So you have decided to take up an internship abroad, but you are seeking not only a new and exciting experience but an internship that will provide you an opportunity to get involved in real serious work. Could China be the real opportunity? The answer to that question is a very simple and resounding yes!
Although many facts of general life, culture and business in China are now more known, particularly in western cultures, there are still many unknowns and treasures to be discovered and experiences to be acquired in China. It is worth repeating that today China is the fastest developing economy in the World. The predictions of some key world economic analysts say that this trend will continue. As a reason for this, they see the fact that China has opened the door to a completely new world of products and services.
What does this do for graduates who want a serious opportunity in gaining work experience and finding an engaging job opportunity? It presents an enormous chance for them do gain exactly what they are looking for. The ever-expanding Chinese centers like Beijing, Shanghai, Honk Kong, as well as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and others present an immense opportunity.
Are there any possible obstacles of getting an internship in China?
In general, one of the trendsetting positions in the World economy today has made it somewhat of a challenge to find an internship or a job in China. So many students of different cultural and educational backgrounds are at this very moment searching for an opportunity to work and learn in China. A good way to tackle this obstacle is to work with a job agency that has good roots in the Chinese communities and knows very well what opportunities exist, for whom and where in China.
So you have found the right internship opportunity for you, is there anything else to be concerned with? One specific thing you have to pay careful attention to is which type of Chinese visa you should acquire because that will influence what kind of reimbursement or scholarship you can get, or if you will be eligible for those at all.
Since 2015, China has changed its regulations concerning visas for a business-oriented internship. While until then so called F visa was primary, the internship visa has been classified within the M category of visas. This allows companies to reimburse holders of the M visa category for their work. Some companies still use F visas, but such a visa has some limitations, so be sure to check in advance.
If you are going to study in China, you will get an X visa. You could be able to take on an internship, or even paid work, but you would have to get a formal written approval from the school where you are studying. That will also require an update on your residence permit, which is regulated in the place of your residence. One thing you should avoid is attempting to get an internship on a tourist; that is L visa. That is regarded as illegal work, and there could be legal consequences if you are discovered
Knowledge of the Chinese language
By now you are certainly aware that it is not essential to know the Chinese to get an internship in China. The number of international companies operating is enormous and still growing. Fluid knowledge of the English language will certainly land you an internship in China, as will probably the knowledge of French, German, and some other European languages.
On the other hand, the knowledge of Chinese for somebody trying to get a language associated internship could be essential, particularly if it is connected with teaching a language. Keep in mind that the knowledge of the Chinese language will greatly enhance your chances of getting the internship with the international companies that do not have it as a requirement.
Also, bear in mind that you will spend a part of your life in a Chinese community. You would need to get around, shop, go to a restaurant; generally, lead a normal daily life along with your job. Even if you do not get to China with any knowledge of the language, it might be a good idea to plan to learn it, at least the basics.
Internships in China – best opportunities
It is an ideal situation for any prospecting intern to find an internship which will provide them with real and useful working tasks. To help you make a right decision, here you will see presented some internship opportunities in China that can provide you with not only invaluable work experience, but probably land you a job that meets your wishes.
Before presenting you with top five internship opportunities in China that might be right for you, here are the basic types of internships available in China:
– Unpaid internships – if you have funds to travel and finance your stay, at least in the beginning, this could provide a starting point.
– Internships that you will have to pay for – this is a valid type of internship in China that is secure if you are using a good agency to help you.
– Internships with reimbursements – The levels of possible reimbursements vary. From small that will cover your travel and basic expenses, to reasonable, where the hiring company needs the profile that you could offer.
Here are the top five internship opportunities in China with which you can get a real hands-on work experience that will provide you with new skills and opportunities:
– Teaching languages and translation – The size and the ever-expanding economy of China provides a definite benefit to those that would offer to teach other languages to the Chinese, particularly English language, as well as translating between Chinese and another language, again, particularly English.
