Shanghai Internship Program

The Boston University Shanghai Internship Program offers a semester of study and internship experience, in the vibrant and booming metropolis of Shanghai. Chinese language courses are offered at all levels and no prior coursework in Chinese is required. Students with no previous background in Chinese enroll in the eight-credit “Beginning Intensive Chinese” course. This program gives students the opportunity to experience the professional culture of China and apply their coursework in language and culture on a day-to-day basis.

Internship placements vary according to students’ interests, backgrounds, previous work experience, and language ability. The program provides opportunities in a wide range of disciplines, so students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

Program Curriculum

Fudan University, one of China’s leading universities, was founded in 1905. The word “Fudan,” literally meaning “heavenly light shines day after day,” suggests inexhaustible self-reliance and industriousness. Fudan confers bachelor’s degrees in 70 academic disciplines and graduate degrees in 225. There are also 25 research stations that offer postdoctoral fellowships. Fudan now has an enrollment of 27,000 full-time degree candidates and the second-largest foreign student population in China—some 2,800 students from around the world. Fudan boasts a qualified faculty of over 2,500 full-time professors and researchers. Visit the Fudan University website for more information.

Internship Areas

Please note these are examples of past internship placements only.  While BU Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available.  Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed. 

 Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations

Work in companies or departments in public relations, marketing, or advertising on product development and promotion, branding, company and product launches, event planning, e-commerce and social media marketing, and specific advertising or public relations campaigns.  Study marketing techniques and media and consumer behavior.

Past internship placements have included Touchmedia, MSLGroup Asia, Adsmith China, Wieden + Kennedy, Ringier China Advertising, Collective Concepts, Ameson Foundation, Riviera Events, and Ogilvy PR.

 Arts/Arts Administration

Gain an overview and learn about funding bodies that support the arts or work in one of the city’s art galleries, museums, or local arts centers.  Past internship placements have included World of Art Brut Culture, V Art Center, ArtHub Asia, Pearl Lam Galleries and Art Networking.

 Business/Economics/Finance

Work in various departments in Chinese or international firms and corporations.  You may be placed with a small start-up, a larger state-owned enterprise, a private trading firm, a medium-sized consultancy, or a foreign or Chinese multinational corporation.  You could work in computer programming and software engineering, e-commerce, accounting, digital consulting, trade, logistics, operations, finance and investment, marketing, HR, sales, and international business departments in a wide-range of industries.  Past internship placements have included Bluestar AMG, Gaotime, Aexele, Ming Jian, Praxair China, Xindanwei, Mahota, E-heng Import and Export, Josie Chen Range, Allianz China, Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk, Diageo, Talika Cosmetics, Arpin International Group, Xinyu Garments, Epermarket, Connect China, Caterer Goodman Partners, Pacific Asset Management, FrontCoding, CCP Games, and ACM Worldwide.

 Film/Radio/Television

Study communications and work in writing, research, and broadcasting for television stations or film and production companies.  Past internship placements have included Shanghai Media Company; Sabre Works Film; Shanghai International Channel’s news, cultural, and documentary programming; P.I.G China.

Health/Human Services

Work for education programs, social service departments, or community care centers. Past internships have included Mifan Mama, Sunflower Education Program, Re’ai Family and Youth Center, Changhai Hospital, World of Art Brut Culture, Ameson Foundation,

Essential Learning Group/ Brain Train, and Optimum Health Care

Hospitality and Tourism

Intern in the hospitality and tourism industries in fields such as hotel or restaurant management.  Past internship placements have included luxury and five-star properties like the Portman Ritz-Carlton, the Puli Hotel and Spa, Park Hyatt Shanghai, and Naked Retreats.

International Organizations/NGOs

Work in international organizations, social or environmental organizations, and various types of not-for-profit groups. Past internships have included the American and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce, British Council, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the U.S. Commercial Service of the Consulate General in Shanghai, Control Risks, Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Mifan Mama, Jane Goodall Institute, Roots and Shoots, World of Art Brut Culture, Sunflower Education Program for Migrant Children, and the Shanghai Yangzi Social Work Development Centre.

Journalism

Work in writing, copy editing, research, design, and production for print magazines and online publications.  Past internship placements have included That’s Shanghai, City Weekend, and Shanghai Expat.

Politics/Comparative Law

Participate in the daily life of a Shanghai law firm or commercial legal department or work in an organization where you’ll be exposed to state regulations or political operations.  Past placements have included the U.S. Commercial Service of the Consulate General in Shanghai, Control Risks, and the American and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce; and law firms such as SG & CO Law, Dacheng Law, Ferrante Intellectual Property, RSA Consulting, and Luther Law Firm.

Required Course

Students choose one of the following courses.  Each course carries four credits unless otherwise noted.

Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

  • CAS LC 111/112: Beginning Intensive Chinese (8 credits, for students with no previous coursework in Chinese)
  • CAS LC 211: 3rd Semester Chinese (4)
  • CAS LC 212: 4th Semester Chinese (4)
  • CAS LC 311: Third-Year Modern Chinese I (4)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 212 Fourth-Semester Chinese, or the equivalent.) Readings in modern Chinese. Readings and discussion in Chinese of selected nonliterary and literary materials, including newspaper articles, short stories, and essays. Regular compositions required. Syllabus
  • CAS LC 312: Third-Year Modern Chinese II (4)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 311 Third-Year Modern Chinese, or the equivalent.)
  • CAS LC 411: Fourth-Year Modern Chinese I (4)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 312 Third-Year Modern Chinese, or the equivalent.) Advanced-level readings in modern Chinese. Discussion in Chinese of literary materials in various forms and styles. Special attention to works written between 1919 and 1949. Regular compositions and lab work (tapes and films).  Syllabus
  • CAS LC 412: Fourth-Year Modern Chinese II (4)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 411 Fourth-Year Modern Chinese, or the equivalent.)
  • CAS LC 421: Topics in Chinese Language and Culture
    (Near-native fluency required.) Syllabus

Elective Courses

Students choose two of the following courses, all of which are taught in English. The schedule and course offerings vary each semester. Students will receive further information on the elective courses prior to departure.

