Shanghai, China

IFSA Summer Internships in Shanghai

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Program Overview


As China’s largest city and financial center, Shanghai presents a massive landscape of business opportunities to explore—even if you’ve never studied Chinese language. In eight weeks, you’ll develop intercultural and professional skills and gain work experience that makes a resume shine, in fields like information technology, finance, business development, marketing, and more.  

Add an elective class during during the first four weeks of the program to earn additional credits. 

This is an exclusive IFSA-Designed Program. Learn more about these affordable programs here.

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Summer: March 15

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Instruction language

Chinese, English

Language prerequisites

Some placements may require previous Chinese language experience

Visa required?

Yes. Learn more.

Apply Now


Enhance your learning and develop marketable skills with an eight-week Summer Internship in Shanghai.

International Internship Seminar
All internships include participation in the International Internship Seminar, which covers 15 hours of online asynchronous Canvas modules to provide structured opportunities to reflect on the practical experience of the internship, learn more about your host country’s business culture, and further develop the professional skills needed for a successful transition from undergraduate coursework into a career or graduate school. Plus, you will engage with an online global cohort of IFSA internship participants, gaining exposure to business cultures around the world. Seminar is taught in English. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

You may enroll in one additional class during the first four weeks of the program. Not all classes may be offered in a given term. Click on each link below for a detailed class syllabus.

City and Environment
With a rapidly growing population, rising lifestyle expectations, and continuing industrial production, urban China’s usage of water and energy resources is a key question for those concerned with a sustainable future. This class will localize these issues by investigating Shanghai as a case study of urban environmental issues in China. How does Shanghai face the challenges of resource use and waste that its sprawling urban footprint creates? How sustainable can Shanghai become? (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Essential Chinese
If you’ve never studied Chinese before, you can take this optional, introductory class in contemporary Chinese language and culture. By introducing key words and phrases and venturing out into the city to practice them, you’ll gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture. (1 U.S. semester credit hour)

Chinese Language
No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student’s appropriate language level. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)

IFSA internships include real-world work experience, along with developing intercultural skills and experiences that are key to personal, academic, and professional success. Expect to devote a total of 120 hours working with your host organization, with supervision from your seminar instructor, coordinated by on-site IFSA team members. In addition, interns complete the International Internship Seminar for 3 U.S. semester credit hours. Internships are not remunerated.

Students have interned at Chinese and international non-profits, corporations, and think-tanks.

Your goals are carefully considered, tailoring the placement process to ensure the best possible fit. Keep in mind that final placements depend on your skills (including Chinese language abilities), prior experience, and availability. Although every effort is made to match your placement with your preferred field or area of business, it can’t be guaranteed. Internships are conducted in English and Chinese. Previous Chinese language experience or enrollment in a Chinese language class is strongly recommended.

Application. After you submit your application, resume, and IFSA Internship Intent Form, an IFSA Enrollment Counselor and an on-site IFSA Team member will work with you to identify your professional strengths, review your goals, and refine your internship interests to establish a match. From there, you’ll have an interview with your potential internship host. You will be provided with tips and resources to prepare for your interview.

Sample Placements. The following are examples of internships IFSA students have recently completed. Placement options vary from term to term.

Organization: This is a large venture capital startup incubator with a focus on tech companies. Start-ups apply to the incubator, which matches them with resources to help them grow their business through a successful venture capital funding.
Subject Areas: Finance, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Information Technology, Marketing
Potential Projects: Depending on qualifications and skills, the intern may work directly for the incubator company itself on projects related to venture capital financial analysis or marketing. Alternately, an intern could be placed with a larger startup to work on projects related to project management.

Organization: This tech company represents a wide array of ticket sales across China and Asia for events such music and art, movies, theatre, sport, comedy, tours, and classes.
Subject Areas: Information Technology, Marketing
Potential Projects: This company relies heavily on data analysis of customer engagement and ticket promotions to maximize discounts and sales. You would engage in ongoing data analytics strategy, and analyze different approaches to various forms of customer engagement and sales across multiple social media platforms.

Organization: This incubator provides innovation and community services to innovators and professionals who aim to accelerate their personal growth and build networks around start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates.
Subject Areas: Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Marketing, Media/Multimedia Studies
Potential Projects: You may engage in market research, website management, or business development.

Organization: This digital health solution provider aims to build the largest digital healthcare ecosystem of its kind in the region.
Subject Areas: Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Health Administration/Management, Information Technology
Potential Projects: You may work in market/product research or database development.

Organization: A not-for-profit charitable organization registered in Shanghai with a mission to improve the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children in China.
Subject Areas: Elementary Education, Human and Child Development
Potential Projects: You will assist in teaching material development and class coordination.



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are a selection of activities and excursions from previous terms; options may vary for your program. Due to the seasonal nature of many of program activities, we cannot guarantee a specific activity or excursion will be available in a given term or program.

  • City Walk: With a guide leading the way, the walk along the Bund in Shanghai promises to be an unforgettable experience. This iconic waterfront area is steeped in history, showcasing a mesmerizing blend of historic structures and modern skyscrapers that form a breathtaking panorama. As you meander through this picturesque setting, the guide will provide insights into Shanghai’s architectural evolution, allowing a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich heritage and its pivotal role in shaping its development.
  • Shanghai Urban Planning Museum: Immerse yourself in Shanghai’s rich history and witness its remarkable transformation from a humble village to the sprawling global city it is today. Through interactive exhibits and insightful displays, gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past, present, and future.
  • Chinese Culture Workshop: Experience the richness and diversity of Chinese culture by participating in the Chinese Culture Workshop! Immerse yourself in a hands-on exploration of traditional customs, arts, and practices that have shaped China’s vibrant heritage.
  • Water Town Trip: Escape the hustle and bustle of Shanghai with a day trip to one of the charming, nearby water towns. Step into a world of tranquil canals, winding alleyways, and traditional stone bridges adorned with intricate carvings. Explore well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, including elegant residences and quaint temples, as you meander through the town’s historic streets.

Housing and Meals


Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option




Students live at the international student dormitory of Shanghai University of Economics and Finance (SUFE), our local partner in Shanghai.

Sample housing 

Explore an example of where IFSA students have stayed in past years to get an idea of what your Shanghai home might be like.  

  • Living space: Furnished four-bedroom apartments. Each student has a private bedroom with bed, desk, and storage. Apartment mates share two bathrooms, a living room, and kitchen. Bedding provided. Students provide towels and kitchenware basics.  
  • Location: A 15-minute walk from SUFE classrooms and campus.  
  • Meals: No meal plan. Students prepare or provide their own meals, and there are many options in the university neighborhoods. Plan on spending $11 to $13 USD/day.  
  • Details: Emergency call system. Internet not included (about $9/month per student). Easy walk to public laundromat.  
  • Nearby: Supermarket and shops. Metro. Five Corner Square. University Street. Nanjing Road. Yew Garden. People’s Square. 

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Summer 2024 - Suspended
Late May 2024
Late July 2024
March 15, 2024 - Suspended

Get Started

Brittany Brooks

Brittany Brooks

Enrollment Counselor