Kiwis in Zhuhai! PMSA-funded Programme References 2019

About the programme

The PMSA programme is administered by Education New Zealand and is open to New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, over the age of 18. On behalf of Education New Zealand, InternChina facilitated a 10-week Chinese language, culture, business and internship experience in Zhuhai, China. Successful applicants received financial support via the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA).

Selected candidates took part in an intensive two-week beginners’ course in Mandarin Chinese. During this period, they lived with a local family as part of our unrivaled homestay programme, giving them the chance to practice their newly learned language skills and experience local culture first-hand. Afternoons were reserved for cultural activities and business/factory visits.

Following the language course, participants carried out an eight-week internship at a company relating to their field of study/interest while living in our shared apartment accommodation with other interns from InternChina.

Throughout the visit in China, the students were supported by InternChina’s friendly and experienced on-site team. Including pick-up and orientation, 24-hour emergency assistance, and opportunities to join a range of ongoing events, trips and activities. There was even a trip to the famous and jaw-droppingly beautiful Yangshuo County (see the gallery below!)

Have a read of what the successful students made of their time in China and internship companies –

Victoria University of Wellington
International Business, Marketing & Anthropology

First two weeks

The first two weeks of the InternChina programme were simply terrific. The language lessons taught some pivotal phrases and the different tones in the language, an important foundation for further study. Aside from this, InternChina provided daily visits to different attractions, businesses and classes, meaning I got a glimpse of the unique tapestry of China’s culture. My personal highlight was visiting the New Zealand Consulate in Guangzhou, where I learned about our evolving position in China, from first-hand experience. The programme set a fantastic base for the ensuing two months in China.

The Internship

The 10-week InternChina programme that I embarked on, thanks to the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia, was of tremendous value for personal growth.
In the first two weeks, I gained some key Mandarin phrases from the language school, got to see the highlights of Zhuhai through daily activities with the other interns, and got a glimpse of what life is like in China through the homestay experience. Following this, my 8-week internship provided me with new practical skills, a beginner’s understanding of how the Chinese do business, and priceless experience in dealing with language barriers, misunderstandings, and the differing opinions that arise in cross-cultural situations. I developed strong friendships with my colleagues, and had many conversations about the good and the bad of New Zealand and China. This provided me with the opportunity to better understand China, as well as reflect on my home nation in a way that I had not previously done.
I have been fortunate enough to have visited a decent number of countries in my life, however, China stands out as the furthest, culturally, from New Zealand. It was challenging, at first, to adapt to the different lifestyle and language barrier. However, once you acclimatise, life in China becomes extremely convenient and eye-opening all at once.
InternChina did a magnificent job of ensuring that each intern was comfortable and coping with the changes. They exceeded my expectations, meaning that I knew there was a safety-net if anything went awry.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia and InternChina have provided me. The skills gained, both practical and personal, will undoubtedly be put to use throughout my life. I encourage all those with the means to apply to do so.

Victoria University of Wellington
International Business & Marketing

First two weeks

I have just completed a BCom majoring in International Business and Marketing at Victoria University. We started off the programme with the first two weeks learning basic Chinese and getting fully immersed into the Chinese culture with a homestay experience. My Chinese family were the most hospitable people I have ever met and the first phase I learnt was Wǒ bǎole which means I am full! Through the first two weeks, InternChina had a range of activities for us to take part in including a tour around the Bowers and Wilkins Factory where we got to test out top-of-the-range speakers in a soundproof room. When I am rich, I’ll purchase the speakers for my 3-storey mansion.

The Internship

For the past 8 weeks, I was lucky enough to be placed in an Italian food distribution company called Pinto. I was primarily in charge of completely setting up and building their online social media presence. The job was very much focused on self-motivation as I found myself on the first day researching and talking to other employees about the current situation of the company and what they wanted out of it. I also helped the graphic designer with ideas for posters and packaging for the company which I found really rewarding because I got to see the end product around the office. I was also lucky enough to attend multiple events with my company which was an amazing opportunity to meet and connect with a wide range of people. Still to this day I keep in contact with some people I have met and who knows where and when I might meet them again!

University of Auckland
Politics & International Relations, German, International Business, Economics 

First two weeks

The first two weeks of our PMSA InternChina programme were action packed with cultural activities which helped us to settle into life in China. Staying with a homestay during this time was really interesting as I got to learn things about Chinese culture I would never have otherwise known. I also found it comforting to have a Chinese family looking out for me and answering all the questions I had about getting by in Zhuhai. Each day we had an introductory language course in the morning then our afternoons were filled with activities. One of the highlights for me was the trip to the NZ consulate in Guangzhou where we heard about the interesting work that NZTE, MFAT and the New Zealand Police do in China. I also really enjoyed the sightseeing around Zhuhai and getting to know the city.

