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Testimonial ++ Internship ++ China

My Valuable Intercultural Business Internships in Shang Hai

"My name is Tobias, a 24 years old student of Business Sciences. In my studies, I focused on intercultural studies, especially in the Chinese-speaking area. Therefore, I landed my choice to study abroad at the University of Shanghai for four months."

After finishing my semester I had two spare months before having to go back to my university in Germany and decided to apply for an internship in China. My biggest wish was to stay in Shanghai so I started to look for an internship there. Turned out that applying for an internship in China was quite challenging, because 'Guanxi', which means 'relation' is an extremely important factor. Basically it means having good relations, favor and long-lasting business connections. If you do not have any contacts in China, it is nearly impossible to find an internship there. After realizing that, I contacted StudentsGoAbroad.

Swift Application Process

I uploaded some documents as my resume, a letter of motivation, and a variety of fields I would like to work in. All this information was processed and forwarded to the cooperation partner in Shanghai. After just a couple of days, I received a call from the Chinese office and they told me about a suitable position found for me. An interview with the responsible person from the company was arranged the following week. After my personal agreement within the interview, I was already accepted as an intern for my favored time and received a confirmation that was necessary for the visa appliance.

The Company, Employees, and Tasks

Finally, the day had come and I was in the 28-level skyscraping office, in the city center of Shanghai. My former employer was a branch of the biggest magnetic producer in China. Operating internationally, the subsidiary focused on purchasing and reselling showcases in shop-windows, shelves, et cetera. My main task was to reach potential customers as well as interacting with German and English speaking companies through phone calls and emails, along with existing business connections maintenance.

Generally, I definitely had the chance to improve my knowledge about Chinese language and culture, because Chinese was spoken so much more than English. Aside from language, I was happy to be highly involved. Even though I was only an intern, I never felt left out. As soon I had to deal with any kind of problems everyone was happy to help me, and also after our working hours, my colleagues talked to me. As a highlight, I was invited to two company events: to the Chinese New Year which comes along with the ending of the business year there. Overall I learned a lot about the Chinese culture, which I could not have learned at university and in addition I had the chance to get to know the real working life in China.

Travel with Ease

I am really happy having found Studentsgoabroad, especially after talking to many friends who had been looking for an internship in Shanghai without success and having experienced the difficulties of finding an internship without relationships in China. It was a great experience and it helped me a lot to dive into the working life of the Chinese culture after my semester abroad. The excellent care and constant availability from Studentsgoabroad and on the other hand from the Chinese partner organization made it possible to have a contact person for every possible problem which could potentially occur. If you are planning to go abroad for an internship, I would strongly recommend to get placed by Studentsgoabroad, because the placement fee is definitely worth it. If you do not have any knowledge of the Chinese language and do not knot the city at all, Studentsgoabroad will organize an airport transfer, the accommodation, for you.

Little Tips and Suggestions

Finally some – in my opinion – important hints. If this is your first trip to China, you will definitely experience a culture shock. The culture is different and cannot be compared to the one you are used to, which is already reflected in aspects like the hygiene factors and can be noticed immediately. Also, the meals might be uncommon and you need to get used to it. One very important factor is, that you learn at least the very basics of the Chinese language before you go to China because very few people speak English in China. That is even the case in the most modern city of China with the most western standards: Shanghai. Especially taxi drivers, restaurant workers, and shop assistants, throughout people you are having contact with every day, speak exclusively Chinese. If you are willing to accept all that, Shanghai is an awesome choice! Shanghai can be described as “the city that never sleeps”. There is always something going: many possibilities to do sightseeing, to enjoy life, to educate oneself culturally or just go shopping for a w price. For all party-loving people, the clubs in Shanghai can be highly recommended (also cheap for the non-locals). In addition to that, there are many travel destinations, which can all be reached easily within a very short time. For example Hangzhou, Suzhou or Nanjing. These locations as well as diverse others are worth a visit. Finally my personal recommendation: Absolutely get into it and enjoy your time there! Have a good trip!

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