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The 2013 South China Internship Programme starts at UIC, as part of the U.S. “100,000 Strong” initiative

As part of the U.S. “100,000 Strong” initiative, the 2013 South China Internship Programme was officially launched on 12 June. 14 students from various universities and colleges in the U.S. experienced a three-day training programme at UIC and garnered exposure to the culture of the college, as well as China.

Each of the American students paired up with one UIC student as partners throughout the programme. After the stay at UIC, the pairs set off to complete a 45 day internship at one of eight renowned enterprises in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

20130613SC-1The American interns and their Chinese partners training at UIC

The 2013 South China Internship Programme was jointly conducted by the Hong Kong America Center, UIC and the “100,000 Strong” initiative. UIC is the first ever Chinese tertiary institution to collaborate with the “100,000 Strong” initiative in the internship field, creating an unprecedented model of pairing Chinese and American students for internships in China.

Approximately 60 American students, some of whom were campus and community leaders, scholars, athletes, and emerging professionals, applied for the programme. The 14 chosen interns came from a variety of institutions, including Washington State University, the University of Georgia and Cornell University. Once here, they and their UIC partners were placed in a number of very well-known companies, such as Times Museum, New Pathway Education and Technology Group, Chime Long Group, WorldStrides, and Cirrus Aircraft, where they were immersed in Chinese business culture.

20130613SC-3Glenn Shive, Director and CEO of the Hong Kong America Center, having an open discussion with the interns

In the three-day training at UIC, the interns were offered informative lectures and discussions about the Chinese economy, government relations, and cultural comparisons between China and the U.S. In order to better adapt to the working atmosphere, they also learned Chinese language and office skills. In addition, they visited UIC’s Shadow Puppet Drama Pavilion and Chinese Archery Field to experience traditional Chinese art and culture.

20130613SC-chinese 20130613SC-wpe class
Chinese language lessons  Communication workshop 
20130613SC-shaow 20130613SC-shaow2
The interns learn about Shadow Puppet Drama 

Becca Wilcox, who studies Asian history at Samford University, was very excited about this internship programme. She said: “I had been wanting to get to China to see it for myself, and this seemed like the best programme to allow me to do that. I’m expecting to learn a lot about China today, as opposed to what I’ve been learning, which is China in the past.”

20130613SC-beccaBecca Wilcox (left) looks forward to the internship programme

Keenan Madson, a student from Gustavus Adolphus College, revealed that there were three reasons why he was motivated to do this programme. “First, I really want to work in business in a Chinese setting so that I can get an overall experience of what life is like in a foreign country. Second, I want to improve my language, which I know I will be able to do because the tandem partner situation is enticing. Third, I want to challenge myself, and it is the way that I can test my own strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

His partner, Ma Fanfei, a Year 3 UIC Accounting student, thought the internship was a rare opportunity not only to practice her spoken English, but also to make foreign friends and further understand American culture.

20130613SC-keenanKeenan Madson and his partner Ma Fanfei

Citing the strategic importance of the U.S.-China relationship, in November 2009, President Barack Obama announced the “100,000 Strong” initiative, a national effort designed to dramatically increase the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China. The 2013 South China Internship Programme seeks to promote this initiative and acquaint more American students with China.

20130613SC-group(front row; from left fourth) Glenn Shive; Prof. Ng Ching-Fai, President of UIC; Prof. Morton Holbrook, former Programme Coordinator of Government and International Relations Programme; Ms. Kelly Li, Director of Four-Point Education Coordination Office and the interns of the 2013 South China Internship Programme

Photographers: Anny Wang, Irene Yu and Deen He
Editor: Deen He
(from MPRO, with special thanks to the ELC)

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