If you are a mature student who wants to learn while having an authentic cultural experience, I would definitely NOT recommend CRCC.
The market they are mainly targeting is young students (under 23 years old). Usually being their first experience overseas it makes it difficult for a more mature person to share an accommodation with them (lots of parties, not much cleaning nor consideration for others which would impact on your work, time and money).
For my experience, it started on the wrong path from the very first day, as they misread my flight number and weren't there to pick me up from the airport. I waited at the meeting point for over two hours with no possible connection to contact any CRCC rep. Indeed, if you don’t have a Chinese SIM card or access to wifi, you cannot use WeChat. Fortunately, I got lucky by meeting a young Chinese person who saw my distress as I waited for a while and offer me to use his hotspot so I could let CRCC knows I was waiting at the airport.
If you watch the CRCC Asia YouTube video, from the pickup to the banquet… this couldn't be further from the truth. The banquet I experienced was at the back of a small restaurant just next to the toilet! I do have pictures.
Once living in Shanghai, you will quickly realise that the services charged by CRCC are extremely overpriced. If I went by myself I would have paid 1/4 of what they charged me. Also, once in Shanghai you will realise that the people tasked to look after and orientate you are equally inexperienced and inept to carry out the most basic responsibilities. Their incompetence is only outdone by their unprofessionalism.
As for the internship, I personally learned nothing and sat in the corner doing my online course. One month later, after meeting people outside of CRCC they gave me companies name way more suitable to my needs. So once again you do not need to pay for CRCC prices, just do some research yourself. Also, once I moved out of the CRCC program I really started realising how much I have been ripped off.
Once out of CRCC program I have been made aware that lots of internships for expats are actually paid. I lived in an apartment with 3 peoples who were all getting paid for their internship. I was the ONLY one actually paying for it and to learn nothing. They laughed at me and to be honest I laughed too, I should have known better.
The entire CRCC team clearly lacks communication within Shanghai and outside Shanghai (e.g: airport pick up fail). As an unsatisfied customer, I sent an email to head office in San Francisco, explaining the situation and filed for a refund as I had enough of paying for nothing, obviously, I did not get any response about my request.
After 10 days of waiting for a confirmation that my request had at least been received, I had to send another email asking for a confirmation.
It appears that the CRCC's strategy to deal with unsatisfied customers is to IGNORE. Ignorance they do not have when they sell you the program.
To conclude, they made their decision not to refunding me. I was just asking for of what was outstanding as I was still trying to be fair. At no point in the process did they ask me what was happening (in relation to an incident with another intern) or ask if I had evidence of the harassment I went through, which I did. So instead of actually looking into the customer problem, it seems like they just tried to protect themselves and make sure they could keep my money.
I would recommend CRCC for people who are essentially looking for schoolies (spring break) in Asia. This is not for serious internships and is completely over-priced and under delivers in nearly every way imaginable.
If you are a mature student who wants to increase your skill set and learn about a new culture I strongly recommend to do it yourself or even get in touch with international universities over there.