Internship in China Program - Startup China
91% Rating
(16 Reviews)

Internship in China Program - Startup China

Start up your career in China with our Internship in China Program! Startup China offers exclusively paid internships in Beijing and Shanghai with 1-3 month placements across a broad range of sectors. Gain first-hand knowledge of business and culture in China while discovering what it's like living in the exciting city of Beijing or Shanghai. Our personal Internship Consultants help guide our interns in finding the right internship that will give them meaningful experience that will last well beyond the program.

Our Internship in China Program is all-inclusive with accommodation, Visa assistance, orientation, weekly social and cultural events, business seminars, networking opportunities, Chinese lessons, and continued 24/7 support.

Highlights
  • Internships Done Right: At Startup China, we want our interns to gain real experience, not be left performing menial tasks. We choose our partner companies carefully and keep the lines of communication open to ensure our interns are given meaningful tasks
  • Paid Internships! Startup China is unique in that we provide exclusively paid internships. Because we select only the best candidates and give placements with real responsibilities, we believe interns should be rewarded for their hard work.
  • Personalized Experience: Each intern is assigned a personal Internship Consultant who will work closely with you to choose the right internship from the sector of your choice, as well as provide ongoing support throughout your entire stay.
  • Fantastic Accommodation! All our interns are given fully serviced, shared modern apartments in downtown Beijing or Shanghai in short walking distance from restaurants, shops, and public transportation. We ensure that our interns are comfortable and can en
  • Survival Chinese: Our twice weekly, practical Chinese classes give interns the skills they need to live and work in Beijing and Shanghai. We partner with a top language school to ensure interns receive quality lessons, and small group settings allow perso
Locations
Asia » China » Shanghai
Asia » China » Beijing
Asia » China
Compensation
N/A
Industry
Accounting
Advertising
Architecture
Computer Science
Design
Ecology
Economics
Education
Marketing
Length
1-3 Months
Accommodation
Apartment
Language
Chinese
Steps
Online Application
Resume
Phone / Skype Interview
Weekly Hours
0
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Growth
    89%
  • Support
    91%
  • Fun
    93%
  • Housing
    95%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Natalie
Female
24 years old
Los Angeles
Other

An amazing and valuable experience

9/10

I interned with Startup China for 3 months!

I am from Los Angeles, California and had not ever considered interning outside the U.S., but as options were closing down for me, I started searching for internships abroad. That's how I came across Startup China! I started contacting them; they were very helpful and friendly. They helped me arrange my stay in China and gave me one of the best experiences I have ever had!

I ended up choosing China because I find the culture very interesting. Living China you get exposure to a completely different culture and that in itself was very enriching for me. It was even more interesting because I interned in Shanghai, which has people from all over the world, the cultural experience was perfect!

As for the internship itself, I was placed in a Chinese school(That's Mandarin) to do their E-marketing, the staff were very friendly and hard-working and everyone cooperates with each other. I could see teamwork on a daily basis, the working environment was so relaxed and friendly that I didn't even notice the amount of work(and it was a lot of work!) I had done nor the time. But the way they work there is completely different from the American working environment and I loved it! I'm considering moving to China for at least two years for work experience!

If you are looking for an internship in China, do it through Startup China. They really help you out and are there for you through the whole process, before and upon arrival to China. They pick you up at the airport, they help you out with the accommodation, they give you an orientation about the basics of living in China and explain to you how to get around.

I really recommend this program, it is very professional and people are very nice, and you get to make friends from different parts of the world!

Default avatar
Jordan
Male
24 years old
usa
University of Colorado- Boulder

Highly recommended!

9/10

I did an internship for 2 months in Shanghai. The company that I interned for was an online e-commerce consultancy firm that specializes in finding American and Western companies from their native countries and bringing them to the Chinese online market.

During my internship I had my own project, along with a colleague, where we created an entire sideline business within the already established company where we tried to connect United States real estate agencies with Chinese investors and high-net worth individuals.

Working with a Chinese team was great. As someone who studies Chinese for a couple years, it was a great experience for me to learn the specific business practices that differ from those in America and it allowed me to broaden my horizons.

I chose an internship with Startup China because, through the research I did before coming to China and setting the entire process up, everything that I read about Startup China and the testimonials that I saw on Startup site made it the clear choice of any of the other potential ways of getting an internship in China.

I think the highlight of my time in China was the facet of my internship of working with my boss because he was so hands-on and I learned so much from him. How comprehensive the entire program was also a huge highlight for me.

