Student in front of Shanghai skyline
Full-time internships
Shanghai Summer - Internship Add to favorites
  • Shanghai, China

You are here

Shanghai Summer - Internship

Why Shanghai?

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.

Your Internship

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 taking a 3-credit Mandarin language course before going to your six-week internship site. The language course will continue in once weekly sessions for the duration of the program.

PLACEMENT EXAMPLES: Past students have interned in placementsl like the examples listed below. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. We encourage students of all majors to apply.

  • Consulting services company that works with companies across China
  • Accounting and business firm serving businesses in Mainland China and Europe
  • NGO advocating for nature conservation in China
  • Student travel and tourism company
  • Language-education startup developing and piloting a Chinese language-learning mobile application
  • Professional commercial production company
  • Financial technology company providing personal credit services, using machine learning and Big Data to improve efficiency
  • After-school arts program offering a variety of educational courses for students of all ages
  • Financial technology group using specialized knowledge to bridge the gap between investors and developers
  • International NGO dedicated to saving sight worldwide

Don’t see what you're looking for? Just talk to your IES Internships Representative—new internships are always being added!

Daily Life

Make Shanghai your home away from home with by living with local residents in a homestay or with other IES interns in a serviced apartment. 

Spend your free time getting to know Shanghai and China through IES Abroad-organized cultural events and trips, including a day trip to Tongli, known as the “Chinese Venice”, and weekend trip to the Chinese countryside—either Huanshan (Yellow Mountain) or Taishan—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.


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:

  • Understanding business culture
  • Improving communication in the workplace
  • Strengthening work attitude and aptitude
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Navigating issues, challenges, and opportunities so you can succeed on the job in Shanghai and when you return home

Upon arrival you will spend two weeks at a local university taking a required 3-credit Mandarin language or Chinese Studies class. 3-credit Chinese language courses at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels will be offered.


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

Field Trips & Events

You can participate in field trips and extracurricular activities in and around Shanghai as well as cultural events at the IES Abroad Shanghai Center. Potential trip 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.
Huangshan or Taishan
In a weekend field trip to the Chinese countryside, you will visit either Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) or Taishan - both UNESCO World Heritage Sites that have 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.

Daily Life

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.


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 - Live in an apartment with other IES interns at the modern New Harbour Service Apartments (where the IES Abroad Shanghai Center is located).

The standard, fully furnished apartment has two or three bedrooms with one or two bathrooms and one kitchen. You may share a double bedroom with another IES interns or have a single room.

This option does not include a meal plan, but you can cook for yourself or dine at nearby restaurants.

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.

Get to Know Your New City

Enjoy Local Festivals

Immerse yourself in Chinese customs and traditions at the Lantern Festival in the spring semester or the Shanghai Tourism Festival in the fall.

Eat & Shop in Xintiandi

Explore Xintiandi’s North and South Blocks, where the past meets present in this chic shopping and dining district.

Go on a Huangpu River Night Cruise

Take a boat ride around the Bund to see the beauty of Shanghai architecture in all its glory!

Visit Yuyuan Garden & City God Temple Bazaar

See the extensive Chinese garden with its classic architecture, beautiful sculptures and carvings, then walk the photogenic Nine-Bend Bridge that connects the two to shop and dine at the Bazaar.

Visit Shanghai Disneyland

It is a small world after all! Plan a trip to the famous Disney theme park, filled with attractions you know and love, and new ones, too.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Summer 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019
6 Credits
$4,455 $1,225 $135 $5,815

Summer 2019
9 Credits
$4,660 $1,225 $135 $6,020

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid
Up to $1,000

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from infromation provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of home campus
Vera Isaacs Schwartz Endowed Stipend
$500 cash stipend

The Vera Isaacs Schwartz Endowed Stipend has been established by Alan and Ronnie Schwartz in loving tribute to Alan’s mother. Vera valued learning in the classroom, but also recognized that there is an education to be had in museums, cafes and pastry shops around the world. Alan is a current member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors and he has established this stipend to honor his mother Vera and her commitment to providing her grandchildren funds to expand their college education outside of the classroom.

Service Learning Summer Internship Scholarship
Up to $5,000

The Service Learning Scholarship was initiated by the Hemera Foundation, whose mission is to foster basic human goodness in individuals and society. This Scholarship, which will be sustained through a foundation collaborative, aims to inspire students to make a social impact through summer internships within philanthropic or direct service/social service organizations.

Study Abroad Accessibility Grant for Students with Financial Need

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our 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:

  • Staff offices
  • WiFi and printer access
  • Student study space

Our Staff

Qinbo "James" Gao

Center Director


Qinbo "James" Gao has been involved in international education for many years. Prior to joining IES Abroad Shanghai as the Center Director, he was the Director of the International Affairs Office (IAO) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)-Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF). He joined SAIF in 2009 as a founding member for the institution, which is a collaboration between the Shanghai Municipal Government (SMG) and SJTU.

Before joining SAIF, James worked at the Chinese Europe International Business School (CEIBS) as Accreditations & International Programs Manager. He started his career as an English lecturer at Tongji University, where he received “Junior Teacher Awards” in 1998 and 1999, based upon student voting and academic reviews.

James received his bachelor’s degree from the International Studies University in Xi’an, and his M.A. in Tourism Administration from The George Washington University School of Business. He is a candidate for the Doctorate of Education at the University of Nottingham (China Campus), focusing on practical research in higher education.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff

Lihong YANG
Assistant Director

Yun GE
Program Assistant

Shuo HAN
Academic Coordinator and Chinese Instruction Coordinator

Angela LIU

Internship Coordinator and Student Activity Manager