How Much Will I Make Working in China?


One of the most common questions asked to us at SmartIntern is this:

"How much money can I expect to make?" 

The question is a bit like asking, "how long is a piece of string?" (answer: it depends), but we will do are best to cover it here by looking at a few different expat profiles and their corresponding salaries.

It's important to note that unfortunately there isn't much publicly available data about how much expats or returning Chinese earn in China, so these numbers are based off our years of experience living in and working in the country and asking other expats in our network.

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China Internship Scams: What's The Deal?

If you Google "china internships", one of the first auto-suggested searches is "china internship scam". If you perform that search you'll see a number of results for all sorts of horror stories that explain internships in China gone wrong. You'll read horror stories of people promised their "dream internship" only to end up working in an internship they hate. 

You might even find this story, about a group of interns who ended up working as mascots at an amusement park in Guangzhou.

Sure, I understand that some unscrupulous companies in the space don't deliver on their unrealistic promises ("you'll DEFINITELY get a full-time job offer following your one month internship"), and while that is undoubtedly dodgy, I don't know that it qualifies as a scam. There has to be something else going on here.

So why is "china internship scam" searched in Google in a high enough volume to be an auto-predicted term? 

Following are the reasons I believe why this is the case...

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How to Live on a Budget in Shanghai


We're often asked questions like the following:

How much should I save before coming to shanghai?

How much should I expect to spend?

What is the cost of living in Shanghai?

It's complicated to answer, because everyone's standards, situations and capabilities are slightly different. This article will be short and sweet, and focus on the low budgets. 

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Education in China: The Best Chinese Universities

the best Chinese universities

While a university education in China isn't generally considered to be cutting edge, the quality of education offered by China's main universities is growing quickly.

And while you might never have considered studying at a Chinese university before, there are a number of situations where this might be advantageous. They might include:

  • If you are able to obtain a scholarship at a Chinese University.
  • If you are able to utilize the lower cost of living in China to your advantage (geo-arbitrage) and can earn a degree at a lower cost.
  • If you are presented with a unique job or internship opportunity that allow you to study in China while also gaining work experience.
  • Of course, there are few better places than a Chinese University to study Chinese at.

For the following post, we decided to look at the Top 5 Chinese Universities as ranked by US News. No university-ranking methodology is perfect, but US News has a history of publishing consistently great rankings, and that's why we chose to use theirs.

For more information, view our Chinese Universities comparison.

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Shanghai Districts: Which One Should I Live In?

shanghai districts

Staring at a map of Shanghai before arriving can be an intimidating exercise for even the most steely-nerved of us. Metro lines are stacked upon 8 lane highways and massive highrises to form an urban mass that many consider to be the word's largest city.

Throw in the population that is possibly as high as 30 million and Shanghai can look like an urban black hole. And as a whole, it is.

However, for all of its sprawl, there are really only a few areas of the city that most expats and returning Chinese live in, and finding housing in one of these areas is a straightforward affair that is limited only by one's budget.

In the right neighborhood, Shanghai can feel less like a megalopolis and more like a small city where you run into the same people day after day. After all, the total population of foreigners in Shanghai is only around 200,000 people or so, and they tend to form tight-knit clusters within the following 5 districts.

Following is our list of Shanghai's 5 Best Districts to live in.

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