In the beginning of my internship in China, everything was new and there were many cultural differences. I was not be able to order food or tell the taxi driver the right way, simple things as getting basic stuff for my room were not as simple as it was in the Netherlands. After the first two weeks I started to like Xiamen and I was able to find my way around.
At the end of my third week in Xiamen the project teams were divided. Davey, Young and myself were placed in the team of the project Kooboo, Daan joined a little later. We had some good talks with the CEO of Kooboo, his name is Guoqi. After some funny talks and serious discussions Guoqi told us, if we want a good project we should work in Software Park 3. This Software Park 3 was 25 KM further away from my apartment than the original workplace of CHECK-IT, but after all we accepted the challenge. Guoqi asked his manager Shawn, to find a suitable apartment for the 3 Dutch guys, Roy, Daan and Davey. The apartment and Software Park 3 were located in Jimei, a side city of Xiamen.
Shawn tried to find a suitable apartment for us, after a first look we accepted the deal and within 2 hours from the first moment we were moved into our new one. The first 2-3 weeks in Jimei were a little bit frustrating because in Jimei it was harder than Xiamen to find your way around. In Jimei we had the feeling really no one speaks English and there are less shops to buy stuff or food, the shops were also further from our apartment so we always had to take a taxi. Besides this we were lucky that Eric, an employee of Kooboo who can actually speak English very well, lived in the same apartment buildings as we did. Every morning at 08:40 he drove us to the company and at 18:00 he brought us home. If we had any problems we always could contact him, he is a really nice guy.
The first weeks at Kooboo consisted a lot of meetings and discussions with Guoqi to make the assignment very clear. The company have an application to build a website based on another website or a template. After the meetings it was clear that we had to improve the application by adding new functionalities and make everything more clear, so even the unexperienced user could start building his own website. Around the middle of our project, the Chinese teachers were not very satisfied with the workload of our Chinese student Young. This happened because Young is a designer and there was not enough work for her. We did some discussing and Young and me started to redesign the Kooboo website. Young and me formed this team because from the origin I was focused on design because of my study background. During the end of our internship we made some good up-to-date designs which can be used to implement at the new website.
In the beginning Xiamen felt really different and really opened my eyes on how I see the world, I started to realize that it is not always the same story. I also was very delighted to see that people with different conditions are really used to this, most of the time they seem to be happier than other people. As different as Xiamen felt from my home in the beginning, the more it feels like home now. I am really satisfied with the experience in China, it gave me some good foundations. I write this on the day of the final ceremony, which means our journey has come to an end. However, for me this is not the end of my journey. I will be back in Xiamen around February 15th 2016, to follow a study Chinese language, and learn more about this amazing country, its people and its culture.
Thank you CHECK-IT, for giving me this opportunity!
Roy Burgers, CHECK-IT 13.