So you are thinking of doing an internship abroad.
Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind that you want to come to China. You have just discovered our website through one of our partner universities or on the web, have browsed around for a bit and found the most important pages: Internships, Studying Chinese, Accommodation, References and now this great, juicy-looking page: the Intern China Blog. So much interesting information, and so varied (don’t forget to check out our most recent posts on all the different topics!). But still you might think:
“I have questions… and it’s China – far away, different language, different customs – I’m not sure who I could talk to about this or if anyone can really help me…”
If this is the case, here’s what you can do:
2. Write to our enquiries email, which will automatically forward your email to the Manager of the city you are interested in. If you are still unsure about the city, then don’t worry: any of my colleagues and I, can help. So email me!
3. Browse through our site or FAQ list. Here are few questions that come up quite often (I will try to answer each one as best I can):
a. Will there be other foreigners in Zhuhai/Qingdao/Chengdu?
YES. InternChina is a growing company so there are interns all year round in our cities. They are doing internships, language classes or just enjoying the cultural exchange experience of living with a Chinese family. Some have finished their internships and decided to stay on longer as they’ve had such a good time. We even have a few who have been given full-time jobs at the end of their internship!
InternChina organises meals, events, trips and other activities which enable you to meet lots of new people and create strong friendships. Additionally, we are located in three economic hubs in China, so there are also many western companies whose employees live here full-time. This means that during your internship you might work with some foreigners or even meet a few when you go out for a meal or to the bar streets.
b. Will I be able to discover the culture and people whilst having a busy internship schedule?
YES. Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu are three very different cities yet very similar in the sense that they are big enough to attract foreign companies and heavy government investment, but also small enough that you will need to learn the culture and some language to move around. It’s very different from Beijing or Shanghai – where foreigners tend to group together, speak English and in general only go to places targeted at expats.
Remember you are coming to China to discover the culture, the people, the places, the business world, the food, the crazy firework parties…. and this can only be done by being in China and living the Chinese way of life. The locals won’t invite you out, to dinners or special events if they do not get to know you! So get out there, take a foreign friend with you as support and go practice the language and communicate! This is the best way to improve your Chinese and Guanxi.
c. Will InternChina be available to help me out when I am actually in China?
On your arrival in China you will come to our office where we will give you an introduction to your city using the awesome Welcome Package and answer any questions you might have. The main reason for this is so that you get to know us, where our office is located and how to get to there. So, if there is an issue and you need our assistance with anything, you’ll know exactly where you can find us, and we can also come find you quickly. Fortunately we are all very experienced and issues get solved simply and efficiently by our foreign and Chinese staff, so most visits usually tend to be of a tea-and-cake nature.
Remember, InternChina does not only provide you with an internship and accommodation, but also with:
– Social support
– Regular dinners, events and trips
– Cultural discovery
– Advice, assistance and help regarding all facets of your life in China
Excited about the prospect of working and living in China? Apply now for an internship!
So you are planning to come to China soon and it’s the first time?
If the answer is yes, here are some good tips you should know before you come.
I’m especially writing this for the French BTS Students, firstly because I’m a former one; when I came here the first time I can tell you that I was really surprised since I had different expectations about China.
Secondly because for most of the BTS people, this trip is the first (and certainly not the last) international experience and coming to China is a big challenge for most of them (at least it was for me).
My best advice before you come: buy a guide to China (like Lonely Planet, or Le Guide Michelin and le Routard for French readers). These small guides give you the most precise idea of what China looks like. They contain advice on how to behave in daily situations, with some Chinese vocabulary in it, so you can order food or explain where you want to go to a taxi driver.
I swear by my Michelin guide, it was my best friend when I came the first time and used it countless times.
I also believe you should be prepared for the contrasts here. You can be walking in a rich part of town where people don’t even look at you and you have to pay attention not to be run over by these same people in their big western car. Then if you continue your walk, maybe less than a kilometre away you may arrive at a part of town where not so many foreigners are living, and people are surprised to see a white guy walking around and sometimes even take some pictures with you.
Be also open minded in your everyday life, don’t have a western outlook on things. Otherwise you’re going to be disappointed – adopting a cool and relaxed attitude is the best way to really enjoy your Chinese experience.
You won’t feel lonely in China because you will always have people around you, Intern China teams in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu will always be here for you if you have any problems or questions about the Chinese way of life, plus there are many other interns who can help you.
That takes me to my next point of advice: Mingle! The best way to integrate into Chinese life is to meet people and create a strong network of friends and acquaintances. There are many foreigners in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu so it’s likely that what you experience will have been experienced by someone else at some point. So talk, ask questions, exchange thoughts and ideas, and soak it all up!
If you have any questions or concerns before you come to China you can always send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week I had an interview with our Language School Teacher! I was very curious and wanted to know how it is for a chinese person, to teach foreign students. Therefore, I conducted an interview with her and asked her different questions!
1. How long have you been teaching foreign students?
– I am teaching foreign students since 2, 5 years, right after I graduated from university.
2. How is it to teach foreign students?
– It´s a very interesting job. I like it and enjoy it very much! I teach the Chinese language and it is a pretty hard language to learn. But I also introduce the Chinese culture and the foreign students tell me a lot about their cultures. We exchange much information about typical habits and facts and this is very interesting! Sometimes, the students also teach me their own language, therefore I learned a little bit of German!
