Shanghai Future Leader Internship Program

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Shanghai is one of the largest cities by population in the People's Republic of China, and the world. The city is located in eastern China, at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Due to its rapid growth over the last two decades it has again become a global city, exerting influence over finance, commerce, fashion, technology and culture. It is often described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of Mainland China.

  • Custom made Internships! The most important element of our program is the internship experience itself. We operate a formal internship placement process for each of our student.
  • NSC: A true family with experienced and dedicated staff members! Our team is composed of individuals from France, China, United States, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand.
  • Meet the world! A key aspect of our program is the diversity of our participants. Each year, we receive students from over 30-35 countries, so each apartment is composed of students from different nationalities, cultures, customs.
  • Build soft skills and Increase personal development to reach full potential! All of our interns have grown personally and professionally through our program by interning and living in an international city.
  • In-Country Support! Health and safety in-country is one of our top priority. We are available during office hours for any non-life threatening issues and 24/7 for any life-threatening issues. This includes crisis management plan

Questions & Answers


based on 41 reviews
  • Growth 8.1
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8.4
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 41

Good Experience

The program was very well-organized! We are arranged to live in a nice and comfortable hotel and enjoyed the sightseeing of the city. Overall,it was a Good opportunity to improve ourselves in a multicultural working environment. We have met people from different countries and have fun with each other. Also, we have got in touch with different types of work, which are really practical for our future development.

Yes, I recommend this program

Totally is great

It’s great in Shanghai. All of us enjoy it! It’s happy to learn and enjoy new things with different people with different backgrounds. It is an precious enperience to make this decision. The program provided us a comfortable and ease environment. The company that matched for us is great and indeed learned a lot from them. The program staff are warm- hearted and passionate. I will highly recommend you guys to join this program. Don’t be hesitant! Just come!

Yes, I recommend this program
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satisfied intership

overall, it is good experience. At the beginning, it would be better to provide us more time and information for selecting and interview. after arriving shanghai, staff's service was quite careful and took care of each student of our programs. The hotel was really well located, giving a comfortable and convenient living space. About the internship, though it is not related with my professional knowledge, it impressed me a lot with the team work, unforgettable trip of trade mission. It is equal to widen my choice of alternative workplace.such as public relation or marketing.

Yes, I recommend this program
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My First Time to Work in a Big City

The internship in Shanghai is my first time to work in a big city. The work experience is amazing and finally I have established good relationships with all of my colleagues. The first week of internship you may feel tired but everything becomes better with time pass by. You can get involved into international work environment and get access to basic business culture.Try to be hard and active when you start you internship and always believe in yourself.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Internship experience

This internship experience has been very valuable for me, not only does it equipped me with relevant professional knowledge that I would need for furture career, it also allowed me to network with professionals in the field. This internship had worked beyond my expectation. NSC 's staff had provided assistance throughout the internship and shown care for intern students, they gave timely advise and reply to any enquiry.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Internship in DLF Lawyer

I worked in DLF LAWYER for my internship. Working in a law firm, my favorite part of my job is attending various meeting with different client to record details of a case,not only it provided me with the chance to have a deeper understanding of how the case operates in China, it also allows me to meet people from different sectors (criminal or private sector). This internship experience is valuable for me in getting ready for my future career as it equipped me with relevant knowledge that I would need for my job in the future. Shanghai is a competitive and international place for we and it is one of the most economically developed cities that can provide students visions of the China market.
What's more, the internship in law firm let me know how a real lawyer work, which make me get ready for my future job.

How can this program be improved?
I think after we had the final exam, we need more time to prepare for the intern.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Internship experience

I enjoy the 6-week internship experience in Propertypassbook in Shanghai, I did the information collection and input of over 10 property projects around the world, and calculated the relevant financial index to analyze the favorable factors to investors. I learned a lot from it. In addition, I also improved my abilities in pracice, organization and interpersonal communication by this internship, I hope the project can be better and better in the future.

