International internships are not your average internships. Forget running out to get coffee and donuts for the morning meeting. If you choose to embark upon the adventure of interning abroad, you’re in for a treat. First off, did you know you can earn college credit while on some international internship programs? Second, international work experience always looks killer on your resume, making you stand out in a sea of job applicants after grad. Third, you get to experience a totally different work culture and probably practice a new language too!
How do you choose the one that’s right for you from a host of overseas internships? Think about where you’d like to work. Where are some of the best places in the world to intern? Do you want to hand out meishi (call cards) to Japanese salary men? Learn a new drinking game from your Aussie workmates? Put on those gumboots and work outside in New Zealand?
You should also consider abroad internships based on the field you’re interested in. Business majors should hit up China for the most competitive international internships. If who want to work in international relations and diplomacy, head to Switzerland where the UN and many other international organizations call home.
What are you waiting for? We’ve analyzed millions of searches from meaningful travelers to bring you the best of the best when it comes to entry-level professional experiences abroad. Here are the world’s best places to intern in 2018!
1. United States
The US is one of the most popular countries for international internships. With its work hard, play hard culture and strong emphasis on research and profit, the States is the perfect place for interns to earn some solid work experience. It’s also a great country for networking and polishing up those English skills. Popular internship opportunities include business, marketing, finance, agriculture, media, diplomacy, and tourism.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in the US with The Intern Group
Canada is one of the best places to intern because it knows how to treat them right. Explore the length and breadth of the world’s second-largest country to find internships to suit almost any interest. For internships in accounting, hospitality, and engineering, head to Vancouver. Toronto is popular for placements in the arts, media, and architecture and find international internships in finance and IT in Ottawa.
Recommended program: Find internships in Canada with World Internships
If you want to intern in a country where the old and new peacefully coexist, consider Japan. Popular international internship programs include business, marketing, and English teaching placements in megacities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama. Hokkaido is popular with snow bunny interns and Kyoto with those who want to learn more about Japanese culture and history.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Japan with Zentern
Germany is one of the world’s most popular countries for migrants and we don’t blame them! The country is economically stable and culturally rich. Perfect your Deutsch in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich, the most popular destinations for overseas internships. Popular placements include technology, finance, pharmaceuticals, media, international relations, and architecture.
Recommended program: Intern in Germany with Boston University
Would you walk 500 miles just to be in the country you love? Oz offers you the chance to get some professional experience and learn why Aussies are so darn happy all the time. Interns can choose from placements in film and media, fashion, graphic design, marketing, and environmental conservation. On weekends, catch a show at the Sydney Opera House, sail the Whitsundays, or explore the Outback.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Sydney with CAPA
France is perfect for anyone who wants to get a leg up in the competitive European job market. The pro-employee work environment also makes it attractive to many interns because it promotes healthy work/life balance. If your French isn’t up to scratch, Paris offers incredible abroad internships in finance, fashion, and the culinary arts. If you want to improve your fluency, student-friendly Lyon is popular with international interns for banking, tourism, and startup placements.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Paris with IES Internships
Spain’s sunshine and laid-back culture make it an amazing destination for interns. Foreign interns flock to Madrid to work with multinationals and NGOs and enjoy the city’s legendary nightlife while others go to more cosmopolitan Barcelona for technology, startup, architecture, arts, and design placements. For interns seeking a more local vibe, Sevilla offers lots of opportunities to intern in tourism and hospitality.
Recommended program: Shadow doctors while interning in Spain with Atlantis Project
Interning in England is a walk in the park because they speak English over there! However, be prepared to face a steep learning curve when it comes to British slang. Internships are aplenty in London, the country’s financial and cultural center. Foreign interns can also find opportunities in Manchester, Birmingham, and Bristol. Popular placements in England include international business, journalism, and communications.
Recommended programs: Intern in London with CISabroad & Summer Internships in London with Global Experiences
9. New Zealand
Tolkien fans, don’t miss this opportunity to intern abroad in the real Middle Earth. Don’t forget to pack your gumboots. It does rain a fair bit! New Zealand is popular with interns in fields like environmental science, animal science, hospitality, social work, and public relations. Popular locations for internships include Auckland and Wellington on the North Island and Christchurch and Queenstown on the South Island.
Recommended program: Find internships in New Zealand with ISA
Bella Italia! An intern’s dream destination! So much good food, so little time! Most international interns base themselves in Rome, the Eternal City. Those interested in art history intern in Florence, the home of the European Renaissance. Italy offers a host of internships, particularly in fashion, art, architecture, media, marketing, and communications so choose wisely!
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Italy with PAA
BONUS! Top TYPES of internship fields
Not only did we collect data on where the world’s best places to intern are according to our search data, we also found some awesome trends regarding the top types of internship fields. For these interns, destination comes second so long as their program involves…
- Zoology & Wildlife Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Social Work
- Food Science & Nutrition
- Culinary Arts
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here. Photo credit: Freepik.
Browse more of our report on international internships—broken down by region
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in Europe for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in the Americas for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in Africa for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel