In the month of April,when I joined the AIESEC University of Moratuwa ,my girl friend gave me the idea of going to China as an intern . She always thought it would be great for me to do extracurricular work and that such experience will make the vacation, an enjoyable and interesting one. I also liked the idea and faced the interview which I luckily got through. Then I got my documents ready and left to China.
At the first glance the place I saw was out of this world to me. Shenzhen was a very developed city with very good and polite people. I was hosted by a local family who used to live in an apartment. My fellow Aiesecer who lived there is a very friendly lad with lots of good qualities. Whenever I wanted something he never ignored it. During first few days he even cooked curries for me, thinking that I won’t be able to eat Chinese food. His family was not very fluent in English, so he had to be there with me to help me to communicate. They were one of the best families I have ever known in my life. I was given a room with all the facilities as in A/C, an attached bath room, a comfortable bed etc. I was also given so many tasty homemade Chinese food, which I do still miss for this very day.
In order to meet the other Aiesecers, I had to go to the University of Shenzhen by metro train which was a whole new experience for me. The University of Shenzhen is one of the most beautiful places I have been to; even though it was a university it was just an open space like a park. I ate from the University Canteen which was very clean, cheap and served tasty food. Compared to Chinese foods were soupier. In the University I stayed in a café called “The memory house” where all the Aiesecers used to hang out and talk. It was a very beautiful place, which was situated near a lake which really did inspire me a lot.
The Aiesecers, who worked with me, are some of the friendliest poepeI have ever met. Their enthusiasm towards voluntary service, energetic feelings, and their friendly attitude always surprised me and I have to mention that it was them and their great qualities which made my whole internship an everlasting unforgettable experience in my life.
The project in which I was enrolled as a volunteer was, the project Green Power Now (GPN). My task was to teach high school students about Environmental protection .I taught in six high schools in Shenzen. I always loved teaching, but by then I had no experience in teaching foreigners. However I loved that experience. They adored me a lot. I gave them Sri Lankan sweets which my mother made especially for them. They loved those sweetsJ. After teaching in schools, me and other Aiesecers, we used go out and eat. Sometimes we tried different street food which I still crave to eat again.
Even though my stay in China was very short I had the liberty of seeing lot of places in Shenzhen. I went to “Happy Valley” which was an amusement park, I visited the museum and the highest building in Shenzhen which was a skyscraper .Went to do shopping in different parts of Shenzhen with my friends. We went to watch 4-D movies which I had never seen before. On the last day of my stay in Shenzen, my Chinese buddies gave me presents and tears were rolling down on our cheeks which showed me how bonded we were.
The internship gave me the opportunity to learn presentation skills, to make new friends, and to live and experience a different country with a different culture. At the end of the day I just need to tell you that Aiesec Internships would surely give you a life changing experience.
Only now I realized the meaning of the café I stayed.”The Memory house”. I miss China and my buddies there.
By Akshika Wijesundara
AIESEC CS Return EP