You are likely never to have heard of Zhuhai – located in the southwest of China’s Pearl River delta, Zhuhai is southern China’s best kept secret. Having just been a small fishing village in the 1970’s before being granted Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, Zhuhai was incorporated as a city in 1979. Its growth since then has been remarkable – the quality of life as well as population size have shifted significantly in the past 30 years.
Short company introduction – Internship code ZHBS48
Many business and English training centres in China claim to be international schools despite being Chinese owned and managed. They might hire foreign teachers, but everything about their business philosophy is local.IF was formed by four Englishmen. As well as all of the teachers, all of our upper management are from native English speaking countries.This means that when you are in our English classes, you are not just learning from a foreign teacher, you are entering an entirely English environment. In effect, an IF classroom is like a trip to London.
You can find more relevant information about the company and their field of work at their web page: https://www.international-futures.com/
Before leaving, Rafaela made a short interview with us. Here are the highlits of her stay in China and her internship in IF:
IC TEAM: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you come from, what are your interests?
“My name is Rafaela. I come from Lithuania and I´m currently studying at London South Bank University where I am going into my second year.I’m studying Multimedia Journalism there. I like travelling and reading- that’s my favourite hobby. And of course, I really like to spend my time with family and friends.”
IC TEAM: What was the reason you wanted to do the internship? Why did you choose to come to China, and Zhuhai, for that matter?
“I decided to do the internship myself there was no obligation from the university – I wanted to gain some work experience as well as some cultural experience.I watched a presentation at my University about interning in China and I was very interested, it just seemed very exciting and attractive. Also, I think it is great to gain some international work experience, especially in China. “
“I did some research and chose Zhuhai because it´s next to the sea and is said to be one of the most liveable and energetic cities in China.”
IC TEAM: What kind of tasks did you get up to over the course of your internship?
“The company I’m working for are launching a new e-learning English course, so basically I´m creating course material for business as well as for general English. Also I´m working as a video editor.”
IC TEAM: How do you feel you got on with the locals? Did you make many friends?
“I work with some Chinese people, therefore I had the opportunity to get to know them better, and sometimes we go out together. Also, I just had recently one very funny experience. When I went to Guangzhou I met two Chinese people who wanted to be my friends, they showed me around the city and we went out for dinner. That was really nice.”
IC TEAM: For future interns, what would be your recommendations?
“First of all, I would recommend that they learn some Chinese, at least some basics before you come to China. Of course, you can still survive without the language but it´s very helpful because a lot of Chinese people hardly speak any English.
Also, I would advise them to apply for a multiple entry Visa so you can visit places like Hong Kong or Macau. Domestic flights are quite expensive and it´s really cheap to fly to, for example, the Philippines – but without a multiple entry that isn´t possible. If you are a person who likes to go out and party often then I would advise that you don´t choose a homestay because Chinese families are strict and it would be disrespectful considering how well they take care of you.”
IC TEAM:So what’s next for you?
“I´m going back to London to continue with my studies. I really would like to come back to China though.”
There is always so much more to say about a person’s experience here in China. We are so proud to meet with such extraordinary and positive people! You can see a small video interview with Rafaela below:
Are you interested in these kinds of experiences? Do you crave to discover that unknown and beautifull part of the world? Check for more internship options on our page www.internchina.com.
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!
My name is Jack Everett. I am a sociology undergraduate about to enter my second year at the University of Kent, England. I hope that this internship will teach me useful working skills whilst allowing me to have fun and immerse myself in an entirely different culture.
The summer holidays take up a huge amount of time for students. I wanted to fill mine with something that would be fun but would also look good on my CV and give me a better understanding of the working world. Doing an internship with InternChina was a perfect way for me to achieve both these aims. The company combines amazing cultural trips which allow interns to socialise and have fun whilst also teaching them important skills which can be applied in the working world. I first heard about InternChina from my cousin Jamie Bettles (who also happens to be the InternChina General Manager!). He was able to explain to me the benefits of doing an internship in China and gave me the email address of Philippe Touzin in Zhuhai. After only a few emails containing details about the internship it wasn’t long before I had my heart set on spending my summer in China. I followed the simple application process and arranged a webcam interview with Philippe who gave me a position in the Zhuhai office with InternChina.
The InternChina team was brilliant leading up to my stay in China. They helped me arrange my flights/visa/vaccinations etc. and made sure I was totally prepared for life in Zhuhai. Everyone seemed really friendly and it was definitely nice knowing the names and faces of people before I arrived. When I did finally get to China I was greeted straightaway and taken to where I’d be living. I was given a quick tour of my apartment and then joined by some other interns for my first taste of Chinese food in the evening. (Although using chopsticks took a bit of getting used to the food was amazing!). I began work in the Zhuhai office the next day and am so far enjoying life in China! I’ve only been here a day and half but all the interns/office staff have been really friendly and I look forward to getting to know them and Zhuhai over the next few weeks. After being shown a detailed map I already have a huge list of things I want to do! Tonight I’m starting with a Chinese style BBQ with some other interns. With beautiful beaches, tall palm trees and friendly people, Zhuhai is definitely giving off a good first impression!
