From the incredible skyscrapers in Shanghai and historical sites in Beijing to the laid-back teahouses in Sichuan and the gorgeous countryside in Yunnan, China delivers an incredible mix of modernity, history, and nature.
Simply put, the Middle Kingdom is a great place to volunteer or intern, as the vast country offers everything from finance internships in the big city to community development programs in rural villages.
Here’s what you need to know about interning or volunteering abroad in China:
Know Before You Go
China is ancient, with over 5,000 years of history. Today, modern economic development has put the country on the world stage, and it’s an exciting time to visit.
Mandarin Chinese is the official language, though there are more than 200 individual dialects in China, as well as eight different linguistic groups. Do note the local dialect or language of your destination. It’s highly recommended to learn a little Mandarin before you go. It will make your travels easier.
Overall, China is a very diverse place in terms of culture, language, geography, and economic levels. China has 56 recognized ethnic groups, but Han Chinese make up over 90% of the population. Around 43% of Chinese live in rural areas, which are less developed than the modern big cities you’ll encounter upon arrival.
Types of Interning and Volunteering Opportunities in China
Interning and volunteering in China is especially popular for those who are fascinated by the depth and complexity of Chinese history and culture. The economic boom of the last three decades has also opened up new opportunities for people looking to understand one of the world’s most important markets. Additionally, China faces challenges when it comes to preserving its wonder natural environments — and that’s motivated many volunteers to come.
If you want to volunteer in China, popular options include:
- Teaching English: Help China’s rural and disadvantaged students improve their English skills and build a better future.
- Panda conservation: This amazing creature once neared extinction. Join in the efforts to continue to turn that tide.
- Special needs care: Many parents can’t afford education services for their special needs children. Provide the necessary support by working at a government center for children with special needs.
If you want to intern in China, popular options include: