Fall 2017 Newsletter: Mini Semester II

Group photo in front of the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an

The Terra Cotta Army is a famous Chinese treasure found by a farmer in his field near Xi'an


Yaneydis is making her own Terra Cotta Warrior

Students are learning how to make dumplings at a local restaurant

Dancing with all of our guests at the Thanksgiving Party

Learning to act at the famous Sichuan Opera

Our students were able to attend a Tea Culture class

Singing at the KTV with our Chinese Buddies

Goodbye Everyone, We Hope To See You Again Soon!

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Akosua Abroad in Chengdu, China Part III

For our cultural excursion we headed to Xi’an. I was especially excited to go because of my hobby ceramics. I started ceramics when I was 14 and my teacher really encouraged me to go to Xi’an at some point in my life to see the art and the army so I was very excited to learn this. We took quite the interesting route to get there. We took a 17 hour train ride to get to Xi’an. I was uncomfortable to say the least. I’d been on an overnight train before to go from shanghai to Beijing but because those trains were newer they had things like doors to the rooms that this train did not have. I

n total I slept around 2 hours that night as I typically cannot sleep if people are staring at me. Our time actually in Xi’an was way better than the journey getting there. We did probably everything that can be done there—from calligraphy classes, to tours, to making our own little terracotta soldiers, I had a great time with all the activities and they all advanced my knowledge on Chinese culture and history.

Early on a sunny Saturday morning, we all got dressed up and headed over to a tea culture class. The weather was beautiful, and there was a lot of excitement in the air because it was 11.11. We arrive at the teach culture location and as we arrive we already started our lesson. Coming in we had water poured on our palms and on the backs of our hands. We took our seats to find a tea set in front of us and also the company of several middle schoolers from Chengdu who were taking the lesson with us. They were all very excited to talk to us though some were a bit shy, but overall we had a great time together!

As we learned each gesture and about each tea, we also got a history lesson about it all which really deepened my fascination with Chinese culture. Then after our tea ceremony lesson was finished we all go the chance to make our own fans and luckily for me my little Chinese buddy was on his way to being an expert calligrapher.

Last Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to the Sichuan Opera. We were told to dress nicely so I got to see all of my classmates in their snazziest clothes. As we took our seats, we each were treated to a cup of tea which of course makes everything better. I was looking forward to this trip because I’d seen Italian and other western countries and I want to see how they might differ. The biggest difference immediately was the tone of the opera.

Western opera usually tells a story of a tragedy and it is one continuous story that is broken up into sections with an orchestra supporting. The Sichuan opera was extremely comical, and there was not one continuous story throughout, rather it was broken up into a series of sections that ranged from an er hou performance to a hand shadow show to an act all about changing faces! When we finished the performance, the fun did not stop there—we got to wind the night down with a mini photo shoot that also kept our laughter going.

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Akosua Abroad in Chengdu, China Part II

The week of the midautumn festival I was able to visit my Chinese buddy joy in her hometown of MianYang. I got to take the highspeed train and it was amazing. There was so much leg room and I couldn’t help but think about how the Amtrak in America could do better.

Once we arrived in MianYang we were immediately whisked away for activities. We went to an all vegetarian buffet because I am a vegetarian and I ate so well. Then we looked at the sights and took a ton of pictures–which so far has been my number one activity in China. We finished off that first day with KTV. The second day in MianYang, we took a trip to BeiChuan and learned about the earthquake, after we went to XinBeiChuan to participate in the festival.

The Final day there we went to a wedding. It was so interesting to see the difference between weddings in China and wedding in America.

As a weekend activity we went to the museum in Tianfu square. As soon as we arrived there the line to enter the museum was out the door. After waiting a while, we understood why. The museum was amazing; there were about 5 floors and each floor focused on a new aspect of Chinese art, history and culture. 

Back in DC where I attend university, I work in the Air and Space Museum, so it’s safe to say I am someone who really enjoys being in a museum. Although every part of the museum was interesting, my favorite part by far was the ceramics floor. I started doing ceramics as a freshman in high school and when we learn how to use the wheel we inherently learn about the history of pottery in China and how that made its way to us in the States.

So I got very excited when I saw all the pottery and unfortunately for Livia, a member of the G-Meo staff, she ended up taking many pictures of me and hearing my lesson on the different kinds of glazes and the difficulty in using porcelain.  I’ve already planned my next trip to the museum and I’m excited to go back.

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Akosua Abroad in Chengdu, China Part I

Upon arrival in Chengdu we were greeted by a variety of panda everything. I knew that Chengdu was home of the giant panda but I thought it was pretty funny and awesome to see such pride for the area. While I am already adjusting quickly to life here, there are a few things that came as a huge shock to me.

