Gap Year in China - My own experience
Are you bored of your comfort zone, want to stop your current routine for something totally new and different? Then a gap year in China is the perfect match for you!
I am currently doing a gap year in Shanghai and it is, for now, the best experience I ever had in my life.
Why and how did I make this decision?
As part of my placement year at University, I had to do a one-year internship or 2 internships of 6 months. I knew I wanted to go far away, and in a place where I could experience a different culture, meet new people and learn from a new professional environment. I decided to go to Shanghai through Hutong School because it covered these three elements.
My tip : Before choosing your destination, try to set your own personal goals according to what you are truly looking for, and not according to what your friends are doing.
What are the advantages of doing a gap year in China ?
A gap year abroad will not only enable you to gain a strong experience regarding what you decide to do (internship, volunteering, language learning,..) but it will also allow you to travel and see many different amazing places !
I travelled in South China but also to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
My tip : A gap year is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make sure you see the more you can !
What about personal growth ?
Beside the experience itself, getting out of your comfort zone will make you grow as an individual. Unusual living conditions, local chinese food and communication are all challenging yet achievable aspects. From my own experience, facing these challenges and these particular experiences drove me to find my own path and to become who I truly am.
My tip : Always take a step back from what you are doing or going through, and remember that you are lucky to be here.
How did I plan my gap year?
From the moment I decided to go to China to the moment I was on the plane, I tried not to bring useless stress or apprehension. I got offered an internship at « Adsmith China » for 6 months, an agency focused on B2B marketing. After interning at Adsmith, I decided to start working with the marketing team at Hutong School. Both of these professional experiences brought me a lot of knowledge and skills. This is how I decided to split my gap year, but there are plenty of ways your gap year could look !
I have always been interested in China. Frequent topic of discussion due to their rapid growth, I wanted to see how this economic power looks from the inside. In Shanghai, I was really surprised by the contrast between huge luxurious buildings and low middle class dirty appartments. Moreover, even though Chinese people don’t have the same idea of courtesy, they encompass a rich culture and my opinion about them changed when I started learning Chinese. Sometimes, you really have to learn the local language to truly understand the society standards.
I hope my experience was worth sharing, and there is no doubt you will soon be able to tell yours !
« If you are unwilling to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. » Jim Rohn