Leadership in Sustainability Internship Program

$3500 USD
Shanghai, CN June – August (10 weeks) 2020

Program Overview

Become a leader in your field, apply your expertise to careers with purpose and positive impact.

SSi internships are not just an internship placement. Rather, our programs are created with added value and designed to equip students with the skills needed to fill the jobs of the future with a core focus on sustainability, development and positive social/environmental impact.

Today, technology continues to send shockwaves to those in the present, and on into the future. This can be a scary thought, displacing people for jobs, however, technology and AI are also creating new jobs too.

Making our students future-proof is at the core of our internship program. Soft skills are the crucial factor in making a leader standout from the crowd in today’s competitive labor market. Skills such as Critical Thinking, People Skills, General Knowledge & Problem Solving and Creativity & Business Sense are essential in today and tomorrow’s careers.

Whats Included?

  • Pre-departure advising and on-site airport meet and greet 
  • 24/7 safety and emergency support from our team as well as full-time program leadership guidance 
  • Field trips and cultural activities 
  • Metro transportation card loaded with funds to get you started 
  • Shanghai mobile Sim Card 
  • Comprehensive travel insurance and other travel benefits 
  • Visa Assistance and documentation 
  • Official Mandarin language classes 
  • Networking events and professional seminars 
  • Sustainability industry visits in Shanghai and surrounding districts
  • SSi social network and events 
  • Offical participation certificate and recommendation letter for future employers.

  • Guaranteed an unforgettable experience!

Course Design

The Leadership in Sustainability Internship course runs over 10 weeks alongside a Full time sustainability internship placement in Shanghai, covering five practical elements of leadership. The time between each workshop allows you to test and apply key learnings during your internship placement. You will also meet (face to face or remotely) with other participants between the workshops to reflect on learning and coach each other on implementing new soft and hard skills and tools. There is an online (WeChat) platform to share ideas. The workshops run from 1:30pm to 6:30pm and include an inspirational talk from sustainability leaders.


The green companies we work with are varied and involved in many exciting and innovative projects; your tasks may include writing press releases, conducting research, and utilizing social media to engage prospective clients. 

China is booming with domestic and international tourism and hospitality trade. More and more hospitality industries in China are becoming concerned with eco tourism and reducing their environmental footprints. Your role could include operation management to event planning, customer service to logistics, we facilitate hands-on experience and learning by immersing ambitious individuals within industry-leading companies in Shanghai concerned with sustainability and green processes. 

Innovative placements can be found in the biotechnology and green-technology sectors. Interns are expected to have a wide range of technical skills as well as the ability to demonstrate leadership, interpersonal and teamwork skills to finish multiple engineering projects.

We offer internships in solar energy companies, green businesses and environment oriented NGOs.

Across China, a growing number of high-end designers are working to promote sustainability throughout the fashion cycle, from the drawing board, to encouraging conscious purchasing decisions by the smart modern shopper.Your role as a fashion intern may incorporate administration of fashion distribution, stock control, fashion product merchandising, invoice management and control, sourcing of sustainable materials and supply chain duties. 

Shanghai is an innovation hub with entrpreneurs and start-ups across many areas of green technology and sustainable products and services. This is a great internship, especially if you are looking to dive into the world of entrepreneurship. See how it works in an international setting and context!

Its an exciting time to be an architect in Shanghai. Will great opportunities across small, medium studios and large companies creating innovative projects and design. Projects include, energy rationalization, solar passive designs, green buildings and more! 

Shanghai teaching and education interns will have the chance to be part of a very advanced education system. In fact, the OECD standardized testing of thousands of 15 year olds around the world recently put Shanghai students at the top of the class globally. Education interns can experience the Chinese education sector firsthand, with opportunities existing at all levels from early childhood development to tertiary level. Beyond the school environment projects exist involving education research and policy, sports programs that teach life skills, and the overall running of education programs.

