Living in China

Visa & Registration

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Foreigners traveling to China are required to have a visa to be granted entry into the country. Participants are advised to visit the Chinese Embassy or Consulate at least 2 weeks before intended arrival in Shanghai to get a tourist visa to come to China. If Interns require assistance in getting needed forms or advice, please contact INA office, and we’d be more than happy to assist you. For Participants doing the program for more than 3 months, Interns will be able to get visa extensions through their host companies or with the assistance of INA. If Participants wish to remain in China after the completion of their internship, INA can help students through our visa extension services. 


As an international cosmopolitan city, Shanghai has many options for foreigners to receive medical treatment. There are a number of both private and public hospitals that employ English-speaking doctors throughout Shanghai. We will provide information on all medical facilities in our Shanghai Survival Guide, given to Interns upon their arrival. Click here to learn more about our different Insurance Options


Participants are encouraged to see as much of China as they can while they’re here. There are many easily accessible destinations worth checking out, that are just a train or bus-ride away. Plan weekend trips to places such as Yellow Mountain, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou or Moganshan! Or use one of the longer holidays to fly to places like Guilin, Qing Tao, Yunnan, Chongqing, or Sichuan.

Keeping in Touch

Keeping in touch with family and friends is an important issue while living abroad. INA provides our Interns with their cell phone number they will be using before they even arrive. This way, parents and friends can have a way to reach their loved ones when they arrive. We also recommend that our students set up a Skype account (visit ). With Skype, students can get in touch with our office to have questions answered in real-time (add our contact: internshipnetworkasia), as well as set up phone interviews with prospective companies in our network. Skype users can also purchase Skype credit which allow you to call home for a low price from your computer.

Financial Issues

Upon arriving in Shanghai, participants will quickly realize that China is a cash-based society. For many Interns this will mean adjusting one’s mindset when it comes to financial issues. For this reason we pay our Interns a monthly stipend in Chinese Yuan (RMB) cash currency. We also advise to change money at the airport as to insure a fair exchange rate from your country’s currency. International credit cards may be used at foreign grocery stores, some department stores, restaurants and international hotels – however if you intend on using a card, it is best to call ahead to make sure it will be accepted. Participants interested in opening a bank account in China may do so if they please. We recommend banks like Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank (currently the only banks that offer online banking in English). Bring your passport, and address with you to open an account. ATM machines in Shanghai are quite common, as in most major cities. However, if you plan to travel to more remote locations, it’s recommended to cautiously bring whatever cash you will need with you. We strongly encourage you to call your bank before traveling to advise them of upcoming charges to avoid fraud protection freezing your card upon use in China. Also inquire about setting an international 4-diget pin for your use while abroad. For Interns that already have an existing Bank of America account, we advise using China Construction Bank ATMs, as they are owned by BofA, and do not charge withdrawal fees.


Shopping can be especially fun in China, as for many it’s found to be cheaper than in most people’s home countries. Have a favorite dress or suit? Bring your best fitting clothes and have them copied at one of Shanghai’s many fabric markets. Or head to Nanjing Road’s fake market to bargain for copies of designer bags and watches. Many Participants find it helpful to ask their Chinese teachers to instruct them on good phrases to use while bargaining to get the price down and chat with shopkeepers!