Study Abroad…in Reverse!

By Yin Li, China Project Intern 
As an international student majoring in Communication, I am very interested in working in the diverse cultural environment, in which I can use my personal experience and improve my knowledge in communication. When I found this internship position from The Center’s website, I felt it would be a great opportunity for me.

At The International Center, I work as an intern at the China Project Office, which aims to enhance the relationships between China and Indiana in the field of business, culture and education. As a student from China, I am very excited to get involved in the process of building the bilateral relationship. Let me share with you a recent project where our office hosted a one-day career-based orientation for international students from Ball State University.
 On March 21st, we welcomed the students to The Center and introduced our programs and services, as well as our internship program. There were 16 students from China, and three were from Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan. They were very interested in the internship positions, and some said they would definitely tell their friends to apply because they rarely have the opportunity to work off campus. After the tour of The Center, I accompanied the students on a tour of the Indiana Statehouse. We were very fortunate to have a great tour guide named Jim to show us around. With his funny and informative introduction, the students learned much about Indiana’s culture and history, such as the state flag, bird (cardinal), and flower (peony).
The highlight of this event was a visit to Global Caravan Technologies (an RV company), and a meeting with its CEO and president, Mr. Ding, who was a Chinese international student himself 18 years ago. Mr. Ding introduced his business, and shared his personal experience. He also gave valuable suggestions to the students about how to build their careers by taking advantage of study abroad opportunities. Students really appreciated this chance to talk with Mr. Ding, commenting on the value of talking face-to-face with such a successful businessman. I am glad I joined in this orientation, because it allowed me to gain a better understanding of what international students need and what we can do for them.
Working as an intern The Center, I also have had the opportunity to participate in other programs and services.  I assisted the relocation office in giving an orientation for Chinese assignees of Eli Lilly and Company to settle down in Indianapolis; attended the cross-cultural competency training; and helped to set up flags to welcome foreign dignitaries to visit Indianapolis.
All these experiences brought me more perspective of how The International Center achieves its goals and makes a contribution to Indiana’s globalization. I really appreciate the opportunity to work with such a warm and passionate team at The Center. By working in this diverse cultural environment, I become more confident in communicating with diverse audiences, which is definitely beneficial to my professional development.