Intern in Beijing FAQ
Is housing included in the price of the program?
Yes - You will have your own room in a shared apartment. Elect to live with other Adelante candidates or international students, or with a local Chinese person. (If you choose a Chinese roommate they will not be Chinese students, rather Chinese professionals that we know who rent rooms to us for this program. This option is best for people who have traveled and lived abroad before, and are fairly independent).
What are the apartments like & where are they located?
The housing in this program is more like student housing than in our other programs whereby apartments are randomly located in good areas of the city and you live in and among locals. In China, student housing is modern, equipped for students’ needs and the location we have chosen is the Chaoyang District as this is near to where many of our international businesses operate (it is not good to have a long commute in Beijing – traffic is legendary!) Proximity to a Metro stop is guaranteed. The Metro and walking is how you will move around Beijing – there are several "center" areas of Beijing and with Metro we make sure that you can get to most centrally located destinations quickly. You will always have your own room.
(Note: In all of our programs, a housing deposit is required. You can pay this, upon your arrival, either to our Director in Beijing or to the housing manager. This will be returned to you when you turn in your keys on the day of your departure from the program, assuming you have left the apartment in the same condition that it was in when you moved in.)
All apartments are fully furnished, with most having washing machine, microwave, and internet. Sheets, towels, pots, pans are also provided.
When does the program begin and when can I plan on arriving?
For our Pilot China Program we are offering TWO start dates – the first Monday in June and the first Monday in September, 2012. Choose to participate for up to three months only. We like candidates to arrive the weekend just prior to the first Monday of their program. Saturday is preferable to allow yourself time to unpack, get over jet lag and acquaint yourself a little with the neighborhood, eg. finding the nearest ATM, grocery stores, cafes, post office, etc. Following the 2012 pilot we hope to place candidates in China year round with programs starting the first Monday of each month, as in all of our programs.
Can I stay longer than 3 months?
For our Pilot Program in China you can choose to participate for 1, 2 or 3 months. Once we fully launch our China program then we will definitely encourage all candidates to stay as long as possible for the most in-depth cultural immersion and language acquisition – up to 12 months if you dare!
When does my actual internship work assignment begin?
Program start dates are the first Monday of June or September. For the first two weeks you are enrolled in intensive Mandarin language classes for about 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. After this intensive course, and after an Orientation at the company where you will be working, you start your work assignment on the third Monday of the month. Plan on arriving in Beijing the weekend just prior to the first Monday of the month, and plan on leaving the weekend after the last Friday of the month.
Are any of the internships paid internships?
All internship positions are unpaid.
Is placement guaranteed?
Usually yes - We work with hundreds of companies worldwide and to date we have been able to place 100% of our candidates in the field they requested. It is best when a candidate can give us two sectors from our Internship List. And, if you want to do an internship that requires specific experience or qualifications you must be able to fulfill those requirements. For example, if you want to do a graphic design internship, then some previous experience and skills with GD software will most likely be required.
Do I need a work visa or a student visa?
Yes - A visa is required for all entry to China. Work visas are never required for any of our programs. These are academic, apprenticeship based programs. For this program, candidates will apply for a Tourist Visa. It is 100% required, but the good thing is that it is very easy and not time consuming like Visas for Spain, for example, can be! There are many companies that offer services to help you get your Chinese Visa. The very best one, we think, is www.ItsEasy.com Prices are about $60USD for the service + $140USD that the Chinese Embassy charges, so approx. $200USD total to get your Visa and it takes about 2 weeks to process.
Do I have to have insurance?
Yes - It is strongly recommended that you have insurance. More and more participating companies and institutions abroad are asking for proof of basic medical and accident insurance and our various Directors in-country also may ask you for proof of insurance (usually a copy of your insurance card showing dates and coverage is valid). You can use coverage you already have or coverage that someone else carries for you, or you can purchase coverage just for our program. All you need is basic medical insurance, think $35 - $50 per month max. In the past, we have referred people to Arizona-based ASA, Inc. - they can customize a plan for you based on details you provide. Click here for an instant quote or call them at 888-272-8288.
How much should I budget for living expenses per month, above and beyond what is included in the program fee?
Beijing is expensive for visitors, but it does get cheaper once you know your way around and figure out the best places to go for inexpensive but good meals & shopping. Plan on $100 - $125 per week. This covers meals, inner city travel and bump around money for things like coffees, movies and magazines. You can go shoestring & make it less, and it will definitely go up should you add travel each week to places like Mongolia or Shanghai or Xian (which we definitely recommend! Do not go broke by any means, but this may be the last time you get to China for quite a while – you deserve to see as much of this country as you can while you are there).
Is there an Adelante contact in Beijing?
Yes - In Beijing, Adelante has a local English-speaking Director who is available for ongoing support during your time in our program. He is in charge of everything that has to do with your program, including airport pick-up, your housing, your language classes, and your internship. You will meet him during week one and will have access to him as needed for the duration of your program. Leo is a Chinese native and a certified National Tour Guide, so he knows Beijing and the rest of the country well.
Can I contact a past or existing Adelante candidate as a reference?
Yes - Please take a look at our Online Community site to see ongoing entries from our candidates past and present. This site is a live resource Adelante created based on requests from our candidates. It is a useful tool for anyone looking to participate in our program or any other trip abroad.
Is Adelante an employment agency?
No - We are a company that offers, among other things, a fee-based International Internship Placement services program that works with people who are 1) seeking to seriously upgrade their resumes, 2) wish to learn another language and, 3) have a desire to live and learn the Chinese culture.
What is the deadline for Application packet submissions?
