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Student Stories

Justin Herwerden

Management Placement
Mandarin Oriental
Hong Kong

"Many guests ask me how I ended up in Hong Kong all the way from the Netherlands. During my interview at the placement office I was asked where I would like to go. My reply was 'anywhere, as long as it's not in Europe."

"I said this partly because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. In retrospect, I got exactly what I asked for (and maybe more).

Hong Kong may be a former British colony, but it feels very different from London where I was for my first internship! Life is much faster here than at home, I work 9 or 10 hours per day, 6 days a week. After a few weeks I got used to this and noticed other differences in the way people interact with each other. New habits you first perceive as strange, but slowly take over.

Hong Kong is a great city to explore, if you like to explore cultures, I can warmly recommend an internship in Hong Kong! I love to have a free day to wander and get lost in one of the many neighborhoods that are so typical for Hong Kong. This way you get really in touch with the local culture and you will not be dragged along in the endless stream of tourists visiting the many highlights of Hong Kong.

This internship, city and the people who live and work here have given me a real culture shock. It is very interesting to experience the cultural differences and similarities. Of course I miss my family and friends in the Netherlands, but once you are traveling alone, you are much more receptive to new people. Travel, for me, is one of the best ways to make new friends! In addition, it also helped me to understand what hospitality truly means."

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