你好！I can’t believe my time in China is nearly up! From living in international metropolis Shanghai for 6 months to moving to sunny picturesque Qingdao for 5 months, both cities couldn’t be any more different but I can finally say that I learned to appreciate beautiful Qingdao’s landscape and city!
China is a remarkable country and I have been lucky enough to travel to various cities including Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Xian, Harbin, Chengdu & legendary Jiuzhaigou located near the Tibetan Plateau. Each city in China including the local people has their own distinct cultural and living habits. Do not stereotype Chinese people as one! I would recommend future visitors to travel around China as much as possible as it is very cheap and the experiences you will gain will definitely be worth it. I am fortunate enough to be able to further my travels in South China and Southeast Asia and words cannot describe how excited I am! #Wanderlust.
I want to thank InternChina, especially the Qingdao office team for making my first office working environment job a wonderful and maturing experience! I have met a lot of amazing and inspiring people along my China journey and couldn’t be more grateful for their positive influences. After all.. “It’s not about where you are, it’s about the people you are with!”-If you know me well, you will know that I love my cheesy quotes!
I will hopefully return back to China to find a job after I graduate sooo… See you soon 中国！
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The fact that we weren’t up until 8am in the morning in the Shanghai nightlife like we had planned did have a silver lining, in that waking up early(ish) was not a struggle! The next place we wanted to visit was the Former French Concession area so we took a taxi for 18rmb from the Bund. This is a hugely sought after area to live in for expats of China because of its incredible history, beauty and abundance of shopping (Huaihai Road), dining and clubbing (Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang) destinations.
Afterwards, we decided to take the metro for 3rmb to Jing’an Temple on West Nanjing Road. My first impression was that this historical temple was slightly out of place in the concrete jungle that is Shanghai [Entrance was 50rmb] and upon entering the temple courtyard, you could certainly feel a sense of peaceful escapism.
By this time the sun had set and we were exhausted… but like the stubborn interns we are, we decided to push on to the next destination – People’s Square, at the end of East Nanjing Road. This was another relaxing break from the hectic Shanghai streets and a nice walk.
Once we got back to the hostel, it was just a matter of counting down the time until the night began. The first place we headed to was Muse (On The Bund) which was a club I can definitely recommend with a large amount of fellow travellers going there. We attempted to go to the upmarket Bar Rouge afterwards, but sadly not everyone was dressed quite up to scratch. [Tip: Don’t wear shorts on a night out in Shanghai]. Being turned away from upmarket Bar Rouge did have a sense of serendipity to it though, as it prompted us to head to Hollywood, a more streetwise R&B club with a good buzz about it.
On our final full day we got on a ferry from the Bund for 2rmb and crossed the river to Pudong, where the huge skyscrapers are. This was a great place to walk around due to the obscenity of the monstrous buildings and the picturesque Lujiazui ring road. From there we headed to the Aquarium [Entrance was 160rmb] – just an average aquarium in my opinion, nothing special.
Our main aim for the day was to hit the tallest observatory tower in the world though– Shanghai World Financial Center ‘The Bottle Opener’ [Entrance was 180rmb or 120 with a student card]. 100 floors up, we could see this incredible city in its entirety (albeit through the smog). We stayed here from 5pm when it was still daylight and waited for night to set in and the skyline lights to appear at 7pm, something I would certainly recommend.
Our final night out in Shanghai took us to a nice foreigner-filled bar called Perry’s Café, a great place to start the night with cheap beers for 10rmb and mixer buckets for 45rmb. We then headed to a neighbouring club – Maya, which had a more local scene to it.
When we woke up in the morning, it was just a matter of grabbing some souvenirs from East Nanjing Road and then taking the metro and Magnetic levitation train (which can reach 430kmph) to the airport for our flight back – No delay this time!
The week as a whole was incredible, as a city lover, it had everything that I wanted. So if you ever find yourself in China for an internship or simply for travelling, go live it up in Shanghai!
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When you hear that people are visiting China, one of the first destinations you think of is always Shanghai! Whether you are interning in China like myself, or simply being a tourist, I would strongly recommend Shanghai to anybody who is prepared for the hustle and bustle of this monolithic city.
