PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Intern in China (Shanghai and Beijing)
CISabroad participants CISabroad participants

Intern in China (Shanghai and Beijing)

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Work Environment

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

International intern- living in Beijing

I lived in Beijing, China for three months. I spoke some Mandarin before I went, but when I got there I felt like I knew nothing. When I arrived someone was waiting to pick me up at the airport and take me to my apartment. There were some problems with the apartment, but ImmerQi and CISabroad worked to quickly fix the problems that I contacted them with. (They are partner companies and ImmerQi will work with you in China.) Some of the problems were with fixtures in the apartment and bugs, but all problems were promptly taken care of. I was, also, really scared using the subways in China to find my job. I was afraid I would get lost or not be safe, but I found a few other interns to show me the way and after about three or four days could navigate myself all around China. Work was a little far from my apartment, but it was doable. I did, however, live very close to my language school. When I came home from China I could understand my boyfriend and friends conversations much better and can hold my own in a conversation, too!

Perks:
The internship was designed around my interests.
Problems were promptly taken care of.
It was very independent and I could travel or do whatever I wanted in my free time.
There are SO many things to do and places to see in China. I was never bored.
The medical insurance was great.
The people are very nice, the city is super safe, and the food is FANTASTIC (taste, amount, and price!)
If you try to talk to someone in China, more often than not they are going to be ecstatic that you tried and will try their best to communicate with you.
Many of the places I went were beautiful. I traveled to some of the most famous and gorgeous places in Beijing- Great Wall, Summer Palace, Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, and so many more!

Disadvantages:
If you cannot speak Chinese you will have a hard time getting around and doing things you want to do. If I could not speak the language I would not have been able to go to the places I wanted.
There were a lot of problems that needed to be fixed; in order to get them fixed, you have to be very pushy and persistent.
If you aren't careful people will try to take more money than a product or service is worth. (Scammers)
Taxis tend to not stop for foreigners; if they do stop they might try to charge you too much for your trip! Be prepared to use the subway for most travels.
The internship is very independent. While I loved this about the internship, other people may not. You need to be very self-sustaining and confident. You will not have people helping you with everything or with you all of the time. A lot of the time you will be on your own (you may or may not have a roommate while you are there). The best way to have fun in China is to make friends with the locals. I made so many friends and this helped my language skills soar!

Going out and really seeing the city and fully immersing yourself in the culture is the only way to get the most out of your experience. Beijing became my second home. Everyone is asking me when I will be back, inviting me to events and their homes, and so on. If you immerse yourself you will be happy with your experiences anywhere you go.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Work Environment

    9

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great -but expensive- experience!

I was in Shanghai and I loved the independence that I was offered. I got to travel and visit so many different places.

>>> However!!!!! If you don't need to earn class credit, go through Immerqi. Their program offers the exact same services as CISabroad. I seriously can't stress this point enough. <<<

Everything I enjoyed about this study abroad is wholly attributable to the work of the Immerqi staff. They did everything they could to welcome me into Shanghai and make sure I was comfortable.

Internship Placement:
Having to write 5 essays over the course of 10 weeks semester was intimidating at first, but once I discovered that the grading process was so lenient, I wasn't as worried.

Living Situation:
I got to live in an apartment near Shanghai's city center. It was a great location and I had so much autonomy over the course of my internship because it wasn't a dorm with an RA. My roommates and I got along well even though most of them weren't even students, much less study abroad students in the same program. However, one of the walls in my room didn't connect to the other wall. In other words, there was a small gap between my room and the room of my roommate. Luckily she was also a girl, but I had little to no privacy.

Cultural Immersion:
The program does a great job of dropping you in the middle of the city and leaving you alone. It was wholly up to me to be a culturally immersed or not as I wanted to be. I loved this high level of independence.

Program Administration:
When I arrived in Shanghai, I discovered that CIS ran the program through a partner company, Immerqi. Immerqi offers the exact same services for about $5000 less. On top of that, all communications with Immerqi (aka the people who were actually doing the work to prepare for my stay in China) had to go through my CIS advisor and I felt like this wasted a lot of my time. Luckily, CIS gave me class credit, which Immerqi did not. I'm just not confident that this is worth an upcharge of almost $5000.

Health and Safety:
Despite initial concerns, I discovered that Shanghai is an incredibly safe city. Unlike in the States, there really is no worry that someone might assault you late at night. For the most part, Chinese people go to sleep quite early anyway.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Work Environment

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Your Experience Is What You Make Of It

They were very accommodating for exactly how I wanted my internship. Language classes could be group classes, private tutors, online courses or none at all. They took my desire to live with the locals to heart and made it happen.

Living Situation:
Tried their best to accommodate my desired living situation.

My only wish was there to be opportunities to live in a less expensive neighborhood which might have had a nicer apartment for the price or reduced the cost of the apartment. It was a convenient location for my place of work as I was capable of walking everyday.

Cultural Immersion:
Planned tour visits quickly gives some knowledge about their culture and community. They also gave many different choices for language courses.

Preferring interns to live together rather than seeking to live with the locals might hinder local immersion, but living with the locals probably is more stressful than living with other interns.

Program Administration:
Responded quickly to questions I had about the program.

However, frequent emails asking me to fill out this survey and join them on Facebook. I don't have a facebook account and I don't appreciate spam.