The Center for Global Education offers students of all majors the unique opportunity to participate in a professional academic internship in Shanghai, China. Students are placed in unpaid professional internships for academic credit based on their course work, skills, and professional interests. All participants earn 6 credits from GMU and are guaranteed an internship placement.

Students submit a resume and cover letter and are placed with professional companies based on their interests and career goals. Participants can intern in a variety of fields, including but not limited to Finance, Non-Profit, Marketing, Public Relations, and Technology and the Arts.

This is Shanghai from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.


Dates: May 29 - July 23, 2014

You should plan to leave the United States at least one day prior to the program start date to arrive in Shanghai, China for the first day of the program. You can schedule your return to the United States from Shanghai, China for the last day of the program or choose to travel independently.

Do not purchase international airfare until you are advised by your Program Officer.

Program Fee: $6,220

The Center for Global Education Program Fee includes:

  • Tuition (6 credits)
  • Housing - single-occupancy room in shared apartment with other program participants.
  • Orientation to Shanghai
  • Welcome package (SIM card, Business Cards, Guidebook)
  • Group Welcome Banquet with other interns in Shanghai
  • Orientation to Shanghai
  • City tour of Shanghai
  • Internship placement
  • Networking events and Chinese business etiquette training
  • Planned social events with other interns (acrobatics shows, karaoke night, or weekend charity visit)
  • Airport pickup and drop off in Shanghai
  • On-site staff support
  • Medical insurance through iNext
  • Visa support documentation and visa fee
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Emergency medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation

NOT included in the program fee International airfare, meals, in-county transportation, and personal expenses are not included in the Program Fee and are the responsibility of the participant.


Our Shanghai interns will be staying in the heart of the downtown commercial district. A ten minute walk will take you to beautiful XinTianDi, one of the city’s most luxurious and upmarket examples of the old Shanghai, or alternatively you can visit the elegant shopping district of Huaihai Road. Jump in a taxi and visit the famous riverside on ‘The Bund’ or Shanghai’s colonial-style French Concession.

The hotel is perfectly located only a short walk from subway line 9 and subway line 4, making the rest of this exciting city easily accessible through the extensive subway network.

Shanghai interns stay in apartments with one or two other participants of the same gender. You will have your own double bedroom with a shared living area, kitchen and bathroom. All rooms have air-conditioning, central heating, internet access and television. Hotel facilities include a gym, swimming pool, table tennis area and a laundry service.

GMU's partner organization, CRCC Asia, has offices just a 10 minute taxi ride away from the hotel. Staff are available throughout the program, providing interns with 24 hour support system.


Interns receive a full day introduction to China's geography, population, history and economic development. Interns receive a comprehensive session on Chinese business etiquette, communicating with their supervisors, how to get the most out of their internship and other essential skills. Interns are also taught how to get around Shanghai, how to spot counterfeit money, and other practical information such as how to do laundry and buy things they need.

On the evening of the orientation day, all interns attend a welcome banquet, which is a great opportunity for them to get to know each other and learn Chinese dining etiquette.

Social and Networking Events

Interns have the option to attend networking events with fellow students or attend social events on the weekend or weeknights. Optional activities include karaoke night, sightseeing trips, business seminars, and volunteer opportunities with local children's charities.

Internship Placements

Participants will be asked to rank their top three fields of interest for the internship from the following:

  • Business

  • Engineering

  • Finance

  • Green-tech, Energy, or Environmental Consultancy

  • Hospitality

  • IT

  • Legal

  • Logistics

  • Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising

  • NGOs, Charities, Not-for-Profit

  • Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare

  • Tourism and Travel

Participants will be expected to participate in a phone interview to help with the placement process.

The following is a sample of internship host organizations. Many other possible placements are also available:

Business Costa Coffee
British Chamber of Commerce
Canada China Business Council
Engineering Jaquet
China Huanqui Construction & Eng.
Finance China Bridge Capital
Gold Millennium Group (Shanghai)
Green Tech, Energy, or Environmental Consultancy China Carbon Forum
German BioGas
Hospitality Marriott Shanghai Hongqiao
Fairmont Hotel
IT Kingsoft
The POP Company
Legal Deheng Law
Sinowing Law Firm
Logistics Allied Pickfords (Shanghai)
Marketing, PR, Advertising China Entrepreneurs
The Cimarron Group
Millward Brown
NGOs, Charities, Non-Profit Bright Angel Fund
Int'l Energy Conservation
Environmental Protection Assoc.
Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare Oasis Healthcare
Tourism and Travel CYTS
DaTong Travel

All interns will have an English-speaking supervisor within the workplace.

Financial aid eligible!

Contact CGE for a cost breakdown to bring to financial aid to determine your eligibility! All full-time students may be eligible to use financial aid for this program.

How to Apply

Start by completing the online application.

Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline.


Q: What do I need to apply?

Online application and registration and processing feeSubmit all supplemental materials: 1 passport-size photo (keep additional photos for your Visa), electronic resume, electronic cover letter, and a copy of your passport.

Official transcripts from your home university (unofficial transcripts are acceptable for GMU students) and VA Tuition Form (for Non-Mason students only)

Materials can be sent to the CGE office or emailed to

Q: What should my cover letter look like and to whom should it be addressed?

The cover letter should be thought of as a "statement of motivation" rather than a typical cover letter. This document should give CGE, our partner organization working on the internship placement, and potential employers an idea of who you are as a student, a young professional, and an individual.


  • Address the cover letter to "Dear Sir or Madam"
  • Discuss your reasons for participation in the internship program
  • Discuss your academic background and relevant professional experience
  • Discuss the type of work placement you may be interested in
  • Discuss your career ambitions
  • Discuss why this internship location interests you
  • Do NOT discuss what experience you are lacking. Instead, discuss how this experience will benefit you as a young professional.

Q: What are the requirements for acceptance?

A minimum of 45 credit hours completed by the start date of the program and a 2.5 minimum GPA are required for acceptance.

Q: What are my chances of being accepted to the program?

As long as students meet the minimum qualifications, they have a very good change for acceptance. There is no cap on the number of accepted students.

Q: If I don’t attend George Mason University, can I still apply?

Absolutely. Many program participants attended universities in Virginia and across the United States. Recent graduates are also encouraged to apply.

Q: What is the process for being placed in an internship?

Program participants are placed in an internship after acceptance to the program. Participant resumes and cover letters are forwarded to potential host employers for selection. The placement process can take weeks to months; however, every participant is guaranteed an internship.

Q: Do I get to choose the company and placement?

You are placed in an internship based on your academic background, personal interests, and professional experience; however, you cannot choose the exact company. A placement is guaranteed, and your background is used to place you in the position. All efforts are made to place you in a position most related to your field. 

Q: What language skills are required for the internship?

The internship requires only English language skills.

Q: How can I earn internship credits in my major?

To earn internship credits in your major, you must first speak with your department’s internship coordinator or CGE. If you fit the department’s requirements to earn credit, CGE will work with you to obtain your preferred credit. If you are not eligible to earn credit in your major, you can still earn the same amount of credits with the program’s default credit options.

Q: Do I need a visa?

Yes, you’ll be required to apply for a visa for China independently. Once accepted, you’ll receive guidelines and additional information on this process.

Q: What are the working hours?

Working hours vary depending on the workplace. Just as with any job, the field and specific sites have different requirements. You should expect to work full-time, 5 days a week.

Q: Where do I live while in Shanghai?

Participants live in a central hotel in Shanghai. Participants have single rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens with other program participants.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.