The different climate, food and general way of life in China can make it much easier for you to get ill here than in your home country. Whether you get food poisoning, a common cold or something more serious, being ill in China can be a daunting experience!
Firstly, it’s important to understand that there are no health centers in China. If you have an illness which you need treatment for you have to go straight to the hospital. However that’s no reason to panic! At the hospital you will receive the same sort of treatment you’d normally receive in a health center back home.
China is famous for its ancient medical practices. Chinese medicine has developed over thousands of years and is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism. Today it is frequently used alongside Western medicine in Chinese hospitals and clinics. It involves the use of herbs, massage and acupuncture to treat a wide range of conditions.
Many people feel that Chinese medicine is an affective form of treatment and it is becoming increasingly popular amongst Western nations. However, Western medicine is still widely available in China. It’s easy and inexpensive to buy painkillers, throat soothers, and other types of medicine in local Chinese chemists.
InternChina has simple processes for you to follow if you become unwell in China. If you become ill whilst in Zhuhai, we recommend that you first call the Zhuhai Office Manager (Morgan Dolan) and then go to the hospital. InternChina will arrange for someone to go to the hospital with you and give you advice on what the best sort of treatment would be. At the hospital you should go straight to the 5th floor where you can gain access to a VIP section. Here you’ll have English speaking doctors who’ll be able to assist you.
In Qingdao, InternChina is in good contact with a local hospital called Cham Shan Int’l Medical Center. The doctors and nurses at this hospital speak good English which means there shouldn’t be any language barriers. Before going to the hospital, interns are encouraged to phone the Qingdao Office Manager (Jack Fairhead). InternChina can then send someone to accompany you to the hospital and find the appropriate medicine and help translate any Chinese medical terms.
Chengdu has experienced rapid globalization and a sharp increase in foreign trade. Therefore it’s not surprising that there are numerous hospital’s which cater for the needs of foreigners and supply Western treatments. Much like in Zhuhai and Qingdao, if you become ill in Chengdu we advise that you first contact the Chengdu Office Manager (Jenny Hofmann) and then go to the hospital. This way InternChina can arrange for someone to meet you and help you with your problem.
Interested in an internship in China? Apply now to InternChina by sending your CV and cover letter email@example.com.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week, those of us who live in China got to enjoy three days off for the public holiday commemorating the “Dragon Boat Festival”. For many Chinese people, this meant having the chance to travel back to their hometowns to visit their families. For others, it meant the opportunity to stay at home and relax for a few days before going back to their hectic schedules. For us at InternChina and many of our interns it meant: road trip!
But… what exactly is the Dragon Boat Festival and why is it celebrated in China? Most of us foreigners have never heard of this holiday before, and even those who have lived here for a few years know very little about it, other than that it has a cool name and it means not having to work for three days.
The name in Mandarin for Dragon Boat Festival is “Duanwu Jie”, and in Cantonese it is “Tuen Ng”. As it happens, it is not only celebrated in China but also in many other East- and Southeast Asian regions, such as Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
While in 2013, for example, the festival occurred on the 12th of June (and we also had the 10th and 11th off), there is no set date for the holiday on the Gregorian calendar, which is the one used in western countries. Rather, it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, falling on the 5th day of the 5th month, which is usually at the end of May or beginning of June.
There is no consensus regarding its origins, and there are numerous legends which, depending on the region, are said to be the source of the festival. The most popular story, however, revolves around Qu Yuan, considered by some to be China’s first highly renowned poet. During the Warring States period, he was exiled from the State of Chu – of which he was minister – for opposing the ruling aristocracy in an effort to protect Chu against the Qin State. When the Qin invaded the capital, he committed suicide by jumping into the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month.
Wanting to pay their respects to Qu Yuan, the people of Chu set their boats on the river and threw zongzi – glutinous or “sticky” rice triangles wrapped in bamboo leaves – into the water to feed the fish and keep them from attacking his body. This is said to be the origin of the dragon-boat-racing and zongzi-eating traditions that customarily occur on this day. Other customs of this holiday include drinking realgar wine and tying perfume pouches to children’s clothing as well as, of course, the mandatory firecrackers to ward off evil spirits.
