5 Reasons to Do an Internship Abroad

Ever wanted to intern at a non-profit in Sydney? How about assisting a local theater in London? Or maybe you’re interested in helping a start-up in Rome discover the best food and wine the city has to offer!

Interning abroad is a chance to develop global and professional skill sets, get academic credit, and live in a new country. You can work in the field of your choice, receive guidance and support from world-class faculty and professionals, all while being immersed in the traditions, culture, and cuisine of a new city.

Check out the following reasons to discover how you could benefit from interning abroad:

1. Set yourself apart

Studying abroad is a powerful and transformative experience that on a national scale, very few students actually choose to do. Add an internship abroad on top of that and you’ve not only lived in a new country, you’ve also learned about a foreign job market— thereby setting yourself apart from most of your peers. Interning abroad elicits heightened cultural immersion, and is an opportunity to gain global skillsets that you can’t get by just interning at home.

Intern with her advisor in Vienna. Austria

IES Abroad intern working with her internship advisor in Vienna

2. Jumpstart your future career

Interning abroad helps you figure out what really matters to you, what you’re good at, and what skills need improvement. It also gives you a substantial advantage in a competitive job market. In a survey of more than 3,700 IES Abroad alumni, 83% of students who interned abroad said that it allowed them to acquire skill sets that influenced their career path. On top of that, nearly 90% of IES Abroad alumni found their first job within six months of graduation! Students who study abroad not only find jobs faster than those who didn’t study abroad, but also earn more money for their starting salaries- $7,000 more, according to survey data!

Intern in a cooking school in Rome, Italy

IES Abroad intern at his placement in a cooking school in Rome

3. Fine tune your intercultural skill sets

Living abroad is the best way to develop a greater awareness of the world, and our place in it. With an international internship, you’ll build valuable job skills, such as language proficiency, cultural training, adaptability, and communication. Whatever setting you find yourself in after graduation, you’ll be grateful for the variety of hard and soft skills you gained while interning abroad.

Foreign intern at the Vienna State Opera

IES Abroad intern and her internship advisor at the Vienna State Opera

4. Develop a global network

You’ve developed a great network of like-minded peers, mentors, teachers, and professors just by working, interning, and going to school in your home country. Now consider developing a similar network—only in a completely different place! By interning abroad you’ll cultivate a community of international colleagues and professionals that you can reach out to for years to come.

Intern teaching English to local students in Vienna, Austria

IES Abroad intern teaching English to local students in Vienna

5. Become a better you!

It’s hard to know what areas of ourselves need improving on until we’re put in a situation that forces us to question our customs and beliefs. In the same IES Abroad alumni survey mentioned earlier, 98% of students said the experience helped them better understand their cultural values and biases, 82% stated it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world, and 97% said the experience increased their maturity and confidence. After interning abroad you’ll have new knowledge, both about the world and about yourself, that will put you on track to becoming the “you” you’ve always wanted to be!

Intern at her Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum placement in London, England

IES Abroad intern at her Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum placement in London


About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers more than 120 study abroad programs in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America for college students—learn more about our internship offerings, and take a virtual tour of some of our locations today! From our headquarters in Chicago to our 30+ global locations, we work toward the common goal of providing once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures for college-aged students. Learn more at www.IESabroad.org.