So I travelled with 2 fellow interns, Mehmet and Christopher, making it 3 guys on internships in Zhuhai heading to Shanghai for the first ever time. We left on Tuesday – taking the train and metro to Guangzhou airport. It was typical that when we got there, we were hit by a flight delay of 4 hours and ended up arriving in Shanghai at the Dockbund hostel at 5am… needless to say we didn’t do alot that night.
The Dockbund hostel was in the popular tourist area known as ‘The Bund’ – a very scenic location adjacent to a lovely pier where you can see the Shanghai Pudong skyline. There are also several great clubs in The Bund, Muse and Bar Rouge to name a couple.
On our first day we decided that we wanted to try Mr X on Jumen Road– like a game from a TV show where you are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles in order to complete the challenge – cost is 100RMB. We didn’t do amazingly at this game; in fact we sucked at it, completing just half of task 1! But it is definitely something I want to try again… mainly so that I can recover some pride. [Tips: you can only book Mr X in person or online as it is a ticket event where you will be given a set time. It is also helpful to have a Chinese speaker with you as not all staff members can speak English]
Afterwards, we explored the neighbouring area to Mr X, it was a fairly average Chinese area so nothing special. We did however find a ‘game centre’ (an arcade) and spent a couple hours there. One of the best things about this game centre was how cheap it was! Each game needs 1 token and 1RMB got you 2 tokens, after applying some maths that meant that you could play any arcade game for 0.5RMB, so we played racing games and hoops until our arms ached!
Come sundown, we decided to head to one of the main attractions of Shanghai – East Nanjing Road. This is essentially the main shopping area where the most upmarket and modern malls and shops are. When we got there I couldn’t help but draw numerous comparisons to another great city I’d visited, New York due to the huge architecture, bright lights and the general atmosphere.
By night time, we were exhausted. Although we had planned Shanghai with the intention to party hard, we were actually satisfied to stay within the vicinity of The Bund and just walk along the pier with everyone else there and enjoy the skyline. [Tips: The lights of the main buildings making up the skyline come on from around 7-11pm]
My name is Jan and I am from Düsseldorf in Germany. I am a new intern at the InternChina office in Qingdao. I am currently doing my Masters in marketing and leadership at the Fresenius University and have decided to spend my semester break in China to gain some great new experience. This is my second week in the office, but not my first week in China. My Chinese adventure started five weeks ago in Shanghai. I arrived with a group of other German interns and we all had one week to discover Shanghai followed by another week in Beijing as part of the Fresenius Summer School program.
My first impression of China had much to do with the weather! Once I stepped out of the airport, I thought the humidity was going to give me a tough time! I must say that I am getting used to it, but not completely. My second impression was that it doesn’t matter where you are, it is definitely crowded!
According to my time spent in Shanghai I can summarize that when you compare it to other Chinese cities you quickly recognize that it is the “most Western” of them. There is a very international atmosphere, the view of the skyline is just outstanding and the nightlife is great. The first sentence I learned in Chinese was how to order a beer. Who needs to know how to say “My name is…” or “How are you?” when you are able to get a beer?! Pijiu please!
In Beijing we visited a typical Beijing duck restaurant. It was definitely the best duck I had ever eaten in my whole life! Together with the fact that it was also the cheapest one,I have to say that this is definitely one of the best highlights of my time in China. Furthermore I advise everyone who wishes to visit Beijing to have a tour of the fake market. You will love it!
If you have been to Shanghai and Beijing, people always ask you the same question. “Which city do you prefer?” In my opinion, you can split the answers into two groups. First, some people love Beijing and do not like Shanghai. Second, some love Shanghai and do not like Beijing. Based on this theory, I definitely belong to the first group!
So after our weeks in Shanghai and Beijing we arrived in the “small” city Qingdao. For Western benchmark, 3 million people in the downtown area is still a lot! Before I started my internship, I had two weeks of language class and culture classes. Of course, during this time I was able to enjoy the beach and the Qingdao nightlife.
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After a few restful gap stops in Qingdao, It was off to Shanghai! Anyone coming Qingdao wanting to get a bit of advice to go visit Shanghai for a few days – Look no further than this blog.
My parents were staying in the Holiday in very near the InternChina office. To get to the airport you can do the following:
- Taxi – 80RMB roughly
- Airport bus – 20 RMB per person (from near IC office, next to Copthorne hotel)
For domestic flights, check in is very simple; you just need to show your passports and know your flight number and destination. With the price of your ticket, you are allowed to check in one piece of luggage and a hand luggage. To book flights and see prices you can have a look at this website. The flight itself is only around 1 hour 10 minutes. We arrived in Pudong airport and took the Maglev train to the city centre and afterwards a taxi to our hotel. The Maglev is a superfast train to the city centre 400km an hour– have a look here.
In Shanghai there are endless places to visit. On our second day we went to Yu Gardens, a garden in the centre of the city but with an ancient history. Around this area you can also do a bit of shopping, barter for pearls and walk around. Travelers tip: Show your student card to get half price entry (20RMB instead of 40RMB)
My parents and I also visited the Confucius temple which was beautiful and was also invited to a Chinese traditional tea ceremony. Tea is a very important part of Chinese culture and there are hundreds of flavors to try with unique healing properties.
The famous Bund. This is obviously the must see destination in Shanghai – free of course and an amazing view of the skyline in the city. Here you can take your classic photos, walk around and really get a feel of Shanghai during the day.
At night my parents and I ate at a beautiful Chinese restaurant called Lost Heaven – this was the best Chinese food I have ever had and well worth the money. It is very highly rated on TripAdvisor so consider this as a special treat.
Travelers trip: In the evening team up dinner here with a walk along the bund to see the beautiful lights. At the Bund, you will see many ferries and boats which look incredibly snazzy but cost you 100RMB per person. If you are on a bit of a budget I recommend taking the 2RMB ferry which takes you to the other side, it’s shorter but you still get the boat experience.
In terms of evening entertainment, for young people there are fantastic clubs and bars all around the city. Bar rouge is one which has a fabulous view but there are so many more. Not to age discriminate but parents are parents, and chucking it to house music wasn’t really on the cards. Instead we went to an amazing acrobatic show called the intersection of time. It is a must see if you have never seen a Chinese acrobatic show it is well worth the money (tickets from around 180RMB) The tricks will blow your mind, and it’s very beautiful.
Whilst I was having a good afternoon sleep, my family visited the Shanghai Museum which is worth a visit especially with the free entrance .General transport here is really good. The metro system similar to Beijing is very easy to get around to most of the places; a self service ticket machine in English is in every station. Regarding taxis, they are slightly more expensive than Qingdao ones with meters starting at 14RMB or 18RMB in the evening.
Overall, we had an amazing time in both Shanghai and Beijing and managed to get unforgettable memories. Having a mini break on a weekend or having family visit is the perfect excuse to enjoy China from different eyes.
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How do I describe Shanghai as a city? I’ve never been to New York…but it felt like the Asian version of where anything can happen and a place all your dreams can come true. Flying from Qingdao and getting a taxi to the hotel was very easy. Everything was arranged for the interns and a rough itinerary was written down before we came. We were a nice group of ten people.
One thing I never thought about whilst coming to China three years ago, was hairdressers. If you live here, you can never forget that 99.78 percent of Chinese people have black hair. Therefore, dying your hair very light maybe more problematic than first thought. And for those of you seeking blond highlights, YES, it is possible! And NO, you don’t need to spend 2000 RMB for it, around 900 RMB (100 Euros) is enough! FC Salon is the best hairdresser in Shanghai (Hongkou Plaza). The only thing you need to know is that nobody speaks English so you are likely to have lots of ‘blond moments’ there.
On our first day we went to Yuyuan gardens – a beautiful place near the centre with everything to offer. Overall in the city all you could see was the masses of people; people walking, people eating, tourists, families, crowds – all going somewhere, all taking in the atmosphere of Shanghai.
