If you have the interest in doing an internship abroad, especially in China, then this article is for you.
China internships present you an opportunity to revamp and enhance your skills while learning the Chinese language and getting deeply immersed in the local culture.
It is a combination of China Professional Internship program, Chinese Language study, and other China Immersion Programs.
A summer spent interning in China grants you an industrial experience in your chosen field as you spend 2-4 months working with multinational organizations and experiencing China as a local.
Let’s not forget the opportunity to network and dine with Chinese business community as well as influential individuals for future career opportunities.
A summer Internship in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and other Cities will surely leave you with memories.
Why should I take an internship in China?
Doing an internship in China is an interesting way to keep up with career requirements.
As you may already know, China is rising in the international forum.
Also, prominent economists believe that over the course of the next 100 years global economic power will shift from the U.S. and Europe to Asia, with China leading the way.
By taking part in an international internship in China, you will learn their language and culture.
As a result, you will greatly enhance your potential for long term future employment for many international companies.
That’s because these companies will prefer to hire a professional who is good both good on the job and has knowledge of Chinese culture.
Will I be able to learn Chinese during my internship?
Being able to learn Chinese during your internship depends on several factors.
First, you must have an interest in learning the language.
Also, you need to speak the language at all times to get accustomed.
We absolutely encourage you to learn the Chinese language.
That’s because learning the lingo will help you to get the most out of your day to day experience in China.
Also, it’s an incredibly marketable skill to bring back home with you.
Participating in an international internship program with additional language classes, you’ll be on your way to experiencing the many great things China has to offer.
So, whether you’re considering learning or simply improving your mandarin Chinese, China is the best place to learn.
What are the requirements for applying for an internship in China?
The requirements for getting an internship in China are as follows.
- First and foremost, China internship programs are available to individuals over the age of 16.
- Being able to understand the use of Mandarin Chinese is an advantage, however, it is not a requirement.
- The English language is a basic requirement for applicants to speak at a working level as well as pass a screening process.
- You must secure a visa from the Chinese Embassy in your country.
If you meet all of the requirements, you could eventually be on your way to achieving your International career in China.
Can I apply for the internship program if I don’t speak any Chinese?
The absolute answer to this question is “Yes!”
You don’t necessarily have to understand the Chinese language before applying for an internship in the country.
Most interns are visiting China for the first time and have never studied Chinese before.
There’s even a possibility that the company mostly uses the English language to interact.
However, it is important that when you do get to China you try to learn their language.
Learning their language will help you to relate to the locals better.
Will I receive a certificate upon the completion of my internship?
Most companies usually issue a certificate or letter of recommendation to interns after the program.
If the company forgets, then it is your duty to request a letter of recommendation from your internship company.
A letter of recommendation or certificate of the internship is important to boost your CV.
An international experience will look good on your resume and will help you get a job in your chosen field.
How much should I budget for daily life in China?
It depends on the city where you’re going to work.
The cost of living is much higher in large cities such as Shanghai or Beijing.
It will also depend on your lifestyle, your leisure budget and many other factors.
The best that you can do is to budget your expenses so that you don’t spend more than you can afford.
That’s because China has a lot of stuff ready to take even the last penny you own.
How to get internships in China
Besides experiencing China’s culture and environment, doing an internship in a foreign country works in your favour.
It is always a plus for your résumé and it is even better because China is a country different from other Western countries.
Doing your internship in China shows you have an open mind.
In addition, it also shows that you are able to tackle new projects and have a go-getter personality.
These traits are the kind that a lot of recruiters and companies are looking for.
Plus, you can use your experience in China to start great conversations at your next business networking event.
But for all these will happen, you need to first get the experience in China.
So, how will you go about securing an internship in China?
Here are a few steps to follow;
1. Look for Chinese Internships in the right places
Just like in most societies today, Chiman is more about who you know and what relationships you have than how good you actually are at your job.
The bad news is that the best way to build these relationships is to already be in China.
If you are not able to build such relationships before your internship, then you can take advantage of other options.
These options include your school, local companies in your country with operations in China as well as the internet.
a. Use your school to find internships in China
The first instrument that you can use to start looking for internships in China is your school.
You can begin discussing your plans of interning in China with any relevant mentor that you have a relationship with.
This could be your Chinese teacher, head of the biz department, your advisor or anyone at all.
While building a relationship with them, you can also tap into their networks and their knowledge of opportunities for Chinese internships.
It is even possible that your home institution may also have some kind of “deal” with Chinese companies and can help out with your internship.
But you will never know this if you don’t ask.
So, head over to your Career Center and check what they can do for you.
b. Check in local companies with operations in China
The second place to look for China internships is to look for local companies with operations in China.