Dragon Boat Festival Today
An interesting fact about Dragon Boat Festival is that, despite being a culturally important holiday celebrated widely across China, it was not recognised as a public holiday by the Chinese government until 2005. For many young Chinese, this meant properly celebrating the festival for the first time; for the older generations, it meant a long-overdue recognition of the importance of preserving Chinese traditions and culture in a rapidly-changing, globalised world.
Sources: China View, China.org, Wikipedia
Would you like to learn more about Chinese festivals and traditions? Start your internship adventure in China today! Apply now or send us an email for more information.
After what seemed like endless weeks of heavy rain and foggy (but by no means cold) weather, summer has finally hit Zhuhai. The past few days have seen a glorious streak of sunshine and heat, with temperatures ranging between 25°C and 30°C. It still rains from time to time but there’s no mistaking: summer is here and it’s only going to get hotter.
The InternChina staff and all the interns have, of course, taken advantage of the beautiful weather and are not wasting a second indoors. This weekend’s activities, for example, have included hiking, beach volleyball, sunbathing, swimming and biking. Sure, we might complain occasionally about the humidity and how it’s now impossible to stay dry, but all things considered, we are loving the summer and never want it to end.
One thing we hadn’t thought about, however, is the food. In western countries, the ultimate summer dish is the salad, and there are countless recipes for all tastes and pallets: vegetable salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, tuna salad… you name it. But the concept of salad as we know it does not apply here in China, and even though you can definitely find some yummy salads at western-style restaurants, they’re usually quite expensive and therefore not a viable option to eat on a regular basis.
So, what to eat then? As much as we love Chinese food – and we do – sometimes when it’s so hot that you break a sweat the minute you step outside the door, the last thing you want to eat is a scalding-hot noodle soup or a steaming plate of dumplings. If you’re new to China, you might start to despair, thinking “All Chinese food is hot! What am I going to eat now?” But having been here a few months – as most of us have – you begin to discover that no, all Chinese food is not hot and yes, there is quite a variety of delicious cold dishes (liang cai – 凉菜) that will freshen up your taste buds and keep you cool during the hot summer months.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
Cucumber with mashed garlic (suan ni huan gua – 蒜泥黃瓜)
I call this “cucumber salad”, and it’s really a very simple dish: chopped cucumber, garlic, hot chilli oil and Sichuan peppers. It can be quite spicy, but I’ve found they serve it at a few restaurants and the level of spiciness varies, plus you can add some black vinegar or soy sauce to tone it down.
Cold skin noodles (liang pi – 凉皮)
This is a dish that you simply must not miss while in China. These noodles (though the word “skin” is in the name, there is actually no meat) originate from Shaanxi province and, though there are many variations of the dish, most of them are served with hot chilli oil and black vinegar. My favorite version comes also with julienned cucumber, bean sprouts and peanuts on top.
Shredded potatoes (tu dou si – 土豆絲)
Many westerners love potatoes so this is the perfect dish for them. The potatoes are served with peppers and vinegar – tangy and fresh yet quite filling.
Want to try all the different varieties of Chinese food? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information.
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!
When you think about China a lot of different things will come to mind, but there are also some things you might never expect. Cultural differences are often bigger than expected, but we are here to give you a little bit of guidance so that you are not taken completely by suprise when you experience these situations.
The first strange thing I noticed in China was that people always share their weight in public, especially women! In China it’s normal for people to talk about their weight and ask someone about her or his weight. And of course they answer very proud and are not embarrassed or angry about the question. So, if you get asked about your weight in China, dont worry… share away!
The second funny thing I’ve observed in China is that you can tell someone that he or she is fat. Usually in Western countries no one dares to say that someone is fat. Maybe only your doctor has the right to say that you have too much weight on, but he would probably just use the term “overweight” and not “fat”. So what is the reason for people in China to tell someone that they’re fat? Mainly because if you are considered ‘fat’, then it is a sign of wealth, health and general happiness in your life. For men it is a sign of strength and if you are fat then you may be called strong!
So, again, if a Chinese person calls you fat then please don’t take offense – it’s a compliment!
Another strange thing in China is that anyone can ask anyone how much money he or she makes. When you go out with Chinese people for a coffee and talk about your job for example, the question might pop up: “how much money do you make?”. For Westerners this question is not normal, in our countries it is not usual to talk about salary and if you talk about it, usually amounts are not mentioned. But in China it is a normal question and they are always willing to answer! Another topic that is usually discussed is rent. For example, when someone has to pay more rent for their apartment, the typical conclusion will be “you are so rich.” In contrast, the average Western person will feel very uncomfortable talking about money.
A final strange thing that I’ve noticed during my stay in China is that most guys carry their girlfriend’s/wife’s handbag when out in public together. Chinese men never have a problem carrying handbags; they are really happy and proud of it! In general it is not common in Western countries for a guy to carry his girlfriend’s handbag, except maybe if it’s too big or heavy. Another peculiarity of Chinese couples: they like to wear the same clothes as their partner as a sign of affection…
Do you want to make your own experience in China? Apply for an internship directly on our website or send us your application via email!
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.
Do you want to have a really interesting internship experience in China? Please send us your application at email@example.com or apply on our website.
Last Saturday, the Intern China Zhuhai team and some of the Zhuhai interns attended the Beishan World Music Festival. This is a two-day festival that takes place every year at the Beishan Theater, which is part of an old temple complex in the Nanping area built during the Qing Dynasty. The festival usually hosts an eclectic mix of musicians from all around the world; from jazz and blues to Bossanova and folk. It is becoming a staple of Zhuhai’s cultural scene and one of Intern China’s favourite events!
The original plan was for the interns to volunteer at the event – they have done it in previous years and it’s a great opportunity to be part of the action and excitement. However, this year they had plenty of volunteers so we were not required, but the organisers were very kind and gave us a few free tickets. Our very own Brigitta did get to participate, though, and in a big way: she was chosen as one of the co-hosts for the show! They decked her out in a flowy, sparkly ballgown and did her hair up in a fancy bun – she looked the part and definitely played it well.
Meanwhile, the rest of us walked around, listening to the music for a while and checking out the different vendor stalls, which were selling food and drinks from some of the best Western and Asian bars and restaurants in Zhuhai. There is nothing better than a pint of German beer, a few grilled sausages and a sugary crêpe to enjoy an evening of great music and good friends. We even ran into some of our former interns, currently working in Shenzhen, who didn’t want to miss out on the festival and came out to Zhuhai for the weekend.
After the programme was over and all the acts had gone on stage, we decided to keep the party going and headed over to bar street, where we danced for a few more hours before getting some street barbecue dinner and calling it a night.
Experience all the musical and cultural events that Zhuhai has to offer! Apply now for an internship or email us for more information.
When people think about China, the first cities that usually come to mind are, of course, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. If you know a little bit more about the country, you might think of Tibet, Canton, or even Nanjing and Xi’an. But if you have a limited knowledge and experience of China, it’s very likely that you’ve never heard of a city called Zhuhai.
Zhuhai, in the Southeastern province of Guangdong (where Guangzhou, or Canton, is also located), has a population of 1.5 million people. By Chinese standards, this can be considered a small city. So, why would a Westerner want to do an internship in Zhuhai?
To borrow the popular saying… “location, location, location”. Zhuhai is primely located in an area called the Pearl River Delta which, in geographical terms, is the area surrounding the Pearl River estuary. In economic terms, this area comprises several hugely important cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to name a few. This region is considered an emerging megacity and is one of the main hubs of economic growth in China. Meaning: there are thousands of thriving businesses in the area and the number will only keep growing.
In 1980, Zhuhai was named a Special Economic Zone, due largely to its strategic location. This status has meant that the Chinese government is spending a great deal of resources to make Zhuhai a modern and leading city in terms of business, science, education, tourism and transportation. The amount of investment and the convenience of travel (you can walk across the border to Macau, take a 1-hour ferry to Hong Kong or the high-speed train to Guangzhou) has turned Zhuhai into a hugely attractive place for foreign capital. So, if you are a Western intern, it will not be hard to find a company that has business ties to your region of the world.
Now, we all know that an internship abroad isn’t just about the work experience. It is also about the chance to live in a place different from your own, have exciting adventures and learn about a new and exotic culture. Zhuhai is also the perfect place for this. While it is rapidly developing, it is still one of the smaller cities in the area and has not been affected by pollution, heavy traffic or crime. Here, you can relax on the beach after a long day of work and eat delicious traditional Cantonese food. If you’re homesick and longing for a bit of Western culture, you can hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for a day or a weekend.
So, as you can see, Zhuhai is arguably THE place to be when it comes to choosing an internship in China. The cherry on the cake? The Intern China family, ready to support you every step of the way and help make Zhuhai your home away from home.
Looking for the ideal internship location? Take full advantage of all that Zhuhai has to offer! Apply now or send us an email for more information.
Today I would like to give you a little insight about the German History of Qingdao. The reason, why I wrote this blog is, because a lot of people always ask me about the city´s exciting history, therefore I started a research for our Internchina interns and I would like to show you my results!
In 1914 the First World War broke out!
The Japanese wanted to continue to hold Qingdao for the remainder of the German lease and Chinese government then yielded to Japanese pressure. In 1938 Japan re-occupied with its plans of territorial expansion onto China´s coast, which lasted to 1945. Since the inauguration of China´s open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, western Qingdao developed quickly as a port city. Now it is the headquarters of the Chinese navy´s northern fleet.
The German occupation influenced Qingdao a lot, which used to be a small fishing village. Upon gaining control of the area the Germans equipped the poor place with wide streets, solid housing areas, government buildings and a rarity in large parts of Asia as that time and later. The area had the highest school density and the highest per capita student enrollment in all of China.
Commercial interest established the Germania Brewery in 1903, which later became the world-famous Qingdao Brewery. Also the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao´s architecture inevitably during the colonial period that can still be seen in its historic center and train station. Qingdao´s Old Town located in the German concession area is rich in European buildings. The mixture of historical sites and attractions in the old Qingdao city indicates the city´s diverse international cultures.
If you would like to learn more about the exciting history, come to Qingdao and apply now via mail or directly on our website!
Last week, I had the most interesting experience in China : going to the hairdresser!
Honestly, I wasn’t too enthusiastic to go. First of all my Chinese skills are so basic that I wasn’t sure to be able to explain him what I wanted, and I also asked many westerners around me to try to gain some advice… The best replies were: “Be careful I went once and I paid more than 100 Kuai…(roughly 8€, which would be expensive)” or “I went there but he didn’t understand me so he totally messed up my hair.” You can easily imagine that this didn’t help me a lot!
In the end my hair got longer and longer, so I decided that I had to try. I took the small English/Chinese dictionary that Intern China gave me when I arrived. When I came to the hairdresser I had to wait because it was only a very little shop, 2minutes walk away from my apartment, and there was afather with his son there before me. During my waiting time I used the dictionary to find some useful expressions like:
“我要理发” (wo yao lifa = I want a haircut) or “不要用这个电推子” (buyaoyong zhege diantuizi = do not use the razor).
Then it was my turn, he first washed my hair, then he showed me a length with his finger asking me if that was ok and then…. he cut my hair.
During the cut I was silently hoping that he will manage to make me a good haircut and that he won’t charge me too much money for it.
It didn’t take a long time and after 10 minutes he stopped and asked me how I liked my new hair. I was really surprised that he did it very well, exactly how I wanted it.
I was really satisfied and I told him in Chinese. He only charged me 15 RMB for it (around 2€), which is cheap, not only in comparison to western prices but also in China. And the best thing is that I managed to explain everything to him without using the expressions from my dictionary 😀
Do you want to join me when I’m going to the hairdresser next time ? Check out our website and send us your application by mail or directly.