Nothing is more daunting than the fact you are about to graduate and you have no concrete plans for the future. The questions that arise are; do I carry on with education and do a masters or do I take the plunge into real life by becoming a full time adult and start work as a graduate?? Well, that was my predicament until I came across InternChina. I applied for the marketing & business development position in the Qingdao branch and was offered the 3 months internship (yay!). Interning in China has given me the opportunity to gain great experience whilst figuring out my future plans!
On my arrival, I was picked up from the airport by one of my soon to be colleagues. She was incredibly welcoming and helped me settle in the shared apartment. What I like the most about the apartments in Qingdao is that they are graciously spacious yet have a very cosy vibe to them. My roommates are my fellow colleagues at the IC Qingdao branch, so it was great to be able to meet them outside of the ‘work’ environment. (I did find it rather humorous that each one of us were from a different European country, one Brit, one French and one German… it almost sounds like one of those bar jokes).
As I had never been to Qingdao before, my roommates took me out and introduced me to fellow individuals who are part of the InternChina programme but are interning at different companies. As we are all connected through InternChina it was very easy to get along and feel comfortable with one another. Plans for the weekend were discussed and I was thrown into the mix and was able to explore Qingdao with them all!
There are really cool cafes, bars and restaurants in China, so regardless of the city you’re in, you will always be able to find somewhere that is to your liking. The food is cheap and cheerful -some meals will cost you max 3 pounds (I can’t find the pound sign on my macbook sigh). Moreover, you can actually find food that is halal and great for vegetarians!
Honestly, I have only been here a few days and already I have some ideas on what I wish to do once I get back to the U.K. It also helps to be around people from all over the world as it is a great way to broaden your horizon and learn more. So if you’re currently unsure and undecided, I would wholeheartedly recommend an internship (especially one in China).
To start your own internship adventure in China, apply now!
I couldn’t have asked for a more adventurous first week in China. As soon as my ferry docked in Zhuhai I was met with an array of exciting new sounds, smells and tastes. I was able to explore the city straight away and it wasn’t long before I had adjusted to the heat and humidity and was able to settle into the Chinese way of life!
By the end of the working week I had barely scratched the surface of what Zhuhai has to offer and still had so much more to see and do. However, this would have to wait as I planned to get back on the plane to spend a weekend with the interns in the Chengdu office! Living in China gives you easy access to a range of incredible places and enables you to travel around and see the sights – a trip to Chengdu was the perfect opportunity for me to do this!
Chengdu is an incredible city and it was great to be shown around by the Internchina locals! During my stay I was able to try an entirely different type of Chinese cuisine: Chuanchuan, (which was amazing and VERY spicy!!). However, the highlight of my trip was seeing the iconic Chengdu giant pandas. As you can see from the picture below, I was not disappointed!
Exploring different areas of China is a fantastic excuse to try new things and gain new experiences. Whilst in Chengdu I saw the Sichuan opera which was an incredible spectacle of musical theatre and artistic talent. During the day I even had my ears cleaned in “The People’s Park” which was definitely something I wouldn’t have done back in the UK!
After a jam-packed first week my jet-lag was finally starting to catch up on me. It was good to know that a warm and tropical Zhuhai was waiting for me when I got off the plane! Having already seen pandas, experienced an ear-cleaning tradition and visited the Sichuan opera in my first week I can’t wait to see what else China has to offer!
If you are a British student looking to come and undertake an internship placement in China then finding funding is not as easy as in some other countries. I have been looking into how best to go about it and have come up with a few possibilities:
1) Ask your university – Some universities will provide you with financial support for your internship placement. At universities where a work placement is compulsory, the university often pays the mediation fee for you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!
2) Scholarships – There are also a few travel scholarships around, again often related to universities. The best overview of such scholarships is available here: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/scholarshipen.aspx. You may have to apply, expressing how your trip will be a benefit to your future studies (you will have a very strong application if it is to carry out a work experience placement in China!). Again, these are often advertised through university channels.
3) Confucious Scholarship – Although this is a scholarship to come and study in China, it is definitely worth a look if you are a student here! Main catch is you have to have done an HSK exam, so try and do one nice and early to give you time for your application.
4) Trust funds – Look online and in your local newspaper for funds to support young locals. Although quite hard to find, they can be great if you do apply to one for some money – could help you with part of the trip.
5) Get a job! With a couple of weeks of holiday work in England, you could happily live in China for months.
Remember, once you get out to China living costs are very low. Pints are 20p instead of £2, a big dinner out is £3, a taxi is £1, a bus is 10p. Set up costs may seem quite high, but once you are here you will get on fine with very little money!