Applying for an international relations internship abroad will be your entry point to important experience and networking in this broadly reaching and competitive global field. Not only will interning abroad greatly enhance your future career prospects for working in the international arena, it will also be an invaluable developmental experience stepping out of your comfort zone and learning about the larger world order within a different cultural context.
If there ever was a field that internships abroad were built to perfectly complement, it was international relations. You may be able to learn a lot about your own country’s relationship with the rest of the world from an internship at home, but there is no substitute for the perspective enhancing experience of travelling and living abroad while interning for a global organization or department in another country. You will gain a whole new view not only of the larger world, but of how your home country fits into the puzzle as well.
Where you choose to pursue an internship in international relations abroad depends entirely on your interests and professional aspirations. If your concentration is in regard to a specific country or region, then you may already have a solidified idea of where you would like to intern abroad. If not, then the world is your oyster.
Let’s start with Europe – countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands are home to some of the most influential International political organizations in the world (think the UN, Human Rights Council, International Criminal Court, etc.), while London and Paris are also two of the most highly regarded global cities in the world. These destinations all maintain broad reaching political and economic influence within a diversity of institutions which offer international relations internship opportunities.
Other countries across the world which are very influential in the realm of international politics range from Brazil, Canada, and the United States in the Western Hemisphere to Japan, China, and India in the East. As we enter deeper into the 21st century, global players such as these are becoming increasingly important to the development of world order, and international relations internships in any of these places would be a fantastic experience and look great on your resume.
It might also interest you to participate in an intern abroad program in the developing world, where many of the more economically advanced nations maintain NGOs or other international organizations, which commit to community building and social justice through ambitious hands on work. Regions such as Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia present a large diversity of internship opportunities for international interns to work towards positive developmental results in many different countries.
There is a huge variety of intern abroad programs which offer internships abroad in international relations, which on its own is about as large and diverse a field as they come. Your options for what type of international relations internship to pursue are thus extremely broad, and very much dependent on your individual field of interest.
Firstly, there are government internships, where ambitious young interns who are interested in the field of politics can gain overseas experience in a variety of areas ranging from diplomacy to social work to city planning. While the details of a government internship abroad may be less romantic than dreamed of (think paperwork, planning presentations, etc.), interning abroad in a government institution will provide invaluable work experience nonetheless.
Interning with an NGO is another possibility which is largely applicable within the field of international relations. Whether you are doing administrative or on the ground work, an internship in international relations abroad with an NGO will be highly rewarding and also very informative. Interns will learn a great deal about the type of work NGOs facilitate overseas. International internships in the realm of healthcare and education are quite common for internships with NGOs, which offer fascinating insight into how these systems work within the context of another country.
There are quite literally thousands of different internships around the world which will provide you with valuable and relatable work experience related to the field of international relations. Do your research carefully and focus on where you want to go and what type of work you will find interesting!
An internship in international relations abroad is not only a golden star on your resume and the rare chance to gain contacts and work experience in a different country, it is also the opportunity to broaden your global IQ and further develop your perspective of this broad reaching field.
Whether you plan to work for the government, an NGO, or another type of international organization, international relations internships will be a great inspiration and your first step towards success in the global arena.