Soon it is already the last month of my internship at UNESCO Beijing office. I still remember that before I start the internship, I felt that 3 months would be enough for me to get a sense of international organizations, but now I really fell in love with this office and the work I do, and it is truly hard to say goodbye.
Let me first reflect on the biggest highlight of my internship—a business travel with Mr. Robert Parua to Wuhan, China. Our mission was to get an overview of the UNESCO designated Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in Wuhan and updated on the various cultural, education programmes implemented by CLCs in China. The three CLCs in Wuhan were designated by CAEA endorsed by the China Ministry of Education, and China National Commission for UNESCO to implement Training and Skills activities.
During the symposium several key issues to strengthen CLCs were discussed, including policy and strategy that CLCs are aligned with, funding of the CLCs from Wuhan Education Bureau, Human Resources concerning about the training of CLCs staff, sustainability of the CLCs skills programmes, strategy to raise awareness and advocate, Management, the diversification of CLC training activities, and strategies to foster partnerships with different partners including the private sector.
Then we visited three CLCs in Wuhan and looked at the various programmes implemented by CLCs. The CLCs are all continually providing various, diversified trainings and activities catered for different age groups. The principal of the CLC of Caidian district, who is also a master of Chinese Tai Chi, teaches and leads the elderly practice Tai Chi every day for maintaining both physical and psychological health.
My main role of this travel was to translate between Mr. Robert and the local administrators. It was my first time to attend a formal meeting with quite many officials from all levels of Chinese government. What made me even more nervous was the fact that I don’t have any professional language translation background or experiences. It was also difficult for me to give Chinese expressions in formal language.
Fortunately, language is just something that you need to keep practicing. After the first symposium, I became more and more confident that I got compliments from the local administrators. I feel more than honored that I could contribute to tighter relationship between UNESCO and local stakeholders.
This event was certainly the most memorable experience for my internship at the UNESCO Beijing office, and I am glad that I was chosen for this opportunity that no other intern had.