The Internship

The greatest outcome of my internship was by far the level of cultural understanding I was able to gain from working within a Chinese company and alongside Chinese colleagues. While frustrating at times, it was a truly unique experience that gave me insight into how Chinese businesses operate on a day-to-day basis, which is very different to what I was previously accustomed to in New Zealand. Over the course of my internship placement, I had the opportunity to create connections and friendships in China (and around the world) and learn more about “guanxi” and the concept of face (I drank many many tiny cups of tea). I was also able to gain insight into the complicated Chinese culture which remains largely uninfluenced by the rest of the world. Living and working immersed in this culture gave me a glimpse into the unique way of life, from the inescapable influence of WeChat and technology to the differing social norms. These are insights and experiences which I am certain I will utilise over the course of a career in our increasingly global environment.

Massey University
Media Studies 

First two weeks

After a couple weeks in Zhuhai, it was fascinating to take the seven-hour bus journey to Yangshuo, seeing small villages and settlements along the way.
Our colorful tour-guide, the self-proclaimed ‘Monkey Jane’ knew the area inside out, showing us all of her favorite spots. I loved getting to go off the beaten track and visit local community areas in addition to seeing the more popular attractions.
This trip was just one of many activities that we have been able to partake in on the first two weeks of this experience. It has been great getting to experience Chinese culture first-hand, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.

The Internship

During my time in China, I spent ten weeks as a marketing intern with The ODM Group, in their Zhuhai office. The ODM Group produce promotional merchandise and displays for Western brands. Having studied marketing at university, it was fascinating to learn about these ‘old school’ marketing techniques while also working on digital outreach. I mainly worked on creating and editing blogs for ODM’s website in addition to occasionally working with stock. I enjoyed learning about SEO optimization and working with new platforms. Over time, I was given more responsibilities and overall, I got a lot out of the experience. It was great to work in a Chinese office within an international team. I’m grateful for this experience and believe that it will be beneficial as I return home to look for work in my field.

University of Canterbury
HR Management, Operations & Supply Chain Management

First two weeks

My first two weeks in Zhuhai living in a homestay and attending language classes were full on and exciting. Although Zhuhai is a larger scale to New Zealand cities, Zhuhai’s transportation is accessible and navigating your way around the city is easier than you would think. The communication in my homestay family and understanding Chinese culture and customs were challenging at times; however, they were extremely kind and hospitable. I thoroughly enjoyed the language classes, where myself and the other interns practiced speaking with one another, and learnt some essential Chinese to assist us during the rest of our time in Zhuhai. One memorable activity is the visit to the New Zealand consulate in Guangzhou where I gained a deeper understanding of trade relations between New Zealand and China.

The Internship

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 2 months living and working in China. For the last 7 weeks I have been interning at the Come Together Community (CTC), which is a small charity run by expatriates living in Zhuhai that raise money and support special needs and disadvantaged children through various programmes.

During this time, I have produced various media publications, including the CTC end of year report and a promotional video to increase awareness of the charity. Smaller tasks included social media management, blog posts and updating the organisations website. Being an intern is a lot of self guided work, however it has made me more confident in getting tasks done and improving my time management skills. Operating in a Chinese business setting has been a great experience, it comes with challenges of its own, but has made me more resilient and open to foreign business practices. I feel grateful to have been involved with a not-for-profit organisation, and hope to see it continue to grow in the future.

Auckland University of Technology
Advertising & Branding

First two weeks

The first two weeks of the Programme was a fast pace induction into the Chinese language and culture. Learning about customs and traditions that date back further than our country, enabled me to broaden my world view. The generosity and welcoming nature of the locals was the highlight of the first two weeks, this allowed me to adjust to society rather quickly. Another highlight would be the Food and being able to bond with other people on the course, thus enabling all of us a smooth transition into living in a foreign country.

The Internship

The internship portion of the 10 week programme was a experience and a half. Being able to integrate ourselves into the working lifestyle in another country allowed for a boost in confidence in terms of having the ability to work overseas. During this period of time we were allowed to fully acclimate, and get to know locals as well as other expats, which opened my eyes to future job possibilities in China. In terms of the specific internship that I was placed in, it was a graphic design /marketing internship at a ‘Let’s cultural park’. The people-centered nature of the job made me better understand certain target markets in China, as well how warm and welcoming people can be even when you don’t speak their language. Overall the internship was a wonderful experience that aligned perfectly with what I was studying in university. The experience was easily enhanced by the kind and friendly faces waiting for me at work

University of Auckland
International Business & Marketing

First two weeks

It was late at night going through the University job board out of curiosity and the next thing I know is I’m going to China to work at the end of the year. This unexpected adventure turned out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life so far! The first 2 weeks were jam packed with sightseeing, company visits and meeting new people. Exploring the most livable city in China, visiting some of the biggest factories in the world and just having a lot of fun with a bunch of kiwis, couldn’t have asked for any better.

