China

The Intern Group

Within this review you will find out about the horrible experience I had with The Intern Group during my summer internship in 2014. This company used deceptive marketing to lure in interns & did not deliver on their promises. The directors of this program were not responsive when I dealt with severe issues with my accommodations during my 2-month stay in Hong Kong. After speaking with several other unhappy interns on this same program, I feel that a warning is in order for future interns considering The Intern Group for their internship abroad program.

For a brief background, I am an honors student at Georgia State University in the US, majoring in accounting in finance. After meeting with my university about several different options, I decided to go with the internship abroad, due to it being my junior year, which is the prime time to gain internship experience before graduating next year. I did extensive research comparing the cost & experience of each company around the world. I started to realize that many of the internship companies I researched did not include group excursions, and those that did were very expensive. Then I stumbled upon The Intern Group, a “reasonably” priced company that facilitated internships in several countries around the world AND included excursions. Sounded perfect! However, the experience I got was absolutely horrifying and ended with me throwing away all of my belongings upon returning to the states.

To begin my review I will start with the most relevant piece of information regarding the “top-quality” internships that the Intern Group provides. During my time in Hong Kong, I got to know several other interns on the program. After speaking to everyone about his or her internship, I found that everyone seemed to feel unchallenged, unhappy, and taken advantage of. In my personal situation, I had asked the Intern Group to provide me with a large financial company, preferably with a presence in the United States. What I received was position in a start-up insurance brokerage that only had 2 employees. I gave them 6 months to facilitate this internship….

The Intern Group claims to have several connections around the world with top companies in various fields. However, I didn’t come across a single intern on my program that was with a reputable company. Near the end of my stay in Hong Kong, I asked my employer about how the Intern Group approached him about taking me on as an intern. He told me that the director, Krystal Lee, met with him and simply asked, “Do you want a free intern this summer?” . Wow, I could’ve done that. A huge portion of the Intern Group’s program fee is the internship facilitation & the accomodations. However, for the upcharge I spent on the “facilitation of the internship”, I could’ve stayed in luxury hotel for the entire two months with free breakfast!

Now I will discuss the bed bugs; a problem that not only greatly affected me, but also affected everyone in my life back home. During my research stage, I found several photos on the Intern Group website displaying western accommodations; double beds, a huge kitchen, and modern appliances. The website has since been changed due to Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I walked into the apartment they chose for me and was shocked. The building looked and smelled approximately 100 years old, one of the rooms had bunk beds, and the entire apartment was approximately 400 square feet. I didn’t complain, however, and stayed in the flat for about 5 weeks. For these few weeks I was getting severe bites all over my body; my ankles, shoulders and arms! Some of the bites are still on my body and look like they are going to scar. Since I have never dealt with bed bugs, I attributed the bites to mosquitoes, thinking they must’ve gotten into the flat through the bathroom fan (which was exposed to outside and unable to be closed). However, when I started noticing black & yellow debris all over my bed, I started to get worried. I started googling, and immediately found out that I was dealing with bed bugs. I did thorough research into bedbugs to find out the severity of the issue I was dealing with. The results were unsettling. I searched my bed and found several casings of bed bugs and was completely disgusted. I found that bed bugs were treated in several methods, but the most effective was through hiring a professional fumigation company, then a cleaning service to remove any eggs that weren’t killed during fumigation. I read terrible reviews online about people that used cheap bug bombs or mattress protectors, and found that these methods almost always resulted in the issue persisting for several months. I relayed my research to the Hong Kong director, Krystal Lee, and the manager of directors for the Intern Group, Andrew Prachuablarb. I laid out exactly what I expected from the company in terms of dealing with the situation effectively, I did spend $7000 for this program, after all.

