Discovering My New Identity

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Steven Chen | Global Internship in Hong Kong Program, Summer 2019

A friend from Emory invited me to visit Guangzhou and took me to see the Canton Tower.

            Going to Hong Kong through the Global Internship Program was definitely one of the most impactful choices that I made in my college experience. It provided me with a new identity and made me grow as a person. And I was able to connect with so many new friends along my journey.

            Before going to Hong Kong, I was like many other college students, relying on the safety net that is my parents. Whenever we are in trouble, the first instinct is to call our parents to fix it. Well, you can’t do that abroad. There was an instance where my roommate and I went sightseeing around the city, but then we got lost in an unfamiliar place. Hong Kong has an exact 12-hour difference from Eastern Standard Time, so of course, we could not call our parents to pick us up. Thus, we had to be proactive and ask the natives, who were really friendly, for help. This experience really made me grow as a person as it was the very first realization that I am an adult now.

            Through participating in the Global Internship program, I was able to gain personal experience that helped me decide on my major. Before participating in the program, I was planning on doing the 3-2 program with Georgia Tech majoring in mechanical engineering. But through this program, I was able to obtain a software developer internship where I worked on coding projects, which I really enjoyed. When I came back to Emory after the program, I made the decision to major in computer science, took a bunch of CS classes, and am still on track to graduate on time.

Exploring Pineapple Island (shaped like a pineapple bun)

            In addition to me growing as a person and doing an internship, the most impactful part of going abroad was being able to meet new people. I was able to make new friends with other interns at my workplace and other Emory students participating in this program, whom I am still friends with after the program.

            In short, I would not change my Summer 2019 experience for any other experience. And to let others know about the program, I became a peer advisor for the study abroad office.