How can I get an internship in China?
One of the most important steps a university student can take is to complete an internship (or two!) before graduating. Is it still possible to get a high-quality internship even while you are studying in China on a student visa? Yes! It is entirely possible to have an internship while a full-time student at a Chinese university. Don’t be daunted by the internship application process! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire journey of finding an internship in China so you can make the most out of your experience.
The Basics: Interning as a Student
If you are studying at a Chinese university as a full-time student, you will most likely be in China on a student X visa. This visa is for anyone who comes to China for study, advanced studies, or an internship for a period of more than six months. It’s legal to have internships while on this visa as long as you meet the conditions below.
The visa types:
- F-visas is issued to a foreign citizen who is invited to China for a visit, research, lecture, business, exchanges in the fields of science, technology or culture, advanced study, for a period of no more than 6 months.
- M Visa is Issued to those who are going to China for commercial and trade activities.
- L-visas (Tourist) are strictly for tourism and should not be used for internships.
- X-visas (Student), especially long-term ones, are the most appropriate visas for internships.
- S-visas are for internships in certain high-tech zones.
It is legal to be paid as an intern in China provided you meet the following conditions: To be paid a full salary, the company needs to pay the relevant taxes and you must have an internship visa (more on this visa below). To pursue this option, you will need to speak to a reputable visa agent and your company. Many companies may also offer you a stipend to cover your food and transportation costs. Unlike a salary, this stipend on average is 50-100 RMB a day and is not a significant income. The final amount you will be paid as an intern is up to the company, and your own negotiations, to determine. However, there are many benefits to interning to keep in mind besides just earning money!
As of January 2022, it is now legal for students to have part-time employment in China (aka work-study). Read about the policy here.
If you are looking for a full-time job in China, check out our guide here: How to Find a Job In China: Companies Hiring Foreigners
Disclaimer: This visa information is correct as of Jan 2022, and the situation may change during Covid-19. Please make sure to check the latest visa information with the Chinese consulate or embassy such as here, your company and reputable visa agents.
Is it better to intern, work-study, or have a full-time job in China?
If you are a student (on X1 or X2 visa in China with a valid residence permit) you can intern OR take a part-time work-study. New 2022 regulations allow students to work in China either on or off-campus, read more here.