How can this program be improved?
Improve the connection between agency and company
Yes, I recommend this program
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Nice experience

Nice connection to both side, also good company selection which match my propose and major, and in the program, housing is nice, it was near to working place and super near to metro. Also staff's support was very nice, they help to solve problems very well, and have events to meeting people in different areas and nice opportunity to get the full time offer. Personally very satisfied with their work and help, and get my full time offer during the intern period in my intern company. It was a very fun and nice experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Wai Yan

An amazing experience (Legal)

I am fortunate enough to be accepted by Dentons, the largest law firm, becoming their legal intern in July. The work was diversified and lawyers really gave me lots of early responsibilities, including attending client meetings and editing share purchase agreements. The relationship I built there is long-lasting as well. I am still in touch with some of them, talking and sharing our moments of lives.

How can this program be improved?
There can be more peer support between interns in Shanghai.
Yes, I recommend this program
At The Bund, Shanghai, China in 2015

Jason Grant in Shanghai (NSC)

Shanghai really opened my eyes to how uniquely different China is from the rest of the world, and how Shanghai, in my option, is probably the most underrated citiy in the world. Doing an internship in Shanghai, out of my comfort zone, is an important story of my life that I still continue to share to people until this day.

Going to Shanghai in my teens while still studying at university took some courage, and luckily I had that courage and drive, to really step out of my comfort zone and explore a truly different environment whilst at the same time being in a professional working environment - gaining a huge deal of various professional skills, people skills, travel skills and most importantly, life skills. All at a place where I would have never have thought to be before - making it all the more fun!

I interned at an Hong Kong-based Real Estate company. While real estate did not really appeal to me so much before my internship, it does now after my internship. Real estate investing is now a subject that I take a lot of interest in and has already helped me establish a few future plans of my own in that field for my years to come.

To wrap it up, I suggest that if you want to be different, and if you want to do a unique internship abroad in a unique location like Shanghai, China. Then I suggest you go to Shanghai, China or any other major cities in China. In the business world, it is getting very competitive, espeically for millenials straight out of university like me. And from my experience, an internship abroad like this can give a much needed competitive advantage to effectively 'market yourself' in a noisy, competitve world.

Lastly, I don't like to think too much, which helped stop me from any unessecary mental delays while applying for this summer internship role. I just simply did it. Applying took me less than a week to do, and the memories and experiences that I gained from it will be sure to last me a lifetime. That's not a bad investment at all.

How can this program be improved?
- More company selection choices
- More networking events
- More internship options in other big cities in China
- Option to select accommodation of choice
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dragged their feet, asked me to lie, broke the law and put me at risk.

Stay far away!!! I hope that my awful experiences can save others the stress, heartbreak, and a lot of money. Next Step Connections is so disorganized and poorly run that I had to put off my internship the first time (they didn’t get me the paperwork on time). Since then, then they asked me to lie to the visa consulate, had me working in China on a tourist visa which I found out is illegal, *and* had me working at a site where I was essentially a secretary when they knew that my school required substantive legal work.

For background: I am a third year law student. I hoped to get a bit of international law experience in Shanghai and committed to Next Step Connections over CRCC Asia (I have so many regrets… I used CRCC for my study abroad as a college student and had a great time). I chose NSC because it was cheaper and they said they could get me an internship with a law firm which was slightly more prestigious than the firm CRCC offered.

And then things quickly unraveled. I was initially slotted to intern with the firm for the fall semester of my third year in 2016. I let NSC know *months* in advance that I needed my visa handled before I left for my summer internship, since I was interning in a government agency in another Asian country where it would be very, very difficult for me to apply for a Chinese visa. They dragged their feet until it was too late. Even if I applied for an expedited visa (otherwise I would have to take a weekend trip to the state with my nearest immigration consulate – not possible with the time I had left) it would have cost me around $500. They blamed the supervisor of firm, saying that it was because he was on a business trip that week for why the single page letter was late. As if they didn’t have months to do it beforehand! Or as if fax machines, scanners, and e-mail don’t exist…

So I sucked it up and said fine, I’ll wait for my final semester in law school. It wasn’t ideal but I wanted the experience. This time, they told me that instead of a tourist visa I’ll need an M-visa, according to firm policy. And then they asked me to break the law and then they were wrong about it!

They told me to withhold material information from the consulate. They told me to not tell her that I was going to China for an internship. They didn’t give me any information on what I should tell her instead, so I ended up stumbling over some lame excuse because I (1) had no idea what to say and (2) wasn’t very comfortable lying to a government employee. When they asked what I said (because of course I was denied) they scolded me and told me to say “x” instead. When the second attempt didn’t work, because the consulate said I didn’t have all the necessary paperwork just like the first time, they just doubled down as if somehow Next Step Connection / their dumb scheme was correct and the *immigrant consulate* was wrong.. This was another huge red flag but it was too late to bail out.

