Qingdao coastline

Introducing Qingdao, China’s Coastal Paradise

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Qingdao night

Located in China’s north eastern Shandong Province, Qingdao is a coastal city known for its beautiful scenery and booming industry. Boasting clean air, pleasant year-round temperatures and an abundance of things to see and do, Qingdao is not only among the country’s top domestic holiday destinations, but also one of its most livable cities. As a gateway to China’s international import and export industry, it has in recent years been the recipient of huge foreign investment that has helped several industries grow. Qingdao is set to be one of the most up-and-coming business hubs of the foreseeable future, making it an exciting place to intern. Here’s all you need to know about this seaside city.

From Tsingtao to Qingdao… and everything in between

Qingdao cityThe city we know today as ‘Qingdao’ has had several names throughout its short history. Tsingtau, Tsingtao, Jiāo’ào, Jiaozhou, Kiaochow, Kiauchau, Kiautschou, Qindao are just a few of the names that Qingdao has been called.

During the late 1800’s, Qingdao was seized by the Germans, who controlled the city from 1898 until 1914. During this time, the Germans left their mark on the city, transforming it from a small fishing village into a metropolis with a higher standard of education and living than many other Chinese cities. Wide, winding European-style streets and buildings characterize this period, making it stand out from typical Chinese architecture present in other regions. During their occupation, the Germans opened a brewery which later became known as the famous Tsingtao Brewery. This signature drink has become well-known around the world and stands as one of the city’s most prominent exports.

Several years later, during World War I, the Germans lost the city to the Japanese, who controlled Qingdao until 1922 and again from 1938. Despite being under Japanese rule, the city retained much of its German concession-era features, which are still present today. Qingdao became fully under Chinese rule in 1949 along with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and it has seen been the focus of government economic development plans, being named Special Economic and Technology Development Zone. Since the 1980’s, Qingdao has seen huge growth and become a major exporter of goods to all over the world – besides beer that is! Today, its major exports are seafood, minerals and natural energy.

Internships in Qingdao

Qingdao’s important position as a gateway to Chinese trade has contributed to an explosion of jobs and internship positions available in sectors across the board. As local businesses look to expand, they are opening roles to foreign students and professionals who can help them internationalize. This applies to the import and export industry, sales, marketing, IT, fashion and more.

Given that Qingdao is a relative newbie to the international business scene, this gives interns the chance to get a lot out of the experience through gaining more responsibility. Though expats of course live in Qingdao, they are much fewer and father between than in other cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, meaning good talent is harder to come by. Consequently, companies are more willing to allow foreign interns to work on more important projects and listen to your ideas.

LaoshanLife in Qingdao

The city’s coastal location and mountainous surroundings make it a fantastic place to explore and an even better place to live. So great in fact, that it has been coined one of China’s most livable cities. It is certainly becoming a more popular destination for foreign expats, as industries grow. Its laidback lifestyle and plentiful options of things to see and do make it easy to see why.

Besides heading to the beach after a week in the office, you’ll have the chance to climb the towering Mount Laoshan, explore the sophisticated area of Badaguan, sip some of Qingdao’s signature beverage at the brewery, or enjoy one of the city’s many parks. No matter what time of year you go, you’re almost guaranteed pleasant weather; it’s neither too hot nor too cold, be it summer or winter. So, though you may not be able to go to the beach in December, you won’t be as cold as you would be in Beijing!

Owing to its location, Qingdao is a hilly city. So, if you’re planning on switching the bus and metro for a bike, make sure you’re prepared to put some work in. The city is easy to navigate and well connected to other places in both China and Asia, meaning a weekend adventure is never too far away.

Life in Qingdao can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. As a developing Chinese city, it’s easy to enjoy both a local lifestyle and indulge in western luxuries. Of course, the latter comes with a higher price tag, but it’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while. On average, you can expect to spend around 3,000 – 5,000 RMB per month to cover the basics whilst making the most of your time – which is plenty considering the generous allowance of most internships in Qingdao!

Qingdao coastOur Partner in Qingdao

Our experienced partner organization in Qingdao has welcomed thousands of students to its many locations in China. Offering a huge range of internship positions with over 600 companies in almost any sector imaginable, there is no limit to what you could do. In addition to an internship placement, Hutong School will help you with the visa process as well as providing housing, networking and cultural activities and Chinese language classes.

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