Art and Digital Communications Major Interns and Studies Abroad in China

Lebanon Valley College art and digital communications major Dan Bennett studied abroad and interned in Shanghai, China.

Growing up and attending college in the same town, Dan Bennett ’20 wanted to explore something new beyond Annville, Pa. Presented with an opportunity to study abroad, Bennett selected the College’s program in Shanghai, China, because of an interest in Eastern Asian culture and a graphic design internship with an international company.

Bennett, an art & visual culture and digital communications double major, interned with the international packaging design team of Mitre 10, a major New Zealand chain of home improvement stores.

“I photo-shopped product images, followed brand guidelines for packaging, used creative thinking to set up original packaging layouts and designs, analyzed datasheets from manufacturers to modify or add information to layouts, and communicated with manufacturer contacts,” Bennett said. “I even worked on some branding and logo design.” 

Bennett enjoyed living in the metropolitan and multicultural Shanghai. Being in an environment other than the one he is used to was also an experience due to the language barriers, but he found that it was positive.

“I appreciate how patient everyone was when conversing with me,” Bennett said. “It was nice to be with a company that was so readily accepting of people who come from different backgrounds.”

Although he was not able to travel outside of mainland China, he visited many areas of the country itself.

“My favorite location was the Hunan province where we visited Zhangjiajie National Park and the Tianmen Mountains,” Bennett said. “Both areas are unbelievably beautiful, and I hope I can revisit them with friends and family. Beyond that, as someone who likes cities, witnessing the many cityscapes in Shanghai is something I’ll never forget. 

“Some of my favorite pictures from the trip were taken at night while experiencing the glow of the Pudong side of Shanghai from the observation deck spanning the side of the Huangpu River or atop the rooftop of Bar Rouge that we visited during our final night in the city,” he added.

The trip is one that Bennett will always remember and credit for increased confidence in his abilities due to how much he learned outside the traditional classroom environment.

“The biggest thing I took away from my time abroad was a sense of clarity regarding my career and what type of work I would be happy to pursue as a long-term commitment,” he said. “A lot of soul searching went on during my time in China, and that is honestly the most important ‘thing’ I brought back with me when I returned home.”


-- Michaela May, Digital Communications student