The first being the traffic differences in China versus the US. In the US, cars stop for the pedestrian holding the cars accountable if anything happened, but in China, the person stops for the car which made crossing the roads a lot more terrifying.

The second thing was differences in personal space. On my first day of my internship at Tahota Law Firm at 8:21am, I experienced what rush hour in a Chinese city was really like. I could describe the experience no other way than feeling like a vacuum-packed sardine. I’ve also found myself in some tricky taxi situations due to language barriers. Regardless of shocks, I’ve found Chengdu to be a lovely city. It has the ability to be relaxed and busy at the same time with a balance of old and new characteristics everywhere.

Within my first three weeks I’ve visited the giant panda research center, seen the giant panda at Chunxi road, visited Wen Shu Monastery, had an evening at people’s park and there are so many more activities to come. My life in Chengdu is off to a good start and I’ve also learned that when it comes to life here, I need to take it easy.

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Paola Palaguachi: Interning in Chengdu


Currently, as an intern at Deheng Law Firm, my duties are clear. For the most part, a lot of documents have been shared with me to be proofread and edited. I do my best to add helpful comments and suggestions while editing. Doing this has given me the opportunity to get some insight on cases the law firm has or is currently working on.

A comparison and contrasting of Chinese and American law can be made, which is often interesting. I have been assigned to assist in research for cases which allows me to work on the skill. The work environment is kept neat and clean, as well as friendly. I do find that most workers stay reserved and focused on their tasks. Everyone works independently and sustain communication mostly through their mobile devices. The presence of the head attorney of the office is rare to me when I work due his busy schedule.

There are a few other interns within the office as well, which creates a mixed work environment of young and older experienced people. There is no strict demanding work and it is a great learning experience about the work culture and the people of China.

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Fall 2017: First Mini-Semester Newsletter

First Day of the New Semester at our Center

Yaneydis and Paola are getting to know their new Buddies

All of our students went out to see the Panda Base

Jordan, Akosua, and Kristie love meeting the “Big Bear Cats”

Students were also taken to People’s Park

Joanne and Yaneydis went for a walk around the Park

The first week ended with a trip to Chunxi Road

Jordan is introducing herself to some new Chinese friends

A trip to the Wenshu Temple

Some of our students intern at the prestigious DeHeng Law Office

Eric interns at Lansen Rehabilitation

Eric says that he gets a lot out of his internship

Hanging out with Buddies at the Wenshu Temple

Day-trip to HuangLongXi

Emily, Joanne, and Yaneydis learning about paper-cutting

Movie Night at the Center





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Joanne Gallegos: My Internship in China

During my semester abroad in China, I have the opportunity of working at Unilever. The department that I am currently working with is marketing, and my experience with them has been very rewarding due to the individuals I have encountered so far. These individuals have helped me to process how marketing in China works.

My department works with local restaurants and markets where they negotiate with the business owners. They try to sell their products by informing them how the products will help them to increase their profits. My job is to follow sales associates around to these markets and businesses to learn how well these locations are doing with their products. The flow of the products in these businesses help the company determine if they should continue marketing and selling the products that they have. This also helps them know what to improve in their sales.

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Akosua Opong-Wiredu: Internship in China

I am currently interning at Tahota Law Firm, an international business trade law firm located in Chengdu, Sichuan. After being there for some time, my work consists of doing research, for example, looking into international business laws that would prevent Chinese acquisition of European shares, and research on One belt, One Road.

Though I have many assignments and responsibilities now, this was not the case on my very first day. I arrived on my first day and was given a tour then given 2 contracts to review that took me about 30 mins in total. For the rest of the day I barely had work, but was later informed by my supervisor that this was because she wanted me to adjust to the office environment first.

From observing the office dynamic, the most interesting thing I find so far is how everyone takes a nap after lunch; I was even encouraged to take a nap on my first day! I’ve also noticed that boundaries are extremely limited—on Monday I was messaged by my supervisor’s assistant to do an assignment even though I only come in on Fridays. Although this has happened to me at internships in America, when it comes to my personal time, there is at least an acknowledgment of that as opposed to a complete disregard. All in all I appreciate the assignments I am being given because I can tell I am getting substantial assignments.

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Kristie Perez: Teaching in China

Upon my arrival to China, the initial plan for my internship was to work at a court house in order to gain more experience in the Criminal Justice field. Being an intern at a Law office seemed appealing, but the staff at the Center offered me the opportunity to work with students and teach them English since there were many others in the program who had applied for the position.