The buildings are so impressive and it really makes you realize why everyone says that Shanghai is the great metropolis of the East. The fake market which was close to the main centre was fantastic. Cheap bags, cheap shoes, designer watches and all at the fraction of the western price. One of the interns was the best at bargaining, not settling until she got her fake Mulberry bag at 70 RMB (7 Euros). Clubbing for me was one of the best activities to do in the city. We went to Bar Rouge which overlooked the entire night skyline, the music the atmosphere – Incredible. The other evening, we went to Myst and Seventh Floor, the most famous clubs in Shanghai! You can get anything western and anything Chinese in Shanghai and that’s what I loved about it. You can walk down a small alley road and have a traditional Chinese dish or you can walk down another and have a western salad with garlic bread.
What makes Shanghai so different to Qingdao?
– The Food. The dumplings are a lot sweeter here but there is a lot of western food and restaurants. It is almost impossible to find a really good fresh salad in Qingdao, but there is no end of them in Shanghai and certainly no end of Starbucks.
– The People. There are so many more people in Shanghai. The sheer density of people is literally unbelievable . The ethnic diversity is also very different; Most of the time when we see a foreign face in Qingdao, we recognize them immediately as a fellow ‘’InternChina friend’’, but there are hundreds of tourists and expats in Shanghai.
– The Lifestyle. I think due to the size and the city’s function, it definitely seems to have more of a luxurious, party lifestyle here.
But after all that traveling, sometimes it is just nice to go back to Qingdao, where there is no blonde hair dye (maybe paint stripper disguised in a L’Oreal bottle), and no western salad restaurants.
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Our last weekend was a long one – thanks to the May holiday. So, what do Zhuhai IC interns do on such long weekends? Some go to Haiku like Jenny did (you can read about that here). And others? Of course, to the big cities; We went to Shanghai! It was a really interesting trip during which we learned and experienced a lot.
On Wednesday evening, our journey began: right after work. I searched for a cab offering a good deal with another intern to go to the airport. It took us some time because the streets were full as everybody was on their way home. We also noticed this when we were in the taxi and started worrying if we could make it in time for our flight – especially when our cab driver took all the time he needed to refill his car. In the end, we made it just in time for the last minute check-in. At the gate we met two other interns who would join us on the trip. Guess what, our plane left with 2 hours delay…
After a two hour and thirty minute flight, we landed in Shanghai where we then took the airport bus to get to ‘People’s square’ to eat something and then went to our hotel. On the next day, four more people joined our group and one of them befriended two locals, a mom and her son: Jessie and David (see pictures). They took us the finance quarter to eat Yang’s dumplings at the foot of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Afterwards, we went to a big shopping mall and then we rested a little for the night back at the hotel.
After a walk through ‘The Bund’ where there were far too many people, the nightlife could begin!
First stop: the rooftop bar ‘Bar Rouge’ with an amazing view at Shanghai’s skyline. Also as it was ladies’ night entrance was free, cocktails were free and we got our nails done!!
Next we went to the Shelter. Here a nice description from the internet: a converted bomb shelter, the club is dark, sweaty, black, loud, and thumping. The night ended in ‘Club SOHO’ – a club which also exist in Zhuhai.
Getting up the next morning was not easy but worth it. Again, we met Jessie and David who took us to Shanghai’s traditional area which was also very crowded but still very nice. We went to a market nearby to look for fans, jade bracelets and whatever else a tourist’s heart desires.
Later that day we were invited to KTV (Karaoke) with Jessie’s friends. What happens in a KTV stays in a KTV… 😛 Whatever! Check out this pic: 😀
This night we ended up in ‘Muse’ another of Shanghai’s awesome clubs.
For Saturday morning we reserved a room at ‘Mr. X.’. Short introduction: At Mr. X’s you get locked up into a room and you have to find your way out buy searching for hints, hidden doors, tricks to open them and what’s most important to communicate and work together. To some it might sound childish to some creepy. I tell you: It is AWESOME!! Unfortunately, we could not get out of the room within the given time but we want to try again. Luckily a something like Mr. X also exists in Guangzhou. No question you’ll find us there within the next couple of weeks!
The last hours until we had to go to the airport we spent on the fake market. Bags, clothes, head phones, watches, make-up… but also traditional paintings, board games, fans and so on. To get to the airport, we took the Maglev: 301km/h. 6 minutes later we arrived at the airport, where I enjoyed a delicious coconut-sticky-rice-mango desert, and departed on time.
