I am Yang Liu, a student of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. I was assigned a 2-month distance placement with Salisbury Museum between July and September.

Yes it’s right, a DISTANCE placement, with Salisbury in Britain and me in China. How could it be? Hard to imagine!!! However, it turns out nothing is impossible in a society with IT technology highly developed.

Although I couldn’t visit the museum in person because of the epidemic of corona virus, I could look up the necessary materials on its website and  communicate with the group members through video meetings during which we reported our progress and put forward suggestions on the project. Here I must convey my great gratitude to Emma, Rachel and all the others from the museum. Our team participated in the project only as volunteers, but they valued every piece of our opinion, offered very patient help to our survey and built a smooth fast communication channel between the museum and our team. They deserve our great respect.

Now the placement is approaching its end. Reflecting on our performance in every phase, I should say that I have learned a lot through this placement project.

With two online meetings with the museum every week, I feel so close to it, more a member than a volunteer. When I told my classmates in other placement programmes that I contributed my suggestions for the improvement of the Salisbury Museum website and developed interesting online activities for its target visitors, they were all shocked and even envied me. We had regular work conferences every week but some of them were contacted by their museums only once every few weeks. Never will I forget the vivid images of these meetings, — we always had endless topics to talk about and we enjoyed so much laughter together. Very thankful to my group mates and everyone from the Salisbury Museum, you are so kind and lovely!

Since we are all locked at home, we have confronted too much trouble in our placement. However, every coin has two sides. It is also because of this inconvenience that people begin to realize the importance of online resources and more visitors come to the websites of the museums from around their communities, which in return motivates the museums to put more time, more material and human resources to their websites. Consequently, the shortcomings are found, improvements are made, more online activities are created, and the museums become more and more popular among the visitors. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. I am also happy for the fast development of the Salisbury museum.

Besides the achievements I mentioned above, the biggest advantage for me is the experience I gained from this placement. I have learned how to handle hard times with patience and to dig possibility from impossibility. No matter how “imperfect” a person or an institution looks, development will make it perfect, only if we have a pair of observing eyes and a heart to pursue progress.

What’s most important, success can never be set apart from diligence and intelligence and teamwork always means high efficiency. Only by learning more and working harder can I find imperfections and work out a way to make them closer to perfection. The process may be difficult, but every little step forward can be enormously satisfying. Whatever I devote to it, will eventually be rewarded in some way.

This placement is really a valuable experience. I will miss my group members, my university coordinators and all the staff from the museum. Thank you very much for your support.

Thank you Yang Liu for your contribution, and for some thought-provoking ideas about how to overcome adversity. We hope to meet you in person one day.