Paying to intern: The growing trend of overseas internships

by Cameron Edmond11 Jun 2013

Should interns be paid? What if they were the ones paying? New internship programs see candidates taking a trip to China to spice up their resume.

With more and more employers demanding on-site experience in addition to degrees, job-seekers getting involved in paid or unpaid internships is not uncommon. What might be new is the growing trend of internships abroad. reported that more Australians are turning towards international internships, such as those offered by Tic Two, in an attempt to increase their chances of obtaining employment when they return. “In an increasingly competitive job market, students and graduates are looking to differentiate themselves from their counterparts by gaining meaningful work experience in a country that is dominating on the world’s stage,” Alistair Douglas, CEO of Tic Two, told HC.

Tic Two functions as an internship recruitment firm, boasting an array of partnerships with companies in China, who they supply with both paid and unpaid interns. Students and graduates from the UK, US and Australia can apply to carry out an internship in Shanghai through Tic Two in a multitude of professions – from journalism and real estate to fashion and IT.

The internships range in time from 1-3 months, with packages costing between $2,795 and $4,895, paid for by the intern. Douglas told HC the fee covers a range of services, including “pre-departure support, airport pickup, city centre accommodation, cultural trips, Mandarin lessons, cooking classes, networking events and 24hr support during their internship”.

Douglas said internships through his company’s program puts candidates ahead of the game on the local scene. “Candidates with international experience, especially in a country such as China, are putting themselves in a different league altogether by gaining invaluable exposure to the global market place while building an international network around them,” he said.

Although a majority of companies Tic Two works with pay their interns, this isn’t a requirement.


  • by katja 12/06/2013 9:38:23 PM

    i did not understand the title states "paying to intern"..and then you say..between $2,795 and $4,895, paid for by the intern.

    So, in the end it is not only unpaid internship, but the intern has to pay himself,right???

  • by patrick 26/06/2013 3:47:25 AM

    exactly katja... people are paying to intern, rather than be paid. i think you misunderstood.

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