University of St Andrews


Generation UK – China Skills Programme



Generation UK was launched by the British Council in 2013 to help young UK nationals increase their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China.

This programme offers 8-week online skills programme focused around China. By encouraging UK students to engage with China, Generation UK aims to bring young people from both countries closer together, increase mutual understanding, and pave the way to lasting links and partnerships between the UK and China.

The Generation UK internship programme (online) is supported by the Department for Education, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

Note: There is no need to submit all the documents to begin your application. Simply fill in the details you have readily available and we’ll follow up to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Please note: this is an online programme and does not involve travel to China.



Pagoda Projects and the British Council have put together an exciting programme of activities and events dedicated to providing insights into Chinese business and culture.

You will be matched with your very own English-speaking Chinese Cultural Mentor to develop your cultural understanding and increase your knowledge of China whilst sharing you own perspectives. Topics for discussion with your mentor will be assigned to you oand you will reflect in your Cultural Journal as part of check-ins via the Pagoda Projects app.

There will be four online courses assigned to you which you can complete in your own time across the duration of the programme. We recommend you complete as many of these as possible to compliment your cultural understanding, increase your awareness of employability skills and improve your work-readiness.

You will also be able to learn to speak Mandarin with 10 hours of language classes as part of the programme.

You will receive support from the Pagoda team throughout and we will work with you to make sure you are prepared and ready to make the most out of your programme.

Once the programme begins, we ask that you check in with Pagoda Projects and your Cultural Mentor via our portal to keep us updated on your progress. Your dedicated Pagoda Projects support staff will also be available, if needed, throughout the programme.

What’s included in the programme?

  • A rich calendar of bespoke activities and events linked to China, weekly online events and access to our event library
  • A full induction to the Pagoda Projects portal from a member of the Pagoda team.
  • Access to several digital courses focusing on improving cultural fluency, your employability, and digital skills.
  • Paired with a cultural mentor from one of our amazing overseas destinations and provided the platform to discuss interesting topics selected by Pagoda.
  • 10 hours of mandarin language classes
  • Opportunity to network with current participants completing a similar variation of our program from around the world.
  • Fully support from our international Pagoda team throughout the duration of the program.
  • Enjoy all the benefits of being a Pagoda Alumni member with dedicated Linkedin / Facebook groups & know about Pagoda Job opportunities first!


This skills programme is fully funded for eligible students. However, if you’re awarded a place on the programme, you will be required to provide a £50 deposit that’s fully refundable at the end of your programme.



30th January 2023 – 24th March 2023

This is a very flexible programme that doesn’t require daily attendance. Only language classes and events are at a set time and date but those will be communicated in advance. The online courses and event recordings are available to watch and complete in your own time alongside your studies or a job.

Due to an extensive pre-organised event calendar and cultural mentor aspects of the programme, the start dates are fixed. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Applications are open again for students currently enrolled or recently graduated from a Scottish University ONLY.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: 23rd December 2022!



Submit your application below and register your interest


Pagoda will confirm programme details with you, request your supporting documents and assess your eligibility. These recommendations will be provided back to the British Council to decide who may receive funding.


Once approved, you’ll need to sign our programme agreement, pay the refundable deposit and wait for the programme to start!




  Be at least 18 years old

  Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or postgraduate student at a Scotland-based university, or have graduated from one within the past two years

  Be a UK or EU passport holder

  Meet our student finance eligibility criteria

  Not be in receipt of any other Generation UK funding

  Not previously undertaken a Generation UK internship, or taken part in a Generation UK scholarship programme






What are the skills courses?

Pagoda Projects have developed a series of skills courses set to encourage the development of your skillsets with a focus on ‘work readiness’ in a post-pandemic business world.

The Skills series includes courses focusing on Intercultural Fluency, Employability, Digital Competency and Workplace Basics. This framework provides the learner with the agility needed for a globalised and ever-changing workplace, preparing you with the knowledge to communicate effectively within an international team, approach the job-market with confidence and have a strong understanding of the importance of ‘digital’ technologies.

As qualifications remain a vital measure of achievement, a certificate is awarded to you following each completed course.

Why are they important?

Based on the Universities UK – Higher Education in England: Provision, Skills and Graduates Survey, ‘for both graduates of all levels and subject areas, skills and competencies came first (82.4% reported this to be a formal or important requirement), followed by relevant work experience (66.7%)’ when asked what mattered most when entering the labour market and attaining a job. Similarly, 87% of employers listed attitudes and aptitudes for work more important than relevant work experience, degree result and degree subject when hiring a graduate.

This coherence between student and employer views supports our framework in being able to provide learners with accessible skills courses that can be integrated into professional internships; this will allow you to achieve the most important attributes considered by employers.



This course is designed to provide an understanding of the importance of adaptability when dealing with intercultural communication in both the workplace and wider society. There is a focus on the foundations of intercultural understanding and developing cultural fluency, as well as various case studies focusing on Greater China, Mexico and Vietnam.

By completing this course, you will be working towards the following key competencies:





By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following:

  • Have created a written article examining the culture of a specific country
  • Have self-assessed your abilities of intercultural communication and identified areas of improvement
  • Understood how to adapt this knowledge into the working world through business-scenario case studies

This course improves employability skills through self-awareness, skills awareness and enhancing career readiness. This course will equip the individual with the tools to identify your current skillset, understand those that need developing and transfer your skills to different job specifications using personal examples to showcase these. The aim of this course is to build confidence when applying for the next career step as well as provide a broader set of skills and attributes to ensure success throughout your working life.