The Internship

During my time in Zhuhai, China I was working as a marketing intern at a promotional gift agency. This allowed me to get practical marketing experience in an international setting. I was provided the opportunities to expand on skillsets such as blog writing and search marketing, which I found very beneficial as a marketing student. It is something that most marketing students at University don’t get to learn, which I find quite strange as the industry is becoming ever more digital. Getting to work overseas presented both opportunities and challenges, from expanding my personal and professional network to facing language barriers. I was fortunate enough to be given the additional responsibilities not just in marketing, but to learn about product sourcing in China. This has given me international experience in supply chain and logistics, something that I did not expect to get out of the internship initially, but an interesting area as my internship was based in the manufacturing capital of the world. During the program we were also fortunate enough to conduct factory visits where we got to see first hand on the manufacturing capabilities and logistics of how products are made. Overall I had an awesome experience during my time in China.

University of Waikato
Business Management

First two weeks

The first two weeks have flown by and what an amazing and enjoyable experience I have had here in Zhuhai, China so far. From language classes every morning to activities in the afternoon, there is always something happening. One big highlight was the homestay with a Chinese family. An amazing experience where I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself into the culture and get to learn from them. Another stand out was Chinese calligraphy class where we got to learn about the history and how to write our name in Chinese. I can’t wait for the following weeks that lie ahead and all the amazing things still to experience and enjoy.

The Internship

For the past 8 weeks I have been a marketing intern at RT Media (Recycling Times Media). During my time here I provided consultation to the communication department to help them build a stronger social media presence within the office and print supplies industry. During my time here I also focused on event and digital marketing.

My daily task was the running of RT Media’s social media platforms, looking at new ways to increase engagement and followers to its social sites. Including analysing its social channels looking at what works and what doesn’t as well as comparing to RT Media’s competitors. My main task was blogging across all its social channels to increase traffic to RT Medias website. I also had the opportunity to work on RT Medias website, editing and improving it.

Interning at RT Media has been an amazing opportunity being able to take full responsibility of a real life project, putting theory into practical experience. And not to mention the opportunity to work alongside the Chinese people and learn from them and the way they do things. I have learnt so many new valuable skills and knowledge that I will take with me forever.

University of Waikato
Economics and Finance

First two weeks

The first two weeks were incredible. From the onset, my homestay host family were so welcoming, friendly and eager to absorb me into their Chinese culture. Dinners and the following numerous rounds of tea were the highlights of my homestay experience. My homestay father was the chef in the family and he enjoyed making fresh seafood dishes, true to Zhuhai and Guangdong style. Following dinner, I would sit around the tea table with my family and try different types of tea. It was my 21st birthday during my time with my homestay family. My homestay father’s birthday was also the day before mine. Paul Bailey from InternChina happened to be my homestay’s neighbor so my birthday was celebrated in style with Paul, his wife and my homestay. It was a special night. Every morning I would attend a three-hour language course with my fellow New Zealand participants. These were difficult sessions but well worthwhile and in combination with the homestay experience, provided complete absorption into the Chinese culture.

The Internship

My internship was in Pearl Bay Consulting, an immigration investment and blockchain investment consultancy company. Over the past decade there has been a substantial market for foreign investment into Western projects in exchange for investors’ rights to permanent residency within the invested country. Pearl Bay Consulting has connected Asian investors with Western projects, having advised on the investment and immigration processes. The company is shifting its business focus towards blockchain consultancy and in a similar manner to the immigration by investment market, connects Asian investors with fellow and foreign blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these two markets. Spending work and social time with a great boss and learning about the Chinese business culture through my colleagues and business activities further added to the internship and made it an incredibly insightful experience.

Victoria University of Wellington
International Relations & Political Science

First two weeks

The first two weeks of the program were fantastic. We jumped straight into all things China with language classes every morning and a variety of cultural and practical activities in the afternoons. It was the best way to start the program as we were immediately immersed in meaningful experiences that were also a lot of fun. Providing everything from cultural experience through a calligraphy class and tea ceremony to business interest with a company visit to audio pioneers Bowers and Wilkins. However, the most rewarding experience was a visit to the local autism society for kids. It has been such a great experience so far, I am really looking forward to the rest of the program!

The Internship

My internship with InternChina has been one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had. I learnt so much in such a short period of time. It was everything I wanted and not everything I expected. It really challenged my perception of China, its people & culture. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work in China and learn about how Chinese business is done from the inside. I worked with a company called iSmart for a period of 8 weeks. They are an interesting company with their initial roots in consumer security systems like cameras and infrared sensors. However, they are now beginning to produce factory produced modular housing. It was very interesting to be involved in a company working with such a modern and innovative product. Being able to see the entire process from visiting factories and gaining an understanding of the manufacturing process, to meeting with potential suppliers to find the best products to use. I also was able to experience some design work and gain an understanding of what goes into 3D modelling.

This has been a highly valuable experience, I have built lasting connections with people from across the world and gained a depth of cultural understanding that you can only learn from full immersion in a culture. I would highly recommend an internship with InternChina for anyone looking to get out of their comfort zone and find out more about China and themselves.