Spending the weekend in Shanghai, I must say was really nice. But in the end I was happy to be back in Zhuhai. “Home, sweet home.” Huge cities like Shanghai are nice to visit for a couple of days but everywhere it is so busy and noisy and it takes so long to get from one place to the other.
See you and 再见，
Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜
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When thinking of China’s cities many people have Shanghai and its big skyscrapers in mind – hectic city life, hundreds of people in the streets, noise and pollution.
But there is also another side of Chinese cities. Each of them has a number of parks and all of them have different ‘specialities’. No park is like the other but they all have one thing in common: there is always something to do. No park is just trees, a lake and grass fields.
Each park has small shops where you can buy traditional things, scarves, sunglasses, (jade) bracelets, and much more. There are also stores where you can buy drinks, snacks (like popcorn, one of my favourites) and usually coconuts.
Some have religious places with shrines, many have hills or mountains which you can climb and if there is a lake you usually can hire boats to paddle on the lake. Most of the parks that have mountains also have gondolas at the peak of the mountain where one can enjoy the view. Other parks also offer small amusement or water parks. Most of the time, you can also find playgrounds for small children.
The last one I visited had an aviary where you can pet different parrots and see birds that were trained in different things. I made friends there with a Cacadu which I named Fritz (check the pictures). That park also has a cable cart going up the mountain but to go back down you needed to take a slide which was a lot of fun!
All parks are nicely decorated and are taken care of. You can easily spend a whole day there. If you do so you can enjoy the beautiful lights in the park – especially by the lake. It is a really nice way of spending your Sunday. J
See you and 再见，
Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜
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In the back of your lonely planet/rough guide/routard there is always a list of ‘must do’ things to tick off your list when visiting a country. I hate traveling by ticking things off a list, so I tend to ignore the list entirely and follow my nose! However, when you’re planning a trip or sitting on the plan and you need a bit of inspiration as to what’s in store for you, it can be a great way to get some ideas and build up even more excitement about the trip. China has a massive range of landscapes and cultures, from icy outposts near the Russian border in the north, desert in the west to tropical islands in the south. I have come up with a few highlights that I have experienced in China over the years and a few things which my awesome team have done that I haven’t. So here we go, in no particular order:
Food in Qingdao – 青岛菜 – Qingdao is famous for it’s beach, beer and barbecue. But the good food doesn’t stop at barbecue! Qingdao specialties such as clams in garlic and chili sauce or fried squid are particularly good, as well as huge portions of ‘home style food’ (家常菜) for very cheap prices in most local restaurants. Qingdao is also home to a large South Korean community, so I would speculate that Qingdao is also home to some of the best Korean food outside of Korea!
Tiger Leaping Gorge – 虎跳峡 – One of my favourite places in all of China. This beautiful valley trek in Yunnan province is a stunning experience. Look out for a blog about this place from our Chengdu office manager Paul very soon!
Yunnan & Sichuan Provinces – 云南省和四川省 – Some of China’s most stunning countryside can be found in these two south-western provinces. Check out the recent blogs about trips which our interns did from our Chengdu office: http://internchina.com/trip-to-jiuzhai-valley/ and http://internchina.com/trip-to-conch-gully-%E6%B5%B7%E8%9E%BA%E6%B2%9F/.
Yangshuo – 阳朔 – Floating down the river on a bamboo raft or mountain biking in between the hump-shaped hills are two of the coolest activities in this beautiful rural town, which is a perfect weekend trip from Zhuhai. Check out the blog about our interns’ last trip there: http://internchina.com/trip-to-yangshuo-2/.
Island trips around Zhuhai – 珠海附近的岛屿 – Whilst I was living in Zhuhai we went on several island trips, which are always lots of fun. Check out one of our interns’ blogs about her island trip here: http://internchina.com/island-trip-to-wailingding-island/.
Fujian ‘Tulou’ – 福建土楼 – A cool weekend trip from Zhuhai to see these ancient buildings and swim in the rivers alongside them.
