Gap Year Program in China: intern, study Chinese or volunteer

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Are you seeking meaningful activities that you can take on during the all too important gap year? Join our program at Go Abroad China, we have solid experience in helping students make informed decisions and research about the next step in their career, as well as providing exciting opportunities for them to explore! We support international candidates seeking valuable and practical ways to spend a gap year by providing a selection of the following programs:

1) Internships in China
2) Mandarin language study
3) Volunteering in Beijing
4) Study & Tour program

We customize our programs to meet the specific need of some applicants, we communicate efficiently and patiently to help our potential candidates understand how we can help them really start engaging their future plans and adding an element of adventure and excitement by the fact that we invite them to come to China.

Questions & Answers


based on 11 reviews
  • Growth 1.5
  • Support 1
  • Fun 1
  • Housing 1
  • Safety 1
  • Housing 8.3
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.4
  • Value 8.4
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
Angela Eva

Very very Bad Experience - Loss of Money

I enrolled in GAC program - Go Abroad China -,

As clearly stated and agreed finalizing the contract,
I would have made an internship to learn new professional skills,
I'd have been followed Tutor on the job place and a career advisor from GAC.
Gac would have me attended professional marketing conferences and networking events.
GAC would have guided me through all the bureaucratic steps necessary to stay in China.
GAC would have arranged some Chinese classes that I paid for.
All the above has been agreed during the contract.

In reality:
1- the company I worked for as an intern didn’t provide me any training at all - (I even had to bring and use my own pc on the job place - they asked me what they had to do and I felt, that they totally took advantage of my academic knowledge but I didn't receive anything in return in terms of new skills and competences).
Therefore, I didn’t learn anything new and I didn’t improve my professional skills, which is what I soundly paid for.
2- Even if, I reminded GAC many times about the marketing conferences that I paid for and agreed during the contract, when I enrolled in the program, I have never been invited to any professional conferences and networking events. At a certain point, after my insistent requests, they informed me that GAC didn’t provide that service anymore. Weird thing is that they sold/ promised me the service and it’s one of the reasons I enrolled with them as conferences and networking events are important elements of professional growth
3- About the "help and guidance" through the bureaucratic processes necessary to stay in China, they forgot to make me register at the municipal police station as it is requested to all temporary residents in Shanghai within a week of their arrival.. To mend, I was told to go to an hotel, stay one night and get the temporary registration form from the hotel. So I had to book an hotel and spend more money. I paid for it not them...
I was confused about this procedure.
Just later, I found out that they asked me to go to an hotel, because if I had registered to the city police, as required, I would have incurred in an expensive fee for registering so late.
I was informed about this fact by the police itself, when, later on, I had to change my apartment and I had to register my new residence once again. The police checked my entries and could see that I had registered through an hotel and not on time, within a week as required, after I had first entered the country. The police was nice and after I started crying for the extremely expensive fee they asked me to pay, they let me go with no charge.

What annoys me is that I paid so much the agency GAC, because I just wanted to focus on myself, my professional growth and development without worrying about complex procedures and bureaucracy.
But instead, I had to worry all the time to solve issues, attend conferences and learn something new ( professionally ) by myself.
I was offered a full time job.
After I invested about 2000 Euros in documents and notarisation services to get a working visa,
The Company I worked for decided to outsource all marketing services and I was suddenly left home with no refund, no explanations and a consistent loss of money.
GAC did nothing!

How can this program be improved?
respect to the agreements
tutorship / mentorship
control of the working environment
Response from Go Abroad China

Dear Angela,

We are so sorry for your case, We try our best to provide the best service and experience to our clients and students who partake in our programs. We apologize for any misunderstandings or discomfort you faced during your program in China. Based on the contract and agreement we provided for our internship. Our internships and the services we provide are aimed at the professional development of our students. Each internship we provide comes with various tasks and duties provided by the individual company which are aimed to professionally develop you and provide you with essential skills and experience based in your field. Our partner companies provide you the environment to learn, improve your skills based on the tasks you’re giving or use the opportunity to pick up new skills and experiences. We have got to know that during your internship, we placed you in 3 companies, but each company was not happy with your performance and decided to let you go because you were not the proper way to them on several occasions.

