In the beginning of March, InternChina had the pleasure of hosting 19 students from the German University “HS Heilbronn”. Since I started my internship at InternChina in Chengdu in the beginning of February, I was still involved in some of the planning and organization of this Group Trip. Therefore, I was even more excited to meet all of the students in person and have a great time with them. Finally, the day of their arrival came and we were waiting at the airport to give them a warm welcome.
The welcome was really exciting (some of the guys literally entitled me as a Whooo girl – sorry again guys, I could not hold my excitement :D) and we had a great welcome breakfast and orientation with all of them in one of the most coziest cafés in Chengdu. After the breakfast, finally all of the Chinese host families arrived and picked up their new family member :). Everybody was really excited and nervous at the same time, but the host families gave each of them a really lovely welcome and made them feel very comfortable.
The next days were full of great and exciting activities in Chengdu. Starting with the daily Chinese classes in our partner language school in Chengdu. The students made great improvements and even presented some of their Chinese skills in the end which was so much fun :). Furthermore, we visited plenty of companies in Chengdu to give the students an authentic insight into the Chinese business environment. It was great to find out more about the differences in business between Western and Chinese culture and being able to ask as many questions as we wanted (Again, a massive thank you to all of the interesting companies in Chengdu)!
And of course there were a lot of fun activities to enjoy the Chinese culture and get a deeper understanding of the life in China. The Group participated at a Chinese painting and Dumpling making class which was a lot of fun. We went on a weekend trip to Mount Emei and climbed up 50,000 stairs within two days (hope this still goes under fun activities :)) and stayed at a Temple in the middle of nowhere. This was such an unforgettable experience for all of us. We never had such a feeling of happiness when we arrived at the Golden Summit of Emei Shan. And of course visiting the Research Panda Base in Chengdu was a great highlight for many of the students.
I believe that this was an amazing time and that is was more than just a two week group program in China – It was amazing to meet all of you :). Thanks again to all of the students who made those two weeks really unforgettable :). It was great to have you and we hope that we can welcome many of you in Chengdu soon again!
So you are planning to come to China soon and it’s the first time?
If the answer is yes, here are some good tips you should know before you come.
I’m especially writing this for the French BTS Students, firstly because I’m a former one; when I came here the first time I can tell you that I was really surprised since I had different expectations about China.
Secondly because for most of the BTS people, this trip is the first (and certainly not the last) international experience and coming to China is a big challenge for most of them (at least it was for me).
My best advice before you come: buy a guide to China (like Lonely Planet, or Le Guide Michelin and le Routard for French readers). These small guides give you the most precise idea of what China looks like. They contain advice on how to behave in daily situations, with some Chinese vocabulary in it, so you can order food or explain where you want to go to a taxi driver.
I swear by my Michelin guide, it was my best friend when I came the first time and used it countless times.
I also believe you should be prepared for the contrasts here. You can be walking in a rich part of town where people don’t even look at you and you have to pay attention not to be run over by these same people in their big western car. Then if you continue your walk, maybe less than a kilometre away you may arrive at a part of town where not so many foreigners are living, and people are surprised to see a white guy walking around and sometimes even take some pictures with you.
Be also open minded in your everyday life, don’t have a western outlook on things. Otherwise you’re going to be disappointed – adopting a cool and relaxed attitude is the best way to really enjoy your Chinese experience.
You won’t feel lonely in China because you will always have people around you, Intern China teams in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu will always be here for you if you have any problems or questions about the Chinese way of life, plus there are many other interns who can help you.
That takes me to my next point of advice: Mingle! The best way to integrate into Chinese life is to meet people and create a strong network of friends and acquaintances. There are many foreigners in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu so it’s likely that what you experience will have been experienced by someone else at some point. So talk, ask questions, exchange thoughts and ideas, and soak it all up!
If you have any questions or concerns before you come to China you can always send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Hanna again! Today I want to tell you what is like to do an internship with InternChina in the InternChina Office! Best to start at the beginning I think…
So a couple of months ago, I decided to search for an Internship in China. I was not really a 100% fixed on what to do, just basically interested in learning something new and, uhm, have something ‘to do with people’. Yeah not really precise for someone who is looking for an internship/job, I know, but for me, that’s the way it works. 😉
I browsed a lot of Jobboards, with mostly jobs I didn’t want to do, but also stumbled over an InternChina add. After taking a look at the website, I decided to apply. Luckily, Jamie’s email address was included, because the provided online-form was not working.
After one day I already got a reply from Jenny, which really surprised me because most companies need a lot longer to answer your mails…the rest is quite boring (just organizational stuff etc.), so I skip some time: Beginning of November I arrived in Qingdao and was picked up at the airport by Jack, with whom I was sharing an apartment.
