China SIP internships

What's it all about?

Some know it as ‘paradise on earth’, others call it ‘the Venice of the East’, but whatever name it goes by the city of Suzhou on the east coast of China is home to many exciting opportunities thanks to a partnership between the British Council and Suzhou Industrial Park.

There are a number of paid internships available that won’t just give you an eye-catching bit of experience on your CV, but also an eye-opening insight into China’s unique culture and thriving economy. The exact nature of placements varies from year to year, but if you’re up for a challenge as well as a bit of adventure then here’s where your journey starts.

This opportunity has been made possible with funding from BIS and DELNI with kind support from Suzhou Industrial Park in China.

When’s the deadline?

Applications for 2014 have now closed, and the 2015 programme has not opened yet. We’ll update this page as soon as we hear anything, but in the meantime you can keep in touch with all our news by signing up to our newsletter.

Where will I be working?

All the internships are based in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) for between six and twelve months. The specific roles vary from year to year – you could find yourself teaching English to primary school children, working as a coordinator at an international marketing agency or learning the ropes as an engineering intern.

The exact list of opportunities for 2015 has not yet been released, but we’ll update this page as soon as we hear anything. In the meantime you can keep in touch with all our news by signing up to our newsletter.

How much funding will I receive?

Unlike many internships offered throughout China, successful interns for SIP will receive a monthly living allowance of between RMB2500 to RMB6000 (roughly £250 to £600). You’ll also have the cost of your accommodation covered for your time there, and be reimbursed up to £200 for the required medical examinations and police checks (if you’re working in schools). 

That leaves a few things for you to budget for, such as flights, private insurance, and spending money for when you first arrive.

Do I need to speak Mandarin to apply?

No, but you should definitely make the effort to learn some basics before you go. Once you’ve arrived you’ll receive free Mandarin lessons every week (these are mandatory), so by the time you’re heading back to the UK you should have a very useful language to add to your CV.

We’ll also make sure that there’s an English-speaking mentor for you at your host company and be there to provide support if it’s needed. We won’t be holding your hand or anything, but we’ll be there if you need us.

Why should I do this?

Because you’re young; because you’re smart; because you want something to put on your CV; because you’re curious; because you’re adventurous; because you want to see the world; because you’ll understand the culture in a way you’d never get from travelling; because you want to improve your skills; because you’ll never know unless you give it a go; because really the question you should be asking yourself is ‘why not?’

Can I apply?

The main requirements to qualify for the programme are fairly straight-forward, but there are a few Ts & Cs to dig into. Basically, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old when the programme starts
  • hold a valid EU/ EEA passport
  • be a full-time** student at an English/ Northern Irish University or Higher/Further Education college
  • Your course must be an Undergraduate, Masters or Foundation Degree, PGCE, PhD, or Nursing Diploma.

And the not-so-basic stuff:

Applicants In Northern Ireland

Applicants must be undergraduates or postgraduates. Undergraduate students must be either taking a placement year, or at least will need to return to NI next year to finish their current course.  Postgraduate students must also be returning to complete their current course.

**Also open to part-time students studying for qualifications listed above.  Please note that this excludes students who have graduated or who are due to graduate before the scheme commences.

CAFRE students from Northern Ireland are not eligible to apply.

Applicants In England

 Applicants can be undergraduates taking a placement year, or an undergraduate or postgraduate if they are graduating this summer only.