I would recommend Startup China to anybody who is trying to get an internship in China because it takes all the hassle out of getting a visa, finding a place to live, and a lot of things that can really deter someone from trying to get an internship in another country.

Default avatar
Lily
Female
24 years old
uk
University of Edinburgh

rewarding experience

10/10

Coming from a Chinese background(my mother is originally from Sichuan Province) I thought it would be a great idea to go back to my roots and learn about the culture, while at the same time getting a great professional experience. Startup China did a terrific job in pretty much doing everything that was needed to be done for me to have a safe, fun, and rewarding experience during my time in Shanghai.

I ended up applying for and thankfully getting a spot in Startup China's three-month Internship and Intensive Chinese Language Program in Shanghai. Not only was I given the opportunity to intern for a company that I thought was a strong-fit for me, but I also got to develop my limited Chinese speaking and writing skills.

I started with the Intensive Chinese lessons. These were Monday to Friday for 4 hours a day. At first I was really nervous because my Chinese was limited to basic conversation that my mom taught me when I was growing up. Eventually, I became more and more comfortable with the Chinese classes and really improved my the end of the program.

The internship position that the rep from Startup China set me up with was with an UK-based Advertising firm located in Shanghai's Jing'an District. I had such a great work experience because not only were there a lot of hands-on tasks that I never expected an intern would have to do, but I also got any idea of how business is done in Chinese society.

For activities outside the office and the classroom, Startup China organized a whole schedule of fun events that I could experience with my fellow interns. From KTV and traditional calligraphy to countless dinner banquets where we all stuffed our faces, Startup did everything they could to make sure we were having a great time while away from home.

I remember the night I arrived in Shanghai, still a little jet-lagged, I really was questioning my decision in joining this program. I was really nervous about being in a completely foreign place to me, and I was also really worried about my internship because I never had real work experience before. In the end, I am so glad that I joined the program. It truly was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget!

Default avatar
Davy
Male
24 years old
New York
New York University

Just awesome

9/10

After reading countless newspaper articles about China's transformation into the world's powerhouse country, I knew that it was about time to actually make the trip and experience this incredible change firsthand. The only barrier that came between me and fulfilling this wish was having an organized plan of travel, accommodations, an internship position, and of course the language barrier. Luckily, I was able to find Startup China's website to answer all of these concerns. Within a couple months, I was on a plane descending into Shanghai's Pudong airport getting ready to start a life experience that I would never forget.

As I mentioned, I was looking for an internship during my stay in China because I wanted to have a firsthand encounter with China's emerging markets. Startup found a marketing and PR company for me- exactly what I was looking for.

Without getting in too much detail, the three-months I interned with this company were some of the most stressful and nerve-racking; yet gratifying and thought-provoking months of my life. I will never forget the experiences I had and the skills that I required just from the internship opportunity Startup China was able to find for me.

In terms of the language-barrier that existed, I cannot say that I am a master now or that I have a vocabulary rich enough to read a China newspaper, however, I can confidently say that my Chinese speaking and writing skills improved exponentially. Taking 4 hours of Chinese classes 5 days a week, was a great opportunity to really embrace the culture as I had no real prior knowledge or experience with the language. Being able to tell taxi drivers where to go and waitresses what I wanted to eat during my three-months in Shanghai really made things a lot easier and more convenient.

At the end of the day, I am grateful for the opportunity to live and work in China and I learned a lot about myself professionally as well as the Chinese culture. I will definitely be back in the near-future!

Default avatar
George
Male
24 years old
uk
Loughborough University

3-month market and business development internship with Startup China

10/10

I have been to China a few times and I really liked it. And I would like to stay in China so I thought I would do an internship to see how Business is done in China and get a real feel of what it would be like to live and work here.

I have been doing a three month marketing and business development internship with Startup China, interning at a renewable energy company where they make products which monitor and improve the performance of solar panels.

My duties included market research for the company/s competitors and their future business partners. I also had to develop the market strategy for a new product to be released into overseas markets and presented the company at the Shanghai New Exhibition Center at the PV Solar Show, which is the largest solar power trade show in the world.

The highlight of my time in China was definitely the Solar Trade Expo where I represented my company. I had to meet foreign businessmen, potential business partners; some of whom were CEOs and Company Managers, and I had to explain the company and what we did. I exchanged lots of business cards, made a lot of contacts, and it was very enjoyable.

For anybody coming to China, particularly an intern, I would say come with an open mind. Forget all the preconceived ideas you might have about China, immerse yourself in the culture, try new things, try the food, meet the locals, and just really let yourself get absorbed by it really and that way you will get the best out of your time in China.

