Why You Should Intern in China
First and foremost, we all love adventure. You can be guaranteed that your stay in China is going to be one adventure of your lifetime. China is changing fast. It has great food and above all, it is a historic place to see. The best part of this wonderful country is that it can transform your career in addition to the great stay. Here are a few more reasons you should consider China for your internship.
China is perhaps the world’s most dynamic economy that has attained a steady growth of about 10% per annum for three straight decades. As the Chinese government attempts to apply some brakes to this growth, the economic growth is predicted to fall to 8%. Think about this. Slow growth for China is still four times bigger than the growth in most western countries. This means opportunities for you as an intern. It makes the possibility of you settling and working in China real.
Perhaps, the low cost of living should be the greatest reason you should be interning in China. Chinese cities are by far the most affordable to live in compared to their western counterparts. Even if you consider living in Beijing or Shanghai, (the two most expensive Chinese cities) you can find housing for a couple hundred dollars.
It is estimated that by the year 2023, student loans will go beyond the annual income of the middle class in the US. The current millennials are greatly indebted more than any other in US history. The Chinese economy is not as indebted as the American or western economies. Therefore, you can expect a cheaper life here since taxes are not high.
How does the Chinese workplace differ from the western workplace?
As a fact, the Chinese workplace is very different from you normal western place. It might take some time to get used to it. The work day is typically from 9 to 6 pm with one hour for lunch. Sometimes, lunch hours can extend for up to two hours, with an afternoon siesta being considered a very important activity in the society.
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Chinese workplaces can have a lack of cross-departmental communication just like in western countries. Conflicts and communications are always handled indirectly and not one on one.
Hierarchy is very important in Chinese culture. This is also extended at the workplace.
Nevertheless, some companies are administered by westerners, so there is the probability of following a western culture of management. This does not mean though that people will follow a western model in actually. Even if a company claims to have an “open culture,” this does not mean it is, in fact, open at the same level that you may be familiar with.
Does China offer a safe place for interns?
China is one of the safest places to live and work in the world. The rate of violence in China is way below that of western and American countries. In fact, most people say that they feel very safe even when in Chinese streets at night.
The most prevalent crime you may come across is a petty crime with a comparable rate in most western countries. Chinese cities are some of the safest cities in the world. Beyond petty crimes, you don’t expect to come across other crimes in most Chinese cities, however, of course, you should always take precautions such as locking your door and keeping a close eye on your purse or backpack.
Usually, the biggest problem with China is pollution, though Shanghai has high levels of air pollution it is nowhere close to the levels in Beijing. Pollution should not be a deterrent to you considering settling in China, at least not for the short term. Compared to countries like India, the Chinese government is more on top of keeping the public informed on the current pollution levels and how to respond.
Then how is Shanghai?
The answer to this question is very relative. It depends on with the city of your origin. If you come from French cities, you will find this Chinese city outright charming though it is busy, bustling and a little bit dirty.
If you are the kind that appreciates contrast, all you have to do is to take some metros from Puxi to Pudong. This is China’s financial capital with several skyscrapers to behold. At the midst of this financial capital stands the real experience for any intern. It explodes with fun on weekends when many people leave the financial district to have some fun for the weekend. You can be sure to enjoy the place.
Additionally, Shanghai is a Chinese city where you will find it all at very affordable rates. There are rooms to accommodate anybody. It doesn’t matter whether you have $300 or $3000. There are meals for the person with $2 and the one with $200. This wealth is balanced by the millions of immigrants who come here to look for greener pastures for themselves and their families.
How do you apply for the internship positions?
There are several websites out there that can guide you to making the right application. It doesn’t have to be a hard task. Some of these sites will also do the whole application for you, and you will only have to travel for the great Chinese experience.
How to succeed in China
For you to thrive in this economy, young professional and students have to distinguish their skills. Ask yourself why are you going to China? For success to be guaranteed, you have to build a set of skills that can be transferable to the Chinese economy. The Chinese economy offers several opportunities for such people.
If you decide to work or settle in China, you will have an opportunity to work above your level. Bagging an internship there might be a challenge, but the fact remains that the Chinese economy is in dire need for western professionals. If you demonstrate your skills and values to a company, there is a big possibility that you will get a job in China. Chinese companies are led by 20 something directors who cannot match the directors of a normal company back at home. Therefore, there is a big chance for you. It doesn’t matter whether it is a big company or a small to medium enterprise. They all need your services.
I am not implying that settling or getting a job in China is that easy, what I believe is that you want the best to come out of your Chinese internship. You want to maximize your career with better opportunities. Having said that it is very evident that you will have to be skilled enough for you to be marketable
Working in the Chinese job market will increase the possibility of you acquiring skills to build a strong resume. However, this will not necessarily get you a job here. You have to explain to your prospective employer what practical skills you have attained. You have to portray a clear demonstration of the values acquired.
Acquiring skills and values from China will prepare you for the world economy. It will make you marketable in the whole world and especially China, considering that you have western backgrounds.
What internship opportunities are available in China?
Whichever career you are considering to immerse yourself in, you can rest assured that the Chinese market is ready for you. The most popular fields are marketing and finance. In the field of finance, there are several places you can get internship placements. They include and are not limited to investment banking, wealth management, private equity, and accounting. These fields are very competitive.
If you can’t speak Chinese, getting an internship might proof to be difficult. However, learning the language is easy and can take less than just one year to learn it.
Internships in the marketing world are also very popular with many westerners. Considering the fact that you are an English speaker, getting internships or jobs in this field can be very easy. The Chinese companies are seeking to expand to the whole world, so this is where you come in with your English skills.
Despite the fact that marketing and finance are the key areas, many people can get a job or an internship in China. It just requires your will and skills to carve out your cave in the big and luxurious Chinese economy.
Do you have to be a Chinese speaker to get an internship?
Speaking Chinese can be a plus for you but not necessary. However, it is not a must that you can speak Mandarin. There are several positions that will not require you to be a Chinese speaker. It depends on the field that you have decided to work in. If you are working for a Chinese company that specializes in marketing, Chinese might be a requirement. If your interests are elsewhere, for instance running a social media account, speaking Chinese will not be a necessity.
How much do you have to spend in China on an internship?
Living in any of the Chinese cities should never be a challenge. With a few thousand dollars you will be able to survive comfortably in most occasions. As a student intern, you should consider a medium budget that will not compromise on your standards of living and at the same time not stress your financial muscles. With 1,000 dollars, you will be in a position to comfortably survive in major cities.
Giving precise estimates can be a hard task since different cities will have different rates for all of their services. However, you can be assured that the price of accommodation is accommodating enough for a student or worker. Food in China is relatively cheap, but that depends on what cheap means to you.
When it comes to transportation, China is perhaps the most blessed country. With its highly developed rail system and road network, you can be sure of reliable and swift transportation. The transport is not expensive with some stations asking for less than a dollar. Owning a car might be difficult due to the expenses of registration, but you have no reason to worry since there is a rich network of rails and roads to facilitate your movement.
If you found yourself reading this article, it implies that you might be thinking of going to China for an internship or a job. That is a bold step focused towards building your career. A long journey begins with one step, and if you have decided this is the path you are going to follow, follow it to the end. China is a perfect place for any Westerner wishing or willing to settle. China can accommodate you as long as you have the necessary skills. Even if you land yourself an internship without pay, gaining practical experience from a Chinese workplace will catapult you to greater heights in your career. If you get yourself a job, consider settling in this wonderful country.