Jin River at night in Chengdu, China. Photo (c) Jens Schott Knudsen, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 and adapted from the original.
There were two programmes last autumn, one in Chengdu (pictured) and one in Qingdao. Photo ©

Jens Schott Knudsen, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 and adapted from the original.

Find up to date programme information in our response to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Applications are now closed.

What's it about?

Are you still undecided on your plans after graduation? Spend eight weeks in China on our Generation UK autumn programme, learning Mandarin and gaining meaningful work experience that will look fantastic on your CV – all this while exploring some of China’s most fascinating cities.

Whether you’re looking to get a head-start on mastering the language or boost your career prospects by undertaking an internship in fields such as accounting, business, or marketing, Generation UK can help provide the funding for your trip and make sure you make the most of your time in China.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must be:

  • a UK citizen
  • aged 18 years and above
  • currently enrolled full-time at a university in England or have graduated from a university in England within the past year
  • have achieved, or be on track to achieve, a 2.1 degree
  • meet our student finance eligibility criteria 
  • not in receipt of any other Generation UK funding.

Are you ineligible? Check our other opportunities.

Student finance eligibility criteria

Generation UK is committed to social mobility and widening participation in the higher education sector. We focus on helping talented first-generation scholars and students from low-income backgrounds.

To be eligible for the Generation UK internship programme, you must meet one of the following criteria, depending on which year you began your studies. If you’re currently a postgraduate student, you must have met the criteria during your undergraduate degree.


If you started your course before 2016

If you received a Maintenance Loan and Grant from Student Finance England then please provide the following evidence:

  • a full scanned copy of your Student Finance financial support letter detailing your tuition fees and maintenance loan and grant entitlements.

If you started your course in September 2016 or later

  1. If you are living with parents and in receipt of a maintenance loan of £4,576 or above
  2. If you are living with parents and studying outside London and are in receipt of a maintenance loan of £5,845 or above
  3. If you are not living with parents and studying in London and are in receipt of a maintenance loan of £8,304 or above 

Please provide the following evidence:

  • an official signed letter from your university registrar on university letterhead detailing your student living status based on the above three oprions, your official home address and your official term time address
  • a full scanned copy of your Student Finance England financial support letter detailing your tuition fees and maintenance loan entitlements.

What's on offer?

The Generation UK language and internship programme combines three weeks of intensive Mandarin language study at a leading university, followed by a five-week placement in an industry sector of your choice. 

This programme is designed to give you a good foundation in Chinese language and cross-cultural awareness, before undertaking your internship placement and using your newly acquired language skills to further your understanding of your sector choice in China. 

The internships are set up through our partnership with InternChina, and cover sectors including information technology, legal, marketing, accounting, engineering, pharmaceuticals, fashion, finance, hospitality and many more. 

Two programmes will be running, one in Chengdu and one in Qingdao:

City Date

Summer: Sunday 28 June to Sunday 28 August

Autumn: Sunday 18 October to Sunday 13 December


Summer: Sunday 28 June to Sunday 28 August

Autumn: Sunday 18 October to Sunday 13 December

How much funding will I receive?

Generation UK funding will cover all language classes, cultural activities, internship placement fees, accommodation and comprehensive travel insurance (a must), as well as your airport pick-up and dedicated support throughout your placement. 

You’ll need to budget for your day-to-day expenses, which largely depend on where you’re living and your own lifestyle. Previous interns have been comfortable on the equivalent of about £50 a week, but it’s entirely up to you. You’ll also need to pay for your flights, visa and any other expenses related to your travel.

Why should I apply?

  • With 1.4 billion speakers worldwide, Chinese truly is a global language. Graduates who speak more than one language are highly sought-after, and with China’s increasing role in the world market, Mandarin is becoming a favourite among employers. 
  • Experience in China is increasingly valued by employers. Work experience in China will give you an inside view into Chinese culture and business practice, making you aware of cultural differences and similarities between China and the UK.
  • China may soon overtake the USA as the world’s largest economy. Knowledge of Mandarin and a connection with China will improve your career prospects.
  • Globalisation causes the job market-place to become more and more competitive. Your experience and understanding of China will make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Do I need to speak Mandarin?

You don’t need to have any prior Chinese language skills to take part in this programme, but we would advise doing your best to learn a few of the basics before you depart. All language classes are aimed at complete beginners or learners with basic-level Chinese, and will be taught primarily in English. Classes will not be suitable for more advanced learners.

During your internship, all your assignments will be in English and you’ll also be given an English-speaking supervisor to support and manage you on your placement.

How do I apply?

Apply for the Qingdao and Chengdu programme via InternChina.

Applications are now closed.

Placements are very limited and in high demand. The sooner you can get your application in, the better. 

Make sure you have the following documentation ready, which you will need to submit during the application process:

  • passport scan
  • scanned student finance documents - see the eligibility criteria
  • most recent grade transcript. Your university should be able to provide this but if not, we can accept a screenshot of your grades signed, dated and verified by your academic referee or university registrar
  • academic reference (needs to be on university letterhead paper and signed by the referee). This should detail their relationship to you, your academic profile and why they recommend you for the programme.
  • Curriculum Vitae 

All shortlisted candidates will be invited to a short telephone interview, where the following criteria will be taken into account:

  • academic achievement
  • interest in chosen industry
  • motivations for gaining work experience in China
  • knowledge of Mandarin is not a pre-requisite.

Who do I contact, if I have questions?

You can send an email to the Generation UK team, who will be happy to help.

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