Intern in the financial hub and largest city of China—Shanghai. This thoroughly modern city, nicknamed “the Paris of the East”, features a heavy influence from Western business, culture, and architecture. As an IES intern in Shanghai, you’ll be fully immersed in the multicultural life of this metropolis. Imagine heading to work by ferry, subway, bus, or foot. Then later enjoying lunch from any one of the 23 Chinese provinces or cuisine from more than 20 countries.
An IES Internship in Shanghai develops your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and provides substantive work experience to jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market.
You’ll be guaranteed an unpaid placement at a local business or organization, where you’ll work for at least 32 hours a week. We will work with you to find the closest placement match between your professional and personal goals with what’s available in Shanghai.
Before you depart, we work with you to fine-tune your résumé, perfect your cover letter, and hone your communication and interview skills as we prepare you for working in a new cultural environment.
Upon arrival you will spend two weeks at a Donghua University taking a Mandarin language class, before going to your six-week internship site. The language course may also be continued throughout the duration of the program.
Media & Communications
Research & Development
Science & Technology
Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Internships Representative—new internships are always being added!
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
**If you are participating in the optional pre-semester Tibet trip, it will run from May 8-May 18. Please plan your arrival flight to Beijing (where the trip begins and ends) on May 8.**
If NOT participating in the optional pre-semester Tibet trip.
While working in Shanghai, you’ll enroll in a required 3- or 6-credit academic internship seminar with other IES interns, where you’ll gain context for your internship placement by examining cultural issues in the workplace. Topics covered include:
You will also enroll in a 2- to 3-credit Chinese language or Chinese studies course.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Shanghai, it will feel like home.
Homestays – Live in a home with a local Chinese family. Breakfast and dinner are provided twice a day, five days a week.
Apartments – Stay in a hotel on the Donghua University Campus. No meals are provided.
Part of making you feel at home in Shanghai is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or networking and social event with Chinese professionals, we’re all about our student services.
The staff at our Shanghai Center will welcome you for orientation. This includes an introduction to the city and program, including housing, commuting, and professional and cultural expectations. The Shanghai Center is your central place for instruction, support, and meeting other interns.
You can participate in field trips and extracurricular activities in and around Shanghai, and cultural events at the IES Abroad Shanghai Center.
Potential destinations include:
Explore the town often referred to as “Chinese Venice,” where 15 small, criss-crossing river lanes are spanned by nearly 50 bridges. These bridges are regarded as sacred architecture by the local people.
In a field trip to the Chinese countryside, you will visit Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), the UNESCO World Heritage Site that has inspired many of China’s greatest painters. Spend time exploring the stunning landscapes and mountain ranges, while learning about the region’s impact on Chinese civilization.
Tibet 8-10 DAYS, POST-PROGRAM
An optional trip to Tibet is offered before or after your summer internship.
For the optional Tibet trip, you travel to Lhasa, learn about Tibetan Buddhism, hike high mountain passes, and visit the Jokhang Temple and various monasteries. Lodging is provided either in local hostels or camping, and most meals and all local transportation are provided as a part of the additional fee.
NOTE: The destination of this optional post-program trip is subject to change or cancellation at any time. You are fully responsible for all costs associated with this optional trip. No academic credit is awarded for this trip.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Shanghai Center is located in New Harbor Service Apartments - the same building as the Economy, Business & Society student apartments - in the heart of central Shanghai. You can easily access all parts of Shanghai from the Center, via an extensive subway and bus system.
Features of the IES Abroad Shanghai Center include:
Since 2008, Dr. Xiaojun Li has been the Center Director in Shanghai. He grew up in Inner Mongolia, China. Dr. Li worked with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as the Senior Scientist and Chief Scientist of TNC’s International Programs for more than 11 years, conducting conservation projects and training programs in the United States, the Latin American region, the Pacific region, and China. He started and ran TNC’s Beijing office for three years. Dr. Li joined IES Abroad from The Mountain Institute, where he was the in-country manager for the Institute’s work at three field sites. He received his undergraduate degree from Inner Mongolia University, his Master’s degree of Ecology from Lanzhou University in China, and his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. He taught undergraduate courses in Beijing Forestry University before he went to Michigan Technological University in the United States for his Ph.D. research that focused on forestry ecology. Dr. Li’s interests include biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development in developing countries.
IES Abroad Staff
Lihong YANGStudent Affairs Coordinator and Customized Program Coordinator
Yuying YANGProgram Assistant
Shuo HANAcademic Coordinator and Chinese Instruction Coordinator
Wei ZHANGChinese language Instructor
Haiyan ZHOUChinese Language Instructor