"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana"

… and after 5,5 months in Shanghai I am flying back to Switzerland.

My internship at swissnex China was incredibly interesting, valuable and rewarding. While writing my research report on philanthropy and nonprofit organizations China, I learned a lot, not only about research topic itself, but also about China’s history as well as its social, economic and political development over the past decades. In my interviews with different nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other institutions, I learned about the many challenges the nonprofit sector and Chinese society as a whole face.  During conversations and travels with my friends and colleagues at swissnex, I learned a lot about them and myself, the differences and similarities between Switzerland and China, and about 莲子. During my lunch breaks, I learned to appreciate the delicious simplicity of a full plate of fried rice with lots of spicy sauce. The list goes on…

I would also like to take this opportunity to share three of the many highlights of my stay in China:

-          Walking around and being blessed by the holy waterfall 雨崩神瀑 in Yubeng, Yunnan.

-          Being late to the stage at the SERI delegation event “What’s driving Switzerland’s success in Education, Research and Innovation?” at the Swissôtel Grand Shanghai… (Thank you Pascal for taking it with humor!)

-          Having my leg hair admired and touched by an elderly man at a bus station in Kunming.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Pascal Marmier, the entire swissnex China team, and the Gebert Rüf Stiftung without whose generous support and assistance all of the above would not have been made possible.