I would definitely recommend Startup China because I've had a fantastic internship and I think I've learned a lot. I've had great experience, not only that, but the Startup China team really helped me out. Since the day I got here they were always willing the help. They even helped me set up a bank account in China, helped me with interview preparation for a job I applied for, and they are always there if you need them.

For anybody else thinking of coming to China, I would say to come with an open mind. Forget all the preconceived ideas you might have about China and immerse yourself in the culture, try new things, try the food, meet the locals, and really let yourself get absorbed by it. That way you will get the best out of your time in China.

Default avatar
Nelson
Male
24 years old
America
University of Connecticut

enriching my life!!

10/10

I come from a small town in Connecticut, so never in the wildest dreams did I think I would be coming to Shanghai to get professional work experience. Without any real knowledge of the Chinese culture before taking the 15-hour flight, except for maybe a few phrases like nihao and certain dishes, I decided that applying for Startup China's Internship program would be the best way to get the most out of the experience.

So, let's begin with the actual internship experience. Prior to landing in Shanghai, I was required to discuss with one of Startup China's career cousultants so that they can ensure I get an internship position that was worthwhile. I told the consultant over Skype that my main interests included the medical industry, business, and international relations. In response, he found an American-based public health consulting firm that was in search of an undergraduate intern for the summer.

The internship experience was incredible as I got to tackle task and responsibilities that challenged me, but at the same time allowed me to learn more about the medical industry. I couldn't have asked for a better position. Thank you Startup China!

In terms of free time in Shanghai, there was just so much for me to do, but just so little time. Fortunately, the staff at Startup China scheduled different events and sights to visit that were must-sees for those new to China. I think my favorite part about the program was being able to go to a migrant school in Pudong because it allowed me to give back to the community, learn more about Chinese culture, while also having fun playing games and singing songs.

The only real hiccup I had during the three-month program was just getting use to the fact that English is not the first-language in China. I wish I applied for the Internship and Intensive language program because it really would've helped knowing how to bargain for cheaper prices at the local markets. Although the survival Chinese classes we had each week definitely helped.

Overall, I had an incredible cultural and professional experience in Shanghai. Thank you Startup China for everything you did for me! I'll never forget the memories for the rest of my life.

Default avatar
Vivienne
Female
24 years old
York,UK
University of York

Great and valuable experience

9/10

I don't really know where to begin with describing my internship experience in Beijing this summer so I am just going to take the time to thank Startup China for doing such a great job! Without their incredible staff, I really don't think that my trip to China would actually ever happen!

I remember a couple months before applying for the program, I was sitting with my friends in one of our favorite restaurants and we started talking about summer plans. He already had landed a finance position through one of his Dad's connections, while I on the other hand did not really put any thought into what I would be doing during my time off. At first, I considered just tutoring at one of the local high schools like I do every vacation. But this time I wanted to be a little more adventurous and get work experience that I thought would really help me pave the way for my future. This of course was when the idea of working in China came to mind!

I've always been intrigued by the Chinese language and culture, and especially now with its booming economy, I thought China would be the best place to be for an ambitious student looking to learn and experience as much as possible. Fortunately, after doing research and reading the reviews on Startup's website, I discovered that this company would be able to set me up with everything that I was looking for.

Fast-forward a couple months and I am being welcomed by one of Startup's representatives at the arrival gate in Beijing airport. After the first day, which was included an orientation dinner with a brief introduction into the city and what my program would be like for the next three months; I was immediately put into my internship program. Startup set-me up with a Sporting Event-Planning Agency that was located in one of Beijing's most-urban and centralized districts. This was nothing short of anything I expected or wanted!

For the next three months I was working with a company that kept me busy throughout my entire internship. Not only did this agency provide me with responsibilities that were interesting, challenging, and rewarding, but they also truly valued my contributions and time that I invested in their business.

Default avatar
Andy
Male
24 years old
Texas
Baylor University

three-month internship in Shanghai

9/10

Prior to coming to Shanghai, I really did not have any real exposure, let alone any knowledge of Chinese culture. I grew up in the United States my entire life; yet, for some reason I always had an interest in visiting the other side of the world while also learning the language. After countless searches online and research, I finally stumbled upon Startup China as the service that I thought would help me best achieve my goals and make the most out of the experience in China. Fortunately, I was completely right.

I applied for the Startup China's three-month Internship program in Shanghai and was ecstatic when I founded out that I was an accepted candidate. Upon arrival at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, I was immediately greeted by one of the company's representatives who was warm, hospitable, and as excited as I was! After getting a brief tour of Shanghai city just through looking outside the window of the car, I attended a welcome dinner that not only gave an introduction into the program, but also allowed me to meet the other students in the program.

Startup China did a great job in providing me with an internship program that allowed me to get working experience in the field that I was most interested. As a college student concentrating in Business Administration with a minor in marketing, I was matched up with a Shanghai-based startup company who specializes in developing marketing campaigns for various big-named companies around the world. Not only was I exposed to a real-life work experience through this internship, but I also had responsibilities that were valued and actually contributed to the company's operations and success.

I also really enjoyed the survival Chinese classes that we had twice a week. I was in a class with 2 other interns from the program. We had a lot of fun learning the language and attempting to put it into practice when we were out and about, even if we weren't always able to make ourselves understood!

Downtime was something that I was really looking forward to during my time in Shanghai. I heard from some of my college buddies that the nightlife was incredible in the city, so that was definitely on my list of things to do. Additionally, food was also a priority. After being only exposed to "American" Chinese food my entire life, such as Panda Express and countless fortune cookies, I was really excited to finally get the true authentic Chinese cuisine experience.

Startup China always organized fun and cultural activities for all of us after work and of course during the weekends. I think my favorite event that they hosted was the KTV(Karaoke) night because it really brought all of the interns and the company's staff members together! There was always something different planned throughout the program, which was not only fun but in some way or another taught us something about Chinese culture. Another great thing about Startup China's services was that while they were there to support the students as much as possible during the program, they also gave us plenty of opportunities to explore the city on our own.

Default avatar
Ellie
Female
24 years old
New York
University of Louisville

Best internship Ever!

10/10

I am originally from the States and hadn't really traveled much before so I thought that after I finished college would the perfect time to explore a new country.

I chose China because, growing up in New York, I'd be surrounded by Chinese friends, Chinese culture and Chinese food so I thought it would be an amazing experience to see the country first hand - turns out the real thing is nothing like what I'd experienced back home.

I chose to do an internship because, after graduating, I realized I didn't really have that much experience and needed something to make my CV stand out. After looking at Startup China's website and seeing everything they had to offer I decided they would be the perfect choice for me. I wasn't wrong.

From the very beginning Startup were always there for me, they answered my millions of questions quickly and professionally- even the really small and stupid ones. They picked me up at the airport; gave us all orientation and talked about all the things we'd need to know about living in China; gave all the interns a tour of Shanghai and really made the transition to life in China as easy as they could have done.

They found me an amazing internship at an English language magazine in Shanghai doing editorial work- just what I'd been looking for. Startup even took me to work on the first day and introduced me to my supervisor which made me a lot less nervous about everything.

The actual internship was brilliant . I got to write my own articles, go out and do interviews and attend some amazing events. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get into journalism because you get a real hands-on experience.

I was never bored either at work or in my spare time. We had lots of events put on by Startup each week like karaoke(my favorite!), networking and cooking classes. We also spent lots of time exploring Shanghai. In such an exciting, vibrant city there is always something to do.

I would say the best thing about my internship, apart from being able to work at such an amazing position, is the people I have met. My new Shanghai "family" will be friends forever. They were a great bunch of people from all over the world and I will miss the lots. We're already planning to visit each others' countries and meet up some time next year!

Default avatar
Hannah
Female
24 years old
Osset
University of Leeds

amazing internship with Startup China

10/10

I interned for a month with Startup China in Shanghai.

Startup placed me with a boutique private equity firm right in the centre of the city. I felt like they really listened to me during my interview and managed to find me an internship that was exactly what I was looking for.
As the company was quite small I was able to do a range of tasks starting with updating the companies social media and improving their Linkedln page. I also researched and helped to write reports and presentations and had the opportunity to attend a couple of meetings with the CEO.
Although it was only a month, I felt that I really learned a lot and I hope this experience will help me to find a job in finance in the future.

During the internship Startup provided lots of opportunities to learn about Chinese culture and hang out with the other interns. We went on a trip to Qibao(a touristy water town in Shanghai) one day, learned how to do Chinese calligraphy and play Chinese Chess and we also got the chance to go to KTV. Overall, I think the number and range of activities and events on offer was great.

I also had survival Chinese lessons twice a week at the language school. My teacher was lovely and was really helpful. A month is not a long time but I feel like I managed to learn a lot and was able to communicate(sort of) with taxi drivers by the end of it.

All in all, I had an amazing experience in Shanghai. The internship, the friends I made and Startup China were all excellent. My only regret is that I didn't come for longer.

Default avatar
Zuri
Female
24 years old
Toronto
Kaplan University

Impressed with the professional company and staff!

