Sep 3, 2010

Internship opportunities in East Asia with AIESEC

Although AIESEC is one of the biggest student organizations in the world and the biggest student-driven one, I assume that some of you may haven't heard of it, so I will make a very brief introduction. AIESEC is an international student-driven organization and its main purpose is to unite the world's youth through exchange and internships in foreign countries' companies and NPOs. At present it has local offices in 107 countries and territories.

Anyway, the focus of this article is on internships in East Asia, or Asia Pacific as it is considered in AIESEC's world distribution list. Countries the organization is present in include: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan (only in Japanese), Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan (only in Traditional Chinese), Philippines (I am not including here the offices in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, although they are listed in "Asia Pacific" region due to AIESEC, but I guess they are part of South Asia, not East Asia) 

CHINA. The most active one by far is AIESEC China, and it is also number one in the world. So if you have the strong will to go on internship in East Asia - China is the easiest option for you. It has 17 active local committees at the moment and is expanding further. Largest ones are LC SYSU and LC UIBE and you could find any type of internship from volunteer work for the Shanghai Expo 2010 to internship in Hilton Hotel Beijing (one acquiantance was on such internship).

HONG KONG. As you probably know the life standard in this small country is extremely high, so you could no problem find internships that pay in the range of US$1200-2200 per month... A good deal for an internship student job don't you think? However, it is tradition there to work even on Saturdays, so you may need to consider that as well.

TAIWAN. On the contrary, Taiwan provides mostly Development Traineeships. These are internships mostly in NGOs and you usually do not get paid, but you are provided free accommodation and free food. This committee is providing opportunities for those who would like to teach their knowledge to school pupils and at the same time study Chinese.

KOREA. If I say that there is abundance of opportunities in Korea, I would lie. Usually there are not more than 3-4 internships present and about 99% of the time they are connected to engineering and IT (as could be expected). The payment is not so high and the working hours are long. Consider very carefully if you want to go there. However, the chance that you could be employed permanently high.

JAPAN. There are 24 committees in Japan, but most of them are not really active during large period of the year. Most internships' requirements are very high and salary is usually sufficient if you live outside Tokyo. Otherwise you will have hard times... I personally matched with AIESEC Kobe and I am living in this city, but working in Osaka (which is much more expensive place). Usually to go on internship to Japan you would need a certain level of Japanese, especially if you are not in the technologies field.

SOUTH-EAST ASIA (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia). Although each of these countries' AIESEC has their own specifics, there are some uniting factors, which must be pointed out. I will make it fast and clear - if you want to make money from this internship, this is not the place (unless you want to try your luck with Singapore, but I would suggest you to prepare for a long fight, which has high possibility to be lost in the end). Average work time is 45 hours/week and very often you would be asked to work on Saturdays. However, most of the internships are unpaid (Development Traineeship), but as far as I am concerned, my next stop is Malaysia :)

P.S. Time for some linguistics. One of the newest words I learned from my girlfriend Jenny, is "kanasai" and it is in hokkien language (kind of Chinese). What it means, you have to discover by yourself!

Hope you enjoyed! You can always write me on or find me on Facebook "Nyagoslav Jekov".


1 comment:

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