Frequently Asked Questions

 If you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact us! We know the idea of China can be intimidating, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Why SmartIntern?

Because we 'get' China and will help you to begin an exceptional career starting there.

All companies are personally visited and interviewed by us before we place interns in them. We work to ensure that interns are placed in the kind of work environment that will help them to grow. 

All interns are invited to attend our Work Smarter seminar and monthly Masterminds sessions, which are unique features that give you the information you need to thrive in a 21st century career, and is part of what makes our program unlike any other in China.

Our internship package is inclusive, covering everything from housing to transportation cards, allowing you to focus 100% on growing your career and enjoying all that Shanghai has to offer.

How long do SmartIntern internships last?

SmartIntern Internships last from one month to six months. You can view our internship dates here.

Do I need to speak Chinese?

No, you do not need to speak Chinese in order to intern with SmartIntern. If you do speak Chinese, however, it can open the door to some very interesting job opportunities. It is also not essential to speak Chinese while living in Shanghai. Being able to speak some helps, but Shanghai is an international city with many native English speakers and English speaking locals. Help is never far away.

Will I get insurance?

Insurance is not included in our package, but it is highly encouraged. We are happy to recommend you to an insurance provider in Shanghai who can help you with all your insurance needs. For a list of insurance providers in Shanghai, please write us as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Does everybody get accepted into the program?

While we strive to place all applicants in meaningful internships, SmartIntern's programs are competitive and we cannot guarantee placement for all applicants. Our goal is to place every intern in a situation in which they can succeed, and if we are unable to identify such a situation for a particular individual, we don't place them with a company.

What is Shanghai like?

Shanghai is great! The Former French Concession has a very European feel to it, while Pudong (the eastern portion of the city, separated by the Huangpu river) feels like some kind of cyberpunk fantasy. What makes Shanghai different from most other Chinese cities, including Beijing, is the ease with which one can get around it. It is quite centralized, and most everywhere you need to go can be reached by a short walk or ride on a bicycle or metro. Shanghai is probably the most convenient large city in China.

Another bonus is that you can find absolutely everything in Shanghai. Need nutella, an imported microbrew, or vegemite? Whatever you crave, you can find it somewhere in Shanghai. Prices for imported items will be higher than they are back home, but these costs are typically offset by the relatively low prices of local items. 

Is China safe?

China is overall a very safe country to live and work in. The rate of violent crime is much lower than in the US and parts of Europe, and many people report feeling safer walking the streets of major Chinese cities at night than they do in their home countries.

The most common crime in Shanghai is petty theft, with levels comparable to those of major world cities. If you are aware of your environment and take some basic precautions you should have no issues.

Typically, the biggest concern people have about China is pollution. While Shanghai does have days with high levels of pollution, they are nowhere near as frequent as in Beijing. 

If you are interested in learning more about safety in China, please read this assessment from the United States Department of State.

What industries do you place interns in?

SmartIntern can place you in companies ranging from local startups to Big Four Accounting Firms. You can see some of the industries we place interns in here. 

What is your background?

After several internships, including one with Nike, Brandon graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2008. Before launching SmartIntern, he worked in marketing at a web design and development agency and consulted with North China's largest footwear retailer.

Michael is a graduate of Ohio State University. Before launching SmartIntern, Michael was Digital Marketing Manager of an international e-retailer specializing in luxury brands. Mike is also founder of an event promotion group, and prior to that worked as an Economics Teacher and US College Consultant & Advisor.

How much money should I bring?

Shanghai is a relatively inexpensive city to live in, especially if you eat mostly local Chinese food. Shanghai offers plenty of opportunities to live lavishly, but also many opportunities to save money as well. 

A local meal will cost between 10-30 RMB, and a breakfast of Steamed Buns (包子) can be had for 5 RMB. We recommend a budget of 100 RMB per day during the week and 200-300 RMB per day in the weekends. This will allow for a comfortable lifestyle, and it is quite possible to spend far less money than this.


Learn more about our Internships in China here.

Learn more about our Internships in Shanghai here.