I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby robarn » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:58 pm

Hi!

I'm a recent Swedish graduate and I have been applying for a few jobs, but with no luck due to lack of experience in my field. But then I found this internship in Shanghai with a startup that seems very appealing and would boost my CV for sure. They provide free accomodation (bills included) in Jing'an disctrict, but other than that the internship is unfortunately unpaid.

So my question is basically if it would be possible for me to survive here for a few months until I either get hired by the company (which they stated they intend to depending on my performance) or find another paid position? I am a freelance writer for a blog and fairly sure that I would be able to receive at least around 1,500RMB/month through my writing. So will I end up loosing money with that kind of income or is it enough to at least avoid going hungry? I do not intend to party or eat at fancy restaurants until I get a proper income, I will basically just work, sleep and eat in the beginning.

I do have some money saved up for unforseen expenses and I really want to go to Shanghai, both for the work and life experience, so hopefully it could work. I would also be very grateful if you have any tips for other small side jobs I could do to get more income.

Thank you!
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby MrCH » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:51 pm

Free accomodation and 1500 RMB a month. You won't starve but that income would literally only pay for food from the supermarket. Forget eating out.
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby robarn » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:16 am

MrCH wrote:Free accomodation and 1500 RMB a month. You won't starve but that income would literally only pay for food from the supermarket. Forget eating out.

Thank you for your reply! I'm fine with not eating out for a while. Been living the student life for a few years now and just wanted to know if I would survive on that income or not :)
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby MrCH » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:34 am

I wouldn't expect to live like a student here if that means surviving on things like ready meals, frozen pizza ect. These are available but extremely expensive here. Instead i would expect to eat lots of noodles, porridge, fruits and veggies, rice, eggs and generic meats and cooking at home from fresh. You may need to give up, or use sparingly, things like bread, milk, cheese, breakfast cereal, crisps and chocolate - all of which are very expensive here.

Some things which are expensive here and sometimes hard to get are English tea (if you drink it), coffee, deodorant, and cosmetics so bring that with you.

My main concern would be if you got sick and needed hospital treatment so make sure you have medical insurance to cover you for emergencies. Make sure you have enough for a flight home if you need it and an emergency fund of a couple of thousand US dollars.

In the last year or so I have seen so many gofundme pages for people travelling abroad and needing emergency financial help for what ever reason. Things can be cheap here, but when things go wrong, they can get very very expensive.
Last edited by MrCH on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby robarn » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:00 am

When I said living like a student I meant living on a tight budget. I am prepared to drastically change my diet and quite excited about it too actually! Thank you, I will make sure to bring extra essentials.

I very much appreciate your concern. I already have a proper insurance in place and I do have an emergency fund too. I expect it to be unforseen expenses, especially in the beginning.

Thank you for all your help, all these things are very good to know before I go!
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby Adrienne » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:30 pm

MrCH has given some very helpful advice indeed. I'd definitely bring loads of COMFORT FOOD from home as you will no doubt crave some western stuff over time and it's quite pricey here.

You can buy cheaply at local supermarkets like Lian Hua and also local meat and veggie markets as well.

Subway is super convenient and cheap too.

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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby translator57 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:28 pm

Maybe you could do the odd tutoring session on the side, too. It's not amazing but it's always good for some extra cash along the way. You can sign up to a company like LinguaTutor (if it's still there... it's been a while for me...) and try to get one or two students a week.
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby Adrienne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:58 am

Just heard from an expat friend here that Internships are actually illegal in China as there's no visa status for them.

Can anyone clarify this?

Thanks very much.

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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby Mel69 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:14 pm

Internships are Legal in China what is not legal is to get paid during this internship for the work doing in the company , the company must be registered and pay the appropriated tax and this must be reflected in the contract as well as the function to be performed .
It is also illegal for the intern to have any paying job during this period .
I just hosted two interns in our company it is a very painful process and most companies would not bather with it , I was saddle as it was relatives of the company top , top management.........
Stress , Confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living shirtout of some idiot A H who desperately requires it

Friends are like condoms .....they are supposed to protect you when things get hard ....
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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby Adrienne » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:45 pm

Oh. I see. Thanks for the great insight Mel69 and details. Sounds bloody painful to me. :?

Can I ask what kind of visa they got for it and what they needed to get the visa?

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Re: I've got an internship offer - should I take it?

Postby Mel69 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:18 pm

It was basically a student visa ' they needed the invitation letter from the company a contract with the specific tasks and duration , a certificate that they would not be having a salary and a bank statement that showed they had enough funds to live here for the time . The company had to also send a certificate stating they would take care of any medical bills .
Also they needed a letter from their school stating they were graduate candidates and their current transcript .
It was a real mess and it took a long time and many visits to the Chinese embassy in Bern
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