10/10

I am very impressed with Rachael Harris' customer service skills. Before applying for Startup China's internship program I contacted the organization asking if they offered one year internships and Rachael replied very quickly.

After I had gone through my internship interview and paid my deposit I had A LOT of questions concerning the one year internship. I find that there is a lot of information on the site regarding internships up to three months but if you want to do something a bit longer you need to be in contact with a rep.. Rachael answered all my questions very quickly and extremely thoroughly. Her answers put me at peace and helped me to understand what the process would be if I wanted to stay in China for longer then the program lengths on the site. She even had suggestions as to how I could cut costs and what would be most beneficial to me, such as continuing the survival Chinese lessons and cultural interactions for the first three months. Although I have not yet been to China or started my internship I am extremely impressed with Rachael's professional conduct an therefore Startup China's interaction with me. I am very excited for this upcoming experience.

Default avatar
Robert
Male
24 years old
Newcastle
Newcastle University

thank startup for giving me a wonderful internship!

10/10

Living and working in Shanghai was an amazing experience from beginning to end. I am only slightly annoyed that I did not decide to do it for three months instead of two. My job was excellent; I worked hard and was given a lot of responsibilities, which is exactly what I was looking for. None of this could have been possible without Startup so thank you.

Also, Startup China Team, thank you for looking over my cover letter and taking the time to talk to me about gaining a job out in Shanghai. I will keep you posted on my progress and will let you know if I plan to return. Once again thank you so much for making my time in Shanghai so special. I hope Startup China continues to grow as a company and if I hear of anybody looking to do an internship out in Shanghai I will know just who to direct them to!

Default avatar
Benjamin
Male
24 years old
Burgbergstrasse, Germany
Columbia University

The greatest internship!

10/10

I chose the Internship in China program and stayed in Shanghai for two months. Given that I chose consulting as my first preference for this internship, the company Startup China chose for me- a private equity consulting company specializing in corss- border technology investments- was ideal.

Though I was involved in a number of projects, my main focus was on a project that involved a US company that wants to enter the Chinese market to convert nutrient-rich wastewater into protein-rich aquatic biomass suitable for sustainable bio-plastic materials. My main tasks here included general market research, meeting with potential investors and experts in China, as well as working on a financial model for the market entry.

Other projects included the creation of consulting reports for a jet fuel project in the US and an analysis of the real estate market in Portugal- I never felt bored...!

Most of my co-workers were from the U.S. and the atmosphere was therefore, not really different from what I knew from Germany or the US. My Chinese co-worker occasionally showed me around the local area, recommended restaurants etc., whereas one of the co-workers from the US became a really good friend with whom I even went out at the weekends. All in all, the atmosphere was great and I really enjoyed my time at work.

I chose to do an internship in China for a number of reasons. First of all, I have always been interested in China and the idea of combining the cultural experience with an internship appeared to be a good one. Furthermore, I saw it as an opportunity to improve my Chinese language skills. Also, I thought an internship in Shanghai looks quite nice on my CV!

The biggest part of my time in China, obviously, was my internship and there numerous great moments. The welcoming dinner after my first week with the whole team, where we went to a bar and got to know each other in a really relaxed atmosphere was definitely a great start. But all the exciting projects I was working on and the positive feedback I got were all really great as well. I felt a member of a team and not just like an interns, and that was the most important thing for me.

The highlight of my time in China however, was probably the people I met. Our little Startup China family had such a great mix of personalities and I am really happy that I met each and every single one of them. We experienced so many great moments that it would not be fair to name one particular highlight. What I can say, though, is that the two months were way too short.

I chose Startup China because I felt the application process was very professional and they were really interested in me. What I mean by this is that they really wanted to get me an internship in the sector I was most interested in. Whenever I had a question, they were able to help me and they just gave me a good feeling about the program from the first moment on.

The good impression I had at the beginning got even better when I arrived in Shanghai. We were picked up at the airport, they showed us around in Shanghai and whenever there was a question, they were able to help immediately. Luckily, I never had a problem with my internship, but the weekly phone calls from Startup China gave me a good feeling nonetheless. It's a really nice team, really supportive, and always willing to help no matter if your question is related to finding bookstores in Shanghai, helping you set your mobile phone, or just getting some general info on China or how to do business in China.

Orientation was a really good start and helped a lot as it clarified some basics concerning the internship in China. We were taught basics about China, how to conduct business here, and whatever question we had was answered. I also enjoyed the numerous activities offered by Startup China throughout my two months in Shanghai, were all great fun.

