Welcome, Students of Ningbo, China and Northern California!

The California Center for International Trade Development (CITD) is proud to announce the first Virtual Internship Program (VIP) between students of Northern California and Ningbo, China.

Welcome students, faculty and friends –

As the Director of the Center for International Trade Development (CITD) in the Far North region, I want to thank you for being a part of the pilot launch of the Virtual Internship Program (VIP) between Ningbo, China and Northern California, USA. We are very excited to have you on board and look forward to getting to know each of you better as our program gets underway.

You will meet educators, students and facilitators, as well as learn new information about global trade and the business of exports. You will learn some of the basics for global business large and small. You will be challenged to work virtually, across different time zones and with people you’ve never met in person, who may not speak your language. Give yourselves a round of applause for accepting this challenge!

We hope you will find the exchange of knowledge and ideas informative and inspiring. We hope this will be only one small part of a larger global approach to your future plans.

We have developed a digital badge especially for the Virtual Internship Program – which has been endorsed by the State of California Centers for International Trade Development. We look forward to awarding each of you one of the CITD badges as a way to share your newly acquired skills and knowledge with others.
Again, thank you for participating in the Virtual Internship Program – let’s go global!

– Leah


Below are some predicted specific questions or objections to the pilot program and some of its details. Also general question themes are attempted to enable a broader response and to encourage more dialogue and questions in the coming months.

Will the Chinese students be able to speak English?
The specific students are yet to be confirmed, but the general English level of Chinese students is more than enough for fluent conversation and social media messages, emails and Skyping.

Do the companies involved speak English?
The managers speak fluent English and have been engaged in international business for many years. They frequently work in such formats with their foreign clients and are well versed with American culture and working styles. 

Where are the companies based and how can I find out more?
The companies are all based in Ningbo, two of which are small and owned by the consultant of this report, whom has lived in Ningbo for over three years, he will act as a main tutor and guidance for most projects and is the go-­‐to contact. 

Will the California students be expected to speak or understand any Chinese?
No. However it has been discussed that attempts to study at a very basic level are appreciated and would go a very long way in earning the respect of the project managers at the companies involved and would enable this skills to be developed further. HSK level 1 (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is the standard exam for foreign speakers of Chinese, this is globally recognized and cheap to take and self study for, this could be a great start for the students. 

Are there any formal links to the colleges in China that the other interns may come from?
As of yet formally no, GoforCN (the main company involved) have solid local government connections and will recruit from a range of local Universities. 

How realistic and practical will the work be that the students work on?
Very likely. The projects are either real working tasks or existing projects running at the companies or chances to build very tangible online-­‐shops via Alibaba. 

Will the students get a chance to visit their tutors, fellow interns or companies?
If successful it is possibly an option for the best performing students to earn the right to get a funded trip to Ningbo to work physically with the companies (But dependent on funding).

 why apply for virtual internship


VIP operations outline