GoAbroad Interview

Lea Huang - Customer Service Assistant

Lea Huang - Customer Service Assistant

Lea is part of the customer service team at Go Abroad China. Her main duties include finding suitable housing options for participants and collaborating with her coworkers. She works hard and plans to travel more soon, especially since she left her hometown in southern China to relocate to Beijing. Lea dreams of traveling to another country and possibly even picking up a new language!

How did you become involved with Go Abroad China?

I was on the lookout for my next career move when I first came across Go Abroad China. At first, I was not too knowledgeable about the study abroad industry. But, once I got involved with it I discovered that it is actually broader than I thought and quite interesting do be employed in.

Mountain views in China

Rare mountain views in China

What is a typical day like for you at Go Abroad China?

Well, I work in the customer service department at Go Abroad China and on a normal day you will find me arranging suitable accommodation for our clients. Apart from housing, I also assist with the placement of intern candidates in their host internship companies and make sure that each intern has his or her own requirements met and ready for arrival in China.

If you were a participant in a Go Abroad China Program, what would your program of choice be?

I know the most popular option is to do an internship in a China based company, but actually I would choose the study tour program. The study tour program offers a really good balance of experiencing Chinese culture and life in modern Chinese cities, coupled with learning the language. Typically, during the course of the study tour you get an introduction to Mandarin language for a few hours per day, then the afternoons and weekends are filled with varied activities (usually the program lasts a month), pointing to the creativity and well organized structure of the program.

Riverside walk in southern China

Traveling in southern China

How much daily support do you give participants? How much time do you spend working with them one-on-one?

Our aim is to always to provide the best service to our participants and meet the requirements that they have for us. At Go Abroad China, we regularly arrange gatherings or events to allow our interns, language learners, and students not only to meet each other, but also to make new friends in the cities that they live in. They also then see how other foreigners live in China. Apart from gatherings, like any other organization, we communicate with our participants through direct telephone or email. At times we might also go check in on them at their respective internship companies to see what kind of experience they are having.

What has been your biggest achievement since joining the Go Abroad China team?

I would say my biggest accomplishment is mostly the ability to communicate better and aiming for a high level of professionalism. I have learned that dealing with customer situations requires a lot of careful planning and attention to details. So if any of the clients I’ve handled are happy with their arrangement, then I feel like I have a bit of success too.

Your role is focused on customer service, what makes someone a good fit for an internship or language program in China?

Participants who really come prepared and apply well in advance will most likely get the best internship companies, as we serve on a first come first serve basis. Also, candidates who want professional experience in relation to their area of study have a higher chance of gaining a lot from the experience.

For participants that choose Go Abroad China’s language programs, we place them in universities or good language schools. For clients like these, usually an interest in Mandarin is vital, but we accept people of all Chinese language levels, as long as they enjoy the language and want to learn and become fluent in Chinese.

What is the most commonly asked question you get from prospective participants, and what is your response?

Most participants are really eager to see what China is like, so they literally ask “what is China like?” Well, that is a really a broad question that I cannot answer in short, but in most situations I let them know that almost everything is opposite to what they were used to in Western countries. I tell them a little about Chinese people’s personality and the things that matter most to the average Chinese person, which would be, among others, family, dignity or the idea of “face”, and image. I tell them that the big cities in China have become an interesting combination of modern and old; it’s really interesting to see! 

Playing Chinese Mahjong

A game of Chinese mahjong with some participants

What makes China such an incredible place for an international internship?

I think that ever since China became recognized on the world stage in past years, a lot of foreigners want to understand it better. One aspect of it is definitely curiosity of what China looks like and wanting to understand it better. Another more important reason is actually the economic strides that China has achieved. With everyone seeing where China is and the potential for growth that still exists, a lot people actively seek to get first-hand experience in China and be part of the global talk. For our young professional clients, they are largely influenced by their universities and just realizing the employment trends going on.

People are always looking to get ahead and an international experience in a place like China can add to that.

If you could sum up Go Abroad China programs in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

Well planned, carefully thought-out career and language based programs suitable for international youth seeking further employment and educational enrichment.