- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 115 Hour
- Reading permission
This post was edited by vincent001 at 2011-12-27 17:19|
In the United States, 18.6 million of those aged 16 to 24 are jobless, while the general unemployment rate was higher than Britain's at 8.6 per cent last month.
With Western economies in turmoil due to the euro-zone debt crisis and a slowdown in the US economy, Edward Pierce, head of a firm that facilitates internships for Western students in China, said it was easy to understand the East's appeal.
"China is a fast-growing country, whereas unemployment has become common in Western economies. To make themselves competitive, [Western] students are trying to equip themselves with a better understanding of China," he said.
Applicants typically pay £2,600 (HK$32,500) for a month-long internship and language programme. While it is not new for these students to prefer studying abroad - there are 3,300 British students currently studying in China alone, according to the British Council - they are looking to Asia for work experience as well, Pearce says.
Stephanie Edwards, 21, who was an intern at a British law firm in Hong Kong last year, said: "I think employers want people with experience both in China and the West."
Abigail Hird, 28, who landed an internship in Harbin through IAESTE, said: "I have heard that there is a need for business leaders in China, and that Western graduates may be more suited to these positions. This is something I would be interested in."
The language barrier has also become less of an issue for Western hires. Some Chinese employers like James Bian of a Shanghai-based light bulb company preferring foreign interns for their "broader horizons" even though they are not fluent in Putonghua.
Bian said foreign interns at his firm were usually given tasks that did not require Chinese-language skills.
But others like Jason Bedford, senior manager of financial service at KPMG China, said the ability to read Chinese was an essential skill needed by its foreign employees and interns. "We need this skill especially in auditing, as more of our working papers are now in Chinese. We prefer people to have university-level Chinese skills," he said.