Internships Abroad in Shenzhen

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Shenzhen

Push the limits of your resume by jump-starting your career in the booming southern city of Shenzhen. With an internship abroad in this financial center, you’ll access the career and industry insights of up and coming innovators and gain valuable immersion into a crossroads of culture on the Chinese mainland. Due to its status as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Shenzhen thrives as a hub of commerce, manufacturing, and technology, which draws an international workforce. Intern in Shenzhen while this hotspot is sizzling to take full advantage of the quality work experiences that will set you apart.

Internships in Shenzhen

With less glitz and international glamour than Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, internships in the fast-growing city of Shenzhen is the perfect place for rapid professional advancement in a variety of fields. Just like the amazing variety of dumplings at a dim sum meal, you’ll find all kinds of paid placements and bespoke internship programs in Shenzen that will match your experiences to internships that progress your professional development.

In the home of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and a host of multinational corporations, business and finance interns will dive right into one of the world’s hottest markets. Whether on the frontlines of strategy and trading or internally assisting with accounting or marketing, Shenzhen’s global perspective will quickly immerse you into both Chinese and international business practices. From boutique firms to giant corporations, an internship at any business in Shenzhen will showcase the fast-paced growth of China and the impact of SEZ designation. By unlocking the Emperor’s tomb to understanding the dynamics of business in the world’s fastest growing economy, you’ll be ahead of the pack in applying your Shenzhen internship experience to get your next awesome job.

Shenzhen is quickly garnering a reputation as the “Silicon Valley of China” — AKA why wouldn’t you apply to get in on the engineering and technology action? With leading companies in electronics, telecommunications, and bioengineering, there are endless ways to get involved with advancements in China’s tech sector. As an intern, you will observe the development of innovative solutions to the problems of the world’s second-largest consumer market after the United States. In addition, check out companies that are using green energy and sustainable business practices to change the landscape of China’s industry and production methods for the future. Choose to intern abroad in Shenzhen’s Silicon Valley to work with companies that are as ambitious and forward-thinking as you are!

Due to Shenzhen’s SEZ status and border with Hong Kong, the city has become a shamelessly global metropolis. As a result, Shenzhen’s families know the value of the English language and are seeking au pairs to help their children to thrive in our globalized world. As an au pair, you will be immersed in the day-to-day of a Chinese family, the Shenzhen lifestyle, and have an awesome opportunity to work on your Cantonese or Mandarin skills (depending on the language of your employer). These positions often have great benefits and accommodations that will allow you to get past the culture shock and start crafting your Guandong province routine. Start searching for programs in Shenzhen today that will place you with the ideal internship for a combination of work and play!

Life in Shenzhen

Interning in Shenzhen is welcoming a life in a city with overwhelming energy. Although not as large as some of China’s other international cities, an internship in Shenzhen will push you out of your comfort zone and make you question everything you knew about the global population scale. Prepare to be shocked and welcomed into an internship abroad experience that will fulfill all your wishes for a xīn (new) personal and professional perspective.

Shenzhen’s geography runs east to west with diverse neighborhoods and scattered green spaces for relaxation throughout. Text your friends with WeChat to make a plan to escape the central areas by the city’s accessible metro and train systems or even take a quick trip on a scorching summer day to the coastal beach of Dameisha. Many neighborhoods are friendly to foreigners, whether those coming from closeby in the popular Hong Konger district of Huanggang or from far away in the Western expat district of Shekou. Plus, you can’t beat Shenzhen’s love of theme parks, including the famous Windows of the World where you can travel the entire world in one afternoon.

While many parts of Shenzhen have now been developed to the point that they might feel like being in any global metropolis of millions of people, the city’s history as a local market town of only 30,000 people a few decades ago still shines through. Chinese people are known for their strong work ethic and having work status is both a societal and governmental pressure. Ask your Shenzhen international internship employer to connect you with other foreigners that may have previously worked with them and practice Confucian respect when opening up clear channels of communication as you learn the ropes.

Salaries & Costs

Compared to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, or major cities in the United States, Shenzhen is a more affordable option for your dynamic Chinese internship experience. Almost all goods and services are provided at a cheaper rate, excluding milk, which is over 100 percent more expensive than in the United States! (Perfect opportunity to drink more green tea.) Yet, by learning to love congee and immersing in the lifestyle of Shenzhen and the Guangdong region, you’ll have little trouble meeting your budgetary goals.

On the extra bright side, plenty of international internships in Shenzhen are paid, so you’ll be able to advance your career without setting yourself back some yuan. Keep in mind, though, that your salary will likely be paid according to lower Shenzhen-area averages. Why opt for a part time job in Shenzhen when you can get a killer internship?

Accommodation & Visas

As an intern in Shenzhen, your accommodation will likely be in apartments or with Chinese family homestays as part of the program price. This is a favorable option, as apartment rental prices when found separately are considered to be expensive, utilities are provided at an extra cost, and real estate agents are known for being opaque to foreigners. If you will not be living in one of the international apartment complexes, notably in the Overseas China Town (OCT) district, prepare to manage in a small kitchen, have a bathroom without a separate tub or shower space, and sleep on a firm bed.

Interns in China will need to obtain a Z Visa to earn money and have the right to work. To apply for the Z visa, you will need to provide an Original Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit or Confirmation of Invitation, as well as an Employer Invitation Letter. Many programs will work with your placement company to arrange these documents or provide them in-house. Due to China’s strict visa laws for interns, job seekers, and tourists alike, it is best to do thorough research or partner with a program provider to navigate this system and surpass any obstacles to your exciting internship opportunity! Also, check out the GoAbroad Embassy Directory to find the nearest Chinese embassy to you.

Benefits & Challenges

Career and Culture. An internship in China for international students will undoubtedly combine these two awesome aspects of living abroad. On the professional side, the number of internships in Shenzhen in some of the fastest growing and most important fields of the economy will ensure that you come away from your experience with tangible skills to advance your career. On the personal side, Shenzhen’s cultural scene of theme parks, galleries, nightlife, restaurants, and more will add a whole new dimension to learning about both China’s cultural past and future.

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work. To quote Rihanna, interning abroad in Shenzhen will be far from a holiday. From the city’s fast development to the exciting positions available at top companies, your intern experience will be underscored by Shenzhen’s powerful, frenetic energy. The good news is that your commitment to make the most of your internship in Shenzhen will fit right in with China’s work-hard lifestyle. If you’re up for this thrilling challenge and motivated to add some spicy Shenzhen stir fry into the mix of your resume, then pick your program today.

Get to work and apply for your next summer or winter professional adventure to intern  in Shenzhen. The unique history of China and this scintillating city await you for an experience and internship that will be memorable and make you unforgettable as you continue your career. 

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Shenzhen


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