It’s been less than two weeks since I’ve been back from 6 weeks in Southeast Asia
, and I’m getting ready (actually planning to pack the night before) for another 6 weeks in South America!
This will be my first time in South America, and what better place to start than Brazil! I’ve heard much about this booming country, and after spending a semester in China last year, I knew that Brazil, India, and Russia were next on the list. Looking back, I’ve realized that some of the best times of my life were the times when I spent more time with the locals in a certain city, whether it was thru a work term in Quebec, a study exchange in Beijing, or a volunteer stint in Phnom Penh
(post about my time in Cambodia to come soon!). This time, I will be embarking on a 6 week internship through AIESEC
(an international university network that brings students abroad thru NGO
or for-profit internships). As a business graduate with experience mostly in the corporate setting, I was very much looking forward to apply my skills in an NGO setting. More details about the internship to come once I arrive to my destination – Porto Alegre
! What I know about PA so far: 10th most populated city in Brazil, an hour’s flight from Sao Paolo
, capital city of Rio Grande du Sul, surrounded by lakes/shoreline, and is a go-to destination for European settlement. I will be staying with a host family, and it appears that I need to learn Portuguese fast to communicate well with my host family! I haven’t found *too* much info about PA/life as an AIESEC intern in PA so I hope to shed some light for anyone looking to take a trip down here later on. As an AIESEC intern, there were some questions I needed to answer pre-departure so here they are:
- Tell us about yourself (where you are from, ethnic background, year of study and major, additional facts you’d like to share)
My name is May – I was born in Hong Kong
and moved to Vancouver in second grade. I recently graduated from Simon Fraser University
with a Bachelors in Business Administration Honours. I like to play tennis, go snowboarding, and eat delicious foods (who doesn’t?!)!
- Why did you decide to join AIESEC?
A good friend went on an AIESEC internship in Milan and raved about it – she compared it to an experience she had while on an academic exchange. After having gone on an exchange myself to Beijing, I knew I wanted to do some sort of cultural exchange once again to somewhere I’ve never been. Brazil has been on the top of my list for some time and AIESEC was a great avenue for me to visit Brazil and make a tangible impact.
- What are you most looking forward to on this internship?
Meeting local students. Helping out with the NGO and actually making a difference. Living with a Brazillian
family. Seeing the city, and maybe venturing to Rio and Sao Paolo as well.
- Has your experience with AIESEC prepared you for this internship? (eg. leadership qualities, networking, etc)
I was not actively involved with AIESEC before, other than attending the Western Regional Conference in my first year at university (which was insane fun). I have had other experiences on and off-campus that has prepared me semi-well for this kind of stuff, so I’m very excited to take on Brazil!
- What are your long-term goals and how will this internship support them?
My goals are always changing – but something that is constant would be to be a happy and giving global citizen. I’m a huge advocate of living life to its fullest potential and when I think about what I want from life, I knew that I wanted to maximize my last summer before work. This internship definitely fits my goal, and I’m sure it will be another spark for future adventures to come!
A picture pulled from Google of Porto Alegre – next pics will be my own snapshots!