Regarding our promise of networking events and conferences, we have sent the invitations to all of our participants in China and you are more than welcome to join any of our events, and also our partner companies organised and provide networking event opportunities which would have been discussed and arranged during your internship, however this wasn’t arranged as due to complications that arose during your internship they decided to end your internship and so you didn't have the chance to attend these events.

GAC Team.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Beware of GAC

I did not have a positive experience with GAC. They take your currency in exchange for a bad program. Have you ever stopped and wondered WHY you have to PAY a ton for an internship?! It doesn't make sense right? Because it's not!

-The visa regulations in China are ambiguous so I was uncomfortable coming in on a tourist visa as I was advised to do by GAC.
-The apartments are cheap in China, so most of your money doesn't go there.
-They say they have a large network of companies to choose from but I have seen them posting personal documents, sometimes of student's passports, on WeChat professional sites, which is very dangerous.
-Most of the internships are useless and don't have much work for you. Most of us were literally just sitting around all day. Most of them aren't even paid!

Find a Chinese professionals page online. You're better off getting in touch with actual working professionals in China who are foreigners instead of native born Chinese people who are out to take all of your hard-earned money.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Everything I ever wanted, and more!

I always knew I wanted to learn Chinese in China but I never knew how easy it could be until I found Go Abroad China. Even though I traveled to China not knowing a single person, I never felt lost or alone because I knew I had people I could rely on and call if I needed. GAC took several steps before I left to make sure I was prepared, such a supplying me with a cell phone, insurance, housing, and my Chinese class schedule. When I got to Beijing, they had a driver waiting for me at the airport to take me to my University, I studied at BLCU by the way. The classes were interesting and engaging and really allowed me to get an amazing glimpse of Chinese culture. They arranged excursions which made me (and my parents, they came to visit me for one week) feel better that I wasn't trying to plan out everything myself in a foreign country. Study abroad in China is something I recommend every student do at some point in their life because I think it's the best way to gain a sense of independence and confidence in yourself. It's also a great excuse to live in another country for 6 months and see the culture more in-depth than a week-long vacation. The friends I made while I was in China are people that I will have forever in my life because we shared such unforgettable memories and experiences. 

The BLCU is the best university to learn Chinese, Chinese classes themselves were great and all of the professors were excellent, the only thing I would have liked more is if I was mixed with Chinese Students. It could have just been the classes I chose though but I really enjoyed all of my classes regardless.

I lived in a Chinese host family, they were so kind, I had my own room and bathroom and shared a kitchen. I couldn't have asked for better people to live with. We were all so excited to be in another country that we exchange some language and culture experience. The living area is in the downtown , and very safe and I really appreciated that GAC organized all the housing as opposed to me having to figure it out myself.

How can this program be improved?
GAC was great with getting us immersed in the culture, we had lots of events and activities! Of course, they were all optional but I and the rest of my study abroad classmates took advantage of every one of them! We went to acrobatic shows, we went to ski, visited Grate Wall and Forbidden city, spent a weekend in shanghai and several other excursions.

The program directors and administration was amazing from the day I applied to GAC . After I was accepted, my GAC admissions counselor called me every few weeks to make sure I was doing okay and if I had any questions. When I landed in China, I was met at the airport by my program director and she introduced me to my driver who drove me to the University. When I got there, another GAC representative met me at the car and showed me to my host family and gave me a tour of campus. Throughout the entire time, my program director Gina was completely accessible and involved in everything we did.
Yes, I recommend this program
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A Good Chance never Come Twice

A good chance never come twice means GAC gave me a good chance to explored China in a simple ways. They help me everything i needed when i was in China, They provide me a paid internship in Beijing China. all of their staff are very friendly, they helped me anytime i need and they help me to solve all the problem i had. Every week they held a weekend activity to make us know more about Chinese culture. Join GAC internship program i feel like i catch a bird in one shoot which means i got a lot of experience an knowledge when i was in China. I learn about Chinese business strategies, Chinese culture, Chinese langguage and so many thing. Deep in my heart i don't wanna leave China, i don't wanna leave my colleague, my new friends and also GAC staff who is become my best friend when i was in China.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Internship in China

