduce themselves. Everyone told something about himself or herself to get to know each other a little better.
At this time it was already past 12, so that meant lunchtime! This however is not as easy as it seems. We went to the canteen, but there was a huge queue till far outside the building. And I was told that this was still a relatively quiet day. After waiting for a while we could get our food. This turned out to be a little difficult as well, because no one at the counter spoke English. The payment system however worked very well, you can just put money on your Etong card (which you can also use for the public transport system) and when you want to pay you just scan the card at the counter.
After lunch we went back to the ‘office’ where the Chinese students started installing their computers. This is where some of us had the first big shock since their arrival in Xiamen. The internet speed is terribly slow! Luckily we have Kevin, who is studying networking, so his task is to fix and improve the Check-It network.
When it was past 5 o’clock, we went to have some dinner. Miss Lee joined us and we ate delicious dumplings in a small restaurant close to our building.
All in all, I have to say that our first three days in Xiamen were very good. China is a beautiful country and the people are very friendly. The first day at Check-IT was also very interesting and useful. I am certainly looking forward to the rest of the week and to start working in a project team with Chinese students!
— by Jasper Ko