Serenah Polite spent the summer doing an internship at the University of Science and Technology, China (USTC), having been one of four selected from many applicants LeHigh University’s College of Arts and Sciences where she matriculates.
USTC is a top university in Hefei, China in Anhui province. Interns were given a project and encouraged to use their creativity and USTC’s resources to create a hypothesis and draw a conclusion in a hands-on manner. It was an opportunity to build problem-solving, communication and critical thinking skills. At the same time, they had a chance to get a good taste of the life, culture and language of China.
“I came into this experience with no idea what I should expect. I, personally, had a huge passion and desire to study the language more and learn more about the culture, but what I ended up taking from the trip proved to be more beneficial than I could ever imagine,” Polite said.
“Going into this country, I was in for the greatest culture shock of my life and I loved every minute of it.”
She said most of the cities visited appeared less well off than many of the underdeveloped cities in America, and yet everyone was able to put a smile on their face.
“The camaraderie was uncanny as everyone had no issue speaking to anyone. It was also very different to be in a country with virtually no diversity. Their interest in other ethnicities was a huge relief and I am so thankful for their acceptance,” Polite said.
“In the end, this was a very enriching, eye-opening and incredible program that I would do all over again in a heartbeat.”