Destination Chengdu: Jamie’s view from the new InternChina office
The recent InternChina team get-together in Chengdu gave me the perfect opportunity to spend some time in our new office, see how our presence in Chengdu is developing and get to know the city even better. Our office is perfectly located in the southern business district, which means close access to partner companies, easy access for new arrivals and a convenient daily commute on foot for our staff and office interns in Chengdu. The office itself is spread over 2 floors, is very light and open-plan, which makes daily communication really easy. The building in which our office is located is split between residential and commercial spaces, so it has a familiar, homely feel, which suits our ethos. It is also right next to a metro station, so accessing other areas of the city is easy. Here’s a picture of our team in the new office:
Partner Language School
During the week in Chengdu I also visited our partner language school in Chengdu, which is a short walk from our office, in leafy, quiet residential surroundings. The staff at the school are friendly, the facilities are excellent and the location is very conducive to learning the wonderful language of Chinese! Here’s a photo of me with the school’s managers:
Host Companies, Homestay families and apartments
Our team in Chengdu has been pretty busy since arriving in Chengdu in February. We visited the city several times before Chinese New Year to begin establishing new internship opportunities and meeting potential host families, so we had a bit of a head start. This has enabled us to have around 30 internships and over 30 host families in Chengdu already!
What Chengdu has to offer
Relaxed life / Speedy development
Chengdu strikes a perfect balance of fast-paced development and relaxed day-to-day life. The tea house culture means parks are always full of locals and visitors playing Mah Jong, cards, practicing Tai Qi and generally relaxing with a brew. This lies alongside areas of break-neck development such as Century City, where the skyline is dotted with new highrise glass buildings and cranes in the process of building even more. Chengdu is establishing several direct flight routes to Europe and there are an increasing number of internationally recognised exhibitions at the enormous exhibition centre, which all point to the rapid rise in Chengdu’s profile as one of the most promising second tier cities in China. Here’s an example of Chengdu’s more relaxed pursuits getting your ears cleaned whilst chilling with a tea in the park (Sunny and Till are the recipients!):
We all had some pretty spicy hotpot and tested our stomachs against the notoriously spicy and delicious Sichuan cuisine. Chengdu also has lots of restaurants offering cuisine from all over China, which is lucky for our Chengdu Office Manager Jenny, who isn’t a fan of the local spice-levels! One of my favourite parts of Chengdu is the Tibetan district, where you can browse and buy lots of colourful Tibetan trinkets and material and walk alongside Tibetan monks (see picture below!), which is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience! Chengdu also has 2 massive universities and a huge student population, so it’s fair to say that Chengdu is a very student-friendly city.