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Interning In China
China is increasingly driving today's global economy and reshaping the landscape of international business. Therefore, China is the ideal internship destination for students, graduates and young professionals who are eager to gain experience and showcase their boldness, adaptability and global thinking to future employers.
Most Popular Choices Interning In China
China's phenomenal economic growth and vast market have made it a major center for international business and trade, with most of the world's top 500 companies - including a growing number of Chinese companies - doing extensive business in China. Interns typically work for well-known multinational corporations, Chinese state-owned enterprises, or local private companies, doing everything from business development to competitor analysis and project pitching.
Accounting and Finance
Interns in this field have the opportunity to learn about China's accounting and investment strategies and gain a first-hand understanding of how the country's growing financial sector is affecting the rest of the world.
China has a population of over 1 billion people, and their tastes, preferences and expectations change as rapidly and dramatically as China itself. Interns working for marketing companies in China can conduct market research, work on wonderful advertising and sales projects, and get a proper understanding of consumer behavior in China and how to sell products to this largest "emerging market" in the world.
Despite its membership in the World Trade Organization, China still lacks a solid legal basis and reliable commercial and trade enforcement mechanisms, especially in the area of intellectual property protection. Interns at international law firms can learn how these organizations help foreign companies deal with the complex legal issues involved in setting up and conducting business in China.
Chinese versions of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are exploding in popularity, and China's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are leading a growing number of Chinese millennials to make a splash on the web. China now has more Internet users than the total U.S. population, and digital media interns can learn how Pioneer Tech is dealing with and meeting the needs of this large Internet user base.
Hospitality Tourism and Travel
China's boom has led to the rise of a growing middle class that can afford to travel around the country and the world. An internship in the travel and hospitality industry gives us the opportunity to see how name brand hotels and travel companies cater to what is soon to be the largest outbound travel market in the world.
How To Interning In China
It is best to secure your internship in China through an agency who will process your visa, find the right internship unit and handle all the legal documents for you. Your internship company should also provide airport transfers and accommodation. Most companies will also offer Chinese courses, either as part of their course packages or as "add-on courses" to electives.
The rates vary from one internship company to another, so do your research and see which one is best for you. Especially if you're a first-time visitor to China, you'll want to have someone who will provide comprehensive, ongoing support during your internship so you can focus on getting the most out of it.
Internships in China are generally available year-round, but it's best to avoid the Chinese New Year period (late January to mid-February; specific dates correspond to the lunar calendar and change from year to year), as offices are usually closed or understaffed and there is no official business to be done. Every internship placement is different, but in general, you should try to apply at least two or three months in advance to increase your chances of being placed in the department or company of your choice.
The vast majority of internships in China are in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, which are becoming more international and have more and more internships with companies from business, finance, media, marketing and other industries. However, there are also internship opportunities in rural areas of China, especially for those interested in working in NGOs, charities and social welfare agencies.
Visas for Interning in China
Most interns come to China on an "F visa" or business visa, which allows them to stay in China for six months. The visa fee for U.S. citizens is $130, and you will need to provide the following: 1) a completed application and photo; 2) a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining in the validity period; and 3) an official letter of invitation from your internship company in China. Your internship company should assist you with your visa and the cost should be included in the overall project fee. For more information on Chinese visas, please visit VISA headquarters.