In less than half a century China has grown from a modest country based primarily on agricultural means to an international beacon, proudly home to over 70 Global Fortune 500 companies. With the ever growing number of Chinese nationals traveling to the Western world with hopes of gaining valuable work and study experience, their English-speaking counterparts have begun to make that same trek to the East. Cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have distinguished themselves as world class centers for both international study and business. But with so many popular countries to choose from, what truly makes the People’s Republic of China such a desirable destination?
China has experienced a dramatic shift in its economy in a very short amount time and this is mirrored in the number of foreign students making it their home. According to the International Institute of Education, China is the 5th most popular study abroad destination for North American students, and the top country outside of Western Europe. “There is a feeling of stagnation here in the West, but in China this couldn’t be further from the truth — the frenetic energy in the air is truly palpable,” says Lucia Sorrenti, USA Marketing Manager at CRCC Asia, a company offering internship and study opportunities in China. These programs work to create a sense of global partnership and allow students to see tangible benefits of cross-cultural exchange in Asia.
Large Chinese cities offer many of the same, and often much cheaper, amenities than other top destinations such as Barcelona and Paris. Shanghai has persistently been hailed as China’s urban business core with its ever growing number of global companies and international institutions; it has grown exponentially to become the cosmopolitan hub of the country. Beijing, like its southern comrade, has flourished as an international metropolis, but continues to retain the cultural and historical characteristics that draw so many people to the country. Aided by its hosting of the Olympics in 2008, it has shown itself off to the world as a top destination in China.
Companies in North America and Europe are increasingly looking to gain insight into the unique business structure within China. In response, students and recent grads have seen the advantage of adding international study and work experience to their resumes. This often is a key talking point during job interviews and has helped many young adults stand out from their peers. Employers not only appreciate this comparative knowledge of overseas study and business, but it also shows that students are willing to assert themselves in a foreign environment while working towards personal growth.
With its vibrant economy, cultural sights, and killer resume building opportunities, it seems that China has truly become a global leader in work and study abroad opportunities. Take the next step, and make the trek east!
CRCC Asia has programs available in Beijing, Sanya, Shanghai, and Shenzhen starting every month all year round. Visit www.crccasia.com for more information.
By Katie Rolfes