    CAS HI 365/IR 371: Shanghai: The Key to Modern China (4)

    (Formerly CAS HI 387.) The social, cultural, political, and economic history of Shanghai is used as a lens to understand the making of modern China.  Themes include the role of city’s colonial past in shaping its history.  Students visit significant historical sights and museums. Syllabus

    Questrom MK 467: International Marketing (4)

    (Prerequisite: Questrom MK 323 Marketing Management.) Develops a critical appreciation of both the opportunities and challenges associated with the increasing globalization of markets. Students learn about the key environmental forces shaping the needs and preferences of the global consumer and the impact of foreign, political, and economic factors on the marketing mix. Syllabus

    Questrom OM 467: Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management (4)

    (Prerequisite: Questrom OM 323 Operations Management.) This course introduces global sourcing and supply chain management in China. The course is structured to look at procurement and manufacturing, distribution and logistics, the information technology that supports the process, innovations in the supply chain that fuel China’s growth, as well as the integrated administration of the entire process.

    Introduction to Chinese Society and Culture (4)

    Addresses the history of Shanghai in a national context, its renaissance as a global city as a result of state strategy from the 1990s onward, issues of urban planning and urban social space, and Chinese culture and religion.

    The Chinese Marketplace: Globalization and Local Transformations (4)

    This course addresses major themes focusing on the dynamics of China’s unprecedented socioeconomic transformations. Topics include the implications of globalization for everyday life in local contexts, the rise of consumerism in contemporary China, and important state policies and various emerging markets.

    Chinese Diplomacy (4)

    This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Chinese diplomacy and foreign policy, as well as their theoretical and historical background. This course also investigates the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy; China‘s bilateral relations with major powers; China’s multilateral relations with its neighboring countries, developing countries, and international organizations.

    The Transitional Chinese Society (4)

    China has become a country with a low population growth rate and the largest elderly population, while unprecedented economic reform has lifted China to the ranks of middle-income countries. This course not only introduces various demographic events and socio-economic reforms but also explores the linkages between population change and socio-economic development.

    Contemporary Chinese Film (4)

    This course is intended to offer insights into the political, social, and cultural changes in contemporary China and the impact of modernization and globalization on its cultural redefinition and identity reforming.  Using primarily a selection of films directed by the internationally acclaimed Chinese Fifth- and Sixth-Generation directors, the course focuses on developing critical thinking skills to appraise the cultural narratives of each selected film and the aesthetic presentation produced by each film director.

    Chinese Culture and Religion (4)

    This course focuses on the sociological study of religion in Chinese societies, and the basic sociology of major religions in Chinese societies. The purpose of the course is to help students investigate different perspectives in understanding the significant role of Chinese religion in both the traditional and contemporary China, and develop intellectual dialogue and mutual understanding between China and the West.

    Political Development in Modern China (4)

    This course strives to capture the continuous drama of the Chinese struggle for national revival through political, social and economic modernization. It deals with fundamental questions as why China eventually went communist in time of national crisis since mid 19th century; how the PRC regime tried to industrialize the economy and society through state mobilization in 50s and 60s; how that mobilization model ran into a dead end at the end of 70s; and finally how the market oriented reforms and opening up to the outside world in the past 35 years have transformed the socio-economics and the state-society relations in today’s China.

    Internship Course

    Students enroll in a four-credit internship placement. Course numbers depend on the field of specialization in which the students complete their internships. Placements are contingent upon the students’ past experiences, professional interests, and relevant academic history, as well as the availability of opportunities in any given semester; flexibility is essential. The internship comprises academic components including:

    • Internship portfolio consisting of weekly reports, field research, and analysis
    • Participation in a weekly seminar meeting
    • A supervisor’s evaluation

    Internship Courses

    • CAS AH 505: Internship in Arts/Architecture/Arts Administration
    • CAS EC 497: Internship in Business/Economics
    • CAS HU 425: Practicum in the Arts
    • CAS PO 403: Internship in Comparative Law
    • CAS PO 405/IR 455: Internship in International Organizations
    • CAS PS 495: Internship in Health/Human Services
    • COM CM 471: Internship in Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations
    • COM FT 493/494: Internship in Film/Radio/Television
    • COM JO 411: Internship in Journalism
    • COM JO 413: Internship in Broadcast Journalism
    • SHA HF 390: Field Placement in Hospitality Administration
    Internship Components
    • Internship portfolio consisting of weekly reports, field research, and analysis
    • Participation in a weekly seminar meeting
    • A supervisor’s evaluation

    Program Details

    Requirements
    • All students must complete the full 16-credit program
    • A foundation in Chinese language is strongly recommended
    • Students are strongly recommended to apply for their passport by the time they apply to the program
    • Admissions requirements for all programs
    Program Dates
    • Fall Semester: late August to mid December
      • Spring Semester: early February to mid-June
      Cost
      Credits
      • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
      Housing
      • Program offices are on the campus of Fudan University. Students are housed in the Tonghe International Student Village located on the northern side of campus. Athletic facilities are open to students in the BU program; fees may apply.
      Application Deadlines
      • Fall Semester: March 15 
      • Spring Semester: October 1 

      Download a description of the Shanghai Programs.

      Program Staff

      The Boston University Shanghai Programs are administered by staff at Boston University. A program manager oversees the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Shanghai. The Boston office also houses the resident director who is responsible for everyday operations.