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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Volunteer and Intern in China

Map of volunteer placement with Projects Abroad is Chengdu and Shanghai, China
Volunteer China Sports programme in China Care in China Medical intern Traditional medicine in China
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  • Location: Chengdu, Shanghai
  • Accommodation: Shared apartments
  • Local languages: Mandarin
Country Info

Even though China is the second largest economy in the world, many people remain poor, especially coming from in rural communities, and the efforts of Projects Abroad volunteers play an important role. Our wide range of volunteer and internship projects in China are a unique way to experience life in the world’s most populous country, whether you are on a gap year, a summer internship, or a career break.

Parts of China, especially the cities, are highly developed. However, many rural areas still follow a traditional way of life and are barely affected by modern developments. Even in major cities, away from the skyscrapers and lights there are relatively poor, traditional low-rise areas.

As a volunteer, you could find yourself caring for children in kindergartens, teaching in disadvantaged schools, or interning at a busy law firm. For those interested in traveling to China to work on their language skills, Projects Abroad offers one-on-one Mandarin Language Courses.

Staff Profile Elaine Gao, Country Director
Elaine Gao
Country Director
“China is a fusion of different sounds, smells, and dialects, where skyscrapers stand next to noodle houses. We welcome you to a country learning to embrace its new identity! Cosmopolitan, lively, energetic and yet different, Shanghai is the perfect city in which to be exposed to the rapid changes the country is going through.”

Where You Will Live in China with Projects Abroad

Chinese students listen to a volunteer talk about the importance of sharks.

Projects Abroad is based in the cities of Chengdu and Shanghai, offering volunteers the opportunity to participate on a number of worthwhile projects and internships. Although it is embracing capitalist modernity, beneath the glitzy high-rises China retains its strong traditions, cultures, and values that have been honed and developed over several millennia. With Projects Abroad in China you will be well placed to understand both the modern and traditional aspects of this fascinating country.

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is of the panda and gateway to the stunning natural beauty of western China. Voted one of the top three cities in which to live in China, Chengdu offers the chance to experience the more traditional side of China while still living in a fast-paced city of over 14 million people. It is a place where big international businesses share streets with tea houses and spicy hotpot restaurants.

Did you know? A new skyscraper is built in China every 5 days.

Volunteers also work in a range of placements in Shanghai, one of the world's largest cities. While living in the city, you will be able to see firsthand how quickly China is changing and adapting to Western influences. When your volunteer work is done for the day, you can enjoy local dishes and Shanghainese entertainment - the choice is yours.

In both Chengdu and Shanghai, volunteers live in shared apartments, which gives you great freedom to experience the Chinese lifestyle.

Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in China

Volunteers in China visit the Great Wall on their free time with Projects Abroad

There are many attractions to experience and travel to on your days off. For volunteers in Chengdu, one of the area’s famous panda sanctuaries is usually high on the list. The Taoist Mountain of Qingcheng and the Leshan Giant Buddha are also popular weekend destinations. If you are looking to travel at the end of your placement keep in mind that Chengdu is the main access city for trips to Tibet

In Shanghai a visit to the Yu Yuan gardens is essential. Take a boat trip on the Huang Pu River and visit the Bund, Shanghai's famous colonial-style waterfront that has been a landmark for centuries. The lakeshore of Hangzhou, the gardens of Suzhou, or the beaches of Putuoshan all offer a break from the city buzz.

Unsurprisingly given its size and history, China has World Heritage sites in abundance. The Great Wall, the Yangtse River, and the Terra-Cotta Army are attractions worth a visit once your volunteer work is over. But don't overlook the many palaces, scenic passes, ancient cities, monuments, temples, and carvings that have been given global recognition for their beauty and importance.

Find time to go off the beaten track, too. Trek the silk route or visit a Buddhist monastery. The Chinese countryside will show you how vastly different rural life is compared with the world that is emerging from the urban streets. Possibilities and opportunities for travel in China are as varied as the country itself.

Projects for All Ages in China

High School Specials for Teens in China

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