The Top 3 Best Fields For An Internship In China
photo credit: Gongaza University
If you have decided to move to China or are already here, then you surely must know that the best way to kick-start your career would be to do an internship. We understand that it can get confusing at first because the Asian culture is very different from the Western one, so this is why we have decided to give you access to some valuable insights about the employment reality here and internships.
Are There Paid Internships in China?
Firstly, you have to understand that it is illegal to get paid in China as a foreigner if you don’t have a working visa. The only way you can apply for a working visa is if you already have a full-time employment contract and this is why an internship cannot be paid. But you can do it with your student visa and aim at getting employed by the company afterwards so that you can also get a working visa. It may be required of you to return to your country when you apply to change your visa type, but your potential employer knows it, so you don’t have to worry about it.
How can you survive if you can’t get paid during an internship in China?
While it is illegal for an employer to pay you a monthly salary in this situation, it is not illegal for them to offer you a small allowance that can cover transportation and meals. This is where the term of “paid internship” comes, but don’t expect payment in the form of a monthly salary and don’t think that it will exceed a few thousand RMB (roughly a couple of hundred dollars). And if we are talking about this sort of "paid" internships, then there are three fields you should look into. You can check Laowaicareer.com for internships or related groups on Wechat and Facebook.
3 best areas for internships in China
The best internship packages will offer you an allowance and other nice benefits, such as accommodation and free meals, along with the real opportunity of getting hired after completing the internship.
- IT - Everybody is searching for programmers and web developers, and China is no exception. An internship in IT can usually offer an allowance between 1500 – 5000 CNY (the equivalent of $150 - $700+) and the possibility of you getting hired after completion is very high. Moreover, this kind of internship is guaranteed to provide you with valuable professional connections (that are vital in China) and an international work experience that will come in handy later on. You just have to have some related educational background and a couple of IT skills, junior level.
- Design - After programmers and web developers, designers are the most wanted professionals in China. You can be a graphic or a product designer or even an interior designer and get an excellent internship here. The allowance is smaller than in the field of IT, somewhere around 1000 – 3000 CNY ($150 - $460), but the chances of you getting hired after completion are still very high. Also, besides the professional connections that you will get, you will also gain a network of potential customers. The requirements to get accepted for this kind of internship are basic: you have to have the educational background in the field and junior-level skills, design portfolio is always a plus.
- Hospitality - If you’d rather talk to people instead of working at a computer, then you should try to find an internship in the field of customer relation management in hospitality. The monthly allowance is not great, somewhere between 1000 – 2500 ($150 - $385), but very often, these internships include free accommodation and meals. Besides, the requirements are minimal: you can be at the entry level and it is always a plus if your educational background is related to the job, but it’s not a must. Also, there are high chances of you getting hired after completion.
There are also other fields good for finding internships, such as sales, social media, customer relations, HR, marketing, and PR. These internships don’t, usually, come with a monthly allowance (except for sales that may work on a commission basis), but they do have nice benefits, like free lunch and transportation. It’s not much, but it is a way employers encourage you, and there is always the chance that you will get hired afterwards. Be ambitious, try to become excellent at what you do and great opportunities will arise! Read our other articles as well to discover valuable information about the employment reality in China, what you should do at a job interview, how you can get your visa and much more!
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