Today is my last day at InternChina. For someone who enjoys writing, I’m having a hard time finding words to describe my time here. Really, six months might seem a long time, but it actually goes by in the blink of an eye. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting at the Lao Shaanxi restaurant for my very first IC office lunch of liang pi and rou jia mo (incidentally, that was my last lunch as well).
However, this is not a real goodbye. Having graduated from my Masters just last year, I was looking for opportunities to jump-start my career and that is one of the reasons I chose to do an internship in China. Working at InternChina turned out to be the right strategic decision: thanks to the many contacts and strong relationships we have with dozens of companies in Zhuhai, I was able to find a full-time job in my field of studies, Marketing.
My original goal was to find a job in an exciting metropolis such as Beijing or Shanghai, but after half a year here, I am convinced that Zhuhai is the best place for me to begin my career. Even though it’s a small city by Chinese standards, business is booming yet the lifestyle is laid back and inexpensive. The tropical weather makes you feel like you’re on holiday even on a regular working day, and if you ever find yourself missing western food or culture, Macau and Hong Kong are just around the corner.
I had done quite a few internships before I came to China, but I can honestly say working at InternChina has taught me so much more than I expected. From learning how to manage my time with a heavy workload, to becoming head marketing intern and delegating tasks, up to figuring out logistics of arrivals, trips and events; it has all prepared me for the challenging work that awaits me at my new job.
But most of all, I have enjoyed my time in Zhuhai thanks to the people that have been part of it. The InternChina team is my family now, and Philippe (the Zhuhai Office Manager) has not only been my boss but also like the brother I never had. And even though many of the people that I’ve met here are gone or will be leaving soon, I consider them true friends and hope to see them again one day. I look forward to keep making memories with them and with all the new interns still to come.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, summer is up and running now, temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and images of beaches and tan people in bathing suits flood the advertising spaces everywhere. If you are a student, school is probably over for the semester or you are wrapping up exams and project deadlines.
It’s likely that you’ve already made plans for the summer (after all, you’ve been thinking about it since spring break was over). But if you still don’t know what you’re going to do for the next three months – or if you like to plan so far ahead that you’re already thinking about next summer – let me tell you why an internship in China is the best thing you can do with your summer.
You might be thinking: “Working? During my summer holiday? Why on Earth would I want to do that?” Yes, of course, everybody’s idea of summer is chilling in the sun by day and partying with piña coladas by night. But the truth is, you will most likely go on vacation for one or two weeks, and then spend the rest of the summer playing Xbox with your friends, hanging out at the mall or running errands for your mom.
What I’m saying is: do something more meaningful with your summer! These days, in the competitive business world that we live in, work experience is highly valued and if you graduate university without any at all, chances are you will have a very hard time finding a job that satisfies your career goals and rewards all the hard work you put into your studies (check out Penelope Trunk’s great blog about the importance of doing a summer internship). Of course, you can do an internship in your home town or even try to find a summer job but, now that you’re already thinking about it, why not do an internship in China?
Having work experience in China gives a great boost to your CV. It is not only the fact that China is increasingly gaining importance in the worlds of business and industry, which will definitely help you stand out to recruiters. But they will also see that you are not afraid to take on a challenge, given that you are willing to travel halfway across the world to live and work in a country with a completely different culture and way of life. How you adapted and handled the language and cultural barriers – this will be a great topic to mention in future job interviews.
But coming to China for an internship during the summer is not only great to improve your career prospects. It is also an opportunity to learn about a new culture and have fun while doing it. Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu are great cities to do this: great weather, not as busy or expensive as Beijing or Shanghai, but still close enough that you can visit them and big enough that there are plenty of places to go to keep your evenings and weekends occupied with fun activities.
Just to mention a few examples: in Qingdao you can spend a day playing beach volleyball, sailing and jet skiing; or go climbing Laoshan Mountain if you’re a bit sportier. At night, you can sit outside drinking beer and eating street BBQ. In Zhuhai, you can go swimming in the sea or a pool, take a trip to one of the 146 islands around the city and even hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for the day, do some sightseeing and eat a delicious meal. Chengdu is a great place to go cycling for both pros and amateurs, given the fact that the landscape is mostly flat so you can go far without wearing yourself out too much. You can also have a relaxing afternoon at a tea house and of course, go see the pandas!