Shopping – 买东西 – Bargaining your way to a suitcase full of random items to bring back home, my family were pretty sick of getting strange Chinese gifts for Christmas every year whilst I was living in China!
Beijing Tourism – 在北京旅游 – Beijing is simply incredible. It’s so vast that it’s impossible to see all the sights in a day, but a weekend trip from Qingdao will allow you to see the great wall, tiananmen square, the forbidden city, summer palace and temple of heaven. You’ll definitely want to try the duck whilst you’re there too!
Shanghai Nightlife – 上海的夜生活 – Shanghai may not be the best place to see traditional Chinese culture, but it’s a great place to party!
The giant pandas – 大熊猫 – A picture is worth a thousand words:
Xi’An – 西安 – One of the biggest tourist destinations outside of Beijing, and for good reason; Xi’An is a beautiful ancient city, full of history and home to the famous Terracotta Army, the scale of which has to be seen to be believed.
Chinese Hospitality – 中国招待 – I’ll never forget the welcomes I’ve received and amazing meals I’ve been cooked when introducing interns to their host families in Qingdao and Zhuhai. Chinese people are often shy, but once you break the ice they are some of the most welcoming and hospitable people in the world.
Hong Kong & Macau – 港澳 – Both are a stones throw from Zhuhai and are 2 of the most unique and fascinating cities I’ve ever been to. Hong Kong is one of my favourite places in the world. Tropical islands, pristine beaches and one of the largest mega-cities on earth, all rolled into a tiny area and it all somehow just works effortlessly.
Haerbin Ice Festival – 哈尔滨冰雕节 – I’ve never had a warm enough coat to brave this frozen spectacle, but many friends in Qingdao ventured up there and reported a brilliant experience, although so cold that the water in your eyes begins to freeze!!
Shanghai’s satellites – 上海的卫星城 – There are some great small-ish towns to visit within shouting distance of Shanghai: Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo and Xiaoxing are all worth a visit in my book.
Tibet – 西藏自治区 – One place I have never managed to get to, but you might be able to if you intern in Chengdu. Beautiful landscapes, monasteries and mountains to explore.
Zhang Jia Jie – 张家界 – This epic piece of countryside was the backdrop to the film Avatar. I never made it there but am eager to make the journey up there from Zhuhai one day after reading our interns’ blog about their trip: http://internchina.com/internchina-trip-to-zhangjiajie-national-forest-park/.
Xinjiang province – 新疆维吾尔自治区 – My lovely colleague Sunny made me very jealous with her recent trip to Xinjiang. Her blog is here: http://internchina.com/my-trip-in-xinjiang-sinkiang/. Xinjiang is a great place to discover some of China’s cultural and ethnic diversity.
Inner Mongolia – 内蒙古 – I have really wanted to go here ever since reading this awesome blog by my amazing former colleague Philippe: http://internchina.com/inner-mongolia-trip-30th-of-september-to-the-6th-of-october-part-i/
Chinese public transport – 公共交通 – None of these trips would be possible without experiencing Chinese buses and trains, which are an experience in themselves!!
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I’m Rebecca and I will be working as a new intern at the InternChina Office in Qingdao for the next six months. I’m from Germany and I have already spent one year in Shanghai in 2012 and at that time I got addicted to the Chinese lifestyle.
This is my first internship in China, and coming to Qingdao was probably the best decision to make. In comparison to Shanghai, Qingdao is not overcrowded and there are lots of beautiful landscapes around town. Every place is easy to reach by bus and the air quality is quite good.
Thanks to my co-workers, I’ve got used to this place pretty fast and I am able to discover Qingdao without getting lost. They did guide me along well and are still showing me good places to spend my free time and where to eat Chinese food.
I really love Chinese food, but it’s entirely different than the “European style- Chinese” dishes. I much prefer the real Chinese cuisine. The food is not only delicious but also cheap!
If you plan to study the Chinese language, I think Qingdao would be the best choice. They speak very clear standard Mandarin. I’ve studied Chinese for the past four years but because of the accent, Shanghai was quite a challenge.
I’m looking forward to this internship and to discover many nice spots in Qingdao. It’s going to be awesome!!
Come and join me in Qingdao! Apply now for an internship.