You feel very welcome when you arrive at the InternChina office, you are not treated as “just some intern” and my first day at work was quite relaxed – I had to get organized, install some programs on my computer, get all the passwords and email addresses. Then I had a chat with Jenny and Jack about what my tasks will be, what I expect from them and what they expect from me.
The first weeks I started with getting used to the company’s working structure. I wrote some blogs, started to take care of some marketing tasks. My tasks are mainly taking care of the marketing, like working on Jobboards, doing the Social Networks, but also organizing a Summer School. To be honest, the marketing takes already a lot of the time, which is also partly due to the quite slow Chinese internet, but also because it is not just posting a few sentences or ads, but thinking about what you post how and where, who you want to reach and what you want to say.
I also do some stuff on our website and started to learn how to formulate internship-offers.
Also an important part of InternChina – which I like very much – is organizing dinners (and sometimes activities) with the other interns. It’s a good opportunity to meet other people and learn what an internship in other companies is like.
The city itself is also a beautiful place. I have travelled China quite a lot, and Qingdao – which is the city with the best living quality in China – has definitely become one of my favorite places. The atmosphere is laid-back, people are friendly and weather is really good. From the office you have a wonderful view on the 2008 Olympic Sailing Centre and the ocean, which I enjoy every day.
So to sum up, doing an internship in the InterChina office is far from the typical “intern-making-coffee”-internship! 🙂
1) The Chinese are all poor and everything here is really cheap.
True or false?
Unfortunately not everything here is as cheap as it once was, due to the fact that the Chinese are no longer as poor as they may once have been. The economy has boomed in recent years and with it the creation of a middle-class who can be very wealthy! There are whole shopping centers full of Gucci, Dior, Ralph Lauren etc, with frighteningly high prices. You also see a fair few Ferrari’s floating around. Based on the population, China still has a large proportion of people working in agriculture and living below the poverty line. You can probably bag yourself a bargain if you get yourself to a remote village; I’ve heard of whole meals costing under 20p! Even in the cities, daily life is still very cheap compared to living in London; a pint rarely costs more than 50p.
2) The Chinese created table tennis and they are all really good at it.
True or false?
Table tennis was actually created in Britain in the 1880’s, initially played by the wealthy as an after-dinner game. It had various nicknames, such as wiff-waff and ping pong because of the sound made whilst playing. The Chinese are however really good at it, taking 6 of the 8 possible medals at London 2012 Olympics. In China, lots of people do play. It doesn’t take as much space as tennis or other sports so fits in as a suitable sport in China’s busy environment.
3) People go everywhere on bicycles.
True of false?
Much to my dismay this is no longer the case in every Chinese city. In Qingdao, there are no cycle lanes so cycling is not to be advised (it is very dangerous!). I think bikes still play a large part of life in some cities, but Qingdao is not one of them. Qingdao however, more than makes up for the lack of bicycles with cars and traffic.
4) The Chinese love foreigners.
True or False?
Thanks to our comparitively tall frames and our range of eye and hair colours, the Brits generally get quite a good reception in China. When you say you are British, the days of the Opium Wars seem to be largely forgotten, we are now just seen as “British Gentlemen” (英国绅士).The Chinese love seeing foreigners around and find our features fascinating – the big nose, wide eyes, pale skin: everything they want. If you try and speak any Chinese, even a little “Nihao” will have them falling over their feet complementing you. Make the most of the feeling while you are here because it isn’t the same back in Britain!
China. 1.3 billion people. The world’s second largest economy. The world’s largest exporter of goods. A world full of opportunities.….
….for those with the right skills.
In the current economic climate finding a job is not an easy task to say the least.
Across the globe whilst companies are struggling to keep growing, graduates are struggling to find employment. As unemployment sets in many young people look to China as a solution. If China is really as powerful and prosperous as the media makes out, there must be something for me over there. Jump on a plane and fly east towards wealth and riches.
As foreigners arrive in Beijing or Shanghai, they begin the search for their dream job, but find out they are horribly ill equipped for this task. With no knowledge of Chinese or Chinese business culture, working in a Chinese company is out of the question. Western companies based in China often require the same skills as those of the Chinese companies, so these foreigners are left without a job. Well, at least until they settle for an English teaching job…
The “teacher-trap” catches many of the foreigners who move to China. The Chinese, with their international mindset are determined to learn English. When they spot a young Westerner, the first thing they think of is the benefit their children would gain from having their own private English tutor. The salaries offered are also very reasonable, a nice starting point for a recent graduate in a foreign environment. I have been in China for 2 months now, and have been offered over 10 different English teaching jobs, with salaries ranging from 100RMB(£10)- 300RMB(£30) an hour! 100RMB also goes a very long way in China….