I was on my third attempt at getting this business visa before I had to get an emergency flight to Washington D.C. and talk to the consulate myself because otherwise I would miss my non-refundable flight. Again the consulate denied me.

At this point I still didn't have a China visa... So I use an expedited service to apply again in Tokyo and I’m denied because I don’t have the paperwork for an M-visa. Eventually I had to accept a tourist visa because my spring semester was going to begin.

So I spent three weeks and $200+ on expedited visa services in the US, $400~ for an emergency flight to Washington D.C. to speak to the consulate and get my passport, and another $100+ in Japan for expedited services. I’m not entirely sure of the yen to US dollar conversion, so it's likely more. At no point during this entire experience did Next Step Connections offer an apology and they were so blasé about asking me to lie so many times and to so many people...

It was only until later, when I started researching China visa laws, that I found that there is *no issue whatsoever with disclosing that you’re using an M-visa for internship purposes*. Next Step Connections had me lying, flying around everywhere, because they were uninformed of one of the basic functions of their organization.. which is getting applicants into the internship site country.

I entered China with a tourist visa and the firm would not accept me because it has strict policies that all interns must be under an M-visa. This was heavy on my mind and so I began researching why… and it turns out that it’s illegal for a person to enter China on a tourist visa and intern. The person can be fined, sent to jail, and deported for violating this law. I didn’t know it at the time I began my internship at the backup site and it blows my mind that Next Step Connection would violate the law by placing interns in these businesses… and never even let me know so I can make an informed decision!

Obviously, as someone who wants to work as an attorney in China, I would never want to endanger my ability to enter China again or risk going to a Chinese prison!

I was unaware of how stupidly dangerous continuing on with an internship would be, so I let NSC pair me with a law firm that they claimed was international, English speaking, and would have work for me. NSC was aware that the requirements of my internship course were multifold but that there were two primary requirements: (1) all sites must be approved by the internship coordinator of my law school and (2) I must do substantive legal work.

Because I wasn’t able to get a business visa, I didn’t wind up at the law firm I was approved for and there wasn’t enough time for my school to vet this new firm. And even if there had been, the firm would have never been approved because of point two.

I didn’t do an ounce of legal work my entire time at this firm.

At my other internships I’ve written memorandums that have turned case decisions, I helped influence policy matters on federal government agencies, I’ve helped whole families gain US citizenship… and at this firm? I was a secretary. I occasionally did English edits to legal documents (correcting someone’s grammar is not legal work, in case you’re wondering Next Step Connections). But mostly my supervisor dictated e-mails to me for me to send out. I also edited resumes and made a website for my supervisor’s side project, not related to the firm at all. The only person who spoke passable English was my supervisor. There was no legal work for me available at all.

The entire experience was extremely isolating... and I spent the next few weeks feeling deeply depressed. I spent thousands of dollars, flew around the world, stressed and cried… just to stare at my computer and pirate television series for my supervisor while occasionally sending out e-mails he dictated nearly word for word. I did this for a few weeks before my professor determined that there was not enough time for them to assess my placement site. Even if there was, again, it would not have passed the “legal work” requirement.

So I wasted the application fee, the program fee, and nearly $1k in visa runs. Nevermind the waste of actually flying to China and staying there for weeks... And when I vented my frustration to Next Step Connections they trotted out a number of excuses with a total lack of apology but they wanted to meet to “make things right”. When I told them I was tired of their excuses and wanted to know how they were going to “make things right” they just stopped e-mailing.

TL;DR. They dragged their feet on necessary visa requirements twice, asked me to lie to government employees (for no reason…), did not inform me I was breaking the law when I was working as an intern on a tourist visa, and paired me with a law firm that had no legal work available when they knew that it was a substantive requirement of my course. When I told them them about my frustrations they offered no apologies but lots of excuses and then stopped replying.

Use an organization that’s more professional, even if they cost a little more… At least you won’t be putting yourself at risk and you may actually get to do substantive work. I suggest CRCC Asia, I had a great time with them as a college student. I really hope this saves someone from making the same mistake I did...

