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Before your stay, Internship Experience

A few tips from our Zhuhai Office Manager

So you are thinking of doing an internship abroad.
Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind that you want to come to China. You have just discovered our website through one of our partner universities or on the web, have browsed around for a bit and found the most important pages: Internships, Studying Chinese, Accommodation, References and now this great, juicy-looking page: the Intern China Blog. So much interesting information, and so varied (don’t forget to check out our most recent posts on all the different topics!). But still you might think:

“I have questions… and it’s China – far away, different language, different customs – I’m not sure who I could talk to about this or if anyone can really help me…”

If this is the case, here’s what you can do:

1. Call our offices! Hop over to this page and pick who you want to contact; you can even email our General Manager in the UK to arrange convenient time-zone phone calls.

2. Write to our enquiries email, which will automatically forward your email to the Manager of the city you are interested in. If you are still unsure about the city, then don’t worry: any of my colleagues and I, can help. So email me!

3. Browse through our site or FAQ list.  Here are few questions that come up quite often (I will try to answer each one as best I can):

a. Will there be other foreigners in Zhuhai/Qingdao/Chengdu?

YES. InternChina is a growing company so there are interns all year round in our cities. They are doing internships, language classes or just enjoying the cultural exchange experience of living with a Chinese family. Some have finished their internships and decided to stay on longer as they’ve had such a good time. We even have a few who have been given full-time jobs at the end of their internship!

InternChina organises meals, events, trips and other activities which enable you to meet lots of new people and create strong friendships. Additionally, we are located in three economic hubs in China, so there are also many western companies whose employees live here full-time. This means that during your internship you might work with some foreigners or even meet a few when you go out for a meal or to the bar streets.

b. Will I be able to discover the culture and people whilst having a busy internship schedule?

YES. Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu are three very different cities yet very similar in the sense that they are big enough to attract foreign companies and heavy government investment, but also small enough that you will need to learn the culture and some language to move around. It’s very different from Beijing or Shanghai – where foreigners tend to group together, speak English and in general only go to places targeted at expats.

Remember you are coming to China to discover the culture, the people, the places, the business world, the food, the crazy firework parties…. and this can only be done by being in China and living the Chinese way of life. The locals won’t invite you out, to dinners or special events if they do not get to know you! So get out there, take a foreign friend with you as support and go practice the language and communicate! This is the best way to improve your Chinese and Guanxi.

c. Will InternChina be available to help me out when I am actually in China?

YES. InternChina will always be there to help you on-site. We place interns only in the cities where we have offices: Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu.

On your arrival in China you will come to our office where we will give you an introduction to your city using the awesome Welcome Package and answer any questions you might have. The main reason for this is so that you get to know us, where our office is located and how to get to there. So, if there is an issue and you need our assistance with anything, you’ll know exactly where you can find us, and we can also come find you quickly. Fortunately we are all very experienced and issues get solved simply and efficiently by our foreign and Chinese staff, so most visits usually tend to be of a tea-and-cake nature.

Remember, InternChina does not only provide you with an internship and accommodation, but also with:
– Social support
– Regular dinners, events and trips
– Cultural discovery
– Advice, assistance and help regarding all facets of your life in China

 

Excited about the prospect of working and living in China? Apply now for an internship!

Internship Experience

Hi I am Balthasar

Hello, I’m Balthasar Liu and I’m a newly-graduated student from college of foreign languages, University-Qingdao. I am major in intercultural German study, and have spent half a year in Bayreuth, Bavaria as exchange-student, where I became a rather good cook (courtesy of studying abroad). Once I made pizza (from dough kneading to baking) for my classmates there, and two whole pizza disappeared in less than 5 minutes.I was supposed to(and of course would gladly) continue my study next year in Jena or Nurnberg, Germany, which means I have a nice and long vacation till then. But who would spend such precious time just sitting at home doing nothing meaningful? Not for me! So I decide to experience the life that normal salarymen have: working from 9am-5pm and making money for housekeeping.
My first “job” was in a marine manufacturing company doing some translating and making contact with foreign clients. It’s quite a long way from where I live to where I work, I need to wake up at 6:30 am everyday for the time spent on road was about one hour. The work was rather interesting but I couldn’t learn more other than yachts and boats. Then one of my mother’s associate recommended me going to Internchina, said it could greatly improve my communication competence. And now, here I am, in Internchina, and I must say, it feels great!!! I can find almost everything I once dreamt of from work: free and relaxed office-atmosphere, kind colleagues and considerate boss. My daily work is to help the foreign students who come to China find accommodation such as homestay family or apartment, provide necessary help if anything goes wrong and offer them internship opportunities. I study intercultural communication in university so this is the best place for me to do what I’m taught for. When I was alone in Germany I can find many cultural shocks and stereotypes locals hold for us Chinese, and I’m sure same could happen here. And it will be my job to prevent cultural shock turning into misunderstanding. Feels like a lot of responsibilities and I’m ready for it!

