Boston University pioneered the study abroad internship program and is still the global leader in this field. Our internship programs combine student coursework with a professional work experience. The internship itself is accompanied by a required Internship Seminar, and the two parts complement each other so that students are able to deepen their understanding of Chinese culture and language through being part of the local professional environment.
How Internships Work
Students in our BU internship program are studying abroad at Fudan University, where they’re enrolled as full-time students. Most of their classes are on mornings and evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, so they typically work two full days on Wednesday and Friday, or two afternoons plus a full day. Students intern 16-20 hours per week. BU Shanghai students receive university credits for their internship and a grade for the course. Because the internship is a university class, they cannot receive any pay from their internship provider.
The commute to the internship can take an hour or more, usually by subway. The Line 10 runs from the Fudan University area to the city center and from there one can access other lines.
Students are required to attend an Internship Seminar class. This course helps to guide students through the challenges of their internships while heightening their knowledge about cultural and national issues regarding working in China.
Each student is individually matched to an internship depending on her or his qualifications, skills, and desires. We work with CRCC Asia, a local internship placement firm, to help make the internship matches. Companies and organizations that have hosted BU interns in the past include leading think tanks such as the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, government organizations such as the US Commercial Service, NGOs such as AmCham, PR firms and advertising agencies such as AdSmith, financial companies like GaoTime, media and entertainment companies hotels such as the Portman Ritz Carlton, and many others.
The BU Shanghai internship program is demanding, involving more than 20 hours of weekly work and study, as well as sometimes lengthy commutes to and from work. Students are challenged on many levels. Yet students who meet these challenges emerge with a far greater understanding of themselves as well as greater insights into the business and social world of China. The internship work environment often enables students to further hone their Chinese language reading and speaking skills, and internships are an excellent way for students to integrate themselves into the wider community of urban professionals in China and prepare themselves to join a competitive work force. Future employers will view the internship in Shanghai as a great credential and a feather in the cap of a college grad’s resumé.