Kunming is one of China’s liveliest cities, with an enormous population of students to boot. A transportation hub for the Yunnan province, Kunming is more widely recognized as a gateway to ancient China thanks to its role in the famous silk road. At almost 3,000 years old, Kunming stands as the third largest city in Southwest China. With a growing metropolitan sprawl and an increasing number of new businesses and companies, internships in Kunming are becoming more and more popular among international students for more reasons than one.
Internships in Kunming
China is an economic giant, so Kunming is home to numerous multinational companies focused information systems, technology, and engineering, as well as a variety of other industries. There are also opportunities to intern in Kunming in both education and the arts. Whether you are completing your university degree or gaining international experience and professional skills to boost your career, completing an internship in Kunming will change your perspective on the world and your goals for your career.
Information Systems & Technology. For the past few years, China has become known as a global powerhouse especially in the information technology industry. Those who intern abroad in Kunming in this field will have the unique opportunity to learn about the Chinese approach to technology and gain a different perspective on the function of the field as a whole. As China becoming more aggressive in expanding its industries and increasing economic gains, interning in Kunming will be your chance to gain insights on how technology is being created, developed, and maintained in Asia, making you a very valuable future employee.
Arts. Individuals can develop their skills, artistic abilities, and aesthetic perspective by interning in Kunming. Whether you are a painter, performer, or any other type of artist, completing an arts internship in Kunming will expose you to many influences that you may eventually be able to use in your own work. If you want to infuse your skills with classical Chinese styles, learn and master a traditional Chinese instrument, or find inspiration to use in your own creative expressions, you will find what you are looking for during internships in Kunming.
Education. Those interested in expanding their horizons and gaining international teaching experience will enjoy working as a teacher in Kunming. Whether you are teaching in a rural school, language school, public school, or private institution, education internships in Kunming will give you the chance to teach in a non-English speaking classroom, which will provide you with a variety of new teaching approaches and lessons. However, you might need to take few Mandarin classes to ensure your lessons are fully productive.
Life in Kunming
Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan, a province in Southwest China, and the ancient gateway to the famous Silk Road, historically used for trading. As the city connecting numerous cities and countries throughout region, Kunming was at the center of civilization and development in Asia and its neighboring areas. Kunming’s history is openly apparent in its architecture. Although it is gradually becoming a more modern city economically, it retains its cultural authenticity and an era of ancient times remains “in the air”.
Thanks to its central location, travel within Kunming as well as to neighboring cities and provinces is quite easy. With the help of convenient transportation both in and out, Kunming welcomes thousands of local and foreign visitors each day. On free time, interns can visit the city center, which includes Junma Biji Square and Donfeng Square. These two squares are some of the most famous areas in Kunming’s downtown area, and also home to many striking ancient Chinese architectural masterpieces.
Interns can get a taste of local street foods, tour art galleries, and shop in the handfuls of small local shops on the weekends, or visit the city’s many temples and pagodas. Locals and foreigners alike can enjoy hiking through the many national parks in the region, of which Kunming is somewhat famous for. Interns can visit the Stone Forest World Geopark, take a quick trip to the Red Land, and take time to explore multiple other national parks a stone’s throw away from the city.
The city of Kunming boasts a prominent, lively student population, as it is home to several famous universities which host students from all over the world. Known as the “City of Spring,” Kunming attracts many students, tourists, and interns with its fair weather all year round. Most of houses don’t even have air conditioning or heating, so clearly the weather is mild no matter the season.
Although historically important, life in Kunming runs at a bit of a slower pace and does not attract too many long-term, full-time expats. The slow city vibe is best attributed to the surrounding mountain ranges, national parks, and easy-to-use transportation.
Salary & Costs
Generally, interns are not provided with salaries for internships in Kunming; however, some host organization or employers will offer interns minimal allowances for the duration of their internship. The cost of living in Kunming is very low compared to the bigger cities Beijing and Shanghai, and the prices of daily commodities remain low. Interns can enjoy an average meal at a small restaurant for $1 to $2 or $5 for meals at fancy restaurants. Public transportation is extremely cheap, costing only $0.30 to $1 per way. Overall, compared to other areas of China, the Western part of the country is the cheapest place to live in the country.
If you want to intern in China, but you are looking for a slower atmosphere and more affordable lifestyle, than internship opportunities in Kunming are likely a good place to begin your search.
Accommodation & Visas
Interns will most likely be provided with basic amenities by their program provider or employer, including accommodation, meals, insurance, orientation, and any needed training to be successful during their internship in Kunming. However, for interns who prefer independent living, finding a place to live will not be a problem in Kunming; it is possible to find decent housing for $100 to $200.
Those who want to intern in China will have to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Interns will need either a F-visa, M-visa (business visa), or X-visa (student visa). Your host organization or program provider with likely supply you with the information you need to apply for the correct visa and walk you through the process.
Benefits & Challenges
Kunming is one of the best destinations to expand your career in China, as it is filled with ancient Chinese culture, warm people, lovely spring weather, and endless internships opportunities. With the history as old as time, interns will find that Kunming is a fascinating place to learn about Chinese culture. However, they may also be forced to learn some Chinese quickly, as communicating with locals will be more difficult since not as many people in Kunming are fluent in English. Interns will not only enjoy the low cost of living in Kunming, they will also enjoy a high standard of living.