60 days, or more, prior to your desired start date is the ideal. However we may be able, on a case-by-case basis, to place candidates who submit their applications later than that. Late applications are subject to a $250 late fee.
When will I know if I am accepted into the program or not?
Once you have submitted a completed Application Packet, you will be contacted by our Main Office to set up a telephone interview with one of our Program Directors. The interview usually takes approximately 45 minutes and you will be expected to take notes. This is not a competitive program whereby candidates compete against each other or for a limited amount of internships spots abroad. Rather, during the interview process, some screening takes place and a mutual decision is made to determine that you are the right candidate profile for what you want to do for your internship program in China (see the "Is placement guaranteed" question above). After the phone interview, your references are contacted and usually then we can accept you into the program.
Are only Americans admitted to this program?
No - Our only requirement is that you speak English, to be able to communicate with both Adelante Headquarters and our in-country staff who are required to speak both their native language and English. We have placed candidates from all over the world, including Britain, Japan, Australia, India, Canada and more. Please check visa requirements for your nationality.
Is there a refund policy?
If you cancel your participation in the program 45 days prior to your start date or earlier, you will receive a 100% refund of the program fee. If you cancel 30 - 45 days prior to your start date, you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel 0 - 30 days prior to your start date, there will be 0% refund, as well as if you cancel at any time following your arrival in China. The application fee is non-refundable. This is a generous policy for the international study and intern market and it is firm: nearly all of the work on a file is done prior to program payment being due, as it must be since we work with international factors that simply cannot be left to the last minute. Be clear that Adelante will be aggressive in pursuing what is owed should you cancel within the clearly listed refund parameters above.
When is payment for the program due?
Program payment is due in full no later than 45 days prior to your desired start date in the program. Invoices are sent via email with exact payment due dates listed clearly, about 2 weeks before payment is due.
Can I be placed if I speak no Mandarin at all?
Yes - This program is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, but if you have studied Mandarin then that will be a huge advantage!! The companies we place with are either international companies with offices in China or local Chinese businesses with international staff.
Do candidates receive any kind of certificate, letter of recommendation or 'proof of internship'?
While this is not included in the program fee, both the participating companies and the language schools in all countries are willing to create these for successful candidates. You must secure these PRIOR to your return home, as once you are gone it is quite difficult to get these letters. Please request in advance any letters needed and remind as necessary in order to have these documents in order before you leave your intern position.
Can I receive academic credit for participating in this program?
Yes – Many candidates choose to receive credit for participating in an Adelante internship program. Credit is issued from the candidate’s own university. Every university or school has different requirements to receive accreditation for a program abroad, so candidates must contact the appropriate person or department (eg. Study Abroad Office, Career Services, Department Chair), to find out what is needed in order to receive credit. For the International Internship Program usually a minimum number of hours must be completed in order to receive credit. In other cases, a course number is given to the internship program and credit is issued that way. Adelante will assist with and complete any extra required paperwork or evaluations prior to, during and at the end of the international program, so long as all documentation is received in a timely manner.
Does Adelante Abroad act as a "middle man" or "agent"?
Adelante Abroad, LLC is not a “middle man” or “agent”. Rather, we create proprietary, customized programs for our individual, screened candidates. To do this we use long-standing contacts in our respective countries of operation and with negotiated rates for all services provided abroad, including but not limited to airport pickup services, language coursework and excursion services, and housing services worldwide. More importantly, our staff of Intern Advisors and Directors abroad are professionals in the international education and student exchange industry, used to working with foreign candidates and often times with complimentary professional careers in place as well as their service to Adelante Abroad. For example, our Director in Madrid also owns the language school where International Internship Program candidates will take their Spanish coursework. By design, these representatives are locals living, and many times born and raised, in the city where they work for us and speak both Spanish and English. These are your contacts while in-country for most aspects of the program and all have both day and evening phone access.
What should I pack?
Once you are accepted into the program we send out a comprehensive Pre-Departure Orientation Packet that will include information on what to pack and much more. It is required reading! Some initial tips on what to take are as follows: the apartments are fully equipped, so no need to worry about sheets, towels, pots, pans etc. For your internship, pack casual business clothes such as slacks/skirts, collared shirts and black or brown, closed toed leather shoes (comfortable as you will walk and use public transport every day.) No jeans or tennis shoes during any interaction with your company in China. For your own travel and leisure time, wear what you want! You can visit any number of websites to check on weather for a given month.
My friend and I would like to do the program together. Can we live in the same housing?
Yes - Usually we can accommodate a request for candidates to live together. It will be dependent on availability, and the sooner your completed application packets are received, the better chance you have of being able to live together. (do not wait until deadline if you know you want to request to live with a friend)
Can I use my cell phone in China?
Yes - You can if it is a “GSM Phone”, which means it uses the SIM card technology. With this option, you bring your own phone or blackberry and buy a Beijing SIM card that gives you a Beijing telephone number and is “pay as you go”. You can also buy a cell phone once in China for around $50USD. Phones come already charged with around 8-30 minutes of calls. You can then buy pre-paid cards to top up your minutes. These cell phones are also “pay as you go” so no contracts. A website we particularly like is www.china-mobile-phone .
Can I take my laptop computer to China?
Yes - The language school where you take your Mandarin classes has internet access that you can use for the duration of your program. There are Cyber Cafes all around and they are cheap if you opt not to bring your own. Most of the Adelante student housing has wifi. When the Adelante front office staff travels there, we bring iPads and use this for both laptop and phone (Skype) – make sure you have the 3G option. Beijing has not yet standardized its outlets – an adaptor works fine, buy one when you get there, as you may not need one (Voltage is 220V, same as US).
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