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, they need to take a close look at who they're hiring and what they're doing. They're breaking the law. They're unprofessional. They're wholly unapologetic and will blame anyone they can. This was one of the worst mistakes of my life.
Response from Next Step Connections

Dear D.

We are very sorry to hear that your experience in Shanghai didn't match your expectations. Ultimately we want all our students to experience a positive transforming experience when choosing to intern abroad with NSC.

We understand that you have gone through a lot of stress and frustration during your repeated M visa applications abroad, and are again truly sorry that you were not able to benefit from your internship experience as much as we would all have liked.

We handle a complex process with multiple touch points between students, universities, host companies and immigration, so we understand that certain issues beyond our control can happen at times, which would have affected your overall experience.

Our management team will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your unfortunate experience.

Thank you for your feedback.

Yours Sincerely,
The NSC Team

No, I don't recommend this program
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Great Internship Experience

NSC Shanghai Internship is a great program for intern overseas. The staff members are very helpful; it's very easy to get in touch with them. I learned a lot from this internship. During my work, I've strengthened my communication skills, time management skills, and work efficiency. In addition, the co-workers in my company are very friendly. They helped me gain a lot of work experience.

All in all, participating in this program is very fruitful for me. I will never forget this experience.

How can this program be improved?
More social event during the weekends.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Life experience

I spent 2 months and a half in this shocking, amazing and sometimes difficult city. It is huge, full of contrasts and apparently, completely different from the western standards I am used to. When I arrived I was scared because I didn't know anything about the culture and the language, so everyday I kept asking myself "How can I survive here?" In the end I survived. Chinese people are the kindest people I've ever met, always trying to help you, just give them time to know you. I was working in a small company of 25 Chinese people, just three of them could speak English, and I can't speak a word of Chinese, so at the beginning it was kind of difficult but in the end I felt so sad leaving. I was doing marketing, so for all the period I was there, I had to do marketing analysis of clients, sometimes it was very boring, but I really can't complain, I learn how to segment the market and to create a marketing plan. When I needed Next Step Connections, Next Step was always there, fixing Internet when it was not working, helping me getting Internet on my mobile phone (not so easy if you really can't speak ONE word of chinese) and creating occasions to meet the other interns. The flat also was really nice. I have really appreciated their effort.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I can think of is the possibility to have Chinese classes, made by a teacher that is in contact with the organization. The thing that I've found more difficult was to communicate in the everyday life, understanding what I was eating, asking the taxi driver where he had go, and all these kind of things. Maybe classes with all the interns could be an idea, and also an opportunity to socialize!
For the rest I really can't complain!
Yes, I recommend this program
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My time in Shanghai

For the most part, being in the city center was pretty good. One of the things I found to be hard was the hotel location being 1.2 kilometers away from the nearest subway station (it would have been nicer to be 500 meters or less). Also, it would have been easier if there was a supermarket within walking distance of the hotel. As for the hotel, the best part was the big living space with living room area. Otherwise the plumbing needed to be dealt with three times and the wifi reception was terrible. The hotel staff seemed to respond better to Chinese-speakers than those who couldn't speak Chinese. It was nice having a Family Mart downstairs though. Otherwise going to work was easy with options of taxi, subway, or bus. The food was absolutely amazing, the supermarkets were huge, and the malls were even bigger.

How can this program be improved?
Hotel location closer to subway station.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Integrating into Chinese Culture

After taking four months of Mandarin at University of Melbourne, I felt very little cultural shock as I was able to at least communicate to people at a basic level. My day experiences at work were wonderful as I was put in an office with primarily Chinese staff which is what I wanted. I learned each day some new things about chinese business culture whether at the office or during lunch breaks. For instance, Chinese love to order multiple dishes and then share all those dishes, something I didn't do in other parts of the world. There were certainly some difficulties I encountered especially the weather since China was quite hot, humid, and rainy often. The commute to work was fairy easy but the amount of people on the metro was a challenge as you had to really push yourself to get in. That was something I wasn't used to.

How can this program be improved?
I think one thing the program should change is the housing location. Although the apartment itself was great, it was very close to a highway where there can be quite a bit of noise coming from below.
Yes, I recommend this program


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About Next Step Connections

Next Step Connections is a leading Global Experiential Education organization offering ‘beyond classroom’ experiences and programs since 2008.

Our Mission is to bring together educators and enterprises to develop future global leaders.

We offer real...