Corinna is a student of Chinese and English studies at University of Vienna. She volunteered on a project in Chengdu, China.
AIESEC: Why did you decide to take part in the Global Citizen Programme? Did your experience meet your expectations?
Corinna: First of all, I love travelling more than anything else in the world. It inspires me and enrichens my life in so many ways. As I have heard a lot of great things about AIESEC, I decided to go for the Global Citizen Programme. Furthermore, I found an amazing project, which is entangled with my study of the Chinese language and besides, gives me the opportunity to teach children in Chengdu.
AIESEC: Please tell us the name of your project and describe it briefly.
Corinna: The Project was called “Dare to Dream” and was held in Chengdu, China. We were a group of 10 students who tried to teach English to children in a Chinese summer school.
In order to teach them English, we had to prepare several English lessons and we also taught them about our different cultural backgrounds (our country’s tradition, food, values, etc). At the end of the project we also participated in the Global Village, an event which connects several AIESEC Projects, which was a lot of fun.
AIESEC: What was your biggest cultural shock? How did you deal with it?
Corinna: As I have been to China before, I did not experience a cultural shock. Unlike other participants, I had the advantage that I had already known a lot about the Chinese culture beforehand. But nevertheless, it was a completely different experience for me. The city of Chengdu is very different from megacities in the East such as Beijing or Shanghai. Thus I received a distinctive insight into Chinese life.
AIESEC: What was the most impactful moment during the volunteering experience?
Corinna: There were quite a few:
- The kids in school – their happiness and gratefulness, it was so much fun playing music with them and teaching them English.
- The whole AIESEC community – we got into contact with two other AIESEC Projects in Chengdu and thus we were able to hang out with people from around the world.
- Making new friends in different parts of the world.
- Getting a deeper insight into the Chinese culture by travelling through several provinces after the project has ended.
- The feeling of liberty when travelling in general.
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