True or False? Mid-career professionals or people who’ve been out of the workforce for awhile can’t participate in internships—let alone internships abroad.
False. So. False. False, false, false. The falsest of the false.
Internships are no longer just an option for privileged teens and desperate college students trying to pad their resumes with work experience. Honestly, for anyone who’s been out of the workforce a while, a “returnship”—internships for career changers or adults over 40—is a second chance at reinventing yourself and your career. Still not quite convinced?
Read on to learn why interning as an adult, career changer, non student, 40+ individual abroad is not only an option, it’s a really really really good option (+ the top internships for adults right now!).
Why consider internships for non students / adults, let alone internships abroad?
You should consider internships for adults abroad for the same reasons we think those desperate college students should participate in internships abroad. Not only will you get invaluable professional experience, but the added challenge of navigating a new culture and intercultural relationships in the workplace will only make you better.
You left the workforce to raise a family, and now you’re ready to jump back in. It’s a tale as old as time. You stopped working full-time to raise a family, but now the kids are grown and off participating in cool experiences in college or abroad and you’re like—uhm, what about me? Rather than be that stereotypical empty-nester or spending your day on a golf course, you want to get back in the game! Why should the kids have all the fun and professional development? You’ve got a lot to offer organizations around the world, so let your life experience do the talking and apply for internships for adults abroad.
You want to pursue something different—something you’re passionate about. The days of 30+ years at the same company, in the same field, or with the same job description are soon to be behind us and you’re ready for something new. Whether you’re a banker who’s always wanted to work with kids, a teacher wanting to get involved with grassroots human rights organizations, or working in any number of professions, but wanting to work in conservation, there are international internships for adults who would benefit from your experience.
Top internships for adults around the world
No matter your timeline, previous work experience, or future career goals, these international internships
Flexible and affordable are the names of the game. You can intern for as little as two weeks or up to a full year and Intern Abroad HQ will place you with a company that perfectly matches your interests, current skills, and career goals.
The program in Dublin specifically has internships for adults in marketing and public relations, tourism, and hospitality. Interns live with a homestay, which keeps costs low and cultural immersion at an all-time high. Plus, Intern Abroad HQ’s guided reflection course means you get the time and space for personal and professional development while putting your future employability through the roof. It’s what makes this one of the best internships for career changers or anyone getting back in the game after a long time out of the workforce.
- Where? Dublin, Ireland
- More info: Read Intern Abroad HQ reviews
Are you looking for internships for adults over 40 as a total and complete gamechanger? This Micro business internship with Maximo Nivel could be just the ticket. If you have previous experience in business you’ll be able to take that knowledge and applying it to business practices in the developing world while beefing up your Spanish business vocab.
These micro business placements are usually in small, local companies and focused on marketing, sales and client service, or accounting. A good handle on Spanish is required to be effective in this international internship, but don’t worry! If your Spanish language skills are not quite there yet and you want to improve, Maximo Nivel offers online Spanish classes and our Native Spanish Program to help you get there.
- Where? Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru
- More info: Read Maximo Nivel reviews
Score sweet as internships for non students and career-changing adults in New Zealand with ELI Abroad. Up your resume game with international experience that will put a little extra shine on your previous years in your chosen field—whether you choose to stay in it or not!
If you’re serious about your future and making a change, ELI Abroad has seriously great opportunities for you. Most fields are possible, and they’ll place you with the right internship to fit your needs. Along with the perfect placement you’ll receive in-country support, accommodation, and scheduled social events with fellow interns. Not to mention the entire Land of the Long White Cloud to explore on weekends off!
- Where? Auckland, Wellington
- More info: Read ELI Abroad reviews
Connect-123 is all about tailor-made programs, which is great with your wealth of experience. You won’t be bored and you will get exactly what you need out of the program. Programs are run in six different international locales: Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Shanghai, Dublin, Sydney, or Barcelona.
Because you get a custom experience, these are perfect international internships for adults looking to fill resume gaps and start a new career. Take a pick of fields from A to Z: Accounting to Zoology and everything in between. Start dates and durations are flexible, so you can plan around your busy schedule and your family won’t miss you at Thanksgiving dinner.
- Where? Argentina, Australia, China, Ireland, South Africa, and Spain
- More info: Read Connect-123 reviews
Adults looking to start up in a new career should look no further than these full-time internships for adults in one of Europe’s startup capitals. That job market is competitive, but placements with Absolute Internship will help you stand out and reach your new career goals across 30+ fields. Graphic Design, Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, Marketing/PR, Business, or Tourism—take your pick. As part of your program, you’ll get plenty of individual professional development with company visits, career speaker events, and career workshops in addition to a wealth of cultural activities, day trips, and weekend excursions to help you gain valuable industry insights and explore Barcelona's history.
- Where? Barcelona, Spain
- More info: Read Absolute Internship reviews
Great internships for non students abroad
You’ve got your degrees and you’re not looking to get academic credit. These are some of the best internships for non students around the world. That doesn’t mean you won’t still learn a lot, so get ready!
