I was met by a representative from the company that organised my internship, who then took me to where I was staying for the next 2 months. The apartments were located in a slightly less western area, which I loved because I got to experience living among other Chinese citizens as well as being a 10 minute walk from the nearest subway station – perfect!
Before starting work on the Monday, the interns had our first Chinese banquet, which was delicious. In the morning I would start my first day being an intern at Zhonglun W&D Law Firm.
On arrival I was taken to my own desk where I was given my first piece of work before I met the boss (Mr Chen Wen), which was to brush up on what little Chinese law I knew by reading through various articles on the law of the Republic of China. I met Mr Chen later that day and he told me I would be performing an hour-long seminar the following week for a few of the interns and lawyers on the UK legal system.
I braved the 20p subway on my way home, I got quite a few stares being the only western person on the train, but you get used to it and I started to find myself staring back after a while unknowingly. It is definitely one of the best ways to get around the city with it being so cheap and a subway stop at nearly every landmark.
As well as working in the daytimes I visited almost everything in Beijing such as the night market in Wangfujing, where you can eat anything from fruit and fried ice cream to snakes and live scorpions. Nanluoguxiang is one of the most popular hutongs which is a Chinese neighbourhood and has lots of really cool bars and restaurants, this is one of my favourite places to visit and is definitely a must see. My most amazing experience was camping on the best part of the great wall – Jiankou. I also visited Houhai Lake, the Olympic Village, 798 art district, the infamous silk market and Tiananmen, which were all awesome.
I am definitely considering coming back to Beijing, maybe next time to study the language, but it has been an awesome experience, so different to any other city that I have been to and the people here are so friendly and quite shy.
Aberystwyth University student Phoebe Pender was an intern at Chinese firm Zhonglun W&D Law Firm, arranged through CRCC Asia.