Take advantage of opportunities to apply directly to these companies from home.
You can interview at their headquarters and talk over internship conditions in person.
This is especially helpful if you already have a dream company in mind: it could be a start to a long track record with the same professionals!
c. Use the internet
The last resource you have for finding internships in China is the internet.
There are multiple websites that list many internship opportunities in various Chinese cities.
Ensure that you read reviews on websites offering internships in China written by past participants.
This will help you to determine whether a company is a scam or not (which can be an unfortunate reality).
2. Select a field of interest
You must avoid this mistake of applying for internships in China without having specific goals.
No company will give you an internship opportunity if you don’t know what you want to do in China.
So, you must be confident when self-assessing your current skills set.
At the same time, you must be proactive in identifying which skills you hope to gain at your internship.
The key to standing apart from other students applying for internships in China is to do your homework.
Do a deep research about the field from multiple perspectives.
Express genuine interest in not only developing an understanding of the field itself but also the Chinese culture.
Choose to find an internship in a field that will benefit from the cross-cultural understandings you will gain in the multicultural workplace.
3. Send in your resume early
After looking for internships in China and having set specific goals, it time to submit your resume.
A good rule of thumb is to always personalize your resumes to match the company you are interested in interning with.
This is why setting specific goals is important.
Rather than using the same template for every single application, try and write up specific cover letters unique to specific companies.
Researching the company and being familiar with their brand and mission will help you to add that personal touch to your application.
Be sure to highlight your willingness to relocate to China and the duration of time you are able to commit for the internship.
It will be easier for you to get a placement if you are willing to intern 3-4 months than a few weeks.
A longer time commitment is beneficial to both you and your employer on personal and professional development levels.
How to make your resume exceptional for a Chinese internship application
- Add your photo. Resumes in China are expected to include a headshot of your smiling face. Be sure to look professional and, of course, employable!
- Show off a little. Include certificates and “official-looking” papers if you are applying directly to a Chinese company: they eat up these face value certifications. Be willing to tack on notes in Mandarin explaining the documents if they are written in English.
- Less is more! Stick to your most recent and related achievements in your Chinese resume. Always highlight your past experiences with Chinese classes/work. Showcase your commitment to understanding the culture.
- Flaunt the numbers. Include not only your overall grades but any marks in Chinese-related courses. Chinese companies looking for interns may use this as a way to “choose” favourites if ever in doubt.
- Translate. Send in a Mandarin version as well, even if your vocabulary is more simple or your grammar isn’t perfect. This is especially useful for those who wish to practice their Mandarin every day in the workplace.
After you read, re-read, and give your resume to a friend to proofread, save it in .pdf format.
Now’s the time to start working on the body of the email you’ll be sending the company.
Don’t make it too long: introduce yourself, the position you are applying for and mention that your resume and other documents can be found in the attachments.
Before pressing that Send button, make sure you didn’t forget to actually attach the file!
4. Get your papers ready
You have been accepted to intern in China! Hurray! Now comes the bureaucracy…
Before confirming your acceptance of the internship offer, be sure to begin openly discussing your visa options.
Depending on the amount of time you are able to intern in China, you will be eligible for different types of visas.
It is worth noting that by applying with third-party providers, you will have extra help in walking you through the process of visa application.
That’s because this stage can be really demanding.
They may cost a bit more, but having their guidance in situations such as this is often worth the extra money.
During your visa application process, make sure to follow the instructions exactly.
One missing document, or poorly scanned passport, can lead to rejection.
This should not discourage you anyway because you can apply multiple times.
As an intern in China, you should be able to get a Business (F) Visa in your home country.
Sometimes companies will also ask you to head to China with a Tourist (L) Visa and will send you a proper “invitation” to visit.
You may also be asked to fill out a Foreigner Physical Examination Form and should check with your doctor to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
5. Fly to China and enjoy your internship
It is very necessary for you to apply for China internships very early.
The reason is that the sooner you apply, the sooner you will know if you can get in, and the sooner you can buy that plane ticket.
As always, it is cheaper to buy your flight ticket very early.
Buying your ticket early on can save you the money you can later use for more fun, non-work expenses.
When you get there, make sure to work hard.
Also, don’t forget to build relationships and expand your network.
Be intentional with your time not only in the office.
Pat yourself on the back, download all subway and maps apps onto your mobile device, never leave home without your Chinese-English dictionary, and be prepared to rock out Chinese internship.
Doing an internship abroad in China is one sure way to improve your skills and gain international knowledge.
You will also get to enjoy the rich Chinese culture and probably learn the language.
If you have any doubt choosing a country for an internship, then choose China.
If you work really hard and make the right connections, you may even be able to turn your internship into a job.
Share this article with friends to help them secure internship positions in China.