TRACY KOO, student of our Spanish and Internship programs, share with us her experience…
The experience in Spain (2014 summer)
Koo Chui Ying
Hi, I am Tracy. I study in Faculty of Arts and major in Cultural Studies. This summer, I joined an overseas internship program in Valencia, Spain. I was working in a NGO, Musol. I was in charge of a research project about some American countries to provide information to the organization.
The first impression about Spain for me is so incredible. The sky is azure, clear and there are archaic buildings everywhere. I was puzzled at the first few days when I was in Spain since there were no air conditioners or even fans in my hostel and host family. At last I noticed that the weather in Valencia is hot but the wind is really cool. It is because Valencia is located in the Coastal areas so it just like having the natural air conditioning system. That’s cool!
Besides the weather, I also love the interaction with the locals. Before my departure, I was worried I will meet some thieves and robbers so I was really nervous when I stepped on Spain. However, the Spaniards are really nice and passionate. I learnt that we should be open-mined and willing to meet someone new or try out the thing you are not dare to try before. As we know, Hong Kong people had a Hustle and bustle of life. However, the Spaniards have a relax life style. They prefer “work for life” but not “life for work”. I agreed that relax is one of the best way to discover more and enjoy more.
During the days in Valencia, I also faced some difficulties. One day, I just back from Palma de Mallorca and I tried to walk from city center to my company. I chose the shortcuts in order to arrive on time. However, I found that I passed the same place twice. I carried my heavy luggage and walked without direction in the sun. I forgot to bring the map so I tried to ask the locals. However, because of the language barrier, I want to show the picture of my company but my smart phone is out of battery, I tried to call my company but my local phone was no money! I really got mad at that moment. At last, I sat down in a park and tried to calm down myself. Then I keep on walking and I finally found a police office after 2 hours. I borrowed their phone to give a call to my company. It is just near the police office!
During the trip, I am not only know more about Spain but also know more about Hong Kong. When I shared the life in Hong Kong to the locals, they had a really good impression of Hong Kong and they said they loved Hong Kong. I am really surprised that Hong Kong is so famous around the world, although it is just a small city. Before I went to Spain, I think there are a lot of arguments in Hong Kong. However, I know it is normal in every country or city when the locals told me the political issue in Spain.
After finish the internship, I learnt that no matter how difficult your situation is, the most important thing you need to do is to be calm and trust yourself can do the best. At the beginning I picked up my work, I think it is impossible to search information in Spanish. However, I kept on trying and asking my colleagues so I can search some useful information quickly and I even learnt more Spanish.
Time flies, I still remember the days I worked with my Spanish colleagues and the days I lived with my host family. I love the weather in Barcelona. I love the food in Madrid. I love the people I met in Valencia! Especially my lovely sweet host family! I love the beach in Gandia, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia. I cannot wait to go overseas and have a remarkable internship again!”