Generation UK - China Internships
Whether you’re looking to pick up an internship in accounting, architecture, engineering or just about any other industry, the British Council's Generation UK-China Internship programme can help provide funding for your trip and make sure you make the most of your internship experience in China.
Companies across the world are looking to engage with China, and value employees with experience in China immensely. New industries and work opportunities in China are rising up faster than the skyscrapers that accommodate them. Developing a connection with China could be the smartest choice you can make right now.
1. What's on offer?
These two-month internships are set up through our partnerships with CRCC Asia and InternChina, who cover a wide variety of sectors, including IT, legal, marketing, accounting, pharmaceuticals, hospitality and tourism. There are too many to list individually, but since 2007 they’ve placed over 5,000 internships between them, so there’s plenty to choose from.
Which company you choose to go with depends largely on what city you want to work in. CRCC Asia have internships in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen Opens in a new tab or window. InternChina have openings in Qingdao, Chengdu and Zhuhai Opens in a new tab or window. While you might not be familiar with some of these places, we recommend doing a bit of research on all of them, rather than basing your decision on places you’ve heard of from the 2008 Olympic games. They are all unique and beautiful cities.
2. How much funding will I receive?
Generation UK - China funding will cover all placement fees, accommodation and comprehensive travel insurance (a must), as well as your airport pick-up and dedicated support throughout your placement.
You’ll need to budget for your day-to-day expenses, which obviously depends massively on where you’re living and how you like to live. Previous interns have been able to get by perfectly happily on the equivalent of about £50 a week, but it’s entirely up to you.
You’ll also need to pay for your flights, visa and any other expenses related to your travel.
3. Why should I apply?
Experience in China is increasingly valued by employers. Work experience in China will give you an inside view into Chinese culture and business practice, making you aware of cultural differences and similarities between China and the UK.
China may soon overtake the USA as the world’s largest economy. Knowledge of Mandarin and a connection with China will enhance your employability.
Globalisation causes the job market-place to become more and more competitive. Your experience and understanding of China will make your CV stand out from the crowd.
4. Do I need to speak Mandarin?
In a word, no, but we would advise doing your best to learn a few of the basics. All of the internships will have some English-speaking employees there, and you’ll also be provided with an English-speaking support mentor.
5. Am I eligible?
Applicants must be:
- Aged 18 years and above
- Currently enrolled full-time at a UK university or have graduated from a UK university within the past year
- A UK citizen (must hold a British passport, or Irish passport for Northern Irish domiciled only)
- In receipt of or have received a Maintenance Grant from Student Finance during their university career.
If you are not eligible to participate in one of the Generation UK – China internships, then please email us at [email protected] to discuss your options to come to China outside of the programme.
For the interviews, the following criteria will be taken into account:
- Academic achievement
- Interest in chosen industry
- Motivations for gaining work experience in China
- Knowledge of Mandarin is not a pre-requisite for Generation UK internships.
6. How do I apply?
We offer placements all year round, and you can choose a start date that best suits you. We do advise you to apply at least two months in advance of your desired start date, so that our partners CRCC Asia and Intern China have enough time to arrange the internship. Places are limited, meaning the sooner you can get your application in, the better.
Please note you can only apply to one supplier – it makes things easier for everyone further down the line. If you apply to both, your application will not be considered.
Make sure you have the following documentation ready, which you will be required to submit during the application process:
- Scanned copy of passport
- Proof of Maintenance Grant receipt
- Most recent grade transcript
- Academic Reference (needs to be on university letterhead paper and signed by the author)
1. What costs will I need to cover myself?
Generation UK-China covers your placement fees, accommodation, travel insurance, airport pick-up service and dedicated support throughout the placement. We recently received new funding which also allows us to cover the return flights for successful applicants! You will need to cover the costs of your visa and other expenses related to your stay and travel.
2. Do I need to be in receipt of a maintenance grant, or is a maintenance loan sufficient?
The Generation UK – China internships are aimed at students from low-income backgrounds. Therefore, to be eligible, you must be able to prove you are in receipt of or have received a Maintenance Grant over and above the student loan at one point during your university career. Evidence of other means-tested financial aid may also be accepted. If you are not eligible, please email us at [email protected] and we can discuss the possibilities to get work experience in China outside of the campaign.
3. I am at a Scottish university. Will my SAAS funding suffice?
As long as you receive means-tested funding from SAAS, you are welcome to apply. This includes for example the Young Students’ Bursary, or a means-tested loan.
4. I am currently enrolled in a post-graduate degree, for which one does not receive grants from Student Finance. Am I still eligible?
As long as students received a grant from Student Finance at one point during their university career, they are more than encouraged to apply.
5. Can I get funding from Generation UK-China to fund other internships?
No. Generation UK-China provides a limited amount of funded placements, arranged either through CRCC Asia or InternChina. You need to apply to these places directly through the links on our website (see ‘Work Experience’). We do not provide funding retrospectively to fund placements obtained independently through either CRCC Asia or InternChina, or in other companies.
6. Can Generation UK-China fund internships of a different duration?
The placements we offer are always of a two month duration.
7. What does an academic reference need to include?
An academic reference needs to be typed on university letterhead paper and signed by the author. They usually include information about how they know you, what your academic profile is like, and why they would generally recommend you for the position or programme, including any extra information that might support your application. We would prefer a scanned copy of an actual printed and signed reference, but will also accept other formats, as long as they include the university letterhead and the signature.
8. I am still enrolled at university, but have not gained any official qualifications yet. Which academic transcripts should I send?
Most universities will be able to provide an official transcript of your grades obtained so far. If not, we can accept a screenshot of your grades in your university system, signed and verified by your academic reference.
9. I completed a Generation UK-China internship last summer. Can I reapply?
Unfortunately not. We want to offer as many different students as we can the chance to gain this amazing international experience! You can however apply for an academic scholarship after completing an internship.
10. I do not speak Mandarin. Will this affect my application?
No - your proficiency in Mandarin does not form part of the assessment process.
11. What do you suggest if I am not eligible for the programme?
There are still many options to come to China, even if you are not eligible for one of the Generation UK-China internships! Please email us at [email protected] and we can discuss the possibilities.