China is a culturally, socially and linguistically fascinating place to live and work. As an intern in one of China’s major cities, you will have the golden opportunity to immerse yourself in every aspect of this country. The wealth of skills and knowledge acquired during your international internship will increase your future employability. It also in black and white that an overseas work experience will enrich your resume and give you the edge you need to land a dream you dream job. Luckily some of the interns get the opportunity to remain in China with their host company or even other companies depending on the connections they make.
The value of an Internship in China
China has opened a gateway to a whole world of revolutionized services and products which make it one of the most visited countries for career-oriented graduates. Due to the expansion of various industries that welcomed students from overseas to share their skills and knowledge, China’s job market has skyrocketed. To work as an intern in China is quite an eye opener and a great stepping stone towards working independently and responsibly in your preferred career path.
The interns are your typical ambitious, outgoing individuals who want to get ahead in their chosen careers. As an intern, you should be keen on taking new challenges and responsibilities and be able to use your initiative to work within the company. During your internship, you will be allocated different tasks regardless of your specialty whereby you will be able to prove your commitment, determination, and skills to your development professionally.
Why Intern in China
1. Distinguish your resume from the crowd
That international experience gotten from your China internship will become so valuable during your future career prospects or job hunting. Getting an international experience from China’s booming economy sets you apart from the rest of the candidates since you have a better understanding of the important business economy. It shows your prospective employer your flexibility and ability to challenge yourself in a new environment
2. Growing economy
China is currently the second largest world economy and it’s extrapolated that it is going to overtake the U.S in the coming future. Thanks to its booming economy, a myriad of large corporations are interested in candidates with an understanding of Chinese business culture. With a Chinese internship, you will have a better understanding of conducting business thus getting exposed to better job opportunities in the future.
3. Able to learn Mandarin Chinese
With the recent economic expansion happening in China, the importance of learning Mandarin has immeasurably grown to become the world’s most spoken language. By interning in China, you will not only gain incomparable work experience but also you will be able to learn and practice Mandarin Chinese daily in a native environment.
4. Broadening your Horizon
China is vast with quite a profound and fascinating culture. During your internship, you will be able to get the excellent opportunity to firsthand experience and understand how the Chinese culture is and how it influences everyday aspects of life in the country including business and workplace negotiations.
5. Memorable life experience
The culture shock, the language barriers, and all other aspects that a foreigner experiences while working in China sharpen their interpersonal skills as well as a lifelong memorable experience that you would forever cherish. It is a life’s lesson of how paramount it is to get out of your comfort zone which is quite valuable in both the career and general life.
China is rich in history and tourists attractions which you can delve in and explore during your stay in China. They range from the infamous Great Wall of China to Shanghai’s Pudong skyline and so much beauty and nature all over China. You can always invite your colleagues or friends made during the stay to explore China.
7. Expanding your Network
You will have an opportunity to meet various business professionals and industry figures during your internship in China which will help broaden your professional and social network. In Chinese business culture, networking is very paramount hence it is very much possible to create many high-quality connections by the end of your internship which will come in handy during your future career endeavors.
8. Gaining Academic credit
Using the accreditation program, you can be able to achieve credit for the internship in China which is a perfect way to not only gain practical experience in China but also progress in your academics.
Steps for securing Legit Internships in China
1. Know exactly Where to look for the Chinese Internships
The three best places to find internships bases in China include your school, the internet or Western companies with operations in China. Schools usually have deals with Chinese companies or have networks which can help you secure that internship. For the western companies, you can easily apply from home, sit for the interviews and talk about the placement conditions in person. Then there is the Internet where you must be very careful to avoid scammers. Read the reviews from the former participants to establish how legit the sites are and if you are applying for an independent internship consult websites such as Beijinger and the City weekend.
2. Choose your field of Interest
Do enough research on the field, self-assess your current skills, know the history of the area especially in China and have an idea of what the future looks like for the field. Choose to find an internship in a field which will benefit from the cross-cultural understanding you will gain in the multicultural workplace.
3. Send your resume
Personalize the resume to match the interests of the company you are looking forward to intern. Do some research on the business to help you get that personalized touch for your application. Provide a longer time commitment such as six months of internship which can be quite beneficial to both the employer and the intern. Add your photo, flaunt the numbers and show off a little. The certificates if you are directly applying to a Chinese company and also include your grades, and if you have any Chinese-related courses. Be willing to translate into Mandarin if it’s in English or any other language and show off your Mandarin skills.
4. Get the Paperwork Done.
The challenge crops in here thanks to Chinese bureaucracy. Once you get accepted for an internship in China, ensure that you openly discuss your visa options before accepting the offer. There are different types of visas depending on the time you are planning to stay in China. It’s much easier when you get somebody to guide you through the visa application and ensure that you follow the instructions for your visa application diligently since just a single mistake might lead to the rejection of your request.
As an intern, you should get a business (F) visa in your home country. Some companies send you a proper invitation. Hence, you can apply for a Tourist (L) visa whereby they will cover all the expenses of switching your visa once you are in the country. You also have to fill out a Foreigner Physical Examination Form and check on the doctor to see to it that your vaccinations are up to date.
Before leaving for China go through the internship agreement and look at the packages, what are they offering and what are they not. The contract should clearly indicate the course title, whether it’s a paid one or not, period, duties, remuneration, other benefits, working hours, sick leave, the type of visa you need, when the employer is entitled to terminate you and how to behave as a citizen. Concentrate more on the paperwork section since this is where you will learn about the Chinese laws and regulation and what exactly you are getting.
5. Fly and Enjoy
While in China, work hard, play hard and don’t let the culture shock pin you down. Be proactive, tap into the young professional network groups and develop strong relationships with your co-workers both outside and inside the workplace.
China is such a vast and cultured land. You will be amazed, awed or astounded of how their workplace operates, their strong networking skills and the art of Guanxi. You will learn a new thing every day and develop great attributes, which the job market values. You will gain industry relevant skills but also gain valuable experience beyond the workplace.
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