Within this review, you will find out about the horrible experience I had with The Intern Group during my summer internship in 2014. This company used deceptive marketing to lure in interns and did not deliver on their promises. The directors of this program were not responsive when I dealt with severe issues with my accommodations during my 2-month stay in Hong Kong. After speaking with several other unhappy interns on this same program, I feel that a warning is in order for future interns considering the Intern Group for their internship abroad program.
To begin, I will start with the most relevant piece of information regarding the "top-quality" internships that the Intern Group provides. During my time in Hong Kong, I got to know several other interns on the program. After speaking to everyone about his or her internship, I found that everyone seemed to feel unchallenged, unhappy and taken advantage of. In my personal situation, I had asked the Intern Group to facilitate an internship with a large financial company, preferably with a company that has a presence in the US. This was 6 months prior to my program start date. One month before I was to leave for Hong Kong, the Intern Group finally contacted me and pressured me into taking a position with a start-up insurance brokerage that employed two other people, since there was limited time.
The Intern Group claims to have several connections around the world with top companies in various fields. However, I did not come across a single intern on my program that was with reputable company. Near the end of my stay in Hong Kong (HK), I asked my employer about how the Intern Group approached him about taking me on as an intern. He told me that the director, Krystal Lee, met with him and simply asked, "Do you want a free intern this summer?" Wow... I could've done that. A huge portion of the Intern Group's program fee is the internship facilitation & accommodations. For the up-charge that participants spend in the JOKE of the "facilitation of an internship", one could spend the same amount and stay in a luxury hotel for 2-months, with free breakfast!
Now I will move on to discuss the bed bugs; a problem that not only greatly affected me, but also affected everyone in my life back home. During my research stage, I found several photos on the Intern Group website displaying western accommodations, double beds, a huge kitchen, and modern appliances. Upon my arrival in HK, I walked into the apartment they had facilitated, and was SHOCKED. The building looked and smelled 100 years old, one of the rooms had bunk beds, and the entire apartment was approximately 400 square feet. I didn't complain, however, and stayed in the flat for about 5 weeks. For those few weeks I was getting severe bites all over my body; my ankles, shoulders and arms! Some of the bites are still on my body and will likely leave a scar. Since I have never dealt with bed bugs, I attributed the bites to mosquitoes at first, thinking they must've gotten into the flat through the bathroom fan that was exposed to outside and unable to be closed. However, when I started noticing black and yellow debris all over my bed, I started to get worried. I started googling, and immediately found out that I was dealing with bed bugs. I did thorough research into bedbugs to find out the severity of the issue I was dealing with. The results were unsettling. I searched my bed and found several casings of bed bugs and was completely disgusted. I found that bed bugs were treated in several methods, but the most effective was through hiring a professional fumigation company, then a cleaning service to remove any eggs that weren't killed during fumigation. I read terrible reviews online about people who used cheap bug bombs or mattress protectors, only to find that these methods almost always resulted in the issue persisting for several months. I relayed my research to the the HK director, Krystal Lee, and the manager of directors for the Intern Group, Andrew Prachuablarb. I laid out exactly what I expected from the company in terms of dealing with the situation effectively; I did spend $7000 for this program, after all.
They responded by telling me I had to sleep in that infested bed for the night, and that they would "take care of it" in the morning. After the first night in temporary flat, they emailed me saying they had taken care of the bed bugs using a cheap bug bomb and the company refused to clean the apartment, even the mattress!!!! Based on my previous research, I refused to re-enter the apartment until it had been properly fumigated/cleaned. Again, they refused to live up to this standard. They decided to move us into a different flat, and told my roomate and I to collect our belongings from the infested flat. While this sounds like they did a great thing, since the fumigation company didn't treat our belongings, we were simply moving the unhatched eggs to the new flat!! Sure enough, I started finding bed bugs left and right in the new apartment and after complaining, the intern group scheduled a "consultation" with a fumigation company. They treated me as if I was over-reacting to the situation, even though I had bites on my body to prove I was getting bit! During the consultation, they told me I had to find a bed bug on command, as if they were just conveniently sitting around for me to find. AFter finding out that it was 20,000 HKD for treatment, they decided to, again, take the cheap way out and give me a ghetto, zip-up CLOTHES DRYER that I could treat my belongings in cycles. However, my mattress couldn't fit inside of it, all of the cracks and crevices in my flat couldn't fit into the machine. It was a temporary fix to shut me up for the remaining few weeks of my stay. Not to mention, I found out that the same day of my departure back home, they moved new interns into the old flat with bed bugs!!! I quickly warned them of the situation. The day I was leaving I woke up to two adult bed bugs crawling towards me right when I woke up. The experience was absolutely revolting.
Upon my departure home, I had to throw away all of the clothes that I had with me, to ensure I didn't bring the bugs back home. My parents were sick with worry and had to lay out an extreme plan-of-action to prevent the spread of the bugs which involved: throwing away my suitcases at the airport, staying in a hotel for 3 days, and doing a lengthy RID treatment through my hair to ensure that I didn't have eggs near the roots. This not only caused a financial burden on my family to replace my lost itms, but also gave them emotional distress upon my arrival home.
While communication was a huge issue, the program itself also had several flaws. The excursions that were promised on the website conveniently changed upon my arrival to three, rather than the four that I paid for. "Dinner with a View at Victoria's Peak" turned into just dinner, since they chose such a foggy night to take us up there. I felt like I was utterly trapped for two months with no way out and the responses I received from the Intern Group were always questioning and unhelpful. The practices of the Intern Group during this ordeal were extremely unpleasant. The company only has 3 employees in Hong Kong, leaving participants with no where to turn in the event of an emergency when they are "busy".
After being home for about a week, I found out that The Intern Group sent out an email to the interns that moved into the infested flat saying that the bugs in the flats were cockroaches and are brought in from the US. Basically, lying about the type of bug & blaming ME for bringing them into the flat.
I have never dealt with such an unprofessional company. BUYER BEWARE & GOOD LUCK!