When you opt for teaching a language, there is no sitting and waiting for something to be passed to you from time to time. It is an all-around working opportunity that will hone both your linguistic and teaching skills. As a teacher, for example of English, you would have to acquire some basic knowledge of Chinese. That could work if you do it as you go along.
If you do have previous knowledge of Chinese that is the level required, the translation opportunities in such an expanding economy are almost limitless. You would probably be working under an already skilled company or news outlet translator on document and news items translations. These could include technical instruction manuals, various company brochures, programs for international conferences, legal documents, and others.
– International business and marketing – Whether you land an internship in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Beijing, gaining real working experience in international business and marketing are enormous in China. This can be in any connected field: marketing, financing, import/export, consulting, human resources, logistics internal sales, and much more. Because of the high volume of work, you would probably be part of day to day operations, such as attending meetings that come up with operational decisions, being given to conduct research as a part of a group, working on more encompassing project, as well as such daily tasks as meeting clients or helping out with translations.
Usually, a good aspect of this internship is that there is probably coordination with the company that is providing the internships and the mediating agency. This means it would have to be tailored on an individual basis, so you can present what you are looking for and what you can expect that your working experience there can provide for you.
– Engineering – This is one of the most expanding categories of jobs in China that would require the use of qualified interns eager to learn, acquire new skills, and get to do some real life work in their profession. As the business in China expands in China, so does it’s infrastructure. Whether your engineering specialty is software development, particularly sought for specialization in China, electrical engineering, civil engineering, wastewater engineering or any other, the opportunities are there. It is quite probable that you will participate and assist in certain engineering projects right from its inception, through its being brought into existence until it is complete. This could mean you would have a chance to participate in development and design of a new technology and facilities manufacturing.
The duration of a such a program can also determine the duration of your internship, so you will have an opportunity to make firm plans.
– Legal services – On one hand, with so many Western companies coming, legal services are one of the fast growing industries in China. If you plan to set your legal practice in IPR law, patent law, mergers & acquisitions, as well as any other form of corporate or trade law, this can present an opportunity for you. You are certainly aware what amount of work legal affairs present and the fact that you would probably have very specific and concrete tasks to deal with right off from the start. This could very easily lead to a job opportunity at any reputable international law firm.
Another aspect to have in mind here is that, as you are probably aware, different legal systems can operate in very different ways. Getting to know another legal system, while probably not applicable in your domestic legal system, can present an opportunity to compare the concepts that different legal system are based on, and present an ideal possibility of a good job in comparative law.
– Finances – With big business operations also come big financial opportunities, meaning that big and not so big banks follow the trail of money. Landing a job in one of the international banks in Hong Kong, Shanghai, but also other key Chinese centers would not only mean that you will be included in the operations of day to day financial transactions and financial project but probably have an all week engagement at work. This is due to time differences that exist in the financial world which never stop evolving.
It is also of note that a large number of Chinese financial institution require English speaking staff due to their expanding international operations. Also, for anybody that plans to get a direct job in one of the world’s large financial and stock markets, landing an internship with the Hong Kong Hang Seng Stock Exchange would mean that you would already have full-fledged work experience.
– Architecture and interior design – Architecture, interior design and city planning are some of the fastest growing industries in China. It is so much so that it is one of those branches where it is not so hard to find a paid internship. Usually, if you are willing to commit to staying at the post for a defined period which tends to be for the duration of a certain project.
In most cases, interns assist with planning large-scale buildings or their interior design, even completely new communities. For example, having an opportunity to work on some of Shanghai’s new, cutting-edge buildings, commercial or residential, can attract attention to your architectural or interior design skills. This is a type of internship that will give you direct involvement, but also presents an opportunity to refine your skills, gain international experience, and possibly draw attention to your work.
Even though this list presents only five internship opportunities for real work experience, there are others that are worth your investigation if they represent your professional orientation and where good opportunities are presented in China. These include journalism (although somewhat covered are languages and translation), hospitality and tourism, fashion and real estate industries.
Whatever you choose, choose carefully. It is very probable that an internship opportunity in China will give you the necessary experience and skills to land the job that matches your hopes and capabilities.
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