Not only is this one of the most affordable internships for non students (a huge plus), but interning with one of the top volunteer organizations means you get the benefit of all that experience and knowledge from the company’s sustainable travel experts.
If you’re looking to gain work experience in conservation and marine biology, GoEco has got you covered with their international internships for adults. Show that old teacher who told you to be “realistic” how realistic you can be now. With programs on every continent, you have your pick of places to explore.
- Where? Everywhere! Pick a continent.
- More info: Read GoEco reviews
With so many European headquarters of tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, it’s no wonder they call Dublin the “Silicon Valley” of Europe. Whether you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or just work for him, The Intern Group offers successful applicants (of all ages and experience levels) the chance to gain invaluable professional experience in a dynamic European city.
But, it’s not just for computer science nerds. The Intern Group can place you with one of their partner organizations across any field you’re interested in getting professional experience in. We’ll raise a pint to that!
- Where? Dublin, Ireland
- More info: Read Intern Group reviews
Perfect internships for career changers and adults over 40
Whether you’re looking for a complete and total career change or just a change of scenery, these internships for career changers and adults over 40 will give you exactly what you need.
Have you got decades of education experience under your belt? No? Just passionate about education and hoping to break into the field and try something new? Well, either way this education internship in South Africa with VACorps is just the ticket.
You’ll work as a supporting student teacher at a South Africa school. If you are interested in pursuing a career in education, getting that crucial classroom time under the supervision of a qualified teacher will be invaluable. Teaching internships for adults over 40 in Cape Town offer the ideal opportunity to gain practical international teaching experience while engaging South Africa’s spectacular culture.
- Where? Cape Town, South Africa
- More info: Read VACorps reviews
CISAbroad offers great internships for career changers in business, education, and communication with the backdrop of Buenos Aires—the Paris of South America. You could find yourself working with large international companies or smaller entrepreneurial businesses. The city itself is always moving, with millions of people working, eating, and having fun into all hours of the morning. So, it’s an exciting place to start your career change.
While the Argentine accent takes a little getting used to—even with a base level of Spanish—the great city of Buenos Aires is easy for anyone to love. Explore many of the city's parks, learn to tango, and sip “mate" as you soak up all that the city and your internship has to offer.
- Where? Buenos Aires, Argentina
- More info: Read CISabroad reviews
Nestled perfectly in Southeast Asia, Thailand quickly became a hotspot for businesses to settle in and travelers to backpack through. As a fast-growing and highly internationalized market, it is a perfect place for professionals of any age to develop their skills set and help develop their career path.
Asia Internship Program makes it easier for you to find the right internships for adults over 40 in Thailand. As you continue to build on your career foundation and move forward, AIP will place you with one of their partner organization, giving you plenty of opportunities to rebuild your resume, network, network, network, and explore a new career in business.
- Where? Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, or Phuket
- More info: Read Asia Internship Program reviews
Best summer internships for adults
Summer internships aren’t just for those desperate college students anymore. These summer internships for adults will give you a taste of life abroad and a new career without the daunting long term commitment of a three to six month, or even a year long program.
Event management is the perfect field for summer internships for adults. With seasonal, cultural, and international events that occur throughout the year, interns are sure to keep busy with their internship program and may even get to plan multiple events over the course of their internships. Whether you’re more interested in the creative or the corporate, these internships for adults are all about being involved with most stages of event planning; from conception, and promotion to event coordination. All with the Australian Outback or the Great Barrier Reef just a stone’s throw away.
- Where? Melbourne or Sydney, Australia
- More info: Read World Internship reviews
CAPA's Shanghai summer internships for adults offer courses that take you outside of the classroom to help you make the most of your time abroad. The program is housed at East China Normal University (ECNU), a world-renowned research university known for its beautiful campus scenes with gardens, canals, bridges, and lots of open space. The internship offers options for combining contextual courses with optional Mandarin language courses, so you can choose the way you want to experience Shanghai.
In addition to those contextual classes, you will take part in a full-time or part-time internship in either English or Mandarin. With an extensive network of internship sites, placements will be available in many different fields. CAPA's summer internships for adults will help you build professional skills and gain perspective as you engage a network of international contacts in your field.
- Where? Shanghai, China
- More info: Read CAPA reviews
Interested in exploring a new career in human rights and advocacy? Summer internships for adults with Projects Abroad in Tanzania give you the opportunity to work alongside a respected humanitarian organization while gaining direct experience in human rights in practice.
You’ll work closely with an independent NGO that strives to impact the lives of those who are most vulnerable, working directly with the local communities assessing their needs, and putting strategies in place in order to overcome difficulties in the areas of education, community health, counseling, legal aid, and socio-economic empowerment.
- Where? Arusha, Tanzania
- More info: Read Projects Abroad Reviews
International internships for adults are the next big thang
So get out there and explore roads previously not taken! With our careers extending longer and longer, there’s no need to stick with the same ol’ same ol’. If there are fields you want to explore and places you still want to discover, internships for adults abroad is how you’ll get your foot in the right door.