Are you worried about how to survive on a China Internship Program? You may probably be scared because you knew tiny about China before deciding to intern or learn Chinese Language in Beijing or Shanghai. Well, don’t be. Technology has helped enhance traveling experiences of many especially in a place like China where language and culture differ massively from the West. With the following apps, you can easily access all you need from going to western restaurants, using the subway, for communication purposes, etc. just in case you are wondering, the apps are in English and available on iPad, iPhone as well Android most of which are free. Your comfort is more guaranteed if you decide to trip China with a Professional Internship Agency. If this is the case, you have 24/7 access to their staff members, and you are more assured of an unflinching support. These apps could come in handy in helping you make it through all.
Baidu Map is probably the best and most essential app to have in China since it helps you navigate around the cities without a lot of hustle. Its features are similar to those of Google and offer a suitable replacement. I recommend this app because Google Services are blocked in mainland China and your sure option is Baidu maps. It gives accurate information about routes and transport prices, distance and duration of commuting from one point to another by various means. It also has a comprehensive listing of restaurants, hotels, ATM s, bars, movie theaters. So getting to shopping malls and those party venues just got easier. If you happen to be in China and cannot figure your way out, don’t panic just turn on your Baidu App.
Didi dache / Uber
It is a great mobile platform taxi calling app in China that is used to request taxi services for convenience. It has various car options that vary in prices so you may be sure to enjoy comfort without stretching your budget. You may grab a cab for yourself or share with others. Didi just merged with Uber in order take advantage of economies of scale. If you already have an Uber app on your phone from your home country, you may also use it in this situation. It is easy and straightforward
You don’t want to be caught trying to explain yourself, but your little mandarin vocabularies will not permit you. If you have ever experienced this, you will relate to that awkward moment. To avoid this, your best friend should be Pleco. It is a Chinese-English dictionary considered one of the best apps available for translating, communicating and for learning purposes. It has a variety of features like handwriting recognition, color coded characters to help you remember right tones and also add-ons like flashcards, audio and live OCR (Optical Character Recognition). One fantastic feature which makes it popular among foreigners in China is its ability to read characters from pictures. If you happen to get a document which you cannot read or a sign post which you needed to translate, just take a picture and the rest is simple. The app will know the characters and then translate into English, very efficient!
Pleco is not free but has some free features, and you may spend few bucks to secure the full version. It is worth it!
In the major cities, it is very convenient and cheaper to use the subway. Beijing and Shanghai are huge cities but also good to know that the subway systems in these cities are efficient and gets you almost everywhere. Traffic is a big issue during rush hours, and this app will save you some sleeping time when Metro Man app is used efficiently. It helps navigate the subway easily by inserting your start to your final destination, and it shows you the quickest route to use, how many lines to change, how long it take takes to your destination and the price for the ticket.
Weixin (微信) is Chinese name of WeChat, and it is free social media and chatting app that is popular in China. WeChat has made communication with friends and family easier by:-
- Sending free messages (voice and written)
- Video/voice calling
- Creating group chats with friends/colleagues
- Location sharing
- Posting moments like Instagram/FaceBook for friends to like or leave comments
- Shop and pay bills by connecting your bank account with WeChat etc
WeChat has endless options/functions.. It is a very stable platform and only requires little internet signal to function. If you are planning to travel on a budget and cut cost on daily expenses, you may ask friends and family to download and install WeChat so you can communicate with them. Chinese and foreign companies have also found a way to promote and advertise their goods and services which make it an excellent marketing platform for foreigners in China. It can be used to shop at the comfort of your home, just connect your bank Account and Bingo!!!
The unfortunate thing about China is that the government blocks some websites like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, used by foreigners. You would probably need to access these sites for various reasons, so it is important to use a VPN that is reliable and fast to unblock these services. I recommend ExpressVPN due to its high reputation and excellent service to its customers. It is also the only VPN website that is unblocked in China and has 30-day money guarantee which it honors so why not go for it!
Most of these apps are free, so consider downloading them before coming to China. I recommend these applications to anyone visiting China for the first time to intern or learn Chinese language, Teach, Travel or explore Asian Culture.
I am sure the list is not exhaustive so let me know if you have other suggestion by commenting below. We will appreciate it! I will not be annoyed if you also share with your friends on social media.
Marketing Coordinator. A global and positive individual with over five years experience in Nairobi, Kenya and Beijing, China.