In my school it is very common to take 'a year in the industry' and most students during this time usually work, travel, or take internships. I did a hospitality internship in China for almost 2 months in Shanghai. I plan to work in hospitality and have interned at a great hotel in Atlanta, and now I have another experience from China. I have to say the major things in the hotel industry are generally similar, and the benefits are great too. I enjoy client service and organizing things and actually really enjoyed my internship. We worked in shifts with my coworkers but it didn't feel like a job because I liked working in a hotel, plus I got to save a lot on accommodation and meals!
Exploring Shanghai with the GAC people was also great, its a city really beautiful by night! We went out for meals, one time we cooked dinner with some other people too all doing summer internships, and man other activities that were happening in Shanghai. Seemed to me foreigners there always had something to do!

Yes, I recommend this program
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A couple of months learning Chinese in China

During a break in my studies I decided to go to China and study Chinese. I had taken just a few lessons long ago but I had recently started thinking about China again, mainly because at careers office an adviser had mentioned it and I finally decided that I could travel to China. Go Abroad China advised that it would be best if I took the homestay option because it would allow me to keep learning Chinese from Chinese people. I admit that it was a good choice. I studied with a tutor for up to 6 hours everyday, and it was really tough but also helpful. She literally started from the very beginning and almost every week we started a new chapter from the book I was learning from. Homestay was great; I lived with a host family and their daughter. My host 'mom' was really supportive when I was doing my Chinese homework and she would help me a lot with pronouncing the words. That's another thing, I ALWAYS had homework! A couple of weekends the people at Go Abroad China would organize something and I met several other people who were doing internships and made friends. Doing private tutoring can get lonely sometimes as it was just me and my tutor (but she was really nice) so I always looked forward to going out with new friends and hanging out.

How can this program be improved?
I had a good time in China but I think GAC staff should check in more about how the client and the program are going.
Yes, I recommend this program
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My Gap Year Trip to China

I had an incredible time with Go Abroad China. I chose Go Abroad China because their service are affordable but promising than the other 3 third party companies that i sampled on
Arriving in China, one thing i noticed was the cultural shock and i immediately knew that China was a different place to be. The people are so good to foreigners and could use their last moments to offer help.
I taught my host family English language so i had my accommodation for free which i never paid.Go Abroad China helped arrange this and it was helpful as my total fee had reduced drastically.
I lived near Go Abroad China's office, so i participated in many of the activities they plan. It was a fun experience to hang out with the other foreigners and talk about our different countries. I met amazing people from
all around the world, people with interesting stories and different experience from mine. It was always a pleasure to go to my Chinese classes and see everyone there.
Content of the program was fine with my expectations. I combined language Immersion with volunteering agenda. I taught English Language and Computer Lessons in a Migrant School in Beijing. It was a very deep and emotional program and i am happy to see my effort impact on these Children.

Yes, I recommend this program
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My turn to review Go Abroad China

I think i will never regret coming to China because it was an awesome and an eye opening trip for me getting to experience a culture that is different from the west. Selecting a service provider for such trips was always daunting and painstaking. When i was looking for an Asian Gap Year i saw their advert "Experts for Gap Year Planning" i added them to a basket of similar service providers which i had to observe the correspondences and carefully select i chose them because their staff have been so helpful in the process.
I understand that Homestays accommodations are the best to facilitate language immersion but i opted to share apartment with Chinese students in dormitories in a particular High School Campus. My parents encouraged me because they felt it was safer because there are caretakers. Indeed i feel this is the best decision i have ever made because i mingled with Chinese students who also were interested in learning the English language the result was butter trade.
I am currently still in China and due to depart in the next two weeks but i am already feeling reluctant. Apart from getting to know the language and the lifestyle of China, i have grown as a person and as a traveler. I have learnt to understand and coexist with different cultures and personalities and i will be going back home with many beautiful memories.
Since we have the language barrier sometimes it is difficult to discuss about things or problems but over time, my Chinese improved drastically and we could discuss just anything. We spend evenings describing our various countries and nice places. My Chinese friend told His parents about me and the decided to pick me on a family treat with approval from Go Abroad China. The program content was superb ,it allowed for full immersion and mastery of mandarin, the environment for studying was absolutely warm and welcoming, Coordinators were always available to help every step of the way. The language study is very rigorous and deep. At the end of the day, what matters is that i achieved my ambitions.
If i should rate, i will give Go Abroad China Lower excellent because i know they cannot be perfect.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Once upon in China with Go Abroad China