The Survival Chinese classes were intense! But intense in the most positive way. The teachers are super friendly and I think I have never learnt as much and as quickly as I did during those two-hour lessons.

I was overwhelmed by Shanghai at the beginning and I needed some days to adopt. But the group of interns is great and if you stick together in a group, you can experience so many things! Hence, my advice is to just go out and explore this wonderful city with great people. I have been in Shanghai for two months and it has been way too short. As long as you are open-minded and just try as many things as possible, you will make great friends and have a superb time in Shanghai!

I would definitely recommend Startup China. From the pre-departure guidance, picking up at the airport, the orientation, etc. until the very last day, the support was really great. The internship they chose for me was perfect and I am really thankful for the wonderful experience I had in Shanghai due to the Startup team.

Default avatar
Steph
Female
24 years old
London
University of Kent

THE WORST INTERNSHIP I HAVE EVER DONE

1/10

Overall, I loved my experience in Shanghai as a city, it was beautiful, rich in culture and the other interns were so lovely and friendly. However, I wish I had good things to say about Startup China. Although I loved Shanghai, I left my internship feeling totally scammed and definitely wasted my money opting for such an unprofessional company.

After graduating from reading Law at a top 30 UK uni, I wanted to improve my CV by working in a Law firm in China. I found Startup China online and was sold when they promised high quality paid internships matching your skills in your preferred area. After a little research I applied for the 1 month program and was called for an interview. The interview was very simple, just a few questions to get to know me and what I expected from my internship. I told startup china I wanted to gain new skills by working in china and working on cases and getting to know the customs with chinese clients. When asked about my experience the interviewer was very impressed with my previous legal experience, I had done legal internships in two prestigious companies and had represented my own clients in a legal aid clinic and took the cases to court (and WON WOOHOO), on top of this I had other experience and had received an excellent grade on my degree. They seemed to understand perfectly what I wanted and sent me a confirmation e-mail on what I wanted to do.

I was impressed until that point. It came to two weeks before the date I had planned my departure, and still I had no internship organised for me, there were no updates on their search for an internship for me and I had paid my fees for the programme. I still needed to get my visa, so this was worrying for me. Startup China finally send me a firm that was interested in taking me on, the firm website presented this firm as big, prestegious and everyone working in the firm was fluent in English. I thought this was perfect so I told SC that I would be happy to work in the firm. Due to SCs lateness in finding me a firm, I had to pay extra to get my Visa in time for my flight.

My accommodation was nice however it was filthy but I will leave you to check that on tripadvisor.

Firstly DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE WHOLE PAID INTERNSHIP RUBBISH. You get paid like 3 pounds a day. So its basically lunch and travel.

My first day of my internship, I walked through the door and immediately knew I was going to dislike it. The firm was a small room with a few desks and only 4 people. My supervisor came out to greet me and gave me the wrong business card so I was calling him Mr Wong the whole day instead of his real name... I should have known from that point that this internship was not going to be good. He could not speak English well, in fact only a couple of people could speak a bit of English, but not enough to give me detailed tasks. My first task was a tax research note for a French client regarding taxes, I did this within a few hours and then my supervisor told me it was wrong and I needed to do a memorandum. I edited the work as a memorandum and presented this, it was then my supervisor realised that he had meant to tell me to write a letter. After my first day, I immediately sent an e-mail to SC telling them this internship will not be accommodating to what I wanted. I sent them a list of firms to contact, which they never did. I told them I had wasted a whole day of my internship correcting work because my supervisor didn't know how to tell me to do it in English. It was like this for the whole month, and it became clear to me that either these tasks were fictitious or my supervisor had no idea how to give me tasks. As for the other staff (there would only be about 3-5 people in the room on a daily basis) they would play computer games, nap and chat online most of the day and when they did work none of them needed help with any cases, so I met no clients and my tasks consisted of correcting the poor english in documents and making powerpoints. 100% of what I did on that internship could have been done from the comfort of my bedroom in London and I did not need to spend thousands to do it in China.

I was lucky enough to be living with another intern who was working in a prestigious international law firm. She told her supervisor about my situation and he was hay to help. SC told me I could have an interview with the firm, so I did but because I was only in China for a month, they could only offer me to come back to china in July and do a 1 month internship with them then. I was thrilled at the opportunity however my problematic internship still remained. After my interview, a representative from SC told me they felt sorry for me and would give me a discount if it was up to them. I told SC I was interested in doing the internship in July and would feel compensated if SC would provide me the package free of charge in July to give me the internship I was originally promised or at least cover my accommodation. They refused and left me to do my internship, knowing I was unhappy and learning nothing in my firm, working with people who didn't understand anything I was saying.

