Study and Internship through Intern2China!

Photo 1: Visiting students and interns from Belgium at the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in September 2023

Photo 1: Visiting students and interns from Belgium at the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in September 2023

Are you curious and eager to learn more about the Chinese culture and language? Are you ready to take your education and career to the next level? Do you want to gain invaluable once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of the world's most dynamic economies? Then wait no longer, explore internships in China with the support of the Benelux Chamber!

 

The Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, in cooperation with East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, has realized a unique opportunity that offers Benelux students an immersive experience in China, including a three-week course at the East China Normal University, where you will gain practical knowledge and skills in Chinese language and culture and the possibility to do an internship at one of our 150 member companies. Shanghai is a metropolis known for its dynamic, energetic and “East meet West” characteristics, with no less than 25 million citizens and fits 12 times in the total surface area of the Benelux!

The Intern2China is ready to provide support for students from the Benelux countries who have an interest in a rich learning and horizon broadening experience with respective to the past, present and future of China. What makes China to special? What drives the motivations of the Chinese? Why is it so important to better understand China as a European? To demystify these questions, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, fully endorsed by the Consulates-Generals of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg, has realized several internships at some of its member companies such as Euroports Ltd, KBC Banking, VDL, Royal Ahrend, Wise Payments Ltd., Jet IT Services.

To kick off 2025, an intensive course in Mandarin and Chinese culture will be taught combined with fun, social and memorable activities from December 30, 2024 to January 17, 2025. During ECNU’s three-week Chinese language and culture programme, students will experience a wide range of activities, for example, networking events, company visits, city exploration to the Yuyuan Garden, a 2-daytrip to Hangzhou, and of course the celebration of the spectular Chinese New Year! In other words, this will be an unforgettable experience with your fellow interns and perhaps create lifelong lasting friendships! Afterwards, between January and June 2025 students will embark on an adventurous journey of doing a two to five months period internship at one of our member companies tailored to your area of interests. This will provide you with a good insight of the company culture, polish your professional skills and intercultural competences and reward you with a competitive advantage amongst other job-seekers in the international labor market upon graduation. Therefore, an internship through the Benelux Chamber of Commerce is truly a unique programme in itself, since the barriers to enter are extremely high for European students to do an internship in China without the support of a reliable, knowledgeable and practical organization like the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

This project, which has been extensively prepared by the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in 2024, is aligned with the mission of the Chamber, namely the promotion and strengthening of academic, cultural, economic and business ties between the Benelux region with China. The Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China is a non-governmental and non-profit organization which also acts as a platform to conduct market research and marketing campaigns, to organize networking events and seminars, and to maintain a close relationship with its members and business community which involves 150+ companies, 350+ members and 5000+ university alumni in Shanghai!

 

1.     Onboarding Process

The onboarding process takes place between  July 1, 2024 and September 30, 2024. During the this process, a representative from the Benelux Chamber of Commerce shall be in touch with all participants and conduct comprehensive interviews to see which industries and organizations could be a suitable match for the candidate’s internship. Please refer to the list below when selecting the preferred industries:

·       Trade Council & Local Government

·       Medical & Semiconductor

·       Banking & Finance

·       Sustainability & Design

·       Industry & Technology

·       Food & Beverage

·       Legal & IP

·       Market Insights & Strategy

·       Logistics & Supply Chain

·       International Business & Management

Although the Benelux Chamber of Commerce cannot 100% guarantee an internship placement within the preferred organization, the Benelux Chamber will do its utmost best to support each candidate. Once the interviews with each candidate have been conducted, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce shall initiate a matchmaking process. During this process, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce will reach out to its’ existing members and try to find a fitting company or organization. Once a match has been found, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce will connect both parties and host the interview between the company or organization and the candidate.

2.     Costs & Fees

As soon as an internship contract between participants and the employer has been signed, participants will be requested to pay the University Fee and the Internship Support Fee to East China Normal University and the Benelux Chamber of Commerce. The University Fee covers all the costs related to the Chinese language and culture classes – this includes the internship visa costs in China- and does not include accommodation, transportation, daily life costs, etc. Foreign interns in China need a to have a local university as their internship visa sponsor which will be ECNU in this case and is covered through the University Fee.

The University Fee accounts for a total of 1650,00 EUR (VAT & handling fees included).  The bank information details of ECNU will be shared with each applicant in due time.

The Internship Support Fee covers all costs including matchmaking with the employer, support on arrival, support during your stay (e.g., assistance with housing, accommodation registration at the local police station, SIM-card, bank account) and smooth sailing the entire stay.

The Internship Support Fee is a total of 350,00 EUR (VAT & handling fees included). Bank information details of the Benelux Chamber of Commerce shall be shared with each applicant in due time.

Thus, the total fee accounts for 2000,00 EUR. Account details will be shared with each applicant by email after admission to Intern2China, through the Benelux Chamber of Commerce and ECNU. It is important to note that the internship contract of each applicant shall only be valid when the full amount of fees have been transferred.  Payment should be done AFTER the internship contract has been signed between all the parties!

3.     Study & Internship Schedule

Students are expected to arrive in Shanghai before December 27th, 2024 and are asked to share their flight details at least one week before departure with the Benelux Chamber of Commerce (intern2china@bencham.org). Important note: the Benelux Chamber of Commerce has a partnership with Juneyao Airlines, which operates direct flights from Belgium to Shanghai! Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Benelux Chamber of Commerce for more travel information!

On the 28th of December, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce will organize an informative session and practical workshop on living in China for applicants who have paid the total fee. This includes getting familiar with the Chinese digital ecosystem, Alipay/WeChat set up, do’s and don’ts in China, introduction to China’s legal landscape, access to using the public transportation system (including trains & flights), online shopping and etc. More details will be shared by email beforehand.

