Ryan Webster

Ryan Webster took part in the Study Melbourne Language and Internship Exchange (SMLIP) in China, People's Republic of.

This trip has taught me the value in having a global perspective and outlook, not simply for future employment or opportunities, but also as a responsible, open and forward thinking global citizen. To leave after two months and have an authentic culture experience is beyond tangible value.

When first discovering that I was selected to take part in the Study Melbourne Language and Internship Exchange (SMLIP), I would of never of thought how after a short two months stay, I would of learnt and experienced so much - both culturally and emotionally. Taking part in the (SMLIP) was one the best academic decisions I have made thus far whilst studying at RMIT. The eight week program was incredibly rewarding, filled with immense opportunities and, fortunately, I was not alone, traveling with 17 other students from varied university across Victoria.

Together, we all took part in a three week intensive Chinese language course and engaged in many cultural activities such as business, political and foreign policy lectures, enterprise visits, Taijiquan (Taichi), calligraphy, music and cultural classes. We were even fortunate enough to visit attractions such as the Great Wall, Beijing Opera and a Kungfu show. We got to experience and learn a lot more than anyone expected.

For the last five weeks of our eight week program, every student, including myself, had an opportunity to intern at a large company in China, matched according to their academic and study fields. I interned with COMMSAT, a satellite communications company based in Beijing. This was mine and most others’ first experience working and interning in a company within their field. It was easy to feel hesitant, but I was openly welcomed and eased into my workplace thanks to tremendous ongoing support. Upon conclusion of my five weeks, I was able to gain invaluable knowledge that I can use moving forward.

Looking back on my travels, by far the greatest experience after two months is to say I have made 17 new friends and relationships. The opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded young individuals is both exciting and, on some levels, deeply inspiring.

I have definitely been able to see and understand a lot more of the world through this experience. But that isn’t to say it was easy, or that there wasn’t challenges, because there were. However, being willing to challenge yourself and face adversity allows you to grow and take full advantage of varies opportunities; be that leisurely travel, cultural hobbies, industry connections or making new friends. As difficult as some days were, the overall experience was thoroughly worth it.

RMIT Global has been passionate about providing worldly experiences and opportunities. This trip has taught me the value in having a global perspective and outlook, not simply for future employment or opportunities, but also as a responsible, open and forward thinking global citizen. In my case, Chinese culture and society is easily misunderstood. To leave after two months and have an authentic culture experience is beyond tangible value, and I’m so thankful to be able to understand and have an honest interpretation of China.

I hope that throughout your time here at RMIT, you will also consider a global experience, be that the SMLIP, or any other more tailored to your degree because, speaking from experience, it was the best decision I’ve ever made here at RMIT!