Shanghai Business Internship Program

Location: Shanghai, China

In an interconnected global marketplace, international experience constitutes a competitive advantage for students entering the workforce.  For the past six years, Villanova has offered a unique academic and business internship program that provides students with a comprehensive introduction to China.  In addition to an intensive course focusing on the political economy of China, students gain professional experience while interning at a wide range of companies in Shanghai, the commercial center of the world’s second-largest economy.  


Shanghai summer 2015

The program has two main components and is designed for students focusing on Business, Economics, and/or Honors:

  1. Internship

    BA 2002: Internship (Free Elective)

    Villanova University has partnered with The Asia Institute (AI) to offer internships in a variety of business disciplines. Based on their interests and qualifications, students will be interviewed and placed in an English-speaking work environment at a wide range of local and multinational companies. 

    An experienced mentor will be allocated to each group of 3-5 students for guidance and support during the program.  A panel discussion on career development or business culture in China will be hosted, along with an alumni event (dinners included).  At least two group reflections will be arranged during the program.

    No Chinese language proficiency is required, although optional entry-level Mandarin language classes are offered through AI for a nominal fee.

  2. Coursework

    ECO 3108/ECO 4200: Transitions of China's Economy (DIV 3)

    Students are required to participate in the internship and take the course for a combined total of six credits.  An optional weekly entry-level spoken Mandarin class is available for an additional fee.

Students interested in language learning may want to check out the Intensive Chinese Language & Culture summer program !

Additional Academic Requirements

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Only available to undergraduates.
  • No language proficiency is required.

Students will share a room with one other student (double rooms), in a 3 star hotel in downtown Shanghai, near subway lines.  Complimentary breakfast and Internet access are included with housing. Meals are included on cultural excursions and cultural events. Students are responsible for all other meals.


Upon arrival, students will receive an AI formal orientation to Shanghai. The orientation includes: Comprehensive information on health and safety, culture, and living in Shanghai. Students will be provided with an information packet during orientation which includes a detailed student handbook, local area information, and a program schedule. Also included in the orientation is a city tour and a welcome dinner. 

Day trips: The Shanghai program includes two mandatory day excursions. Past excursions have included Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Zhujiajiao Water Village. The cost of these excursions is included in the program. In addition, excursions may be offered to Xitang Water Town, and students can sign up for optional activities such as cooking class, basic Chinese language classes, calligraphy class, acrobatic show and Huangpu River cruise. 

Cultural Immersion Tour in Beijing: In the final week, students will travel to China’s capital city, Beijing, and visit the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, the Great Wall, Lama Temple, and the Temple of Heaven. Again, course-related and context-based visits are included in the trip, along with all breakfast, lunch, a Peking duck dinner and a farewell dinner.


Program Dates: June 30 to August 9, 2018 (with +/-1 day flexibility)
*Flight departs June 29  

Application deadline is March 1, 2018. $450 commitment fee is due upon acceptance. Final payment due prior to the departure of program.

2018 Itinerary (Tentative)

June 29:
 Depart US
June 30: Arrive in Shanghai
July 1: AI Orientation
July 2—August 3: Monday through Thursday, Internship; and Every Friday Coursework
August 4- 9: Field Trip to Beijing
August 9: Depart for US 

Application Instructions

Students must complete the full application here by March 1. Conditional acceptances will be offered at that time. Students will receive a full acceptance once all final application materials are complete.  


Program Fee: $7,950

For a detailed breakdown of the expenses, click here


Tuition, visa processing, airport transportations in China, accommodations, prepaid SIM card, travel card, breakfasts, cultural excursions (inc. most meals and all related transportations and 4-star hotel accommodations), internet, AI onsite business etiquette training, language training, and all AI events and receptions. 

Cost does not include airfare, bus to the airport in US, lunch & dinner, or personal spending. An optional (highly recommended) group flight will be available to interested students. 

Upon acceptance, student will have 2-weeks to submit a $450 non-refundable commitment fee. Program balance is invoiced directly to the VU student account during the first week of April, with final balance due May 1.

Students interested in financing should first review the OEA Scholarship page. Should there be a need to secure additional funding through loans, Villanova University students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

Students with a Federal Pell grant should consider applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship!

Villanova University has the right to make cancellations, substitutions, or changes in case of emergency or changed conditions, or in the interest of the program.

Program Snapshot

Freeman Foundation Scholarship

Villanova University and the School of Business have been awarded a generous grant by the Freeman Foundation to support internship experiences in Asia in 2017-18. Students participating in the Shanghai Summer internship program are encouraged to apply for these $5000 scholarships - multiple scholarships will be awarded. The application deadline is February 15th.

Application Instructions from the Center for Global Leadership  

Academy of International Business Southeast and the Asia Institute Joint Scholarships

A $1,000 scholarship to support the global compentencies and knowledge of international business students seeking to participate in global learning experiences in Asia in 2017.

Application Instructions. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2017.

Visa Information

image of Chinese visa

Students will be required to obtain a Chinese visa. If you are applying to the Shanghai internship program, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the program 'end date.' Please renew immediately if passport is expired, or will not be valid for at least six months following the completion of the program.

Once the students receive their internship placements from AI, they will then be asked to mail their valid passports along with the visa application forms to AI for visa processing.  AI will work closely with each student to obtain a visa.  Students need to be responsive and responsible in the process.    

Faculty Program Coordinator

Dr. Wen Mao

Associate Dean of Faculty
Associate Professor of Economics
Bartley Hall Rm 2096
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: (610) 519-6429