Getting Your Parents On-Board With Your Decision to Intern Abroad

by Published

You’re about to embark on an internship abroad. 

  • Met with your college counselor about credits? ✅ 
  • Narrowed down your favorite programs? ✅ 
  • Got your parents on-board with your intern abroad plans. ❓❓❓

So… about that whole “convincing mom and dad to let you do an internship abroad” thing… 

Young woman smiling

Be your best professional self—intern abroad! And get mom and dad’s support too.

So you thought finding financial aid for internships overseas or figuring out how to squeeze all your stuff into two luggage were your biggest hurdles. However, getting your parents’ support for an international internship could be equally challenging. The thought of their child potentially living across the world is anxiety-inducing plus they may think they will have to fork out some serious dough. 

With the right approach, getting parents to back internships overseas doesn’t have to be difficult. Early planning, organization, and a dose of empathy will make breaking the news less stressful for you and your parents. So what is the best strategy for proving to your parentals you’re ready for intern abroad programs? Read on for our brilliant strategy for chatting with your folks about international internships.

Before the chat & an absolute must: Pick a legit program

Now to get the ball rolling on choosing a specific program, check out some of the best intern abroad programs you should definitely have a look at—here are six we love:

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1. CISabroad

Looking for a flexible intern abroad option with an emphasis on promoting global awareness? With hands-on internships in over 30 countries, CIS Abroad offers programs in several fields from health, arts and design, to engineering and education. Each internship includes cultural excursions activities such as hiking down a crater lake in Ecuador or riding on exciting safaris in South Africa.

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2. The Intern Group

Choose a summer internship abroad or go for a full twenty-four weeks. Either way you’ll be returning home with some major employability creds on your belot after working with The Intern Group. Their intern abroad programs foster ambition, adventure, and an international mindset. With internships with leading companies, NGOs, governments across USA, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, both your resume and your expertise will get a serious boost.

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3. Connect-123

What part of the world is calling your name: Spain, Argentina, South Africa, Ireland, or China? Connect-123 prides itself on tailor made programs that match your personal requirements with the best fitting organization on the ground. From Spanish language immersion internships in Barcelona to finance internships in Shanghai, you’ll be getting an internship abroad that is dynamic and exceeds your academic expectations.

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4. Global Experiences

What do you get when you mix over 25 years of experience with multiple internship fields and year round open enrollment? An unequivocal intern abroad success! Between Global Experiences' stellar track record and the dozens of internships around the world to choose from, you’re practically guaranteed to grow personally and professionally.

african impact

5. African Impact

Have you been thinking of sharpening your skills on the African continent? African Impact offers projects in 11 African countries which are each managed in partnership with local communities. 

All projects operate with a responsible travel mandate to ensure positive impacts on the residents and deep cultural immersion for the interns.

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6. China Internship Placements (CIP)

Seasoned career coaches, entrepreneurial training, and international internships updated every eight months to keep up with the job market—getting an internship abroad with CIP sets you up for success! The organization has top notch collaborations with industry leaders from Wall Street to Silicon Valley who will guide your academic and professional interests. And you don’t have to be fluent in Mandarin as your supervisors will speak English. However, Chinese language classes are also offered if you’re down for that too!

[None Quite Right? Browse ALL Intern Abroad Programs]

Our best advice for telling parents you want to intern abroad

Gearing up for a summer internship abroad? Stressing about how to tell your parents about your impending six month internship abroad? Trust us, this is NOT a conversation you want to dive into unprepared for. Winging it will only make them even more apprehensive about your plans to find an internship abroad! So, here’s our tips for telling your parents your awesome plans and getting them sold on the news.

Go all in with passport

Don’t half-ass your decision to find an internship abroad.

1. Outline the benefits. 

Are your parents the type to likely freak out about you announcing your decision to intern abroad? Head into the convo with a list of all the ways interning abroad will help you in your life. Need some ideas? Bring up how you can get course credit, build professional skills, and make your resume shine. And definitely brag about how the time away from home ‘“adulting” will change you into a more mature student! 

