Volunteer Review: Johnny Lee - Law in China
My first impression of Shanghai
‘Shanghai is the richest and most glamorous city in all of China’, this is what my supervisor told me. This was not my first visit to Shanghai, but it was my first living and working experience in the city that many Chinese believe is west meets east in China.
On arriving in Shanghai I was met by Kay from Projects Abroad, she swiftly took me to my accommodation. It was fully furnished and a modern apartment, containing the necessities such as an air conditioner, cooker, kettle, fridge and microwave. My room was very spacious and comfortable. I was fortunate to live near a Metro station, which meant convenient transport and traveling.
On my first day I was shown the local supermarket, bank and restaurants. I kept in regular contact with the Projects Abroad staff, especially when I encountered problems, all I had to do was to text or call them and it was easy as that, their reply was swift. I met up with the staff for help and they gladly catered for my needs.
My Law Placement
The Projects Abroad staff was kind enough accompany me to my placement and offer me directions if I were to ever get lost. The staff also introduced me to my supervisors and we discussed my role and duties as I interned at Shanghai Everbright Law Firm.
My duties consisted of reading summary cases in English that had already been translated from Chinese and to correct any grammar errors. I was able to draft a legal document given to me by my supervisor. I also had the opportunity to follow a lawyer and attend a contract dispute that went to court. An important task I completed was a presentation depicting some English Law and to teach them my knowledge; this was a great learning experience not just for me but also my supervisors.
During the final week of my two month law placement, my workmates all arranged a special evening dinner for me and another fellow intern. The dinner consisted of many Shanghai local foods and they were all delicious! By the time I finished my internship I didn’t feel like leaving as I felt a close bond with the people at the law firm and I still keep in touch with them today!
Staying with other volunteers
I lived with up to six other volunteers at certain times. The other volunteers were mostly business or law interns; they were all sociable and easy going. I stayed in the largest bedroom with two other males and we developed very good friendship but when one left another new intern arrived and this was the continuous process as I met about 10 people during my two-month stay in Shanghai.
During the evenings, after our daily work we would usually meet up as a group and all have dinner together at local restaurants and we bonded. During the weekends we were free, we would go sightseeing together and some evenings we went clubbing in order to experience the nightlife of Shanghai. The roommates I lived with became close and we saw each other every day and later one could say we became a ‘family’.
Activities in Shanghai
Whilst in Shanghai I did a lot of sightseeing, as the city is world renowned for its sights such as The Bund and the skyscrapers. I visited Pudong’s Oriental Pearl Tower, it is truly a sight to behold and the colors are ever changing like flowers of different seasons. I also visited the World Financial Center, which is Shanghai’s tallest building and the view from the top was truly spectacular, in additional you can view the bright lights of the buildings which makes the city awe inspiring in regards to architecture.
Without a doubt my favorite place in all of Shanghai is The Bund because of its beautiful scenery, it is unique as there is a river that splits the city into two, Pudong and Puxi. In the evening, The Bund is especially beautiful as the evening lights up, very similar to that of the New York Skyline if not more stunning.
Traveling in China
In addition to my internship I traveled after my work experience, I went to Wuhan, Guang Zhou and Hong Kong. I also met up with my girlfriend, friends from Beijing and Guang Zhou, which truly made the summer of 2012 my best ever!
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. Find out more about what you can expect from this project, or speak to one of our friendly Program Advisors.