I got to know about Go Abroad China through my career advisor. I chose the China immersion program for myself with the help of my parents. It was my frist time ever trying to travel out of the States so as usual i had to pay much attention to every detail to make sure that i am making the right choice. i was a little skeptical about things such that i got hesitant even at the final hour. i do not need all the elements in the service pack so i asked for a customized service quotation which was affordable. I noticed living in Beijing was not that expensive as i thought.
I selected Home stay accommodation arrangement upon advice from GAC staff but i was not sure what to expect as i do not know the caliber of families that are selected. Bonding with my Host family was a little difficult but finally enjoyed it. I noticed that the remedy to my worries is to be open minded. They actually facilitated my immersion; they served as a point of contact for practicing my Chinese after class. I learn how to make some Chinese Cuisine by the help of the host family and they narrated to me much Chinese histories and reasons behind some of their cultural values. I learnt to be moderate in all aspects of life.
The program performance target was to get me master Chinese language within 3 months. The curriculum is made up of language study and Chinese Business Model. My weekdays were tight with studies while the weekends were full of fun. Whenever i get the sense that weekends are near then i get happy. I enjoyed the trip to Inner Mongolia. I saw for the first time how nomadic cultures were, and how they construct their tents. It was an awesome experience.
I will not state here that Go Abroad China is a perfect organization but they tried to meet my expectations and i will not hesitate recommending them to anyone who wants to plan a Gap Year and any of their services. I owe return trip to China because of my host family.Some friends from the same school also participated in other programs with similar content and they also shared a very nice testimony.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Terrible experience

You can bet that any 100% positive review about Go Abroad China is 100% fake! One look at their fake staff page and you can get a lot of information about this company.

I was on the Shanghai internship program. GAC put me in a dirty apartment and gave a poor quality internship in a dead-end company. Totally against my dreams and aspirations for China.

Chinese law requires all non-Chinese to register their residence at the local police station in Shanghai. GAC NEVER told me about this and when I phoned them for guidance, they SHOUTED at me and told me not to go!! Why? Because then GAC would have to pay staff to tell all their interns this! I was fine 3000RMB because GAC did not tell me. GAC refused to pay me the money.

I had to consult a lawyer in China and luckily GAC became afraid and gave me a full refund so I could find new accommodation independently.

P.s. GAC is an advertiser on No conflict of interest there! (*sarcasm*)

Response from Go Abroad China

Dear Yasho,

As GAC International Relations representative, I feel responsible to reply to your feedback with full importance of this matter. We are sorry about the difference between your very high expectation and reality.. The same refers to the apartment issues. You have approved the apartment, and then you decided that this apartment is not luxury enough for your standards. Our staff in Shanghai helped you to compare several apartments several days and then you chose one. We even paid 2-3 night hotel fees. For residence registration, we definitely told you to make it at the beginning. However as you kept checking other apartments and missed the time, you could not make.
For the internship placement, we kept asking you your feedback about the company. As with our policy, we would definitely provide you with another placement if you don’t like it. However we never heard from you that you didn't like the company. And you worked there for 6 months and now you tell us you don’t like the company. We don’t think, your position make any sense in the already stated facts.
We never heard a anything about lawyer and we have no reason to be afraid of you. Your relationships are pretty clearly stated in the contracts and terms and conditions base.