Internship Experience, Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao

Qingdao – first impressions

Hi everyone!
My name is Franzi and I’m the new intern at Intern China office in Qingdao. I’ve been here for 2 weeks now, but it feels as if I’d just arrived yesterday. There are so many things do to, and to see that I’m glad to stay for 6 months so I don’t miss anything! I came here without any Chinese language skills and started taking the absolute-beginners-language classes. Our teacher tries her best to teach us the basics in a few weeks, but it’s still hard to communicate. Whenever I try, I’m not sure if the Chinese people laugh with me or at me. Nevertheless, they are so friendly and always trying to help and find a way to communicate.

Qingdao is a really beautiful city with a lot of nice spots to visit. During the last two weeks I’ve already been to the old part of Qingdao, which is definitely worth another visit. There are a lot of parks and nice streets which are completely different from the new part of Qingdao with all the high glass office-buildings.

At the weekend we’ve been to the Taidong night market, where they sell all the “really expensive brands”. We tried to bargain a lot with our very little knowledge of Chinese, but mostly the things were so cheap, you just couldn’t get them any cheaper.

I’m really looking forward to exploring Qingdao, and hopefully a lot of other places in China, much more! So far, I love China, the people are great, and the food is amazing.

 

Travel, Weekend Trips

Weekend in Shanghai

This weekend a small group of us decided to leave Qingdao and enjoy a three day break from our internships, courtesy of the Mid-Autumn bank holiday on Monday. After a little bit of group deliberation we decided to make the most of it and spend the time in Shanghai; one of the largest, richest and fastest growing cities in the world!
We booked our flights online with Air China. It took us just over an hour to fly to Pudong International and only cost 600 yuan return including taxes, which really emphasises both the ideal location of Qingdao as a base to explore as well as the low cost travel options available in China.
The weekend really was incredible! Fuelled by the sheer size of the metropolis and the millions of modern and forwarding thinking people who occupy it, Shanghai has a real energy about it which we’d guess is unique in Asia outside of Hong Kong and maybe Tokyo. As the beating heart of China’s booming economy, the skyline is just amazing with huge skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, and in fact, the air quality was much better than I had anticipated so you could actually enjoy it!
The first night after arriving we were really tired, so we just decided to go on a bit of a walk and get something to eat. Eventually we ended up at a hot pot restaurant, where you pick random things and they put them all into one large dish. Ours was definitely random! We couldn’t read the characters so we ended up with two frogs and God knows what but it was still pretty nice and not “Shanghai-expensive.”
The next day we had a casual look around the city including the famous Shanghai Bund, and we also visited a temple. Although it was very beautiful and had huge Buddha statues we were not really interested in the whole touristy pseudo-culture thing, but inside the shop/gallery there was a guy making really incredible black and white paintings using only his fingers which was very cool to see. For the rest of the day we just did a bit of searching and tried some of the local street, then got ready to sample Shanghai’s nightlife. That night we went to a massive club called Feebe’s which was really really good, and at 100 yuan all-you-can drink begging for absolute annihilation! Although being the boring old man we are on the inside we couldn’t help but think of the contrast of the practically pornographic grinding of the locals and the weird strip tease thing which started on every hour to the CCP’s 90th birthday celebration statues which are dotted around the city. Such is Shanghai!
We won’t do a whole minute by minute play of what we did for the whole weekend, but on the Sunday night we went up the Jin Mao Building, which is one of the top twenty buildings in the world. Enjoying a Royal Mohito in the Cloud 9 bar whilst overlooking the city was a real experience, and a great way to chill for an evening.
A personal highlight for us was going to one of the many fake markets, this one in West Nanjing Road. It’s essentially a normal crappy market, but if you mention the code words “Breitling” or “Rolex” they take you into the back of their shops, sometimes complete with false doors/bookcases and little secret rooms which we found really funny. Especially when one of them tried to convince us his Tag Heuer watches were originals when we were among the 30 yuan belts. We were pretty pleased with them anyway and picked up a couple of the children of North Korea’s finest timepieces.
Monday seemed to come too quickly and it was all over, a quick ride on the Maglev train at 300km p/h (which would usually deserve a proper mention but not in the context of this trip! :D), another easy flight and we were back home! If only we could have stayed longer; We’d really love to go back again sometime.

Ben & Phil