Jack Fairhead

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Internships Advice

How Much to Budget for Living in Berlin

So, you want to come to Berlin for an internship. You may be wondering, ‘How much money should I budget for daily life in Berlin?’ Well, good news! If spent wisely, your money can get you far. Daily costs are generally inexpensive and you can dine out cheaply compared to other European destinations. Food comes at a standard price, with an average restaurant charging around €10-15 for a meal. Drinks can also vary with prices, with a German beer costing €3-4. However, you may want to save up some money when wanting to visit museums and tourist locations as they can get a little pricey.

For the current exchange rates, please see here. (https://www.xe.com/currency/eur-euro/)

1 GBP = 1.15

1 USD = 0.85

1 AUD = 0.61

1 CAD = 0.67

1 NZD = 0.59

**Exchange rates as of 01/10/2021

Your individual lifestyle is the main factor that will determine your budget. It will vary depending on what transportation you decide to take, personal dining preferences, nightlife and more.


Below, we have put together some budget estimates of your expenses in daily life during your time on your internship. In general, you can live on a low budget and still be able to live quite well. For those looking to spend a little more, there are also medium and high budget estimates. See which budget is right for you!

For transportation, most people use the BVG AB ticket for €86 per month. This ticket is used for all transportation links such as the bus, train and tram services. You may find more information on their official website here. (https://www.bvg.de/en/tickets-tariffs/all-tickets)

(For food, all apartments will have kitchens, so you will have the option to cook your own meals.) Food at supermarkets are affordable, but you may find that some discount shops such as Lidl and Aldi will make your money last.

For those looking to save money while still having fun and trying new things.

Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
Transport€20Monthly flat rate BVG ticket (€86)
Food€50Shop at Aldi/Lidl (€30); Lunch out (€10); Dinner out (€10)
Treats€30One night out with a few drinks and taxi
Extras€40-50Going to museums/cinema
Avg weekly€150
Avg monthly€600

For those who go to the gym, eat out more or spend more in other ways.

Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
Transport€25Monthly flat rate BVG ticket (€86) and taxi
Food€70Mix of shopping at Aldi/Lidl and organic shopping (€40); Lunch out (€15-20); Dinner out (€15-20)
Treats€60Couple nights out with drinks and taxi
Extras€50Going to museums/cinema/gym
Avg weekly€205
Avg monthly€820

For those who would like to spend more on cocktail bars, taxis or shopping. 

Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
Transport€35Monthly flat rate BVG ticket (€86) and taxi x2
Food€90Organic shopping (€50); Lunch out (€18); Dinner out (€18)
Treats€70Nights out at classy clubs with drinks and taxi/clothes shopping
Extras€60Going to museums/cinema/gym/individual travel
Avg weekly€255
Travel€150Going on a weekend trip
Avg monthly€1170

As you can see, you don’t need too much money to enjoy life in Berlin. Be careful when you have a craving to buy a Starbucks coffee or give into temptation of using cheap Ubers to get to work instead of taking a tram. Not everything is cheaper in Germany, and all the little costs can quite quickly add up. So it’s important to find the right budget for you.

For international payments, we always recommend using TransferWise. They’re cheaper than the banks, because they always use the real exchange rate – which you can check out on Google – and charge a very small fee. They’re also safe and trusted by over 2 million people around the world. You can sign up here. (https://wise.com/?clickref=1011lijaZwQY&partnerID=1100l59541&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=0&adref=&utm_source=pagodaprojects&partnerizecampaignID=1011l727)

Rebekah - Generation UK trip to the New Yuan Ming Palace
Generation UK, InternChina News, Internship Experience

Generation UK Funded Internships – Apply now!

Funded Internships in China

Generation UK – China was launched by the British Council in 2013. By 2020, it aims to help 80,000 students from the UK boost their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China.

The programme offers funded internship placements and academic scholarships for UK students to gain international experience in China. By encouraging UK students to engage with China, Generation UK aims to bring young people from both countries closer together, increase mutual understanding, and pave the way to lasting links and partnerships between the UK and China.

The Generation UK – China campaign is supported by all four government administrations in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Find out more and apply here.  Continue reading below about the experience of a 2018 Generation UK participant.

Rebekah’s Internship Experience in Zhuhai

”My name is Rebekah Kane and I’m a Computer Science student at Queen’s University in Belfast, here in Zhuhai for 2 months on a Generation UK programme.

I’m living in an apartment with two other girls who are all on the same program as me but we’re working at different companies.

I work as an IT intern in a Western-based manufacturing company here, in Zhuhai.”

What skills have you developed?

There are so many skills that I have learned over the past 8 weeks, on a personal and a professional level. So, I think for me what I’ve probably grown most in is confidence. You kind of have to be confident, whether you’re used to it or not, to tackle the cultural differences and to be the best person you can be in work and to get all the tasks done on time. Your communication improves, and your interpersonal skills definitely improve and you just become a lot more independent.

Were you worried about coming to China?

Before coming to China, yeah, I think it’s natural. There were definitely things that were playing on my mind. I’d never traveled so far alone before, especially to such a different culture and something that I was so not used to, so that was definitely something that played on my mind. But then as soon as I got off the plane and the InternChina people were waiting for me, it was such a relief. We got a taxi, sorted out my SIM-card and yeah, everyone was so friendly. So, nerves before going, but not so much once I got here.

How are you enjoying the programme so far?

I have definitely enjoyed the programme so far. I didn’t really know what to expect coming over here but everything has been amazing. The people are so good, the food is much nicer than I thought it would be, and I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t really know what to expect. We have done so much traveling. So, my first weekend we went to Yangshuo and we went to… we did a lot of walking, a lot of hiking. We hiked up Moon Hill which was beautiful, and we saw the most gorgeous mountains. The whole, just atmosphere there, is just really really amazing. And then we did a weekend trip to Wai Ling Ding Island, which is right in between Zhuhai and Hong Kong. We camped on the beach there for a night and that was amazing, so so far it’s just been really really good.

What do you do in your free time?

So far I’ve spent my free time just sort of exploring. There’s so much to do in Zhuhai, especially being beside the sea and beside so many cities. So we’ve done a couple of weekend trips to Guangzhou, and we’re going to Shenzhen this weekend. Also just exploring what Zhuhai has to offer. The food is amazing; it is really really nice. And there’s loads of parks and beaches, and the history of Zhuhai too is really impressive. So yeah, there’s always something to do.

How has the experience improved your employability?

Definitely yes, my internship has without a doubt helped me prepare for my future career. I don’t even know what I want to do whenever I graduate yet, but I do know that the skills that I’ve learned whilst I’m here, both the personal ones and the professional ones they will look amazing, not only on my CV but they will help me in interviews, they will help me to apply it in any job I decide to do. And saying that in your early 20s, you went to somewhere literally right across the world, to work for a couple of months… That’s amazing, that shows that you have drive – so definitely will look great on my CV.

Would you recommend an internship in China?

Without a doubt I would recommend an internship with InternChina to my friends. I think the main reason is because it’s been so much fun. All of us, all the interns that are here at the same time as me, we’ve all learned so much whilst we’re here. And yeah, the support system here is also really really good.

Any advice for future interns?

I think the best advice that I can give is just say yes to everything. There’s so many opportunities over here that there are not back home. Back home you can really get in the way of being like “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow, or I’ll do it next week” but you don’t always have next week over here So, just say yes, to new opportunities, to meeting new people, and you’ll have a really good time.

Are you interested in applying for a Generation UK funded internship just like Rebekah? Then apply now, before the deadline on 2nd December 2018!