Hi my name is Thea Zhu and I am currently studying at the University of Vienna Economy and Society of East Asia.
Summer was coming up and I got the feeling all my friends and fellow students around me had already found the perfect internship while I was pre-occupied fighting with the midterm exams. Time flew, and suddenly it was the end of May and I still had no plans for summer, though I was sure of one thing – I want to do an internship and it has to be somewhere outside of the country I have been living for the last twenty years. It had to be an exotic place, with economical potentials but the same time also fun to travel in – so why not China?
Since my major is about East Asia it turned out to be a perfect fit. Everyone around me told me that there would be absolutely no chances for me to find an internship on such short notice. Nevertheless I tried anyway. InternChina was one of my first hits – I did not know about it before I randomly stumbled over it on the German Job board Kopra. I first applied directly at InternChina and got in contact with Chengdu office manager Jenny Hofmann. After my interview with her I received a better view of InternChina and was quite impressed about their work and success. I will now be working for InternChina’s Chengdu office and will also gain experience at one their client companies in Qingdao. After impromptu tea house visits, cuddly pandas, and boisterous bars, Chengdu I can honestly say Chengdu’s growing on me quickly!
If you live in the northern hemisphere, summer is up and running now, temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and images of beaches and tan people in bathing suits flood the advertising spaces everywhere. If you are a student, school is probably over for the semester or you are wrapping up exams and project deadlines.
It’s likely that you’ve already made plans for the summer (after all, you’ve been thinking about it since spring break was over). But if you still don’t know what you’re going to do for the next three months – or if you like to plan so far ahead that you’re already thinking about next summer – let me tell you why an internship in China is the best thing you can do with your summer.
You might be thinking: “Working? During my summer holiday? Why on Earth would I want to do that?” Yes, of course, everybody’s idea of summer is chilling in the sun by day and partying with piña coladas by night. But the truth is, you will most likely go on vacation for one or two weeks, and then spend the rest of the summer playing Xbox with your friends, hanging out at the mall or running errands for your mom.
What I’m saying is: do something more meaningful with your summer! These days, in the competitive business world that we live in, work experience is highly valued and if you graduate university without any at all, chances are you will have a very hard time finding a job that satisfies your career goals and rewards all the hard work you put into your studies (check out Penelope Trunk’s great blog about the importance of doing a summer internship). Of course, you can do an internship in your home town or even try to find a summer job but, now that you’re already thinking about it, why not do an internship in China?
Having work experience in China gives a great boost to your CV. It is not only the fact that China is increasingly gaining importance in the worlds of business and industry, which will definitely help you stand out to recruiters. But they will also see that you are not afraid to take on a challenge, given that you are willing to travel halfway across the world to live and work in a country with a completely different culture and way of life. How you adapted and handled the language and cultural barriers – this will be a great topic to mention in future job interviews.
But coming to China for an internship during the summer is not only great to improve your career prospects. It is also an opportunity to learn about a new culture and have fun while doing it. Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu are great cities to do this: great weather, not as busy or expensive as Beijing or Shanghai, but still close enough that you can visit them and big enough that there are plenty of places to go to keep your evenings and weekends occupied with fun activities.
Just to mention a few examples: in Qingdao you can spend a day playing beach volleyball, sailing and jet skiing; or go climbing Laoshan Mountain if you’re a bit sportier. At night, you can sit outside drinking beer and eating street BBQ. In Zhuhai, you can go swimming in the sea or a pool, take a trip to one of the 146 islands around the city and even hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for the day, do some sightseeing and eat a delicious meal. Chengdu is a great place to go cycling for both pros and amateurs, given the fact that the landscape is mostly flat so you can go far without wearing yourself out too much. You can also have a relaxing afternoon at a tea house and of course, go see the pandas!
As you can see, doing an internship in China gives you the ultimate summer experience: working, learning and having fun! Conclusion: what are you waiting for?
Would you like to spend your summer doing an internship in China? Apply now on our website or send us an email 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.
Having an expat dad living in the same country as you has its perks: you get to tag along on his travels! I must admit, after witnessing all the preparations in the weeks before Chinese New Year, I was a little bummed out that I wouldn’t get to see the actual celebrations. But when the opportunity arises to travel to an exotic island in Southeast Asia, you just can’t say no!
I spent all of 8 days in Sri Lanka, and I have to say, it’s nothing like any country I’d been to before. For instance, around 70% of the population is Buddhist, meaning: lots and lots of temples! My dad is sort of a Buddhism aficionado, and it seems to be his personal mission to visit as many temples and shrines as possible. Sri Lanka definitely gave him a lot of material, including the stupas in the ancient city of Anuradhapura (where the oldest tree in recorded history has remained guarded for over 2000 years), the tiny temple where Buddha’s teachings were put in writing for the very first time, and of course, the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple in Kandy, which houses Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic.
One consequence of visiting all these temples is you have to do a lot of climbing, since monks have the tendency to choose high grounds for their meditation duties. I am not a very sporty person and at the beginning I was a little mortified to have to climb all those steps, but I have to say the outcome is very much worth it. Especially at Sigiriya, the ancient fortress built on a flat rock nearly 400 metres high, where I literally felt like I was on top of the world.
