How to prepare for an internship in China

How to prepare for an internship in China

If you haven’t heard, China has finally lifted its travel restrictions after three long years…! Yes, that includes China's plan to ditch its previous limitations on inbounding flights and quarantine policies. Happy New Year to you— we couldn’t be more excited for those of you whose internship plans got disturbed by the pandemic. You can now move forward with your internship in China!

That leads us to the topic of our blog today: how to prepare for an internship in China! Granted, China’s most promising industries: manufacturing and retail have unfortunately lost their shine in our post-pandemic world as having suffered detrimental economic losses; but unlike those, growth can be seen in the Chinese e-commerce, healthcare, and interactive entertainment industry, to name a few.

What does all of this mean for your internship in China, you ask? More internship options and career prospects for you! It is great news for those of you who are thinking of undertaking an internship in China but have not quite yet figured out your future career pathways— you are free to explore a wide range of different fields and industries. Greater opportunities offer you with a plethora of skills and experiences which makes it a whole lot easier for you to enter and transition into new positions.

With that established, let’s jump right into how to prepare for your internship in China, shall we?

  • Study the language

One of the first things you should consider when preparing for your internship in China is to familiarize yourself with the local language, in our case, traditional or Mandarin Chinese. Though it would be ideal if you happen to be fluent in the language but native- or bilingual- level language proficiency is not a part of the requirements in your internship in China.

However, this is not to say that you can begin with your internship in China without any knowledge of the Chinese language whatsoever. Yes, even if you are in the country’s major cities like Shanghai and Beijing where English is spoken. Spending months abroad with zero language proficiency would be rather daunting, wouldn’t it?

  • Make use of networking opportunities!

If you are keen on making the most out of your internship in China, you may really want to reconsider studying the language if you haven’t already done so. When thinking of expanding your professional networks, you cannot not think of China— they are the networking experts!

If anything, you will be able to master how to compose yourself and maintain good and long-lasting relationships with professionals in the field of your interests. Mark our word for this, you will see the difference in your social and networking skills before and after doing an internship in China!

  • Stay well-informed on Chinese culture

Considered as one of the most essential factors you should bear in mind when thinking of undertaking an internship in China, culture plays a critical role in affecting your overall experience and determining the outcome of your internship. For one, it improves the chances of you maintaining professional (and personal) relationships with your future colleagues and employers; for another, making language learning less painstaking and more feasible.

General knowledge on Chinese culture would be sufficient for you to survive your international internship in China. Developing a more in-depth understanding of its significance in the modern Chinese society would definitely add a lot of value to your internship experience! It’s up to you if you want to jazz up your visit to the Summer Palace like a local would or not...

If you dream of exploring different parts of China during your internship in China, we hope that you know what to do.

(Source: Nick Fewings on Unsplash)

  • Know that you are not alone!

It is very easy to feel blue when you feel isolated and are away from home. If you ever experience melancholic feelings, put yourself out there and make new friends. They can be anybody at all… your colleagues at work, internship alumni, or someone sitting next to you on the public transport! If language barriers pose to be an issue, befriend fellow international interns or expats,,! You can easily get in touch with them online by joining international WeChat groups.

Another alternative would be to meet up and hang out with them in real life! It is always nice to have someone whom you can lean on and seek advice from. There are a number of different ways you can schedule a small gathering with potential friends. This includes but is not limited to joining business events and social clubs as well as getting yourself involved in meaningful volunteer projects.

That was how to prepare for an internship in China. Now, go make the most out of it!

Haven’t gotten yourself an internship in China?

Follow this link to explore AIP’s internship in China options or click the button below to apply!

AIP is an international internship provider that offers purposeful internship experiences to young professionals across a multitude of different industries throughout Asia and beyond.

Learn more about our internships!