They responded by telling me I had to wait until the morning to be moved to a temporary flat and that they would “take care” of the issue. After the first night in the temporary flat, they emailed me saying they had taken care of the bed bugs using a cheap bug bomb and the company refused to clean the apartment, even the mattress!!!! Based on my previous research, I refused to re-enter the apartment until it had been properly fumigated/cleaned. Again, they refused to live up to this standard. They decided to move us into a different flat, and told my roommate and I to collect our belongings form the infested flat. While this sounds like they did a great thing, since the fumigation company didn’t treat our belongings, we were simply moving the unhatched eggs to the new flat!! Sure enough, I started finding bed bugs left and right in the new apartment and they schedule ed a “consultation” with a fumigation company. They treated me as if I was over-reacting to the situation, even though I had bites on my body to prove I was being bit. They told me I had to find a bed bug upon command, like they were just conveniently sitting around for me to find. After finding out that it was 20,000 HKD for treatment, they decided to take the cheap way out and give me a heat machine that I could treat my belongings in cycles. However, a mattress can’t fit into a heat machine….I can’t put the cracks and baseboards where bedbugs linger into the heat machine. It was a temporary fix to shut me up for the remaining few weeks of my stay. Not to mention, I found out that they moved new interns into the old flat with bed bugs the week after I left! I quickly warned them of the situation. The day I was leaving, I woke up to two adult bed bugs crawling towards me right when I woke up. The experience was absolutely revolting.

Upon my departure to return home, I had to throw away all of the clothes I had with me to ensure I didn’t bring the bugs back home. My parents back home were sick with worry and laid out a detailed plan to prevent me bringing the bugs, which involved, throwing away my suitcases at the airport, staying in a hotel, and doing a lengthy RID treatment through my hair to ensure I didn’t have eggs near the roots. This not only caused a financial burden on my family, but also gave them emotional distress when I returned home.

While communication was a huge issue, the program itself also had several flaws. The excursions that were promised on the website conveniently changed upon my arrival to three, rather than the four that I paid for. “Dinner with a View at Victoria’s Peak” turned into just a dinner, since they chose such a foggy night to take us up there. I felt like I was utterly trapped for two months with no way out and the responses I received were always questioning and unhelpful. The practices of the Intern Group during this ordeal were extremely unpleasant. Each time I tried to contact one the THREE employees in Hong Kong I was left either ignored or dissatisfied. After I left, I informed the interns that were moving straight into my infested flat about the bed bug situation. I found out that one week later, the intern group sent out a message saying that the bugs were determined to be cockroaches brought in from the US. Trying to blame ME for the infestation.

I have never dealt with a such an unprofessional company. Buyer Beware & Good Luck.

Program:
Location: China
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

First off, it was definitely a great experience. The company I worked for was great, the work I did was fun.My colleague are very nice people and we get along well. They don't speak much English but my Chinese is decent enough to get simple ideas across. The GAC Beijing Coordinators are both excellent at their jobs. They are available practically 24/7 throught your entire stay to help you with anything that might come up, and also to assist you in navigating the treacherous enigma that is life in Beijing. I personally stayed in a private appartment, I live 2 min away from the bus stop to my office so it's very convenient. It takes me 40-50min to get to work. I also opted to take language training classes. My teacher is extremely friendly and a wonderful teacher. Our sessions were everyday after work and we would generally go somewhere for each lesson. The lessons were very informal, generally me honing my Chinese through conversation and picking up new vocabulary and such as we visited varius places in Beijing. Also, I had a year of begining Chinese in college prior to my first GAC trip, so I was somewhat preperared, although I had failed to review all summer and thus had forgoten alot of vocab by the time I arrived. By simply living in Beijing your Chinese conversation skills and confidence will improve dramatically, just by virtue of interaction with people on a day to day basis. My trip was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had, and I wholeheartedly recommend this program.

Program: Gap Year
Location: China
Posted: Jun 25, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
7
Value:
8

