overview 1 JUNE - 31 AUGUST 2016

"It’s okay to be pushed out of your comfort zone"

Fu Iris Jiang (Belgium)
Work Placement at Eco-Bay Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
From an intercultural viewpoint

“It "was very interesting to have a Belgian mentor (Freddy) who runs a business in a Thai culture. From his viewpoint I became aware of the difficulties when cultures collide. The European straight forward mindset is quite different from the Asian subtle, “not losing face”, mentality. When doing business, it is important to establish a solid relationship with your client based on trust and knowledge. From a European point of view, a good product will sell itself. From a Thai point of view, the relationship between the two parties will decide whether or not the product will be sold.”


from my personal viewpoint:

“When you’re in a country where you don’t know the main language, the streets and the people, you’re entirely out of your comfort zone and you need to do an effort yourself to find people to connect with, find the good food and the nice places. It demands some assertively and open mindedness to let things come the way they are but also push situations if you think it’s needed.”


My recommendations for future ASEM candidates:

"Make sure you arrive at your destination knowing some cultural background, be able to let stereotypes go, try to make new friends and understand the people and their setting. Try new things but still stay safe. It’s okay to be pushed out of your comfort zone a bit, sometimes it’s difficult adapting to so many new things. But remember you’re there to learn, on your internship place but also on the street. Be curious and reflect. Don’t forget to write a card back home."