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One of the benefits of an internship abroad is the chance to try out a city or country before committing to a long-term position—after all, where you live is crucial to your work life happiness. Young Graduates or College students who are considering an Internship in China could refer to the to top cities identified by forbes for business and internships.  The most international and well-known cities in China may or may not have the most jobs in your industry, but they are worth exploring for their expat grades.  Here, we have compiled a list of the top four Chinese cities that are most well-known, have the longest history as international hubs, and hire the most foreigners.

Shanghai Bund skyline view



Shanghai, with its rich history as a foreign trading port, and has been booming since the reforms of the early 1990s. It is now the world’s biggest container ports and one of Asia’s largest financial centers—a reputation its cityscape lives up to.

Shanghai companies offers the highest salaries in China, but also has relatively high living costs, especially if you buy-in to the expat lifestyle.  The international bubbles in Shanghai allow expats to live in there without ever having to speak or learn  Mandarin or to have to listen to the local Shanghainese dialect.

Beijing View: temple of Heaven



As the capital of the Middle Kingdom, Beijing attracts foreigners who have studied Chinese beforehand and have a love for Chinese history and culture, in addition to the executives and diplomats stationed at the nation’s headquarters.  As a result, Beijing has more than one international bubble expats can dive into and pretend they’re not in China, as well as many culturally rich neighborhoods where hipsters can express just how into China they are—to each their own.  Regardless of where you live in Beijing, it is one of the safest places in China to be in due to the strict regulations and high security.

In terms of employment, Beijing has a lot of opportunities in both the domestic and foreign sector and ranks in the higher top five for salary and benefits within the country.

Out of the four cities, Beijing is the best place to learn Mandarin since it is the capital and Beijingers speak Mandarin with a Beijing accent, which is often the standard taught in a foreign university.

Summer Mountain View


Shenzhen is a man-developed city that was rural before it became a special economic zone over ten years ago.  As a result, the city makes up with diversity where it lacks in culture as there are hardly any “local Shenzhenese” in its population of 12 million residents.  The convenience of living in Shenzhen mostly lies with how it borders Hong Kong and you can take a convenient 45 minute ferry over any time you wish.

Shenzhen used to attract foreigners with its high salary (near equivalent to Beijing and Shanghai) and low living standard, but in the last few years its living costs have been climbing to rival Beijing and Shanghai.  It’s warm, tropical climate, cleaner air, and coastal location still makes it a prime spot for expats wanting to live and work in China!

Shenzhen Delta and City panorama View



Guangzhou is perhaps the least well-known from the four cities, except for its Cantonese cuisine and language.  Although Guangzhou, like Shanghai, has a history of serving as an international port, it is not as international as Shanghai and has preserved a lot of its local culture compared to its Hong Kong neighbor.  Its industry is mostly in production, manufacturing, and trade.

Compared to the other four cities, Guangzhou has the lowest living costs, but also the lowest salaries to match, though still higher than the national average.  The locals mostly speak Cantonese, though can understand and (probably) speak Mandarin as well.


Intern Abroad In China This year

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