I am currently undertaking an internship in China which I applied for through a company called 'Nexusglobe' in the UK. Little did I know that my whole program was a complete scam until I recently discovered some further information during the internship.
Similar to many agencies in the UK that run this program, Nexusglobe outsource their operation to a company called 'Go Abroad China (GAC)' who run the scam and control the internship upon arrival in China. Unfortunately I was not informed by Nexusglobe about this company before arriving in China. Had I known about GAC prior to my arrival I would not have moved forward with the program.
In terms of the scam, the agencies in the UK charge a excessively large fee for the program and promise you a very professional service. However, my findings have confirmed the actual cost of the program is 5 times less than the amount being charged for a service that is quite simply pathetic. Having discovered these costs and relayed them to both companies, GAC and Nexusglobe, they continuously fail to answer to where the rest of the money is going. I understand that a service can have a fee but the fees being charged here are unjustified.
Not only is the fee being charged absolutely ridiculous but there are many other factors that are particularly shocking.
For example, as part of the 'visa assistance' service interns are all given the same documents to submit to the visa centre. These documents do not represent truthful information and are merely for visa purposes. In my own experience I also received email instruction from nexusglobe advising me not to mention my work placement to the visa centre. Prior to submission of the documents I raised my concerns to them about this email, however they advised me the work visa was very complicated to obtain and assured me this was normal formality.
Furthermore, whilst in the UK, I also received a job specification for the placement from Nexusglobe which appeared relevant to my area of expertise. Much to my surprise, this job specification was nothing close to role and was evidently used to lure me into accepting the offer. The actual work placement did not consist of any work and was a total waste of my time. As GAC could not find me a more adequate placement quickly enough I ended up spending 2 months twiddling my thumbs at this company. Again, this was not a sufficient reflection of the extortionate fee I had paid.
If this wasn't all, there is also the breach of data protection which has occurred with Nexusglobe providing GAC a copy of my passport. Unfortunately GAC failed to keep my passport confidential and instead posted it across a social media app called 'Wechat' as a means of looking for accomodation/placements. To my dismay, my passport copy could be viewed by anyone with access to the app, even those looking to commit identity fraud. It is a shame I only found this out upon using the application and being informed by other interns.
Even after confronting both companies about my findings I have not seen any drastic changes and they continue to provide the same excuses and poor service. Most recently, I was informed I would have to leave my accomodation, though to my knowledge everything had been properly arranged before I arrived in China. GAC found me another accomodation in a panic but as expected they were not contributing any of my fee towards this. As a result I refused to stay at this accomodation and have requested a refund unless they are prepared to use my program fee correctly.
All in all, I am absolutely outraged by the level of service provided and would like to see some action taken towards ensuring these companies do not manipulate future interns in this way. I am speaking on behalf of many other interns who also share the same opinion.