Opportunities in China for language study, cultural engagement and internship

The Study Melbourne Language & Internship Program in China is a four-year partnership between the Victorian Government and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). This eight-week program offers Victorian tertiary students the opportunity for language study, cultural engagement and an internship placement.

The Study Melbourne Language & Internship Program aims to give students an immersive experience in Chinese language and culture, develop their cross-cultural communication and professional skills, and build people to people links between Victoria and China. Students will gain substantive work experience to help jump-start careers in today’s competitive job market.

Through this program, participants develop Asia capabilities and become business, cultural and educational ambassadors for Victoria.

Participants will receive a certificate of participation and a language level certificate at the end of the program. Please note the internships may not be recognised for academic credit – this is a matter for students to confirm with their home institution.

Edward's experience as an intern

Edward shares his experience as a Paralegal intern at DeHeng Law Offices in Chengdu, China. View more videos like this on the Gradability YouTube channel.

View a transcript of this video

Program details

Twenty-five Victorian-based tertiary students will be selected in the 2019-2020 round.

The program includes three-weeks of language study at a Chinese university and a five-week internship placement at a globally reputable company in China (in either Beijing or Chengdu).  Students may indicate a preference for Beijing or Chengdu as part of the application process but are not guaranteed their preference. Approximately 15 students will be selected for Beijing and 10 for Chengdu. Only students with some existing Mandarin are encouraged to go to Chengdu as there are generally lower levels of English proficiency in Chengdu.

The language component will involve 60 contact hours of Mandarin as well as cultural and business classes and excursions. Students will be hosted by the UIBE - University of International Business and Economics in Beijing or the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu.

It does not matter if you have not studied Mandarin before. If you have some Mandarin language skills you will be able to use them. As much as possible, you will be placed in classes according to your language level. After three weeks, you will be encouraged to take the HSK-1 Chinese language test.

To the extent possible, internship placements will be matched according to the student’s field of study but are primarily about providing experience and networking opportunities in a cross-cultural work environment. Previous rounds have shown that the most successful internships have tended to be in applied fields such as business and marketing, communications and law. Companies involved in the 2018 program included, for example only: Art Creativity Global, COMMSAT, East and Concord Partners, Perfect World and WWF in Beijing; Coding First, DeHeng Law Offices, SWUFE, and United Innovation Services in Chengdu.

Program dates

The 2019 round of the program will run between 24 November 2019 and 18 January 2020 in Beijing or Chengdu, China. Please note that no personal travel is permissible during this time period apart from weekend days. Students are expected to commit to full attendance during the program except under approved compassionate or compelling circumstances, such as illness.  Applicants should also note that the Lunar New Year falls on 25 January in 2020.

Who can apply?

The program is open to domestic and international students, aged 18 and above, who are currently enrolled full time in an undergraduate or post-graduate qualification at a Victorian university. We encourage students from applied disciplines, especially business and marketing, Asian and international studies, communications, law, finance and economics to apply.

How to apply

Applications for 2019 will be open during August 2019. Applications will be a two-step process first requiring a nomination from your university. Once nominated you will receive an email giving you access to the online application form.  Please contact your university (for e.g. through the internship or international exchange section) to find out how to get involved.

The application form will ask you for demographic and academic information, your personal and career motivations for undertaking the program, details of any existing Mandarin language skills, and preferences for location and internship placement.  You will need to upload a copy of your current passport, academic transcript, and student visa (if you are an international student). You will also be asked to compete a short online video interview.

What does it cost?

The Victorian Government is funding the language and internship component of the program, including student support and accommodation for the program dates. The Victorian Government has contracted a Melbourne service provider, Readygrad, to manage all pre and post-departure student support and our CEAIE partner will provide all in-country arrangements and student support.

This will include:

  • A predeparture briefing in October 2019 and post experience briefing in January or February 2020
  • A letter of support for visa purposes
  • airport pick up in China
  • an orientation program
  • cultural excursions and activities during the program
  • 24/7 emergency contact with an English speaking CEAIE representative and compulsory check-ins with a Victorian based case manager
  • on the ground support
  • a language and program participation certificate upon completion.

Costs you will have to cover yourself

You will have to cover the cost of:

  • return flights to China
  • visa fees
  • compulsory travel insurance
  • meals and personal expenses (it is estimated that AUD $1,500 should be sufficient spending money and you are encouraged to take some in cash) and
  • any private travel or accommodation outside of the program.

Accommodation

During the internship you will be in international student dorms on campus with your own bathroom, air conditioner, WiFi and other necessary facilities for daily life.

What type of visa

You will need a X2 Visa to China for a short-term program of Chinese culture and business study. You will receive an invitation letter from the host university as well as a letter of support from the Victorian Government which you will need to take, together with a passport with at least 6 months before expiry, to the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne to apply for your visa. 

If you intend to travel in China outside of the program dates:

  • for those going to Beijing, you will need to ensure your visa covers the entire travel period.
  • for those going to Chengdu, the local entry requirements mean your visa will only cover the official program dates. You will need to organise and pay for a side trip to another location (such as Hong Kong or Bangkok) at the end of the program in order to apply for a separate tourist visa for any ongoing personal travel in China.

Allana shares her internship experience at WWF in Beijing, China. View more videos like this on the Gradability YouTube channel.

How to get involved

Please contact your university to find out how to get involved.

Contact for general enquiries

For general information about the Study Melbourne Language & Internship Program in China, contact us by email at studymelbourne@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Ryan (2018 participant)

'I have definitely been able to see and understand a lot more of the world through this experience. Being willing to challenge yourself and face adversity allows you to grow and take full advantage of varies opportunities. This trip has taught me the value in having a global perspective and outlook, not simply for future employment or opportunities, but also as a responsible, open and forward thinking global citizen.'

Simon (2018 participant)

'The experiences that I have had, the people I have met I could never have expected. The program as a whole has had profound implications for my personal, academic and professional future. I am amazed that within 3 weeks I can go from no Chinese to 198/200 on the HSK1 and that I can meet so many amazing people.'

Felicia Hanna (2018 participant)

'I have experienced so many wonderful things. Learned and improved my Chinese language skills, worked at a very professional company, went to many magnificent places which I believe I wouldn't be able to visit on my own and made many new friends. This was truly a valuable and satisfying trip.'

Josh's internship experience with Study Melbourne. View more videos like this on the Gradability YouTube channel.

Read the video transcript