Internship Bucket list

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Academic –

My current assessment of my Chinese is proficient in conversational Chinglish. By this, I mean that I can communicate at a very basic level in Chinese. Once the conversation gets to advanced, I will resort to using English to supplement my limited Chinese vocabulary. My listening is much better than my speaking. In the states, I do not conversate in Chinese in my day-to-day life, so sometimes the right word does not cross my mind. However, when other people say it, I can easily recognize it. If I do not know the word immediately, I can usually use context clues to figure out what they are trying to say.

In these next two weeks, I want to be able to hold a decent conversation in Chinese. I would love it if words would flow naturally instead of me constantly pausing to translate my English thoughts into Chinese words. I need to work on my fluency for more academic or professional conversations. Coincidentally, I am taking Chinese classes in China and have an internship at a Chinese company. This provides me the perfect opportunity to completely immerse myself in the language. I may struggle a little at the beginning (and I am trying to be comfortable with being uncomfortable).

Specific steps to achieve my goal is to

  • Use the vocabulary I learn in class in my conversations with my roommate or other Chinese students. Luckily, the lessons are very applicable to our everyday life.
  • Try to think in Chinese. This one is a little trickier because my internal thoughts are something that happens more subconsciously, but I will just have to make more of an effort. It is unreasonable for me to expect myself to suddenly just think in Chinese, so as a gradual process, I will be start off with when I am talking with my roommate. I will solely think in Chinese. This will hopefully make the conversation flow more naturally.

My real focus should be my reading and writing. I am very out of practice. It has been a few years since I am studied the Chinese language. It is easy for me to memorize vocabulary for daily quizzes, but I want to be able to remember it for future conversations. This first exam really showed me how my short-term memory is great, but I need to learn how to apply the vocabulary and new sentence structures.

Specific steps to achieve my goal is to

  • Practice writing the characters. I have grown reliant on ping-yin and my calligraphy is seriously lacking. For the new vocabulary, I need to write it at least three times to allow it to really seep into my brain so some characters will be engrained into my mind like muscle memory.
  • Utilize the new sentence structures. These will elevate my Chinese writing (and conversation) level by allowing me to form more elegant sentences, rather than short, choppy ones. This one is a little harder to practice, but there are examples at the end of each lesson and just playing around with those should make me more comfortable with using them in my own writing.

Professional –

I have already been at my internship site for a week. I have been tasked with translating a lot of documents. Some have been medical files while others have been foods. I am been comparing the English files with the Chinese ones along with getting even more familiar with Google Translate. While some of the medical terms or foods I have never even heard before, I am so focused on finishing the tasks, I am not actually learning the words. I need to remind myself that I do not have to complete the work as fast as I can. I should take the time to absorb the material and try to learn some new vocabulary, especially the medical terminology.

Specific steps to achieve my goal is to

  • Take notes of one or two new words. While some of these documents are confidential, so it would be very sketchy for me to jot notes down. However, I can still just keep track of maybe a few words to review later. This could also help me recognize the words faster, which would improve my work efficiency.
  • Ask them to only speak to me in Chinese at my internship. They tend to begin the instruction in English but then somewhere in the middle will transition into Chinese. I should let them know that they can just say everything in Chinese. If something is unclear to me, I will ask for clarification and then they can explain in English.

Personal –

I want to make the most of my time abroad. This means I want to stay busy, especially on the weekends. I want to see everything that I can. I already have a bucket list of places I want to visit. At the very top of the list is Beijing. I have been told that this might be very tricky because I would only be able to go for a weekend. It takes about four hours to get to Beijing. I think I will be able to see most of the things I want to see (The Great Wall, The Forbidden City).

There are also so many things to do in Shanghai. We are constantly hearing about new places or activities from new friends or the Chinese roommates.

Specific steps to achieve my goal is to

  • Plan carefully. I love planning and creating itineraries, so I am up to the task. I have made schedules for all my previous trips, so I do not think this will be any different.
  • Keep a running list. So far, there are Disneyland, the light museum, puppy café, the fake market, and probably many more that I cannot think of at the top of my head.