GAC International Relations

No, I don't recommend this program
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Go Abroad China Shanghai SCAM

GAC is a disgusting company who lies and totally unethical. In 2012 I joined on their Shanghai Internship program. Here are the list of lies they committed against my wife and I:

1. The internship company did not pay a stipend despite GAC promising in writing that they did;
2. Accommodation was a dump, totally unsafe and they pictures they gave me before I came to China were fake;
3. I paid extra for for Chinese lessons but I was never given any. They promise on their website that they hire professional Chinese language teachers with degrees to teach Chinese. This is a 100% lie. They hired a girl, paying her $4 an hour and she had no language degree. Even she hated GAC;
4. GAC has NO office in Shanghai. Ask them on their Live Chat and they will grudgingly admit it! If you have a problem, they don't care and abandon you. They use part time workers, temporary workers as cheap staff and they then disappear;
5. GAC offer paid internships illegally on their website. It is illegal to pay an intern a wage under the Internship (F) visa. They are illegally advertising.
6. GAC find internships by spamming CVs to any random company and cannot find you the internships you want. They give you rubbish internships;
7. GAC did not provide me an internship when I got here, I was forced to wait for THREE WEEKS while they looked for one. They lied to me and told me they found one. When I arrived in Shanghai, the internship was non-existent!;
8. They tried to extort extra money from me because I wanted to leave the dirty apartment they gave me. They wanted to in effect have 2 deposits and cheat the next intern they had coming to Shanghai. When I refused to pay their bribe, they tried to put my apartment up for sale on an online agent! The language teacher they hired at $4 an hour refused their request thankfully!;
9. There are 100s of cheated interns who took the Shanghai internship program. They just don't bother speaking out. I met many ex-GAC interns who had to fight the company to get refunds. Examples include Newin Gretz from Switzerland and Yasho Rajmarathan from India.
10. GAC illegally prevent interns from registering at the police station upon their arrival in China
10. Their staff includes an ex-English teacher who regularly threatens interns with illegal actions if they don't pay GAC extra money.

Please do NOT use Go Abroad China. They are a scam company and do not provide a truly useful experience to their interns. All their reviews are fake or probably from Beijing where the interns don't know any better. They do not care about you. They are Chinese criminals.

Response from Go Abroad China

As GAC International relations representative, I feel responsible to reply to your feedback with full importance of this matter. We have to admit that all facts stated by you are very far from the real development of this case. We found that negative emotion implemented is not based on any facts, but personal interpretation 
1).   The company did promise us to pay stipend to our clients, but it’s based on program participants’ performance. Also it’s our first time to hear that you did not get the stipend. We would definitely coordinate with the company for you if you have told us earlier.
2).   If the accommodation is not safe, we don’t understand Mr.Rajesh had stayed there for 6 month totally. We stated clearly that due to uncontrolled reasons, we had right to change the housing. Hope Mr.Rajesh can understand this.
3) Mr. Rajesh have never been charged additional money for Chinese language lessons and it is not serious to comment professional relationships ,without having any information and details ,just based on guesses. 
4)We have never mentioned that there is GAC office in Shanghai as we work with our local employees , by providing better and more flexible service.
5) We have always stated the stipend ,not the salary as good way to help interns to cover part of there running expenses. Other than that never been commented or discussed.  
6)The following point is painless to discuss on public as Mr. Rajesh has no idea or access to GAC terms and way to work with Intern partnership companies.  
7)Mr. Rajesh request to be placed at Risk management’s business field with no related experience. He was not able to fulfill the most contacted company’s requirements, despite his high expectation and self overconfidence. As Mr.Rajesh did not like the first internship company, we arranged another more suitable one for him.  
8) Mr. Rajesh has live there for 3 months and refused to leave apartment after the end of the contract. The same person is living in the same apartment even at the moment, without paying the deposit even program finished. 

No, I don't recommend this program


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About Go Abroad China

Go Abroad China as the leading internship abroad provider in China, over 10000 talented undergraduates, graduates and young professionals from over 50 countries have joined GAC China Internship program.

Go Abroad China provide in a wide range of...