My name is Max Ma. I am a rising sophomore in Vanderbilt University, majoring in Human and Organizational Development. This is my first internship and I hope it will be an unforgettable and meaningful experience.
As for most college students, every summer break is very important and should not be wasted. So, with the hopes to put what I’ve learned in college into practice and to gain some experience, I started my first search for an internship on Google. However, with only a superficial understanding of my major, I was pretty confused about what I would like to do and where I could fit at the beginning. Also, the overwhelming information about internships made me feel lost and frustrated. But fortunately all my efforts paid off when I found InternChina. The name aroused my interest at first sight, and as I learned more about this company, I felt I definitely should give it a shot. I prepared the first CV and cover letter in my life and sent them to InternChina with hope. I got a reply soon after, and, luckily, they offered me a video interview. About two weeks later, I had an interview with Jack Fairhead, the Qingdao office manager. The first impression he left me with was warm and considerate. Through him, I could feel the comfortable and liberal working environment in the company, and with a fairly deep conversation, I got a better view of their business.
When I learned that they were helping westerners with internship opportunities in China and helping them experience and understand Chinese culture, I was like “Dude, that’s exactly what I want to do.” I thought it should be a pretty interesting experience to know how westerners feel about China after they really become part of it, just as Americans are interested to know what I feel about America. Furthermore, as a native Qingdaoer, I’d like to help them get a more real and deeper understanding about my city, and with the experience of having to adjust myself to a different culture, I’d like to try my best to ease their life in China. After weeks of waiting, I was finally accepted by InternChina and got my first internship contract!
As I got to the office on the first day, I was impressed with the hospitality of my colleagues. They were so nice and generous to teach me things. Meanwhile, the diversity in the office strengthened my interest to work here. We had people from England, Germany, France and China. It must be very exciting and valuable to learn how a team with such a huge diversity can work well together, and to actually see how an organization which markets its programs almost solely online, and more important, to be part of it. I really can’t wait to see more, learn more, and do more together with these fabulous guys.
Not only the interns have a lot to say when asked about how to make long distance flights more comfortable, also our Intern China Office Manager’s travel the world a lot and know a few good tips and tricks, which they love to share with you. So…
…here’s what the Office Managers say:
Jack Fairhead (Office Manager Qingdao):
Long flight tip from me: The night before the flight: Change your seat! Most airlines allow you to choose your own seat up to 36h before departure. Login to the flight website and choose a seat where no one is. I had got 4 seats to myself last time I went back to England to see my family for Christmas. With 4 seats, you can make yourself a quite comfortable bed without having to fly 1st class.
There’s another tip I really want to share with you. Jetlag’s always a thing a lot of interns are afraid of before coming to China, so here’s my perfect way to avoid jetlag, proven by me never getting one: Set your watch to destination time straight away and then only eat at the times that you would normally, as if you were already in the destination country. The stomach controls the body clock! 😉
Philippe Touzin (Office Manager Zhuhai):
– Don’t sleep the night before your flight or get a little drunk. This way, you will be tired when you get on the plane and it’s much easier to fall asleep.
– Try to get an emergency exit seat while checking in, you got much more space for your legs there and can’t get any cramps so easily. And also check in early, best online, so you can make sure to get the emergency exit seat.
– Bring your own water (empty bottle you fill up after you went through all your security checks).
– If you’re a guy: try to flirt with the stewardess to see if you can join the ‘mile high club’.
– Try to do some stretching exercises on the airplane.
– Bring warm and comfy socks and a good travel pillow (an actual pillow not the blow up ones).
Jenny Hofmann (Office Manager Chengdu):
Our Chengdu Office Manager Jenny wrote down a long list of things which are indispensable for her on long flights, make sure to copy it and don’t forget anything, you’ll have an amazingly relaxed flight:
– Take your earplugs and eye mask, as well as a good travelling pillow!
– Wear comfortable clothes and warm socks, it can be really cold at night on the plane.
– Take an empty water bottle and fill it up at the airport. It’s a good way to fight dehydration and lazy stewardesses on board.
– Take skin lotion with you (not more than 100ml), keeps your skin moist and add a nasal spray to the package, your nose will thank you.
– Walk around on the airplane if you have a chance.
– Don’t let your neighbors start an annoying conversation, take music and books with you.
And our special guest:
Morgan Dolan (Management Trainee in Zhuhai):
– If possible try and flight at night. Sleeping on long haul flights is definitely easier when the crew have turned off the lights and all your fellow passengers are doing the same.
– Make sure to hydrate and drink lots of water. You may have to get up several times but your body will thank you. Coming off the plane tired and dehydrated in a foreign country is unpleasant to say the least.
– Avoid the food and bring your own snacks. Unless you are in 1st class, airline food is too salty and bad for your health.
Try and see if our Office Manager’s tips are better than the intern’s! Come and visit us in Zhuhai, Chengdu or Qingdao and tell us if you want to add something to our list. You can apply now via email or directly through our website! We are looking forward to receiving your application!