Other awesome highlights of my trip were the visit to a spice garden, where I learned all about Sri Lankan medicinal herbs and got to buy a whole bag of goodies, the tea factory where I found out how my favourite cuppa (English Breakfast) gets made, and the gem factory, where I had to beg my dad for an elephant pendant with a tiny incrusted topaz. And let’s not forget about the food: with so many practising Buddhists, Sri Lankan cuisine relies a lot on vegetarian dishes, and most of the meat dishes are either chicken or seafood. But their amazing variety of spices and tropical ingredients all come together to create some of the most fresh, flavourful and – on top of it all – healthiest food I’ve ever had.
But my personal favourite was the chance to be in close contact with animals: as an animal lover, Sri Lanka is as close as paradise as I’ve ever been. Buddhism teaches to be kind to all living creatures, and you can really see that here. There are dogs and monkeys everywhere, and as dirty or skinny as they can be, people don’t mistreat them and they happily coexist. I also got to go on a safari at Yala National Park, and see all kind of birds, buffalos and even a short glimpse of a leopard. The cherry on top of the cake was the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Being mere metres away from dozens of elephants, watching them bathe and play and feed their babies – plus touching them and feeding them myself – was an experience I’ll never forget.
Coming to the other side of the world for an internship wasn’t just about work experience or even learning Chinese – it’s about having the opportunity to visit places you’ve only ever read about and never in your wildest dreams thought you’d see.
Want to explore Southeast Asia like Daniela? Come to Zhuhai for an internship and go on lots of adventures! Apply now via email or directly on our website!
Every day we are getting plenty of enquiries – by students from all over the world. I really enjoy replying to these requests; it belongs to one of my tasks as an office manager. Our mission is to find the best solution for every student who is interested in a first work-experience in China. However, sometimes, of course, some requests are pushing the boundaries.
Today, I would like to talk about how your availability is influencing the quality of your experience.
Timeframe: First of all, we of course offer internship experiences for only one month. However, we would always recommend you to plan at least 6 weeks for your stay – this is the minimum to get a real working experience here. The first two weeks you will spend with getting rid of your jetlag and adaptation to the Chinese food. The third week you will get your first real tasks and the fourth week you already have to spend most of the time to say good-bye to all the friends you made and to buy souvenirs for your family and friends back home. So, before you even could start, you are already gone.
That’s why we would recommend you to at least plan 6 weeks of time for an internship experience.
If you want to combine your internship with a language class, we would at least recommend 2 months of time, as otherwise you will probably not even get one task in your company as no-one wants to think about how to “keep you busy” for 4 weeks half-day internship. Our aim is to offer the best possible program for you, so please think carefully what you want to get out of your stay. We want you to profit as much as possible!
Availability: However, sometimes you might not have more time than 4 weeks and you still want to come! This is totally ok for us; we always can arrange classes and an internship for you. You only should consider, that first of all not all companies will be available then – and secondly it might be that the time will pass so quickly, that you will thoroughly regret to leave China after 4 weeks. 😉
China is an amazingly big country and there is plenty to see and experience, to taste and smell, to do and to buy. We would always advise you to plan better more than too little time for your internship and studies. It is always an adventure to learn more about the Chinese culture, better you take some time for adaptation and to experience the real life instead of being a tourist. 🙂
If you are interested in an internship or you want to combine your internship with studying Chinese, please contact our office managers Jack (Qingdao, email@example.com), Philippe (Zhuhai, Philippe.firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (Chengdu, email@example.com) directly!
We are pleased to assist you with your application!
My name is Philippe Touzin (half French/ half Swedish) and I have recently joined InternChina in Zhuhai, I work as an intern in the company. However I have no feeling whatsoever of being an “Intern”, I feel more like a full time employee with several duties, responsibilities; and I love it!! My tasks are varied and challenging, they range from marketing with contacting Universities and institutions to look for interested “to be” interns, then to researching , and contacting local International and national companies so as to arrange a meeting and explain them the wonders of having a intern and its mutual benefits. I find this work is very rewarding due to being able to pick the best companies to work for in Zhuhai for the students and young professionals going through InternChina. InternChina is a great example of a company with great internships China. I studied International Business with Chinese at University, so I know the theory behind running a company, but InternChina is small enough that I am able to understand how exactly a company is run and being given tasks in actually running and searching for ways in how to improve it! Yet it is big enough that I get to see the International dealings of the company and go out to meet companies to increase its partner Companies. I get to live a business life where I work hard, nevertheless, being in Zhuhai where there is a beach, palm trees and a multitude of activities to do, I still live a life where I can enjoy myself, thus not the full corporate life style and I am so happy about this. It is a great transition from being a motivated student to being a working man with responsibilities and time to enjoy myself being young. I highly recommend doing an Internship in Zhuhai with any company as you will get the experience you desire for yourself and your CV, yet you will also be able to enjoy the greatness of living in the tropics.
I am off to the beach, so I hope to see you soon!