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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011


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Hello from Kunming!

Today is our last day in Kunming before we embark on our week-long traveling segment of the internship program. We've just said our good-byes to our host families, and needless to say, there were tears all around.

Now we're all in the dragons house, resting a bit before heading out to the train station to get going. We're saying good-bye to two of our interns, who unfortunately have to return to the USA early. Aside from that, we're all very excited to have booked an overnight train to Lijiang for our first bit of travel. The compartments we booked have six cots each, and are fairly pleasant to stay in. If not the most comfortable, it will definitely be conducive towards group bonding.

As for trekking, we're all very excited to be heading to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is sure to be beautiful at this time of year. We'll spend two days hiking there before moving onto Deqin, which has some of the biggest mountains in the world. Save for maybe Mt. Kilimanjaro in Alaska, they're bigger than any of mountains to be found in the states.

Sincerely, the Dragons Intern.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Train Rides and Trekking

Dragons Intern,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

Hello from Kunming! Today is our last day in Kunming before we embark on our week-long traveling segment of the internship program. We’ve just said our good-byes to our host families, and needless to say, there were tears all around. Now we’re all in the dragons house, resting a bit before heading out to the […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Dragons Intern

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    [post_content] => Taking five busses between my homestay, internship, and the program house is extremely challenging. However, this challenge has certainly prepared me to talk to local people for directions. But often times, local people feel pressured to give you an answer regarding directions - even if you don't know where to go. I guess now it's important not to be lost in translation.....
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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Lost in Translation

Brian Lee,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

Taking five busses between my homestay, internship, and the program house is extremely challenging. However, this challenge has certainly prepared me to talk to local people for directions. But often times, local people feel pressured to give you an answer regarding directions – even if you don’t know where to go. I guess now it’s […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Brian Lee

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    [post_content] => Last night we had our talent show. Although preparing for the show was really stressful, all of our rehearsals really paid off. I got the privilege of getting to play a duet with my flute teacher on the chinese flute. I also played three western style pieces: Bach Sonata in C Major, Mozart Concerto in G Major, and Briccialdi's Carnival of Venice. It was really exciting to play for all of the homestay families and mentors. They had such great energy. Other highlights of the performance included Brian, Dixy, and Katie's rendition of "Ice Ice Baby", and Daniel and Max's costumes. Overall, the performance was a huge success and we raised money for Brian's intern charity, Home Aids.
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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Red Dragons

Imogen Morrall,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

Last night we had our talent show. Although preparing for the show was really stressful, all of our rehearsals really paid off. I got the privilege of getting to play a duet with my flute teacher on the chinese flute. I also played three western style pieces: Bach Sonata in C Major, Mozart Concerto in […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Imogen Morrall

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This is a tribute.

A tribute to shirtless old men walking around and rubbing their bellies after dinner.

A tribute to thinking oil was tea.

A tribute to being sent to a wine store when asking to buy fruits

A tribute to all the motorcycle riders I could not ride with.

A tribute to all the people who shouted "lao wai", or "hallo!"

A tribute to splendid costumes, red sparkles and minority outfits.

A tribute to crying from spicy food.

A tribute to a lake of lily pads.

A tribute to crowded streets, cars like sardines.

A tribute to the smell of old po'er cha.

A tribute to smiles of the oldest and youngest people I have every seen.

A tribute to the tallest and shortest people I have ever seen.

A tribute to meditation.

A tribute to dancing.

A tribute to everyone who helped me when I needed it.

A tribute to unbelievably generous gifts, to the hospitable culture of china.

A tribute to cheap massage parlors, and nail salons where they paint pandas on your fingers.

A tribute to a new and immense family.

A tribute to Confucius.

A tribute to being lost.

A tribute to fruit vendors on the street wowing you with hormone-expanded size.

A tribute to running in the morning through puddles and people.

A tribute to fights to get on the bus.

