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Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in China. Internship opportunities are available in the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and in the U.S. Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Wuhan. While this internship is unpaid, all locations offer an equally rewarding experience working with the U.S. Commercial Service.

The Commercial Section is charged with helping U.S. firms export their goods and services to China. To accomplish this mission, we offer a variety of resources and services to assist U.S. companies entering the Chinese market.

The Commercial Section has had numerous interns in the past. We have been fortunate to have had hard working, responsible and personable interns and believe interns greatly add to our already pleasant work environment.

Interns must be U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled students or students who are between school semesters for no longer than five months. All internships are unpaid and we cannot assist with airfare, housing or other expenses. An official letter of recommendation can be provided at the conclusion of your internship, and many universities will award academic credit for your work.

The purpose of the program is to provide college students and law students with "hands-on" experience working in a commercial section of a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Each post determines its own criteria for intern applicants. We advise you to correspond directly with the intern coordinator at the post ( names with email address links below).

The types of work which an intern might do are quite varied and may include:

  • Following China's developments in specific market sectors and briefing Commercial Officers on those developments.
  • Undertaking research for, and writing, issue- or industry-related reports. Ability to conduct Chinese-language research is particularly helpful, but not required.
  • Providing assistance to Commercial Officers and Commercial Specialists conducting Department of Commerce services and participating in meetings, conferences, and/or other trade-related activities.
  • Assisting the Commercial Service on policy related initiatives, including policy analysis, business advocacy, technical assistance to the Chinese companies, and assistance to U.S. companies on China's trade system.
  • Assisting the Commercial Service and intellectual property officers on intellectual property related issues, including work on patent, trademark, copyright and enforcement related issues, training Chinese government officials and advising companies, throughout China.
  • Drafting and/or editing non-sensitive English language correspondence.
  • Conducting business analysis.
  • Assisting with trade conferences and trade shows.
  • Assisting with U.S. government, state or industry official delegations.

The duration of the internship follows that of the academic calendar. Applicants with good English and Chinese language ability and commercial /trade experience will be given priority. If you have not heard by the response date, please consider other options.

Spring – Application Deadline: September 30 & Response Date: October 31

Summer – Application Deadline: January 31 & Response Date: February 28

Fall – Application Deadline: April 30 & Response Date: May 31

American students interested in interning with us, please first send a resume and cover letter to the intern coordinator in the embassy or relevant consulate. You can apply for more than one location, but please send a resume and cover letter to each separately, and communicate that you are applying to other locations as well.

If you are selected for the internship, we will then ask you to submit the following documents:

a. Resume and Schedule of Availability(indicating full-time or part-time status and the tentative start and end dates of the term period);
b. Completed and signed Credit Report Release Statement;
c. Copy of completed and signed Volunteer Service Agreement;
d. Completed and signed OF-306;
e. Selective Service Verification Form;
f. Security Assurance Check;

g. Current Chinese language skills (speaking, reading and writing);
h. Transcript (unofficial or official);
i. All amounts and forms of financial aid, if any, currently receiving (optional).

Again, please do not prepare these documents until you are requested to do so. Upon receipt of the above information, the United States government will conduct a background and credit check on each applicant. This process may take up to two months and no internship can start before the background check is complete.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We look forward to hearing from you. Please direct your inquiries to our headquarters internship coordinator Ms. Suhailah Young, or our internship coordinators at posts: Mr. William Toerpe in Embassy Beijing, Ms. Kelly Li in Consulate Shanghai, Ms. Jenny Li in Consulate Guangzhou, Ms. Haiyan Hua in Consulate Chengdu, Ms. Qiaoling Wang in Consulate Shenyang.

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