While some of us enter the new school year going back to campus, others are beginning their first dive into the professional world by interning with tech companies in Senegal and coordinating events for Fortune 500 companies in Belgium. The best part about it? They’re getting paid for it!
Why choose to scroll down Instagram feeds of endless travel pictures when YOU could be the one out there fulfilling your bucket list goals (while boosting up that resume)? Lucky for you, there are several options available to explore the world through paid internships abroad for college students and beyond.
Read on to find the most comprehensive of the crazy-awesome paid internships abroad for 2019 and start your professional life the right way.
Paid internships abroad FAQs
Are there such things as “free internships abroad?”
Everything at one point or another has a price. When researching internships abroad, always double check the fine print in the posting, and make sure to ask the right questions during the interview. Usually an internship abroad will not cover all of your expenses. You may be compensated for travel, meal stipends, and subsidized living arrangements, but for the most part you cannot expect to live solely off of these benefits.
Internship abroad scholarships can help offset your costs, and figuring out how to pay for interning abroad will do you wonders. Tricks like budgeting, saving money, and having some side hustles will allow you to enrich your resume with an international experience that doesn’t leave you in financial ruin. Truthfully, “free” internships abroad are like unicorns—we all want ‘em, but they’re basically not out there… Paid ones though? Yup, we gotchu!
What should I know before finding paid internships abroad?
So you have the eyes on that dream internship, but if you don’t do your homework the dream will quickly become a nightmare. Here are some tips to have an internship abroad become YOUR reality:
Research: Know where you are going, what the company does, and what you have to do to get to the country. Check out websites, such as GoAbroad.com, which offer directories, details, and reviews of internships abroad. Check out the company’s online presence as well. While the majority of postings for internships abroad are legitimate, there are still some ne'er do wells looking to swindle naive applicants. Check and double check the authenticity of the organization before giving any personal information. Also double check immigration information. Paid internships abroad for college students are especially popular, but there’s some for everyone.
Depending on the internship, length of stay, and the bacteria in the country, you maybe have to set up some appointments at consulates and doctor’s offices before you can grab fresh coffees in Java.
Communicate: Another great thing to do is ask to speak with a former or current intern. They’ve been in your shoes and sometimes can give you a more honest viewpoint of the internship than other employees would. They can tell you if you will really be helping take care of sloths in Costa Rica, or taking care of tedious paperwork instead.
Does the company come through on the benefits they promise in the interview, or is it a trip around the world to be doing what you could have done across the street? While this could make you disillusioned, it will save you the trouble of being disappointed and in a miserable internship.
Does the “paid” in “paid internships abroad” have to mean physical dollars?
A tricky question, but if you’re looking for your internship abroad to come back with a profit, perhaps you should look for a domestic internship. While the posting could state the internship is paid, getting a paycheck is highly doubtful. You could be paid in terms of stipends to cover living expenses, subsidized housing, or a stipend that will cover your living expenses. It isn’t a paycheck, but such gains could slash your expense budgets significantly.
Another thing to consider is the size and outreach of the organization. Paid internships abroad at an international branch of a tech firm are more likely to have better benefits than a non-profit organization in a developing country. While the physical pay may be lacking for your internship abroad, the emotional, professional, and benefits of the experience will help you in your future professional life.
[Watch this: How to Make Any Internship Abroad an AMAZING Experience]
Paid internships abroad for college students
So many places and not enough you’s! Check out some popular places where previous interns have thrived.
Yupp you read that right. An internship at a SKI RESORT could be yours for the taking! Get paid to ski everyday in knee deep Jap pow and finish off your day with a warm bowl of egg ramen. You will be trained, qualified and will start working all in one season—while improving your skiing by learning from world class trainers! You’ll also receive a competitive salary, tips, accommodation, and even a possible job offer! It doesn’t get better than that.
- Where: Japan
- Sector: Skiing, Tourism
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in Japan
Righty-o, career-minded young folks! Step right up to find paid internships in London, one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan world cities at your fingertips. These internships tend to be competitive and don’t always provide large enough stipends to cost your general cost of £iving. However, every pound helps (except when it comes to fish and chips).
- Where: England
- Sector: Marketing, Fashion
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in England
The laid back vibes, tasty wine, and carb-loaded diets will be the cannoli on top of your fabulous marketing internship. It’s unlikely you’ll have to fetch coffee, but even if you do at least it will be legit espresso and cortados rather than grande caramel macchiatos.
Paid internships in Italy range from fashion and business to tourism and banking. With Placement Italy, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a dynamic startup, where you will create presentations and provide support to senior managers as they deal with clients. This paid position will even give you the chance to land a permanent job at the end of the program. Apply today and start practicing your Italian.
- Where: Italy
- Sector: Marketing, Advertising, PR
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in Italy
Develop your network AND your guanxi with paid internships in China. As the “it” girl of globalization, the opportunities for internships are as plentiful as the noodle bowls. LoPair will give you the opportunity to work with children while giving you a monthly stipend of 1500 RMB per month along with a completion bonus! Change some lives while gaining meaningful experience in Shanghai.
