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Volunteer Work in China Part 2
Animal lovers and conservationists get their money's worth with animal projects. The name of the game here is pure nature! From pandas to turtles, preparing food, cleaning the cages, and providing medical treatment to animals, help is always needed. It's a good way to become acquainted with the diverse and impressive nature of the country and contribute to their conservation at the same time. Wildlife projects are also a perfect opportunity for everybody planning a short volunteering stay. You can work for as little as two weeks and experience the nature of this enchanting country up close and personal.
A completely different way to get to know the country from the inside is an unpaid internship. From Shanghai to Beijing to Hong Kong, there is no shortage of internships. For example, it could be in marketing, in logistics, or as a medical assistant in the field of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). Internships are also available in the tourism industry. More info can be found here.
How can a volunteering stay in China be organized?
Essentially, a volunteering stay can also be organized privately. But those who do not have the corresponding contacts generally have a hard time of it. Organizations offer all-round packages that make integration into the foreign country as easy as possible for volunteers. Along with organizational assistance these packages often include accommodations, provisions, and even a language course. Even if you do not yet have any experience in the country, it's sensible to embrace the support of an organization. Because despite all of the fascination, from a cultural perspective China is a completely different country. A secure and reliable contact is invaluable there.
What requirements have to be met?
A visa is absolutely required to travel to China. This is generally the so-called "F visa", a classic tourist visa. The application for this visa can be submitted online. Good to very good English is also important. Some proficiency in Mandarin is an advantage, of course, but not a requirement in most instances. Pleasure in working with children or an interest in animal conservation, for instance, are required depending on the type of work you hope to get involved in. Independence and a certain reliability are also essential requirements. The most important, however, are curiosity about and openness to the Chinese culture as well as flexibility when working with new requirements and unfamiliar situations. Overseas health insurance and a liability insurance policy valid overseas are also recommended. Furthermore, it's urgently advised that you renew your vaccinations for volunteer work. The foreign office will provide details on this.
What does it cost to volunteer in China?
Naturally, how much a volunteer stay in China will cost depends entirely on how long you will stay and what you aim to do while there. If you simply want to dip your toes into the culture for a few weeks as a volunteer, you can accompany a children's project for about 700 € or a wildlife project for 1,000 €. To work as an English teacher in a Chinese school for half a year costs around 2,800 €. Of course these cover all services - including a language course, accommodations and provisions, and an extensive range of leisure activities - except the flight, overseas health insurance, and the visa fee. The financial investment is especially worthwhile considering these extensive services and the certainty of having a reliable contact. However, when considering an organized stay you should conduct thorough research and weigh whether the services are proportional to the costs.