The problem with falling into this “teacher-trap” is it may be quite difficult to claw your way out of it. If your Chinese isn’t really improving what with teaching English every day, then it may be quite tough to find that dream job you were searching for when you moved out here in the first place! People find themselves teaching for years, not at all what they had intended when moving to China. Something they probably could have done in their own country, with a significantly larger salary.
In order to make the most of the opportunities here and get that dream job, you need to have the experience of working in a Chinese company and know how business in China works. You need to be able to speak some Chinese so you can talk with your colleagues, be it work or play. The managing director from a Chinese recuitment agency said “If you don’t speak Mandarin and you don’t have any Chinese work experience, it will be very difficult”. Many Chinese companies also require years of previous experience or specialised technical skills.
It is for these reasons that I believe coming to China to do a work experience placement will be extremely beneficial for you in the future, much more so than a teaching job.
1) By working in China, you will get a chance to experience work in a Chinese business environement and build up some invaluable “guanxi” (see my last blog! “Guanxi – A two way street”).
2) You can get a feel for the language and aquire the necessary skills needed to get by on your own. If you work hard at it, after 6 months in China you could be very competent at speaking Chinese.
3) It will look great on your CV – working in a foreign environment; learning a foreign language; living abroad. It could lead you onto that dream job you’ve been searching for.
If you don’t agree with me then have a read of this article: N.Y. Times
If this still isn’t enough, then just think of the fun you could have! China is an incredible country and with InternChina you are sure to have a great time.
Apply now via Email email@example.com or through our website www.internchina.com/en/contact/apply
Hello everyone it’s me, Xavier, again!
Today I would like to talk about the difference between Chinese food and Western food. If you talk about food with a Chinese person, I can promise you that she/he will be so proud of Chinese food.
Because the history of Chinese cuisine stretches back for many centuries and changed from period to period, there is a big variety. It makes Chinese very proud to have such a wide range of food. Major traditional cuisines include: Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang cuisine. The three main criteria for good Chinese food are: colour, aroma and taste. In my opinion, the most popular Chinese food would be Cantonese food! Maybe some Western people don’t know what is Cantonese food but if I tell you guys: yumcha, Barbecue pork, rostra pork, Barbecue duck, Wonton, all this stuff you can see and eat in Chinatown actually comes from Canton.
So, what is the difference between Chinese food and Western food?
Chinese food is different from Western food by the way we prepare food before cooking. Chinese cut the ingredients in bite size then stir fry or steam the ingredients in short time while Westerners cook the ingredients in big pieces and cut the food on their plates with knives and forks.
There are some ingredients or seasonings in Chinese cuisine which are seldomly used in Western cuisine, like e.g. jelly fish, sea cucumber, shark fins, fish maw, bird’s nest, thousand year eggs, bean curd (tofu), oyster sauce, black bean sauce, salty shrimp paste, soy sauce, etc. On the other hand, in Western cuisine herbs like rosemary, dill, sage, oregano, thyme, tarragon etc. are added. You would normally not find these herbs in Chinese food. Chinese add ginger, spring onion, mint, coriander and white pepper. You can hardly find any traditional Chinese food that contains cheese, butter, cream or milk.
Secondly, the Chinese kitchen is a lot wilder than the Western.
It seems that the preparing of Western-style food is more peaceful: What you buy is only the fish lump where you can’t distinguish anymore which kind of fish it is, even crab may have been already boiled, what you can do is to put them into the oven or the pan.
But if you take a look into a Chinese kitchen, it seems really wild. Chicken, duck and fish are cut in the kitchen. The kitchen is full of the glint of kitchen knifes. Ha-ha! I feel it is like a battle field.
The tableware of Western-style food is knife and fork, the tableware of Chinese food is only two simple small bamboo sticks — Chopsticks. So, I think the tableware of Western-style food is wilder than the tableware of Chinese food.
Chinese vs. Western Pasta?
Thirdly, the way that Chinese and people from occidental countries praise food is different
Chinese who are praising food will generally say: “Your dish is cooked excellently, it just tastes like in the restaurant”; but when Westerners praise food, they will say that it’s just tasting like home-made food.
In fact, Chinese food and Western-style food have a lot of similar things, especially Italian food and Chinese food. Because Marco Polo took Chinese pie and noodles to Italy, the Pasta and Pizza appeared in Italy.
Even if there are some differences between Chinese food and Western-style food, I think Chinese food and Western-style food can get along harmoniously. For example, Chinese food overseas is suitable for oversea people’s taste, because of oversea people’s improvement. Similarly, the Western-style food in China is more suitable for Chinese taste, because of the Chinese improvement.