3.1 Chinese Language and Culture Program

The ECNU Chinese Intensive Language Training Winter Program 2025 is a three-week immersive experience designed to enhance your Chinese language skills. The program includes various modules such as Chinese language courses, practical language exercises, city exploration, business visits, cultural experiences, and field trips. This intensive training provides an excellent opportunity to focus on Chinese language learning through structured courses and practice tasks, aiming to significantly improve your overall Chinese proficiency and communication skills in a short period.

Week 1 (Dec. 30, 2024 - Jan. 3, 2025)

 

Morning 9:00-11:30

Afternoon 13:30-15:00

Mon Dec. 30

Opening Ceremony & Class Meeting

Ice-breaking Session

Tue Dec. 31

Chinese Comprehensive Course

Chinese Language Practice

Wed Jan. 1

Holiday - New Year's Day

Thu Jan. 2

Chinese Comprehensive Course

City Exploration: Yu Garden

Fri Jan. 3

Chinese Comprehensive Course

One-on-One Tutoring

Week 2 (Jan. 6 - 11)

 

Morning 9:00-11:30

Afternoon 13:30-15:00

Mon Jan. 6

Chinese Comprehensive Course

 

Tue Jan. 7

Chinese Comprehensive Course

Chinese Language Practice

Wed Jan. 8

Chinese Comprehensive Course

Business Visit

Thu Jan. 9

Chinese Comprehensive Course

One-on-One Tutoring

Fri Jan. 10

Field Trip: Hangzhou

Sat Jan. 11

Field Trip: Hangzhou

Week 3 (Jan. 13 - 17)

 

Morning 9:00-11:30

Afternoon 13:30-15:00

Mon Jan. 13

Chinese Comprehensive Course

Chinese Language Practice

Tue Jan. 14

Chinese Comprehensive Course

Culture Experience: Chinese New Year

Wed Jan. 15

Chinese Comprehensive Course

One-on-one Tutoring

Thu Jan. 16

Final Seminar & Exam

 

Fri Jan. 17

Closing Ceremony

 

*The schedule above is subject to circumstantial changes.

The program includes the following:

√ Expert Instructors: ECNU’s teachers possess extensive Chinese language knowledge and teaching experience, with a style that is interactive, enjoyable, efficient, and personalized. They bring vitality and passion to their instructions and pupils.

√ Comprehensive Curriculum: Courses are conducted in small groups, tailored to your Chinese proficiency level. Practical language tasks in real-world contexts will enhance your expression, comprehension and communication skills.

√ Cultural Immersion: Engage in activities like city exploration, business visits, cultural experiences, and field trips to gain a practical understanding of Chinese culture and society, broadening your multicultural perspective.

√ Program Management: A dedicated program officer oversees all aspects of the program, from registration to completion. Weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions are available for personalized assistance during teachers’ office hours. 

3.2 Internship

Students will be put in touch with their employers during the Chinese Language and Culture Program. The internship period will officially start on January 20th, 2025. The internship period depends on the agreed time between the employer and the student (min. 4 months, max. 6 months). Please note: The Chinese New Year is occurs on the 29th of January 2025 which will be celebrated with a week of festivities in China.

During the internship, the student will become member of the Benelux Chamber of Commerce through their employer and invited to our events. The Benelux Chamber of Commerce also organizes occasional events specifically for its Benelux students in Shanghai, for example drinks and social gatherings.

Important: the Benelux Chamber of Commerce bears no responsibility regarding the tasks and other employment-related details of each internship. The internship contract is agreed upon between the employer and the student, not involving the Benelux Chamber of Commerce for further acts of negligence or consequences.

 

3.3 Basic Terms for Benelux Interns

·       The Benelux Chamber of Commerce is not liable for any cancellations on the Intern’s or Employer’s side;

·       The Benelux Chamber of Commerce is in no means responsible for the management of the Intern;

·       Any dispute regarding the labour contract between the Employer and the Intern is to be solved between these 2 parties. The Benelux Chamber will mediate any disputes that might arise.

·       Benelux Chamber of Commerce member companies are encouraged to provide an internship reimbursement fee of at least 100 RMB/working day and are advised to reimburse all work-related costs (work meals, lunch, transportation, etc.);

·       Students will be responsible for covering their own visa costs when it comes to applying for the study or internship visa in the Benelux region.

·       The Benelux Chamber will provide support to the best of their ability to all incoming Benelux students doing an internship in China.

·       Interns should arrange a long term travel insurance which insures for medical evacuation and repatriation.

 

4.     Application procedure

Please reach out to intern2china@bencham.org before September 30, 2024  and include the following materials:

·       The 2024-2025 Study Internship Application Form;

·       Professional CV;

·       Letter of Motivation in which you consider the following questions:

1.     Please introduce yourself (max 50 words)

2.     Why are you interested in this program?  (150 words)

3.     What relevant skills or experiences do you have which can contribute to the success of this program? (150 words)

4.     Why does an internship in China align with your future career prospects? (150 words)

PLEASE NOTE: there is a limited capacity of 20 participants!

5.     Grants and Scholarships for Nationals from Benelux

Benelux students who wish to do an internship abroad can apply to a variety of scholarships. For more information, please check out the following links:

·       Dutch Nationals: International Student Identity CardErasmus +, WilWeg, 

·       Belgian Nationals: StudentsOnTheMove,  Erasmus +

·       Luxembourgish Nationals: Erasmus+

For your information, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce has no influence on the approval process of grants or scholarships provided by external parties.

 

Good luck to all applicants! We hope to welcome you in China!​​​​​​