Summer Internship in China

Students will be trained in lesson planning and content delivery (teaching English) using Mercan’s textbooks for different age groups (mostly children), and will work alongside experienced teachers in a team-teaching format. Students teach 20 hours a week, mostly on weekends, and will have to prepare lesson plans and activities to work within a designated curriculum. Some students may also take part in the "Summer Camp," where they will teach English in a relaxed summer camp atmosphere.

The School: Mercan School, is the largest English language training institute in Shanxi Province. It Chinais located in the provincial capital of Taiyuan, a mere 2 hours by train from Beijing. Mercan was founded in 1997. Students of all ages, from pre-K through adult take classes at Mercan School.   Students spend 8-10 weeks working for a private Chinese company getting valuable skills-training in teaching English as a Foreign Language and in working within a Chinese business organization. Students also gain valuable experience living and working abroad in China for a short period.

The City: Taiyuan is the largest city in Shanxi province, and also the provincial capital. It has a population of about 4 million. Although not a bustling international city like Beijing, Taiyuan has its share of ancient temples and other cultural and historic sites. Nearby is Pingyao, a preserved 15th century city, and the origin of the ancient Chinese bank system. Taiyuan is also close to the beautiful Wutai Mountain, which is the spiritual home of Manjusri, the Boddhisatva of wisdom. Shanxi has a number of food specialties, including hand-pulled noodles, or "lamian" (pronounced "ramen" in Japanese).

Cost: This is a paid internship, and includes housing in a one-bedroom furnished apartment with electricity and internet. Students are responsible for their own international airfare, local transportation costs and food, though the generous stipend should cover these costs.



Study Abroad Administrative Fee


International Health Insurance



Provided by internship

Meals & Personal Spending Money

Approx. $300-$500/mo,
Recovered by Internship Stipend

China Visa Fee


International Airfare




The above estimated total expenses are used to help plan and prepare for the program.  All amounts listed are estimates and are subject to change depending on international economic factors, past participant reports, and on-site staff reports.  Student expenditures in-country depends greatly on personal spending habits, post- or during-program travel, and available funds.

*Tuition rates may vary depending on residency status.

**Students should bring around $500 to get settled before their first payday.

Requirements and Eligibility: Students with at least one-year of Chinese at UNC can apply through CIE and Modern Languages for a paid summer internship with Mercan Schools.

Course: Students participating on this program are required to register for 3 credit hours of ASIA 392: Internship in Asian Studies.

Application: Interested students should contact Dr. Michelle Low or Brent Spencer in CIE for an application or more information. APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 1