Diana Schwarz is studying bioengineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and also did a practical internship at Boehringer Ingelheim in Shanghai. Here she reports on her stay abroad.
"I am studying bioengineering at the KIT in Karlsruhe. From October 2011 to March 2012 I did a practical internship at Boehringer Ingelheim’s pharmaceutical production site in Shanghai. I found the working atmosphere rather pleasant. Most of my colleagues were Chinese, and they all spoke excellent English. They were very helpful at work and also in my everyday life. Discussions over lunch usually revolved around the cultural differences between China and Germany and other interesting topics.
Shanghai, which is also called “Paris of the East”, is a relatively modern city with many cultural and architectural highlights. In contrast to many other Chinese cities, life in Shanghai is fairly western. All the street signs and signs in the underground system are in Chinese with English translations. Those who want to can enjoy any delicacy from Europe or North America. Everything is available. However, it is worth pointing out that all imported foods, as well as western-style restaurants, bars and shopping malls are as pricey as they are in Europe.
However, fake and fabric markets offer cheap souvenirs and here you can also buy made-to-measure clothes. And the large number of food shops have many tasty snacks for visitors. Even though the cultural differences between Germany and China are enormous, I would really recommend spending a practical training period in Asia. It gives you an excellent idea of how Chinese people work and enables you to learn about a completely different culture.
I would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Rolf Schmid from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, as well as Mr. Dieter Pfeifer and Dr. Ulrich Scholz from Boehringer Ingelheim who have made it possible for me to have this unforgettable experience in Shanghai.”