As you can see, doing an internship in China gives you the ultimate summer experience: working, learning and having fun! Conclusion: what are you waiting for?
Would you like to spend your summer doing an internship in China? Apply now on our website or send us an email for more information.
Mandarin is the standard language spoken in China. Most Chinese people speak two languages: Mandarin and their regional dialect. People in Zhuhai speak two languages also: Mandarin and Cantonese—the main local language used in Canton province, Hong Kong and Macau.
As an increasing number of people from other regions of China come to Zhuhai to work and live, Mandarin is becoming more and more useful in Zhuhai, even Hong Kong. You can always see “Mandarin is a plus” in the recruitment information for job listings. Most of the employees in Zhuhai companies speak Mandarin as their office language, and Mandarin is also used for business communication with clients.
Mandarin is also very important for living in Zhuhai. When you go to restaurants or go out shopping, waiters or sales assistants will serve you in Mandarin. When you go to the bar, Mandarin will help you make friends with others as well. When you take the taxi or the bus, you have to know the pronunciation of the address or station where you want to go.
Speaking Mandarin in Zhuhai is becoming more and more popular and important, both for working and living. Although some people in Zhuhai have a Cantonese accent when they speak Mandarin, Mandarin is still the main way for people to communicate with each other in Zhuhai as in the whole of China.
When people think about China, the first cities that usually come to mind are, of course, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. If you know a little bit more about the country, you might think of Tibet, Canton, or even Nanjing and Xi’an. But if you have a limited knowledge and experience of China, it’s very likely that you’ve never heard of a city called Zhuhai.
Zhuhai, in the Southeastern province of Guangdong (where Guangzhou, or Canton, is also located), has a population of 1.5 million people. By Chinese standards, this can be considered a small city. So, why would a Westerner want to do an internship in Zhuhai?
To borrow the popular saying… “location, location, location”. Zhuhai is primely located in an area called the Pearl River Delta which, in geographical terms, is the area surrounding the Pearl River estuary. In economic terms, this area comprises several hugely important cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to name a few. This region is considered an emerging megacity and is one of the main hubs of economic growth in China. Meaning: there are thousands of thriving businesses in the area and the number will only keep growing.
In 1980, Zhuhai was named a Special Economic Zone, due largely to its strategic location. This status has meant that the Chinese government is spending a great deal of resources to make Zhuhai a modern and leading city in terms of business, science, education, tourism and transportation. The amount of investment and the convenience of travel (you can walk across the border to Macau, take a 1-hour ferry to Hong Kong or the high-speed train to Guangzhou) has turned Zhuhai into a hugely attractive place for foreign capital. So, if you are a Western intern, it will not be hard to find a company that has business ties to your region of the world.
Now, we all know that an internship abroad isn’t just about the work experience. It is also about the chance to live in a place different from your own, have exciting adventures and learn about a new and exotic culture. Zhuhai is also the perfect place for this. While it is rapidly developing, it is still one of the smaller cities in the area and has not been affected by pollution, heavy traffic or crime. Here, you can relax on the beach after a long day of work and eat delicious traditional Cantonese food. If you’re homesick and longing for a bit of Western culture, you can hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for a day or a weekend.
So, as you can see, Zhuhai is arguably THE place to be when it comes to choosing an internship in China. The cherry on the cake? The Intern China family, ready to support you every step of the way and help make Zhuhai your home away from home.
Last Saturday we took our Zhuhai interns to the exciting city that is Macau. Being at such close distance – the border is just next to downtown Zhuhai – we can go pretty much any day or time we want (if we have multiple-entry visas), but it’s always more fun when you have a big group and lots of attitude!
Instead of walking across the border, we decided to take the ferry early in the morning, because it is faster to get through and we wanted to make the most of our day. After landing on the other side of the bay, we walked to downtown Macau and up to Senado Square. Macau is a great mix of Cantonese and Portuguese culture, so just walking around and looking at the colonial architecture is extremely interesting.
From there we walked through the alleys around the square, past shops selling typical Macau food like cured sausages and almond cookies. The best part is that every shop gives you free samples, so we were able to calm down our hunger before we went off to lunch.