A tribute to the people who asked to take pictures with us.

this is a tribute to Kunming. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, this is a city of life love, and lots of people. Thank you to the Wu family, you were incredible. Thanks to the Boao Investment company for hosting me. Thanks Dragons, you've been great.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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A Tribute

Alessandra Powell,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

This is a tribute. A tribute to shirtless old men walking around and rubbing their bellies after dinner. A tribute to thinking oil was tea. A tribute to being sent to a wine store when asking to buy fruits A tribute to all the motorcycle riders I could not ride with. A tribute to all […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Alessandra Powell

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China Internship is somewhat different from other Dragons program. It is much more urban than rural, sedentary rather than nomad and places more emphasis on building long-term relationships rather than jumping from one place to another every few days or so.

Yet we are about to enter the realm of the unknown as we are leaving the comfort of our families to travel through the wilderness of Tiger Leaping Gorge and the splendid scenery of Zhongdian and Nizu. After discovering the secrets of the Chinese business world and the perils of urban traffic, we are about to discover the meaning of the words ''altitude'' and ''isolation'' as we will reach 3000-meter high Tibetan areas surrounded by 5500-meter peaks.

We leave Kunming with our hearts full of enthusiasm and our minds struggling to grasp how different our lives will be and how short our remaining time in China is.

We will face fatigue caused by a mixture of altitude sickness and a busy schedule. We will face unfamiliar situations and will be pushed out of our comfort zone. We will travel rugged and spend half of our time in buses in trains. Yet, no matter the hardships we will face, no matter the challenges that will arise, we will live to tell the tale of what is sure to be an epic ending for our trip.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Leaving Kunming: The Great Expedition

Max Vachon,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

China Internship is somewhat different from other Dragons program. It is much more urban than rural, sedentary rather than nomad and places more emphasis on building long-term relationships rather than jumping from one place to another every few days or so. Yet we are about to enter the realm of the unknown as we are […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Max Vachon

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As hard as it is to believe, today we leave Kunming and sadly say goodbye to two of our fellow Dragon students. While we have been consistently busy throughout our time here, this last week definitely tops the list, from our final days working as interns, to our host family dinner, our ISP presentations and finally, the big “(RED) Dragon” Charity Event. Each of these different events made me reflect on our time here in the “spring city” of China and how great an experience it really has been. First, our internship gave us an insight into Chinese business culture that you could not simply learn through a book (another reminder of how different our cultures are); we alsobuilt “guan xi” and learnt skills that we can apply to future work placements, thus laying the foundations for potential career paths. Our host family dinner was a simple way of saying thank you to our family for all their support, patience and generousity. I know my family went way beyond the call of duty with providing me with bags of fruit everyday for myself and my friends; taking me to get massages; and finally, introducing me to their family and friends outside of Kunming in a tiny, rural village – a part of China very few are lucky enough to experience. The “(RED) Dragon” Charity Event was a huge success with Imo as the star of the show performing on her flute for the entire first half and was then back on stage to sing three more songs in the second part of the night. It was a great evening and made me realize how far we have all come. All in all, a hectic yet great way to end our time here in this beautiful city. So for now, goodbye Kunming and hello, rural China.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Goodbye Kunming, Hello Rural China

Daniel O'Brien,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

As hard as it is to believe, today we leave Kunming and sadly say goodbye to two of our fellow Dragon students. While we have been consistently busy throughout our time here, this last week definitely tops the list, from our final days working as interns, to our host family dinner, our ISP presentations and […]

Posted On

07/29/11

Author

Daniel O'Brien

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    [post_title] => Mentor Dinner
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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Mentor Dinner

I-Team,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

Posted On

07/22/11

Author

I-Team

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While it is hard to believe how fast these three weeks havegone by, it iseven harder to believe how many amazing sites we have seen; how much we have managed to do; and how many great people we have already met in such a short period of time. However, as the title of our program gives away, it is the internship at the end of the day which is our central focus and what we really hope to take away from.