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ It was a great experience. I am really satisfied with my study university—Beijing Language and Culture University. Not to mention the study environment, the class group was small enough in order to be productive. The teacher used modern and efficient methods of learning. The school also has a good reputation for teaching Chinese to foreigners. Besides, I was arranged in an excellent host family. I lived in a large rooms and the Chinese food is quite good. Oh, don’t forget the after class activities which helped me make a lot of Chinese friends.
Anyway, all of these are credited to Go Abroad China. They did a lot of favor to me. I really would like to thank for them.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Mar 7, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ It was a great experience. I am really satisfied with my study university—Beijing Language and Culture University. Not to mention the study environment, the class group was small enough in order to be productive. The teacher used modern and efficient methods of learning. The school also has a good reputation for teaching Chinese to foreigners. Besides, I was arranged in an excellent host family. I lived in a large rooms and the Chinese food is quite good. Oh, don’t forget the after class activities which helped me make a lot of Chinese friends.
Anyway, all of these are credited to Go Abroad China. They did a lot of favor to me. I really would like to thank for them.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Mar 6, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ I initially discovered Go Abroad China simply because they were one of the few overseas agencies to offer an internship program in my discipline. After browsing their website for an hour or so it became apparent to me that Go Abroad China was an extremely professional organization that has a clear understanding of student needs. Then I proceeded to contact a representative of the company. All of my questions were promptly answered, and the process for applying for the internship program was clearly explained.
A number of things contributed to making my internship such a fantastic experience. First of all, as I chose the home stay option, I was living with a Chinese family in a typical Beijing apartment. The family was very kind and provided assistance to me where they could. Secondly, the internship position itself and the company I worked for were excellent. For the first time since starting my studies I was able to get real-world, hands-on experience applying my knowledge, and I got to learn a lot of new stuff along the way. Thirdly, the other employees at my work were great people who really enriched my experience. I worked in an IT company to assist in Marketing campaigns from event organization through to PR, digital marketing and corporate hospitality. I learned lots of things that I never know in the school from this company. It is really a precious experience for me. I will never forget this experience.

Program: Gap Year
Location: China
Posted: Mar 5, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ I had never imagined my dream may come true one day. Going to China to study Chinese was a goal of mine since I was about 7 when I saw it in a movie. And now my wish is realized. Before my travelling, I did a lot of research and then Go Abroad China came to my final decision. After I contact them, they made the research, preparation, transition, and experience abroad easy and smooth. They provided all of the necessary details and logistics of going to a different country, as well as a great network of support all throughout the process. I was especially happy with the transition that Go Abroad China provided.
After arriving at one of the fastest developing country, I was really excited to see the beauty of the country. Before the registration, Go Abroad China team provided information about my study university. I really appreciate their help.
I created a short video of the beginning of my adventures in China, which will give me forever memory I ever had.
Anyway I had a very wonderful life in China. This experience makes me know better of Chinese culture and my Chinese speaking is improved significantly. Thus I created a short video of my adventures in China, which will give me forever memory I ever had.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Mar 4, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ I am a skeptical guy. Before my travelling, I did a lot of research and finally I decided to study Chinese with Go Abroad China. The experience exceeded my expectation.
After arriving at the airport, I was warmly welcomed by Go Abroad China coordinator Miss Zoe. She accompanied me to my host family. All of the family members are very friendly to me.
After two days of rest, Go Abroad China picked me up at my host family and together we go to my study school-Beijing Language and Culture University which is really a great university. After two month of studying, I was developing important social skills and learning about the Chinese culture. I'm very impressed with the school and how I have thrived there in just one year. For anyone looking into Chinese immersion in China, Go Abroad China should be seriously considered.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Mar 3, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ Go Abroad China was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. I contacted their staff frequently before I departed on my study abroad trip about the specific housing arrangements and Go Abroad China policies. The coordinator Tina arranged for the program to attend great events such as museum trips. She was always prepared to answer my questions and offer support when I had problems.
The courseload was just right given the four monthes I was abroad. They coincided with the learning I wanted to learn about the country’s culture. The program was to provide on campus housing to all students in the Shanghai program, and we love the housing conditions very much.
Aside from the language class and culture class I took part in some wonderful excursions arranged by Go Abroad China, which were enlightening. I loved being able to explore other cities in China and discover how each place differed as well as learn about the histories of each city. By taking part in these well organized excursions, I do have enough time to explore each city.
Yes! Overall, the Go Abroad China team offered me a great experience in my first time studying abroad. I would recommend Go Abroad China to other students.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Feb 28, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Go Abroad China (GAC) ***Warning Fake Reviews***