Being employed as a writing tutor in America provided me with sufficient experience and the position also sounded more appealing. The interview to work as a writing tutor at Hua Mei International Education and Training Center was excellent and my employer seemed excited to have me. The  first two weeks were very stressful for me because the directions to the location were given to me in Chinese, which was very confusing. I got lost on my first three attempts at getting to work before asking for other directions, which also caused more confusion. My determination to figure out the subway here in China was set in mind and I was not ready to give up.

On the second week of trying to arrive on time without getting lost, I was finally able to understand the proper stop and exit. Aside from my travel issues, the internship has provided me with great experience in teaching to younger students and networking. My ten year old student, Ellen, has a first grade English level, which is the lowest I have ever taught. It requires a lot of patience, explaining, and energy, but every Monday and Wednesday I look forward to going there and teaching her. She is an eager student who is always excited to learn, the staff is also very friendly and helpful.

My employer is understanding of my difficulties adapting to China, and is very supportive of me teaching there. In addition, he encourages me to return to China and teach English or Spanish in the future. Although, this internship was not my first choice, it has helped me improve my teaching, communication, and Chinese skills.

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Eric Wingeard: My Internship in Chengdu

To start off, I will give a brief background of who I am and why I am currently an American student interning at Lansen Rehabilitation. My name is Eric Wingeard, and I am a fourth-year University student from the University of Denver in the US. I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus in medical physics and biomedical engineering applications, and I came to Chengdu to study Mandarin at Sichuan University as well as to gain exposure to an international professional environment.

Due to my interest in medical technology and the health field, I sought to pursue an internship with Lansen Rehabilitation. One day, I hope to apply my skills in Mechanical Engineering to designing solutions for problems in the biomedical industry. I believe that expanding my knowledge in rehabilitation and therapy techniques can help me to better understand certain physical ailments, which may allow me to design more user-friendly solutions for future clients in the medical industry.

Lansen Rehabilitation is a company located in Chengdu, China that provides therapeutic rehabilitation services to adults, children and infants. From the beginning of my internship process with Lansen, the company’s friendly work environment and patient-centered culture stood out to me. The interview experience was pleasant and very informative regarding the company’s mission. My supervisor, Didier, was also exceptional in assisting me through the interview process and onward to my daily functions at Lansen.  From the beginning of the process, Lansen’s internship program is well thought out and refined, as I was given a thorough schedule of the various aspects of the company I would be exposed to on each day of the internship experience.

From my first few weeks here at Lansen, the staff has been extremely welcoming and helpful throughout my internship experience. Though my Mandarin skills are limited, the staff encourages and supports me in my efforts to communicate in a new language. I also helped teach some of the staff English medical terminology that can help them communicate with their English-speaking patients. The Lansen team also assists me in understanding various aspects of working in a foreign professional environment from daily interactions with the staff and clients. Even after just a short time here at Lansen, it is clear that the staff cares deeply about the development of their coworkers as well as their patients.

During the past few weeks at Lansen Rehabilitation, I have been most impressed with the staff’s expertise in their respective fields as well as the friendly environment of the company. I was able to observe Mars and her pediatric physical therapy team perform various therapeutic techniques with infant and child patients. With each patient, the pediatric team focused on therapy techniques tailored to improving the child’s strength and development. Lansen’s pediatric team also did an excellent job at providing a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for their patients during the therapy sessions.

At Lansen, I was also tasked with assisting the pediatric team with English documents. This included editing documents and portions of their webpage so that the company could effectively provide information about themselves to the public using English. I also compared the rehabilitation session summary reports from Lansen’s therapists to those from established rehabilitation centers in the United States and provided feedback on how they can improve these documents to reflect western report standards.

I was also given the opportunity to observe one of the physical therapists, Helen, perform orthopedic physical therapy using some of Lansen Rehabilitation’s professional medical devices. From the moment a client stepped into the office, Helen was focused on a providing the patient with a unique therapeutic solution based on her professional diagnosis. With a combination of electro-therapy and massage therapy techniques, I could see that Lansen Rehabilitation’s health professionals created specific rehabilitation methods to best suit the needs of each patient.

Lansen Rehabilitation’s patient-centered therapy process outlines the company’s strong desire to effectively help their clients. From my experience observing the various therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques designed by Lansen’s health professionals, the Lansen team takes their spirit phrase of “Love and Science” to heart. The supportive professional environment and comfortable atmosphere at Lansen is not only beneficial for their patients, but also for foreign interns like me, and I am excited to see more of what Lansen Rehabilitation has to offer!

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