Upon arriving in Kunming, I was suddendly apprehensive about the whole internship experience; I had these images of myself doing no more than the occassional coffee run and otherwise sitting around an office, being more of an annoyancethan anything else. But I am pleased to say, I was wrong. Rather, over the past two and half weeks I have gained so much from working at Da Cheng Law Firm. I have essentially been given a role as a researcher, from doing reserach on potential clients in South East Asia to research on possible affiliate law firms overseas. I have also had the opportunity to help with translating emails and contracts. Moreover, I have learnt a great deal about Chinese law and how the civilian legal system here is so distinct from British common law. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this work experience has served as an important catalyst in my realisation that law is defnitely a path I will want to pursue in the future, wherever that will be.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Halfway

Daniel O'Brien,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

While it is hard to believe how fast these three weeks havegone by, it iseven harder to believe how many amazing sites we have seen; how much we have managed to do; and how many great people we have already met in such a short period of time. However, as the title of our program […]

Posted On

07/20/11

Author

Daniel O'Brien

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Hello,

As the group closes in closer to the expedition phase, I can’t help but to start to reflect on our journey as a whole in Kunming. To be a part of the internship program has been truly a life changing experience for me and everyone else on this trip. People have learned how to thrive in an foreign and strange environment that is China. Sure, there were many tough times like when some of us got lost on our way to the intern house, but we never gave up. We all have gotten through the tough times with smiles and good attitudes.

It is unfortunate that we are almost done with the internship phase of our trip but I feel that we are now equipped with the tools to thrive on our expedition phase. It will be very fun to see the group work together and plan out this part of the trip ourselves! I am confident that the group is going to have a wonderful final week in china once we complete our internships.

-Will

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Reflection

Will,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

Description

Hello, As the group closes in closer to the expedition phase, I can’t help but to start to reflect on our journey as a whole in Kunming. To be a part of the internship program has been truly a life changing experience for me and everyone else on this trip. People have learned how to […]

Posted On

07/19/11

Author

Will

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Sitting here in our beautiful 24th story program house, looking out of the huge windows at a panoramic view of bustling Kunming, I'm amazed that we have nearly reached the middle of our six-week course. Time isn't the only thing flying here -- each day I'm amazed to see how my wonderful students are soaring to new heights in China. You see, this isn't your average Dragons program -- in fact, it's the only Dragons program of its kind. Instead of adventures in the hither and yon, our talented students are here to dig deep. From my prior trips with Dragons, I must admit I'm more used to watching students flush with pride as they crest the last rise of a tough hike. These days, however, I watch with pride as I see many of the students working so hard in their internship offices and putting down the roots of their future careers. In a lot of ways, learning dilligence, practicing the art of taking initiative, and learning about a chosen field all while working in China on a day- to- day basis takes much more effort and strength than any mountain climb.

"Roots" have been on my mind a lot this week. It's been my mission to equip our students with sophisticated knowledge about China and Chinese culture. Our students are so bright and each one is astoundingly gifted. I want to prepare these future leaders to be the best global citizens they can possibly be. To that end, this week I've been introducing the "roots" of Chinese culture: Chinese conceptions of "self" and how they contrast with western conceptions of "self," how to understand Chinese communication styles and communicate smoothly in China, and, my favorite, the origins of Chinese culture -- a historical journey that goes back 5,000 years. As the great historian Sima Qian said almost 2,000 years ago, "he who understands the past is master of the future." To truly understand China, one must go to the roots. To grow strong roots in China, as our interns are doing now, requires empathy and understanding of China's past and its long, long sense of collective identity. I hope that, by teaching basic history and culture, I can in some small way water the roots of my students' growing careers, and help my students blossom into true global citizens and great leaders.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Roots and Blossoms

Nina LaFerla,China: Internship Program, Summer 2011

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Sitting here in our beautiful 24th story program house, looking out of the huge windows at a panoramic view of bustling Kunming, I’m amazed that we have nearly reached the middle of our six-week course. Time isn’t the only thing flying here — each day I’m amazed to see how my wonderful students are soaring […]

Posted On

07/15/11

Author

Nina LaFerla

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