Although China has become the most attractive destination for students and young graduates in the world for international internships, it takes a good decision and planning to get the best out of it. In China, each city has its strong points hence interns should consider knowing some basics before patronizing internship programs. If you are seeking to start an internship in China, it’s imperative that you start planning early because with China’s communist programs, most of the multinational organizations and companies tend to turn to long channels of approval and operation.
It is highly recommended that you start your internship application 3 to 4 months earlier so that you can land a better offer. Starting early gives the placement agency adequate time to deal with the bureaucracies of the host organizations. Booking a good internship in China needs diligence, being extra careful, watching out for scams and being confident of yourself and the program you are planning to take. Below are some of the things that you need to know in order to secure an internship in China.
1. Find a program
There is a plethora of internship opportunities in China for international students in almost every industry from financing and Banking such as (Bank of China Internship) to architecture and design. China’s consumer market is very competitive and the internship experience is what you need to make your resume stand out from the rest and enable you to score a dream job in future. You can search for any China internship program by taking advantage of various available networking resources. Networking is the greatest way to know about various fields and companies and to hear about successful strategies employed by the previous students and also about potential internship opportunities. Some of the resources include:
As you plan to develop your internship in china plan, there are several people you should talk to including your campus academic advisor, your university registrar or departmental heads, your study abroad advisor, friends, previous employers and also you parents since you will definitely need their financial help. Talking to such people will help you understand which internships are best for you and if you had any, how genuine is it?
There is so much information on the internet that it gets almost impossible to discern what is genuine and what is not. Whenever you are online, delve into real research, go through several placement agencies and look at their reviews. Are people happy about their services? Can you trust them? Then research on the available programs, the highly competitive ones, the best places or cities to look for an internship in, go through some of the interviews given and interact with some of the program staff and alumni.
Since almost 90% of the people look for the internships online, you are bound to meet scammers. Before agreeing on moving forward with the agreement, ensure that the placement company that you are working with is highly reputable and very well recognized. Some of the most common include: KPMG China internship agency, Abroad China, BUNAC and CRCC Asia Internships which are very reliable and offer executive search and selection services to their clients.
Things to keep in mind
In China, there are three types of internships in China:
1. There are those internships that are unpaid, you do not get anything and you have to solely sponsor yourself
2. There are some which you actually get paid maybe around (1,000-3,000RMD). To some it may look little but it goes a long way in helping with the expenses.
3. There are some internships that you need to pay for.
You should also remember that if a placement agency is helping you score an internship, then there is a certain fee that you will have to pay which can even extend to helping with some expenses and accommodation.
Sometimes there is an intern abroad scholarship hence it’s important to inquire on the same from your placement agency or directly from your university to find out about the available options.
Time is quite essential when applying for an internship. Get in early, as early as four months before the time you are planning to start your placement since it might take some time before it materializes. The placement companies take almost a month to get the paperwork done.
Always remember you can seek further clarity on your program choice by requesting to chat with alum who can give you first hand information about the program, whether you can intern for free and also if they’ll give you credit for your international internship.
2.How to pay for it?
Yes you can get the internship and you’re all happy and celebrating but have you stopped for a minute to think about how you are going to pay for your bills? Just because it’s an international internship, it doesn’t make it that expensive and there are a number of ways to outsource funds including scholarships especially from the federal government, crowdfunding (fundraising can really generate some good amount if you mobilize enough people) and finally you can get a job and start saving enough to enable you survive while interning in china. No matter the cost, just look at it as an investment that you will enjoy its dividends in the near future.
3.Apply and Prepare
Now this is where the good is separated from the chaff and you wouldn’t want to be part of the chaff. Before pressing the ‘submit’ button with all the confidence see to it that:
Your resume is truly representing you. Do not be lazy with your cover letter. Tune it to top-notch relevance of the position you are applying for. Make sure that each word that you are using on the resume and cover letter is important and not just flowery language. Clearly set your desired goals and attach all the relevant copies of your testimonials. Let your CV sell you and make your commitment of connecting your desired experience in China with your future career or life back at home.
Get your paperwork done
This includes your passport and specific visa whether you require a business or work visa, your work permit, travel insurance, medical checkup report, vaccination and all the necessary travel documents. The most common china internship visa is the M (business visa) which can go up to 6 months.
Learn one or two Mandarin words
You can learn about formal greetings or other basic words such as food, water and other emergency phrases.
This can be quite intense especially if you do not know what is available locally and what’s not. Just research on the local climate and know what type of clothing you will need, electronics such phone chargers, some emergency medicine or prescribed medicine if you have any and so many other basic products. With all this set, you will be good to go for such an exciting experience.
As the China internship guru would say, stay as open minded as possible about your options if you are committed to internationally intern in china. You should be more flexible about the location, dates, and type of work, if you want to get an internship that will be very enjoyable and meaningful. Learn some Chinese if you may since it may just increase your attractiveness for the internship. Always remember that for as long as we keep searching for internships or even jobs online, we will always meet scammers, put your guard high and pray that you don’t fall victim.