We then arrived at the Ruins of St. Paul, one of Macau’s most famous landmarks and a very exciting sight for us who come from Catholic cultures, since it is very odd to see a huge cathedral facade in the middle of an Asian town. The fort with all the cannons facing the casinos was also very cool to see!
After checking out the sights in the city centre, we decided it was time for lunch and took taxis to the casino side of Macau. We arrived first at the Galaxy, where we had lunch at the food court. From there we walked to the Venetian, by far the most lavish and extravagant of the casinos.
The boys, of course, wanted to try out their luck so we went inside the gambling area and sat at the electronic roulette. Dina and I – the Intern China interns and the only two girls in the group – are not really into gambling so after a while we got bored and decided to check out the shops around the canal on the second floor. If it’s your first time at the Venetian, you might get a bit disoriented when you realise the sky is actually a ceiling and the great Venetian canal (with gondolas and all) is all a big replica.
As with all games of luck, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and this time the boys had to go home with a few hundred RMB less than they came with. But no one can take away the fun they had betting it all away!
We ended the night on a great note at a small, cozy Portuguese restaurant where we ate a delicious grilled chicken, French fries and salad. Some of us took a chance with the lime-juice-and-chilli sauce: it was spicy, but greatly refreshing after a long day of walking! Then of course, some well-deserved beers and sangrias and soon it was time to cross the border and arrive back home in Zhuhai.
Weekend- and the same problem again: too many awesome things to do and not enough time. The good thing is, it doesn’t matter what you are doing- it will be great.
Until February 24th there’s the Human Bodies and the Titanic Exhibition in Macau.
400 artifacts from the Titanic and her sister ships are shown in the Venetian to remember on the 100th Anniversary.
And just because one great exhibition is never enough they’re showing an unprecedented view into real human bodies right next to it on the Human Bodies Exhibition.
It’s Christmas time- even in the South of China! You always though Christmas isn’t a big thing in China? Then you are right. It isn’t. I totally forgot that before I came here. The first package with ginger cookies from home arrived and I knew I need to do something. Fortunately that wasn’t a big deal, as you can walk from Zhuhai to Macau:
Chocolate-mint cupcakes, Ice-skating, snow, Christmas trees, Santa Clause, Candy and Christmas music!
Just go, see and enjoy!!!
Travelling to Hongkong is such an easy thing to do when you are living in Zhuhai. Just catch one of the Ferries from the JiuZhou Port in Zhuhai, relax one hour on the boat and welcome to an amazing city!
Last weekend I went there again and it was like always incredibly awesome. Fortunately I found a hotel room on the Hongkong Island side, right next to Soho.
So, first evening: arriving at night, getting some drinks and enjoying the city. Everything is just completely different to Zhuhai: the architecture, the people, the shops.
Day two: doing the most popular thing for tourists in Hongkong: going to the Peak, with about 300 other people. If you want to go to there as well, please don’t think it will be relaxing. The Peak is completely crowded. Every single person on that roof wants to make the same picture. Here’s a tip: use all your knowledge about getting into a bus or standing in a queue in China: don’t be too nice, just go for it. Then you will have a really nice view over Hongkong.
There a lot of too expensive restaurants in the same building, which are really good. So eating seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimps is always a good choice. Beware of all the tourist shops there. I couldn’t stand it. I went back to the roof at night with a bag filled with Bubba Gump Shrimp glasses and some ‘I love HK’ t-shirts…
Going to the Peak is a lot more comfortable by bus instead of that Peak Tram. You have an awesome view and you don’t need to wait that long. Now I need to say, going down by bus, after some Cocktails and a whole bucket of shrimps is not the best thing to do. So, at that point there were no more else activities in the evening.
Day three: just being the most awkward tourist on earth! Going to Kowloon (wearing the new t-shirts), cross the Avenue of stars, taking a picture of the Bruce Lee star just because it is the only one you know and buy everything on the Lady’s market just because it is cheap.
Last night: get some drinks in Soho.
Getting back to Zhuhai is an easy thing to do. Just go the Hongkong Macau Ferry Terminal and take the next boat.