3. Did you or your perspective on teaching changed while doing your job?
– Of course! I am a teacher and I pay more attention to teaching. In China, primary school students and middle school students work very hard and when they go to the university they have to learn more and study very much! But, I think in foreign countries the students pay more attention to their interest. When they go to the university they already decided what they would like to do and work harder and study much more for it. I think this is pretty cool and a very nice education system! I pay more attention to my younger students and their interests.
4. What makes them different from Chinese students?
– Foreign students are more creative, than Chinese students! Like every time I work with the same book but they always have different questions! Younger students, which are 16 or 17 years old, are here to learn the language, because they are interested in it. This is kind of easier because it was their own decision to learn a new language! However, Chinese students study because they have to; in China we have to go to the university. The result is Chinese students are always pushed to learn and it is often not what they want.
5. Do you notice any differences in nationalities?
– Yes there are some little differences, which I noticed during my teaching! I think the American people are more sociable and easygoing. In contrast, the German people are more serious; they are very focused on their work are very organised. The Chinese people, they are modest and more group oriented. Comparing the countries however only a few differences are recognizable and I love them all!
6. What are mistakes that always happen? Any special difficulties about Chinese language which are difficult to understand for foreigners?
– I think the most difficult part for foreign students are the tones, we have for example “ma1, ma2, ma3, and ma4”, we have four different tones and this is the most difficult part to learn. We have also some phonetics and it’s hard for the students to learn, because a lot of chinese phonetics sound pretty similar and it´s not very easy for the students to distinguish between them. When you speak English your tongue is very flexible but when you speak Chinese you should keep your tongue stable. That’s the reason, why misunderstandings occur sometimes. When you use another tone it can easily mean another word and this leads to confusion.
7. What does it look like when foreigners write Chinese characters?
– I think the writing of most students is pretty nice! For foreign students writing Chinese letters it is like drawing! It’s from the top to down and from left to right. We know which part is smaller and which part is the main part, but when foreign students write Chinese they just draw it like a picture, but a pretty nice picture!
8. Funny stories you encountered while teaching Chinese?
– There are a lot of funny stories, because of mistakes that foreign students sometimes make. Like in Chinese if you want to say “I am hungry” but you didn’t pronounced it clearly it can also mean “I am stupid”, mistakes like this are always very funny!
9. How long does it take until the students are able to speak and understand Chinese?
– It depends on the student, but in general it takes 2 or 3 months until you learn a good amount of words. In the beginning you cannot even open your mouth. But, after finishing the second month you are able to understand and after half a year you are already able to speak a lot and converse happily during every day life.
Apples, apples and APPLES!My name is Jan and I am a student from Germany.
I’m visiting the 10th class of my high school in Ladenburg near to Heidelberg. Right now, I am visiting China for three weeks during of a school exchange. One of these weeks we are doing an internship and I decided to do it at InternChina.
The first day was very great. The people here are very friendly and funny. On the second day another German intern offered me and two classmates to join him to an “Apple Festival”. A little bus picked us up the next morning and we drove to a little town near.
The first thing we saw was a huge stage with a lot of big speakers on each side and we had to walk over a red carpet. One festival volunteer guided us to a table with the sign “foreign friends” on it. And now we saw why this festival was called Apple Festival. On each table there were lots of huge apples. Everywhere there were cameras focused on us because the Chinese people don’t often get to see foreigners. After the first ceremony with guns and fireworks a festival volunteer guided us to some tables next to the stage. On these tables there were different kinds of apples from regional farmers. I think we had try billions of these apples. The boss of the company told us that the province is very proud about their bio-apples.
After that, we met the mayor of this little town. He showed us the production facility. The working conditions for the workers are very different to the conditions of European countries. And every time, there were one or two cameras focused on us.
So my conclusion is that the apple festival was very pompous. It was very funny being something “special”
ZHOUZHUANG known as one of the (old towns)- which is located around 1 hour from the downtown of Shanghai city. It is known as “Shanghai’s Venice”. There are tons of shops, great sea food, and not that many foreigners (which is nice for Shanghai)- typically lots of foreigners in Shanghai. It is very traditional and gave me the feeling of Chinese history… The only problem I faced in my entire trip in Shanghai was my tour guides only spoke Chinese… So my job now is to go back and figure out where I was and what is the history behind all the places I visited. I read that the Fangsheng Bridge is a very famous attribute to this city- its meaning is “setting-fish free bridge” and is the longest and largest bridge in the city and was built in 1571 (I Google searched it)…
Want to study Chinese in smaller cities that have less foreigners Click Here!
On Wednesday nights it’s Q Bar night, the ladies drink for free. Sometimes you can catch Intern China ladies having a few drinks and dancing. In this picture from left to right: Vicky (Chinese native), Andrea (U.S.), Jocelyn (U.S.), and Jasmin (U.S.). There are lots of foreigners and lots of beautiful girls including a host band that plays covers which include (Jay-Z- Empire State of Mind)… We have had some good times there. It is located in the Shangri-la Hotel (5 star)- the finest in all of Qingdao!
To see what Intern China is all about Click Here!
To check out the Shangri-La website Click Here!
Often we go out on Friday nights to have a beer and play a game of pool or two. Anyone can rent by hour to play and ssLPG has great beer and often good music. You can find lots of foreigners there as well as native Chinese people; eating, drinking, and sharing a laugh or two.