By completing this course, you will be working towards the following key competencies:


By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following:

  • Have an improved CV and understand how to tailor this to different applications
  • Have created a basic template for a cover letter linked to your skillset and examples which can later be adapted
  • Be more self-aware and understand skills that need to be developed

This course introduces the fundamentals of digital networking, digital marketing, and digital presentations skills. This course will introduce LinkedIn features and how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, key differences and benefits between a variety of social media platforms, basic knowledge of SEO and SEM and techniques to improve public speaking skills in a digital context.

By completing this course, you will be working towards the following key competencies:

By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following:

  • Have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and know how best to use this to your advantage
  • Have learned the digital marketing basics and will be aware of how to adapt content and SEO techniques to specific goals
  • Have mastered public speaking and digital presentations and will be aware of online resources that provide practice of these

This course will equip you with the basic skills needed when entering the workplace. There will be a large focus on understanding how to adapt from in-person to remote work in regards to productivity and time management, communication and the use of digital platforms. The course will also provide you with the skills needed to identify your current skillset, recognise the skills you may be lacking, and provide actionable examples of how to improve these and meet employer’s demands.

By completing this course, you will be working towards the following key competencies:

By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following:

  • Have recognised the best methods of creating an organised and creative environment to manage tasks and time efficiently using CRM software, scheduling and other methods.
  • Have a clear understanding of how to communicate effectively within a professional team and have the basic skills to lead a digital meeting.
  • Have identified your strengths and gained an understanding of how to exercise these to the best standard, as well as weaknesses and the most effective actions to improve on these.



You will be partnered with a Cultural Mentor who will help you to increase your cultural awareness.

  • You’ll schedule one audio or video call each week and exchange common interests and areas of study.
  • Pagoda will provide you with a theme (e.g. festivals/traditions, food, music/arts etc.) to discuss knowledge and experiences in relation to the home country culture.


Applications for the Pagoda Projects Generation UK are now open.

Not sure about a certain aspect of taking part or the programme? Check out our FAQs page for lots more details!

For any other questions related to Generation UK funded programmes or the application process, please contact us by email or by phone.



To register your interest in our Generation UK programmes and to receive more information on how to apply, please complete the application here.


Business Internship in Qingdao

Business Internships in Qingdao

Throughout history, China, or the Middle Kingdom has had a special place in Westerners’ imagination. From the cradle of civilisation in the ancient Xia dynasty to the mighty empire of the Tang dynasty, China has always been a land of mystery for the majority of the Western world. Today, riding on the tides of globalisation, China is closer to the world than ever before. Many claim that just as the 20th century was America’s century, the 21st century will be China’s.

We have been asking our interns about their expectations of doing an internship in China. In an internship, interns look for lots of varied and interesting work. An internship should have at least one big project that interns can put a lot of their energy into and can really make a different to the company. Interns also hope to attain quantifiable goals and skills they can use when they return home.

“The internship is great. I’m learning lots of new things and my workmates are all fantastic. Another plus is that there is unlimited free rice and soup in the canteen!”

Joe Martin, Trade intern

Modern China is a country of many faces. The rapid economic growth over the past 30 years spurred high-tech development across the Eastern coastal cities that puts many Western cities to shame. Many who visit Chinese metropolises marvel at how similar China is to their home country, contrary to their expectations.

InternChina - Dining options
InternChina – Dining options

“After coming to China I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of cuisine here in Qingdao. Initially I was worried that I might struggle to adapt to Chinese food, but there are so many options to choose from that you will definitely find something that suits your taste. Even if you have special dietary requirements like being vegetarian or only eating halal food, you will still be able to manage!”

Meredith Kern, Marketing intern

Young Chinese are increasingly becoming global citizens that effortlessly keep pace with the latest pop culture hits. Youngsters from around the world are more and more drawn by China’s successes in the world of business. For many, China’s rapidly developing economy is the main reason they choose to come to China. It is now simply the place to be! Understanding Chinese business practice is becoming a necessity for anyone who wishes to embark on an international career in business.

InternChina - Internship experience
InternChina – Internship experience

“Learning the nuances of doing business in China and understanding the rituals of ‘guanxi’ have really made my time here that much more valuable.”

Griffin Baxley, Consulting intern

But it is not just the stunning economic development that instils curiosity in the minds of young people across the world. What makes China so enticing is precisely the blend of old and new. One could not hope to understand modern China without also understanding its rich and intricate cultural heritage. After all, the rules that underline modern business practices stem from age-old Chinese traditions and customs.

Some come to China in search of ancient Chinese culture, the way they know it from childhood stories:

“Every morning from my bedroom window in Qingdao, I look outside and see the craggy peaks rising high above, revealing twisting trails which seem to appear and vanish, intricately carved sculptures of fish and lions, jagged rocks, birds that wheel and hover, and trees that whisper and sway. When I look upon the light and dark greens and blues and browns of these high peaks, all blending together like the hues of a half-remembered dream, I think of Dragonkeeper—the mountain range before me just as I always imagined in the story.”

Sophie Comber, Journalism intern

InternChina - Fushan mountain
InternChina – Fushan mountain

And yet others find satisfaction in immersing themselves in the daily lives of the common people. They are pleasantly surprised when through their internship they get to know Chinese people as a whole better.

“I was taken aback by the hospitality and by how helpful everyone is. My company has been very accommodating to my needs (e.g. praying) and everyone here is really friendly. I’ve got an employee assigned to me and if I need any help all I need is just to ask. Also, the work expectations are not crazy, and I have an hour and a half lunch break!” 

Tanvir Ahmed, Sales & Marketing intern

No matter what expectations interns have before coming to China, an internship in China is a great opportunity to show young people from around the world the ‘real China’ and allow them to form an opinion for themselves.