I was told to e-mail Eric the head of the program and I spent time listing out all my reasons as to why my internship was disappointing and why I felt scammed. It was obvious SC did not research my firm and just placed me in the first firm they could find. They did not understand my skills and probably didn't even read my CV, as the tasks I was given were not challenging or educating in any way and when I asked for more challenging work I was told to write powerpoint presentations on topics I could have just learnt on google at home. There was no hope. I received no reply. They couldn't even take the time to reply to my email apologising or offering some sort of partial refund. They did not appreciate the money they stole from me was my savings which I worked hard for.

I now have to go back to Shanghai and work in the international firm that offered me an internship, which I only got through my friend who was also doing a 1 month internhship. Spending more money for the skills and experience I should have gained through SC as promised.

It was by far the worst internship I had ever done and I had a better experience in my first internship as a first year law student than this internship and SC turned a blind eye as soon as they got my money in their pockets.

Response from Startup China

At Startup China, we welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. While we are always sorry to receive negative feedback, we do our best to respond to and resolve issues and learn from any mistakes we make in order to improve our internship programs for future participants.

This candidate applied a little over one month before her preferred internship start date and, after the initial application assessment and interview, she was enrolled onto Startup China’s internship program 4 weeks before her arrival date. We are unable to give out company information to internship candidates until they have paid the initial program deposit therefore; in this case, we think it is reasonable that we offered her a placement 2 weeks after enrollment.

At Startup China, we tried our best to find a suitable company for the candidate based on what is discussed during the interview, as well as a candidate’s qualifications and previous experience. While this candidate had some previous legal experience from placements within legal companies, she had no previous experience or knowledge of Chinese law, meaning that tasks would be limited for such a short internship period. If she had been able to come for longer she would have been able to have more responsibility. This was explained to the candidate during the interview however, due to other commitments, she was unable to come for a longer period.

The company we came up with was a boutique, Chinese-based law firm. While this was a Chinese company with a very much Chinese company culture, we thought this would be a good fit for the candidate as she had expressed an interest in immersing herself in the Chinese culture. The candidate originally said she was very interested in the position as the company specialised in the particular areas of law she was interested in.

While we accept that not everyone in the firm was able to speak English, we make sure that all our internship supervisors are able to speak a good, if not fluent, level of English. The Chinese lessons we provide as part of our programs would also have helped the candidate to improve her Mandarin level and communicate with her colleagues. However, this particular candidate, for whatever reason, was unable to make her class times twice a week. We feel that this may have detrimentally affected her experience in China. We also arranged a day trip out of Shanghai especially for the candidate as she had already been to the place we took the other interns. We always try to go the extra mile to keep candidates happy and give them the best possible experience.

As soon as the candidate expressed her concerns about this placement, we spoke to her supervisor and encouraged him to give her some more detailed and in-depth tasks to pursue. She was given responsibility for the paperwork involving a client’s IPO in Hong Kong. However, at the same time, we also looked for other companies that may have been suitable for the candidate. Unfortunately, as she only had 2 and a half weeks left we were unable to find her anything suitable. We did manage to arrange an interview for her at a prestigious, world-class law firm; only due to the fact that we already had an intern placed at the firm who had been proving themselves more than capable of completing the work. Unfortunately, that firm was also unable to take the candidate on for just over 2 weeks and invited her to return to China later.

Her internship supervisor at the law firm was actually extremely satisfied with her work and overall performance and thanked Startup China for our professional service. We are disappointed that the candidate did not feel the same way.

With regards to payment; during the application process, we clearly explain that, due to China’s visa regulations, the payment is in the form of a monthly allowance and not a full salary. The actual amount of this allowance varies depending on the company and the candidate’s level of experience. It is always at least enough to cover food and transport during the internship period and, in some cases, can be more.

While Startup China always strive to do our best to find the perfect internship for our applicants sometimes, when they arrive in China, they find that the company culture and work is not necessarily the best fit for them. In these cases we do find alternative companies and, in the past have always been successful. Unfortunately, in this case, due to the short duration of the internship and the level of experience of the candidate, we were unable to find her a more suitable placement company.

We did, however, do all we could to improve things at her original company by liaising with her supervisor. The candidate was given more responsibility and more varied tasks including working on the IPO case as mentioned earlier, as well as researching and evaluating investment opportunities for Chinese clients looking to invest in Europe.

In this case we did apologise to the candidate and sent her a long email explaining everything that we had done to improve things. It is just extremely unfortunate that she felt what we did do was not enough.

