Hospitality Internships Abroad in China

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A Guide to Hospitality Internships in China

As one of the rising industries in the country, China’s hotel industry has an estimated value of approximately 55 billion, with a national hotel capacity of 3 million rooms. Clearly, individuals interested in interning abroad in hospitality will find it quite easy to locate a hotel in China to work with. Not to mention in recent years China has seen upwards of 130 million tourists annually, a number that is significantly higher than the U.S. or Germany.

Why Intern in China

Without a doubt the rising Chinese economy contributes to great number of foreign companies broadening their operations to China. Such a trend enables a great number of employment positions within multinational companies. The majority of employees at these companies begin as interns, before they are offered actual employment within the company. However, interns that don’t end up working for the company long-term leave the company enriched with wide range of skills and priceless experience, and a CV that will be more attractive to companies in the future.


Beijing and Shanghai are the most attractive cities for hospitality internships in China, but the role of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Nanjing, and Hangzhou cannot be underestimated as well. When it comes to interning in hotels specifically, interns will find that the most attractive cities for tourists are Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Dalian, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Chongqing, so these cities will have a good range of internships available.

China’s tropical island of Hainan, attracts more attention from tourist annually as it is increasingly viewed as a top tourist attraction. Hainan is the smallest Chinese province located on the outer oceans of South China, with a hot climate throughout the whole year. Over the next 10 years, the Chinese government hopes make investments and support Hainan’s remarkable growth trends in the past few years in order to bring Hainan to the top of the world’s top destinations list. Therefore, a huge number of domestic as well as foreign investments are continuously being allocated specifically to Hainan Island. Almost every well-known hotel brand is now present on the island, including Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and Westin, but these are only a small part of the available hotel accommodations in Hainan with potential hospitality internships.

Internship Placements

The number of hotels in China that offer hospitality internships and accept foreign interns is huge, and this includes domestic brands as well. The most frequent positions open to individuals who wish to intern in China are front desk positions or food and beverage workers. Hotels in China frequently use specialized agencies to find individuals to fulfill their hospitality internship needs.

The majority of the hotels prefer long-term interns over short-term interns. Individuals will be expected to intern in China for at least three months, or up to six months, depending on the hotel’s requirements. The expected number of hours per week for hospitality interns in China is 40, with two free days, the same schedule as most full-time jobs in Western countries. Prior experience in the hospitality industry or experience working a hotel is not mandatory, but it is recommended that interns have adequate education related to the field. Students as well as graduates are usually accepted as applicants for most hotel internships in China.

Salary & Costs

Depending on the hotel’s rules, interns are usually offered miscellaneous benefits during their internship in China. Hotel internships in China typically provide interns with accommodation, three meals a day, and around 3,000 CNY per month. Welcoming at the airport and transfer to the hotel is an additional benefit of almost every hospitality internship program in China. When taking in to account the possibility of the hotel covering both accommodation and meals, a moderate stipend will be more than enough to cover the remaining costs of interning China, due to the fact that China is still quite inexpensive when compared to most countries in Europe and the U.S.

Here are a few current prices of items in China:

  • Meal in inexpensive restaurant – 25 CNY
  • Meal at McDonald’s – 25 CNY
  • Drinking water (0.5L) – 2 CNY
  • Domestic beer – 6 to 10 CNY
  • Cappuccino – 25 to 30 CNY
  • Milk – 13 CNY
  • Bread – 10 CNY
  • Subway (per ride) – 3 to 6 RMB
  • Bus (per ride) – 1 RMB

Accommodation & Visas

Many hotels provide accommodation to interns, which usually consists of a bedroom shared with one other intern or a private apartment outside of the hotel, where interns can usually have their own bedroom.

Individuals need a visa to intern in China. Interns will need to apply for Z working visa if beginning a paid internship in China, while the F visa is for non-paid internships. When hospitality internships in China are arranged by specialized agencies, the agency usually helps interns follow the required procedures to obtain an adequate visa.

Benefits & Challenges

Although organizational procedures or hierarchical structures of employees within companies can be hard to adjust to while interning in China, these components will never impede interns from having a successful internship in China.The benefits of hospitality internships in China are numerous, such as giving you the opportunity to become self-independent, learning about a manner of work in a different culture, studying basic Chinese, enriching your personal CV, and acquiring personal and professional contacts. If these are your goals for interning abroad in China, then hotel internships may be the first step to working in the hospitality industry abroad.

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A Guide To
Hospitality Internships in China


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