2. Focus on career goals. 

One of the biggest concerns of parents with college-aged children is post graduate success. So, definitely explain to your parents how your internship abroad will directly help achieve your professional goals. Tell them how an international internship will boost your resume, give you hands on experience in your field, help you get a feel for your professional interests, and allow you to network with people who may be able to help you get a job down the line. As long as it means increasing your chances of future success, your parents will likely be game.

3. Show them the program and its reviews. 

Bring program literature, pamphlets, and website links for the best intern abroad programs and show these to your parents. Have them check out what your day to day schedule will be as an intern. And let them glance through those shiny photos, emotional intern testimonials, and easy to read details about your program to highlight all the amazing things you will be doing abroad.

4. Tell them in advance. 

Nothing annoys most parents more than last minute plans, especially if it has to do with their baby traveling overseas. Telling your parents at least six months (a year in advance would be even better) before you plan do international internships gives them time to wrap their heads around internship and plan their lives around it too. If you spring the news on them at the last hour, you’re asking for parental meltdown!

Young man doing a business internship abroad

First stop—abroad. Next stop—corner office.

5. Research financial aid info. 

Will you need financial assistance to cover your internship abroad? Be prepared to tell your parents the typical cost of the program and about options for paying the expenses. (Humbly asking your parents to pay for your internship abroad is a whole different beast, FYI). Chat with them about any paid internships abroad you’re considering. You might also want to consider a few free internships abroad too—all expense paid internships abroad exist too. Your parents will love you for these! 

Whether you’re thinking internship abroad scholarships, FAFSA, fundraising, or saving up with a part-time job, tell your parents how you plan to cover your study abroad. They’ll be impressed by your initiative and more likely to help you out with costs.

6. Address their safety concerns. 

For most parents, health and safety are the biggest fears surrounding their child going overseas involves safety. They want to know that you won’t be interning in a warzone or living overseas completely unsupervised and getting tipsy every night. That’s why it’s important to tell your parents about your internship program’s support staff and emergency plan that’s in place to keep you safe. Heading to a country where crime is an issue? Show your parents reflections from past interns who have had great experiences while interning in the same country to relax their worries. Bring some traveler safety stats to explain to your parents that with some basic travel smarts, your chances of being a victim of crime will probably be very low!

7. Sell them a vacation.

One easy way to get your parents excited? Remind them that they are long overdue for a vacay and that visiting you will be the perfect opportunity! Did you get an internship abroad in Zambia? Show them some photos of Victoria’s Falls to get them amped! When you find an internship abroad, play up the location! 

Indian woman

Talk about the cultural immersion benefits you’ll experience after getting an internship abroad

8. Have a stay in touch plan. 

Just because your summer internship abroad is three times zones away doesn’t mean you’ll be out of reach. Create a check-in schedule for your time overseas with your parents and stick with it. Something as simple as agreeing to Skype every Wednesday night is enough! You should also explain to them that they will have all the contact details for your 24/7 internship support staff. These simple steps will make them feel much more at ease.

9. Show them you’re trustworthy. 

If you’re sleeping in until twelve and barely passing your classes, your parents probably won’t feel comfortable with you moving overseas for a few months. Get a part-time gig, take on a volunteer project, and improve your grades to prove to them you’re responsible and capable for internships abroad. Show them you are mature now so they trust in your decision making skills while far away from home.

10. Set up a meeting with advisors, program staff, or alumni. 

If your parents are really feeling on edge about you interning abroad, ask them to meet people involved with your program. School advisors will do a great job of outlining all the reasons why interning abroad is fantastic. Program staff will give them much needed reassurance and put a face to the people who will be looking after their child. And a recent intern or someone else who has interned abroad will probably impress your parents and open their eyes to the powerful experience you’re going to have.

Now, your parents support your decision to intern abroad

Business ladies

Have robust professional goals in mind before asking your parents if you can do internships overseas.

Convincing mom and dad to let you do an internship abroad wasn’t so hard, right? Once your parents are down with your internship abroad, you can confidently move forward with your plans. As you continue to prepare for your internship, allow your parents to be involved in the process. Keep in mind that although they now support your choice, their worries and anxieties will likely increase as your departure day closes in. Including your parents in your planning process and over-communicating while you are overseas will keep them a lot calmer. And while they may shed a few tears at the airport, remember they’re also tears of joy at how proud they are of your epic decision to intern abroad! 

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Topics:  How to, Parents