Sustainable development between economy and environment is vital.  This industry sector’s main functions cover: advocating energy conservation and environmental protection construction; promoting sustainable development; participating in policy advice; professional consultation; lobbying governments and enterprises to make diversified investment on energy conservation and environmental protection undertaking, and conducting analysis and research into aspects of global climate change, regional sustainable development, strategic emerging industry and urban ecological process.

Cultural Homestay

Take advantage of our cultural homestay option in Shanghai! Selected students can apply to live with a Chinese family during your stay in Shanghai. The Chinese family will provide you with FREE accommodation (single room and most meals)! In exchange, you will help their child improve their English during the evenings through a project assignment and homework tasks.

This is an amazing and cost effective opportunity provided by SSi to assist students with a cost friendly option as well as improving Chinese language skills and cross cultural exchange and understanding!

Course Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years of age upon starting the internship program -Must be enrolled in a bachelor degree or higher degree or have graduated from university.
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher

  • Disciplinary Clearance form or references of good standing from your home institution must be submitted in the application process with other supporting documents.

Assistance of official documentation will be provided for visa application either by post or email. To apply for visas you must have at least 6 months validity on your passport as well as minimum of 2 empty pages.

If the cultural homestay isn’t for you, SSi offers a range of housing packages and solutions to suit all candidates! From a basic room in a shared apartment to private studios. If you are in need of housing arrangements please refer to our info pack upon your inquiry.

Trip Preperation

Set up a casual call with our team. This is a great chance for you to ask all the questions you need as well for us to better understand your needs and desires. It is best to apply as early as you can. Typically interns apply 4 months before the internship start date. You will be asked to submit some supporting documents, CV, Cover letter and Transcript.

During this period, our team reaches out to our partner organisations to find a great match for you. Once we have found the placement for you, our team will notify you. We will arrange an online interview with your host company. Upon confirmation, a letter of acceptance will be sent as well as details of your host company, roles, tasks and responsibilities.

All forms and remaining balances for the internship payment should be finalised 30 days prior to departure. A few weeks before departure, Preparation packs will be sent you advising arrival details, airport pickup times, housing (if arranged) as well as must-have apps for survival in Shanghai!

Intern Life Snapshot

Week 1
Intern at your company during the day Mon-Fri, socialise with your new friends in Shanghai during the evenings. Explore the panorama views of the Bund, explore the market bazzare at Yuyuan Garden and many of the cultural activites in the evenings.
Week 2
Usual work hours during the week and socialsing with friends and exploring the vibrant city of Shanghai during the evenings. Weekend getaways to the rice terraces and tea plantations in Suzhou and Hangzhou by bullet train – only 20-40 mins away!
Week 3
Back to your exciting internship at your company during the week! In the evenings attend networking events to make those important connections for your future career! Explore the exciting nightlife this city has to offer with thousands of authentic restaurants, bars and a true buzz of Chinese culture! On the weekend get on the bullet train to Beijing and explore the Great Wall of China and The Forbidden City!


Melanie Jane Shaw

"My SSi internship experience in Shanghai was a decision I do not regret! The company I interned with taught me so much about sustainability in China as well as the business side of things. The SSi team were so helpful and friendly, especially Craig, he was a great mentor."

Geeshawn Johnson

“I did my Masters degree in Environmental Science in Shanghai, one of the best decisions I made. To have studied in a dynamic city really exposed me to many opportunities, SSi was one of these opportunities.”

Program Highlights

Experience Shanghai

A metropolis home to more than 24 million people has seen massive development over the last two decades! This mega city will amaze, challenge and inspire you in ways you can't imagine!

Networking Events

Network with some of the worlds greatest industry professionals and gamechangers in sustainability. Make those important connections to take your career to the next level.

Learn Mandarin

Take advantage of learning the ancient language of Mandarin! All of our internship programs are complimented with Chinese language lessons to help you get by in Shanghai!

Bucket List Adventure

Take advantage of our free cultural excursions and discounted weekend getaways! Explore ancient water towns and rice fields of Suzhou and Hangzhou!Camp and trek along the Great Wall of China!

Start the adventure!