You are young, ambitious and up for a new challenge. Looking for a dazzling internship in an ultramodern city in the country with the fastest growing economy in the world, there’s just no getting around Shanghai. But where to start? How to get in contact with reliable companies? Since January 2007 the answer to all of your questions is called: 2-Shanghai!
Lonneke de Greef and Michael Douglas decided to leave the Netherlands to start a company in China. “We saw many requests on the Internet from students who would like to go to China. At the moment China really is one of the most favourite countries for aspiring interns, and in particular Shanghai is very popular. China has a great demand for them too. Reason enough for us to establish ourselves in Shanghai to launch our service.”
No place like…
“At present most requests come from Dutch students. That is because we turned to academies and universities to promote 2-Shanghai in the months before we left. As we are picking up speed, we are now starting to receive more and more applications from Canada, Germany and Belgium.” Regardless of where they’re from, candidates must pass several selection rounds. “We always interview through Skype to assess if we should consider introducing a candidate to our customer. Furthermore we advise our customers to schedule an interview with the selected student themselves. This gives the student a better idea about the job at hand and gives the company the possibility to be optimally involved in choosing the most suitable candidate.”
“It is obvious that the internship service provided saves the clients time and money. The additional added value for companies to recruit a student through 2-Shanghai, is that they are being introduced to the best of a specifically broad selection of students. Not only do we advertise the assignment in our own network, we also use the client’s Web site and their network of educational institutes. In doing so, the vacancy will address many students. Needless to say this directly has a positive effect on the final result.”
“If a student passes the selection rounds, is offered an internship and gets on the plain to Shanghai, what to expect? 2-Shanghai awaits the student on arrival at the airport and accompanies him or her to the accommodation we have arranged. Next, on the first working day, we introduce the student to the employing company. In order to support the newcomers, they receive an introduction package to show them the ropes and they are offered a language course. Onwards, during the internship we organise dinners and get-togethers on a regular basis, in order to introduce the students to each other, and to enjoy an unforgettable China-experience together.”
It seems like life is made easy for you when you start as a trainee, surely you must encounter some difficulties. “There are a lot of things you cannot settle easily if you don’t speak Chinese, like renting an apartment. Landlords are aware of the fact that you need a place to live and as soon as possible, which gives you a weak negotiating position. 2-Shanghai offers assistance on this front too. We offer nice, clean apartments against reasonable prices, expect a monthly rent of around 250 to 300 Euro.”
“Before you leave you should also take into account that you have to apply for a visa. For a student visa you need a letter of invitation of a future employer. Once you are in China, you can easily renew your visa, with a local public body or through a trip to Hong Kong. Don’t forget to take care of the necessary vaccinations as well. Especially when you are planning to travel. And check if you are well insured: there are special insurances for trainees abroad.”
Fasten your seatbelts
Finally, those who are planning to make a flying start in Shanghai, would be well-advised if they take the next tips to heart. “Follow a course survival-Chinese and a cross culture training; submerge in the Chinese culture; a book concerning ‘How and what in China’ is a must. Appreciate and respect other cultures; try to discover other parts of China as well; and whatever you do, be patient and flexible. With this attitude, you will see that the sky is the limit in Shanghai. Ready for countdown? In 5… 4… 3… go 2-Shanghai!”
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