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Where Should I Intern Abroad: Hong Kong or Singapore?

internship program Singapore

Where Should I Intern Abroad: Hong Kong or Singapore?

Have you ever thought of taking up a Hong Kong Internship or a Singapore Internship? Interning abroad can be one of the smartest moves you make in your professional life. It can really impress an employer, and give you the invaluable experience of working and living in an exciting and new environment. In terms of opportunity, both cities are teeming with it. It just comes down to the personalities of each city and which one you feel fits in with what you’re looking for in your abroad experience. Of course, both cities have plenty to offer in all aspects of work and life, so it might be hard to decide between the two. No need to worry; we’ll break it down for you:

Let’s start off with Hong Kong.

intern in hong kong

Some Basics:

Hong Kong is located on the southern coast of China and is made up of three main islands. Being in China, Hong Kong’s primary languages are Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, although there are a significant number of people who speak English as it is taught in schools. English is the language that business is executed in, after all. Hong Kong’s population is 7 million people with a makeup of a majority of Chinese and the a combination of different ethnicities from all over Southeast Asia and around the world.

Hong Kong is a thrilling city crawling with life of a city that holds the title for most densely populated in the world. Let me provide a little background into Hong Kong and its unique history. Hong Kong was under British colonial rule for a century before The Handover of 1997, that transferred rule back to China under the policy of “one country, two systems.” This means that although Hong Kong is a part of communist China and must have each governmental candidate pre-approved, it retains some of the liberties it had under British rule and remains a sort of independent status. One of these liberties includes the freedom to practice capitalistic policies. Hong Kong has taken advantage of this and as crafted itself into one of the world’s most prosperous business cities.

Top Reasons for an internship in Hong Kong ?

1. Hong Kong has the most number of billionaires in the world
Hong Kong’s massive economic success as created substantial wealth concentration in the city. Also, as China’s world status rises, as does Hong Kong’s as China’s most proficient markets.

2. Unique culture
Because of British colonial rule, Hong Kong has become the place where Chinese culture meets British culture resulting in a very interesting and unique mix of these two cultures. Hong Kong observes all Chinese Holidays and have great tasty British-Chinese treats.

3. Most comprehensive public transportation
It is not necessary to own a car in Hong Kong. Imagine if it was! But with Hong Kong’s intricate system of trains, buses, ferries, etc. Hong Kong interns can travel within Hong Kong with ease!

4. Capitalism rules
Hong Kong is the place where capitalism had a field day. One thing that Hong Kong is definitely known for is it’s shopping scene, with markets of every kind available for the shopper.
From Hong Kong’s crazy malls and markets that are stacked one on top of another, to its all-in-one “Octopus” transportation card that can be used for nearly everything, including anything in 7-Eleven, in Hong Kong. All Hong Kong Interns as part of the Hong Kong Internship Program by Absolute Internship are provided with an Octopus Card.

Now on to Singapore.

internships in hong kong

Some Basics:

Singapore is a small island nation located on the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, in Southeast Asia. The official languages of Singapore include English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. English is the official language to conduct business. With a total population of 5 million people, with the majority of the population from China.
Although Singapore is a young nation, it is one of the most prosperous in the business world. It is the friendliest business capital in the world, and has been consistently named the world’s best place to do business. Singapore also boasts the world’s greatest architecture and smartest city layout. In many ways Singapore is way ahead of its time.


Top Reasons for an internship in Singapore ?

1. Multi-cultural immigrant society
Because it is very easy to immigrate and eventually settle in, Singapore has become one of the world’s most diverse nations in terms of cultural backgrounds. Singapore is extremely open to foreigners and through their immigration policy, encourages many to immigrate into Singapore. It is not hard to find authentic cuisine from all around the world, mainly from Southeast Asia and China.

2. Freest Economy
Singapore is ranked number one for having the most open business economy. In Singapore, because they are a very work centered society, they are very much concerned with making it easy to handle business matters.

3. Environment
Singapore has been very concerned with its environmental quality and has very strict environmental policies, thus making the air quality in Singapore very clean. Singapore has put great efforts into keeping its city green with greenery and in terms of conservation.

4. Safest place in the world
Due to Singapore’s strict regulations and because Singapore is a very rules-centric society, the rate of crime is very low with violent crimes being very rare. Many families are attracted to Singapore because it is a very safe place to raise children in addition to Singapore’s various other social services including schooling, healthcare, etc. This makes this city extremely safe for Singapore Interns as well.


Now that you have a basic overview of both cities, we can get down to the important differences between the two:

1. Difference in values regarding the environment
Singapore and Hong Kong hold vastly different ideals in what is most important when it comes to environmental conservation and convenience. Singapore has had a long history with environmental conservation since the mid 20th century and started its first tree-planting campaign in 1963, and continues to upkeep the efforts through strict rules and fines.
Hong Kong on the other hand values the market the most and puts the environment behind, having not made great effort to lower carbon emissions. Hong Kong’s 50 malls keep their temperature at 22.6° year round. However, it is not that Hong Kong does not appreciate natural beauty. With Hong Kong’s numerous natural parks not far from the central city.

2. Amount of Space
As the most densely populated city in the world, Hong Kong is not known for its sprawling spaces or adequately sized living spaces. However, Hong Kong more than compensates for this with the amount of skyscrapers they have, the most in the world, 7,650 to be exact. So the difference here is whether you like your space in the sky or on the ground.

3. Working Culture
Hong Kong and Singapore handle their business matters slightly differently than each other.
While both maintain a very respectful and hard-working atmosphere, Hong Kong veers more towards Chinese practices, which can be difficult to learn to navigate.

One of the most important concepts to know about Chinese working culture is the concepts of “face” (mianzi). The concept of face, one’s reputation or prestige, is crucial to the way Chinese navigate within the business sphere. To cause someone to “lose face” would mean to embarrass or humiliate then publically. Contradicting someone outright, reprimanding, or causing someone to be embarrassed can cause someone to lose face.

Singapore is all about rules and being courteous. Although the concept of face isn’t very significant there should still be a general gist of being respectful to higher ups.

So, which city appeals more to you? Clean, structured, and prosperous Singapore or bustling, frenzied, and exciting Hong Kong?

We hope that this piece has been helpful to you in your decision!

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