Default avatar
Kavita
Female
24 years old
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland University of Technology

I fell in love with Beijing and would recommend Startup China to anyone!

10/10

Startup China provided me with an amazing opportunity as a Human Resource Assistant Manager for Starz Sports Management Beijing who collaboratively works with the Yao Ming Foundation.

This position basically allowed me to work for both the company I had been assigned to and for the Yao Ming Foundation. I was quite excited to work because my workplace supervisor informed me that I would have the opportunity to meet famous athletes from around China and the American National Basketball League (NBA).

My intern position was for duration of three months and I had assumed I would only be working in the HR department, however I realised that I was useful to all the departments at Starz Sports from the Marketing department to Public Relations and even assumed the responsibility of Co Editor. I was more than happy to help in any way possible to gain valuable key experience and the fact that this was a paid internship it kept me motivated to work to my utmost full potential. This position exposed me to areas of work I was slightly unfamiliar with given the international work context it challenged me and tested my abilities.

My work colleagues were brilliant, majority of my work friends spoke English but were not confident; this led to a tit for tat verbal agreement where I would correct their English and they would help me with my Mandarin.

Startup China provides Mandarin classes weekly, I found myself not always having the time to attend class due to work commitments or university commitments. Through both work and Startup China just about every week there was definitely a seminar or networking event scheduled. This is perfect for brushing up on networking skills and a great way to meet potential future employers, make new friends and advertise the company you are interning for. I personally found that I met just as many Chinese representatives as Expat representatives.

The apartments are located in such a prime location, close to the subway station literally speaking a 1 min walk from the entrance of the apartment, across the road from a shopping mall and various restaurants, bakery’s and about a good 5 to 10 min stroll away from decent cafes for other coffee fein’s like myself.

Startup China provides a friendly and reliable around the clock contact personnel for all purposes from an emergency or for general enquiries to guiding a taxi driver. Upon arrival at the apartment you are given a welcome pack which outlines practically everything you need to know. From memory this includes hospital and medical addresses, emergency staff contact details, the apartment address in Chinese just in case you find yourself in a sticky situation, clear sim card activation instructions, a bottle of water and fruit, apartment house keeping details and apartment facilities, Beijing street tips and a map of the subway lines and Beijing.

Startup China take utmost care in providing decent intern positions which are compensated and if there are any work place issues Startup China don’t ignore any queries, they opt to find a reasonable solution in a timely manner. Personally, I had a visa issue and I was very impressed in the way Startup China Beijing Staff handled the can of worms I had almost drowned in.

Overall, I fell in love with Beijing and would recommend Startup China to any university students who are opting for a gap period or new graduates who are looking to gain an advantage to jet set their careers or to anyone who is up for a new challenge.

How can this program be improved?

I had a lot to do at at my internship and sometimes worked late so I couldn't always make it to my Chinese classes. It might be better if the part time classes were moved to the weekend.

Default avatar
Markus
Male
32 years old
Germany
Other

Amazing internship experience

10/10

I was surprised about how serious Startup China takes their marketing promise to put “all efforts” into the placement process of the internship: the telephone interview was professional and they really made sure to understand my specific requirements towards the internship position. The result was an offer matching my preferred industry sector, Marketing and PR, in a Shanghai-based medium-business entity.

The internship itself was great as most of the employees were Chinese which was exactly the experience I was aiming for! I was assigned to a project supporting the overseas marketing and sales and after a short training period my daily tasks included finding new business leads in Europe, helping to improve their German website (text and graphics) and also attending business meetings to meet with international clients.

During my stay in Shanghai I was even invited to attend a Chinese wedding of one of my co-workers – definitely the cultural highlight of my program. I still keep in touch with a couple of my former coworkers in Shanghai.

Lastly I have to say, the services provided by Startup proved to be very helpful since this was my first time in China,. I was picked up straight from the airport and through the orientation day on the first day I not only got to know the basic things regarding my stay in Shanghai, but it also was a great chance to socialize with other program participants. I especially benefitted from the cultural seminar, where we talked about local habits and customs of Chinese.

I highly recommend this program. One tip: Make sure you are pro-active during your internship, have open mind and lastly enjoy your time in China!!

How can this program be improved?

more orientation or cultural trainings for the interns to conquer the the cultural barrier especially in the first week, like Mianzi etc.

About The Provider

Startup China offers full service internships and Mandarin language programs in Beijing and Shanghai. We offer three options to meet your individual needs: Internship, Intensive Chinese, and combination Chinese and Internship. Our interns are each given an Internship Coordinator who will work one-on-one with you

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