+++ WARNING - FAKE REVIEW +++ THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAKE AND RATINGS MOVED TO ZERO. IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED BY A FAKE USER THAT DID NOT SATISFY ABROADREVIEWS ENQUIRIES +++ At first, traveling to the other side of the world seemed crazy to me. Getting on a plane for hours to China and immersing myself into a culture for one year was something that I was not comfortable with. With the help of Go Abroad China, it made my transition from Australia to China not only a smooth one, but an extremely enjoyable one as well. From the beginning Go Abroad China kept me organized from what I should expect and pre departure materials that were necessary for my success with my transition. They always had a timely response to my questions.
Once I got to the airport and was ready to take off I was accompanied by others in the program as well. This helped with the transition as we talked over our worries and excitements and realized we were all in the same boat. Once we got to China, staff members of Go Abroad China were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Their help save a lot of troubles.
I came to Shanghai with absolutely no understanding of Chinese culture, customs or language. The staff of Go Abroad China were so friendly and helpful, they made it very easy for me understand the Chinese. My coordinator Tina helped me everything for registering Shanghai Jiaotong University and left after everything is organized well for me. Besides, the teaching staff were very professional. They knew how to present learning material to foreigners. I really appreciate their teaching methos.
With the help of Go Abroad China they made the best academic year of my study life possible. Especially for our traveling to the Xihu, which is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Anyway, it was a fantastic experience to study in Shanghai with Go Abroad China and I'd definitely keep it in memory for my whole life.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Feb 27, 2014
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

AFS

Never ever even think of an exchange with AFS. This organization is HORRIBLE. They are DISRESPECTFUL and VERY INHUMAN.

All they are after is your money! Every single thing they state on their website and on information evenings is a lie!

They do not care about the teenagers abroad at all, they do not choose families carefully (they just take anyone without checking anything), they don't offer any services abroad (no local chapter, no irregular meetings even), they will let your children suffer, they will make your children say that they are at fault (of whatever?!), put so much pressure on them until they will sign a paper, admitting that they broke the rules (pressure goes like that: if you don't admit we will send you back home immediately) and all of a sudden they will send you back home after some months anyway. This happened in China just now several times already to Germans, Italians, Swiss and other nationalities.

The back office in your country claims they will help and do the best they can and that you should trust them. But at the end AFS will send you a unilateral termination of the contract after some months and your child will just be returned home. But for sure they will keep all your money.

I never experienced such a horrible time in my life before, with AFS staff lying at me and behaving like robots but not as human beings, who are supposed to care about teenagers...

If you want to read more about my daughters horror trip go on facebook: stephanie clappier

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Feb 11, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Comments

This dude's kid OBVIOUSLY did something they weren't supposed to while they were on program. AFS makes every student's family sign a Participation Agreement. I don't understand how people can put their signature on papers without even reading them, then get all up in arms when they do follow the agreement and get penalized for it. Don't pay thousands of dollars for your crappy kid to go abroad if they can't follow rules authority figures give to them. That's just common sense. Keep your problem child at home.
Joe's response sounds just like a response from AFS: trash the kid, trash the family, take their money. AFS is all about the money. It wouldn't surprise me if Joe is with AFS.
Don't jump to blame the kid. We DID sign the Participation Agreement and AFS USA has done everything they said, but AFS Costa Rica has done NOTHING that was expected. My daughter was there for three months before she even met the person from AFS to whom she was supposed to go to with any problems. The only group outings they went on cost hundreds of dollars and the school she was put in has been on strike, so she hasn't been going to school. I could have sent her to Costa Rica to live with a random family, not have anyone to call upon and not go to school for ALOT CHEAPER than the 13,000 I paid. And on top of that we had to purchase a ticket to get her home so she can be in school. Tell me how AFS is keeping their end of that participation agreement?
Hi Michelle, well that is exactly what my daughter had to go through as well, plus some other unbelievable things. AFS just doesn't care about more than money. They claim to be interested in our kids but they do not take ANY responsibility at any time. They leave everthing to a family they have not even checked before ... the more time passes the more I am shocked about about AFS
no parent is so stupid to send problem kids abroad, what should that be good for? no parent (who can afford to pay AFS) would act that simple minded as you describe things!
I totally understand how you feel!!! I had such a similar horrendous experience with another exhange organisation. They all seem to have same practises. After what my son and my family had to suffer witr Ciee:s high school plus program, I really would want to warn the people not to be fooled with all the promises these organisations make. They break their own rules and blame it on the students and send them home early unfairly without thinking what this might cause to a young person. All they want is your money. You can read our nightmare from these pages under Ciee.
I had a very similar horror experience with Ciee this year. You can read our nightmare from these pages under Ciee.

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