The Benefits of Internships Abroad 

by Dominic James Fusco

In the competitive state of today’s job market, having global work experience under your belt is one of the very best things you can do for your prospective career. But as you can imagine, interning abroad is about much more than work experience.

During an internship abroad, you will be challenged to adapt both personally and professionally, and the payoff of this adaptation will be enormous. Intercultural communication is a vitally important part of the modern professional world, so employers will drool over the fact that you have already undertaken an internship abroad, and therefore have experience in a multicultural environment. By leaving the comforts of home to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture, you will be pushing the boundaries of what you are capable of. Some even say that the travel and life experience acquired through internships abroad is arguably even more important than the professional experience.
 

Interlaken, Switzerland

Jumping for joy! Interlaken, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Rukia Yosuf

International internships are incredibly worthwhile endeavors that everyone should seek out in order to be successful in the rapidly globalizing world of today.

In case you’re still not convinced interning abroad is worth it, here are some of the most important benefits of internships abroad:

You can choose from a diverse range of fields.

The sheer amount and diversity of internship opportunities around the world should be a huge influencer in your decision to intern abroad. Not to mention there are a ton of internship placement providers that are ready and willing to help match you with the perfect internship abroad in whatever your professional field you choose, a luxury that cannot be enjoyed very frequently at home. Whatever field you are interested in, from fashion design to finance, there are an immense number of internship placements waiting for you, and plenty of people (aka. internship program providers) to help you find the best one of you.

You can live and work anywhere in the world.

How often in your life do you get to point to any destination on a map and say, “I want to live and work here for six months!”? Considering the large amount of organizations that can help you land internships all over the world, this is essentially what you will be doing when deciding where to intern abroad. Do you want to work on a community project in Cambodia or become an assistant at a prestigious theater company in London? The choice is yours; the best time to travel to the place you’ve always wanted to go is now!

Bayon Temple 

Bayon Temple - Siem Reap, Cambodia

You can make your transition from college life to the real world a bit easier.

The time between college and the beginning of your career is the best time to travel for many reasons. For starters, you are young, free, and generally eager to experience the world at large. Looking ahead, after you’ve settled into a career path, you will likely find the time and resources to live abroad for an extended period of time to be very difficult to come by. An internship abroad is the perfect way to proactively tackle the groove of life in the professional world that you will surely get into, and take the opportunity to have a definitive experience abroad while you are young and able.

You can kill two birds with one stone.

Travel and internships are two things that many college students aspire to cross of their checklist before entering into the professional world. Deciding to take your internship experience abroad means you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money, because you will be combining your aspirations to see the world with your academic or professional need for real work experience. Additionally, whether you decide to do so within one country or throughout an entire region, the time before and after your internship placement can be a great time to travel and have an adventure of your own making. The question is: Why NOT sandwich your internship abroad in between a few weeks (or months) of travel?

You can develop a global network.

(If you did’nt notice, there is a trend emerging) The personal and professional benefits of interning abroad are immense, and expanding your global network of contacts is no different. During your internship abroad you will make friendships that may literally last a lifetime, as well as develop valuable business relationships that can help progress your career goals to an international level. 

Foster meaningful relationships during your internship abroad, and don’t lose contact with the people you think may be the key to unlocking your dreams!
Piedras Rojas - San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

"I could only become closer with the friends I shared the experience of Piedras Rojas with." - Stephanie Quiroz

You can become immersed in a new language.

If you are in the process of learning a language, then interning abroad can be the very best way to elevate your comprehension to the next level. It is one thing to learn the foundations of a language every day in a classroom, and another thing entirely to actually submerge yourself in a professional environment where have to speak your second language every day. While the adjustment may certainly prove challenging, full language immersion is a fantastic way to become fluent in a second language (and we are guessing the immense benefits of fluency in a second language isn’t something we need to go into).

You will became an applicant that stands out from the crowd.

Lastly, let’s talk about the future. While the developmental rewards of interning abroad are nearly insurmountable, the ultimate goal of an internship abroad is to generally help you in obtaining a job in the future in your field of choice. When future employers see your resume slide across their desk, complete with an internship abroad, they will immediately highlight you as a unique candidate. Your international internship experience will illustrate that you are passionate, driven, and not afraid to step outside your comfort zone, all qualities that will take you far in the professional world.