The internship component of the Capstone year abroad provides students real-world experience in a Chinese work environment. The internship is a four-month, full-time experience. The Nanjing Chinese Flagship Center works with students individually to arrange for internships in commercial, governmental, or third-sector organizations directly related to students’ interests, academic study, and professional goals.
Students’ internship experiences are designed to allow them to:
• Practice establishing themselves in a Chinese professional environment
• Develop networking and negotiating knowledge and skills with Chinese professionals
• Experience accomplishing specific projects and tasks in a Chinese workplace
• Immerse themselves in the work culture
The internship experience truly provides students the opportunity work on real tasks, not merely observe how others work. Mandarin is the dominant working language and Chinese is the dominant working culture, allowing students the opportunity to gain valuable insight into Chinese business environments. In addition, each internship site hosts only one Chinese Flagship intern at a time, meaning students receive dedicated mentoring from those at their internship.
To prepare for their internship, students participate in a pre-internship workshop focusing on developing knowledge and skills to help them adapt to a Chinese professional environment. The workshop includes lectures, discussions, site visits, practicums, and performance projects. Students also receive:
• Guidance from the Flagship Internship Director to help explore internship options
• Pre-internship training to prepare for how to arrange housing, negotiate the Chinese work place, and develop professional relationships
• Invaluable work experience and insight into Chinese work culture
• College credit through the University of Oregon (see Capstone credit transfer for details)
Throughout the internship experience, students submit bi-weekly reports to American Councils, who coordinates the study abroad and internship experience. These reports help staff recognize any areas where students may need support and guidance.
Students should be prepared to be active, regular, contributing members of the internship organization, rather than a passive observer. Students should also work to meet expectations of the internship organization instead of expecting others to change to fit their idea of how things should be done.
All students who participate in an internship must demonstrate Advanced-High proficiency and/or HSK Level 7 or above; be able to talk about common cultural hallmarks of Chinese civilization and current topics; have the ability to recognize and respond to behavioral expectations in Chinese environments; and demonstrate the ability to discuss fundamental aspects of their career and academic discipline in Chinese.