- Where: China
- Sector: Education, English Teaching, Childcare
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in China
Paid summer internships abroad
Live out your ultimate summer fantasies with an internship abroad! Soak up some sun and let your personality shine across borders. If that doesn’t convince you, let us say it louder for the people in the back—paid summer internships abroad are REAL.
Find paid seasonal work in a Canadian hotel with Oyster! This position spans the full summer season from May through September, however it’s structured more as work experience rather than a pure internship. Don’t worry though, you’ll still get the best training possible complete with Canadian Bacon and maple syrup! Expected to get paid starting at $12 Canadian dollars per hour and every two weeks (with Accommodation averaging $10 CAD per night).
Check out this option if you enjoy the great outdoors being in the great outdoors while also helping people have a safe and comfortable stay there sounds up your alley.
- Where: Canada
- Sector: Hospitality, Tourism
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in Canada
6. Feel the heat with Culinary & Hospitality internships by Cultural Homestay International in Mexico
Have a passion for culinary art, helping others, and authentic tacos? Well then get your passport and sunscreen ready because Mexico is THE place for your international internship! Cultural Homestay International will provide you with experience in Riviera Maya and Cuernavaca and are particularly paid internships abroad for college students (perfect for those who need credit to graduate).
However, you do need to know some Spanish and be able to commit a minimum of two months. Nothing you can’t handle though!
- Where: Mexico
- Sector: Culinary Arts
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in Mexico
Ahh, the smell of fresh baguettes, chocolate macaroons, and crisp euros will greet you every day when you intern in Paris. Study Abroad in Europe kills the game with providing paid internships by companies ranging from high-tech start-ups to multinationals and NGOs.
Paid summer internships here can range from 4, 8, to 12 weeks. Students will get paid approximately 500 to 600 Euro per months and will have help in arranging accommodation. Even better, you can choose from a variety of fields that include sales, marketing, communications, PR, fashion, art, law and more!
- Where: France
- Sector: PR, Fashion, Business, Marketing
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in France
Paid internships abroad for graduates & recent graduates
If you find yourself without the security blanket of the ivory tower of academia and want to avoid the real world, there are still some options to gain some professional experience abroad.
Don’t leave your yellow legal pad at home — pack it right next to your passport as you seek out paid internships abroad for recent graduates in India. Pave Internships is looking for law students and graduates who show commercial awareness and a will to succeed. A stipend will be provided and you’ll have the opportunity to learn international legal principles and practices.
From testing the waters with a new field (human rights, maybe?) or diving deeper into your preferred focus, law internships in Bangalore will make you an Amicus Curiae in no time (and let’s not forget to mention all the curry you can eat—or handle)!
- Where: India
- Sector: Journalism, Writing
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in India
There’s no better way to spend your post-college days than in the land of kangaroos, meat pies, and Tim-Tams. Alliance Abroad offers an incredible 6-12 month internship/work experience in Australia. The best part is that your pay will begin at $17.70 AUD and additional pay for weekends/holiday. (Paid Internships abroad for graduates really do exist!)
Alliance Abroad guarantees internship placement in the fields of business administration, event planning, videography, graphic design, marketing, program coordination, sales or social media! Eliminate the stress of finding a job after college and let Alliance Abroad arrange everything—the perfect option for paid internships abroad for recent graduates.
- Where: Australia
- Sector: Business Administration, Graphic Design, Sales, Marketing
- See ALL unpaid & paid internships in Australia
Unpaid internships abroad—Are they really all that bad?
Of course you should consider unpaid internships abroad! Most unpaid internships will offer college credit which could help bring next semester’s tuition costs down. Some unpaid internships will still provide the benefits of subsidized housing and food that some of the “paid” internships offer.
Some programs also provide to take care of many services for you for a fee. So instead of wasting hours on end on researching for an internship that may not exist, a professional organization could have set you up with an internship in a country of your choice for the time you want to stay, with proper benefits, and in the sector of your choice. This is another option to consider while you search for an internship abroad.
There are also more opportunities for unpaid internships abroad than paid internships. It will still be a great experience that will make your résumé stand out, open you to international opportunities, and be the starting off point to further paid international opportunities. So while you may not get the compensation you originally envisioned, with some recalculating, budgeting, and willing to rough it a little more, an unpaid internship abroad would leave you in the same financial standing as some paid internships abroad would.
So, I really can’t find all expense paid internships abroad, huh?
Alas, you searched for that dream internship abroad where everything would be all inclusive and you’d come home with a wallet busting with foreign currency and found nothing. If you were only looking for the money abroad, then your search was foolish from the start. Don’t fret, here are some tips to keep that paid internship abroad dream alive:
- Back to the Drawing Board: If you are serious about having your internship be international, your previous research can still serve you in finding a new internship. Maybe take a chance on a great internship you found but they didn’t cover all expenses, or give a chance on the unpaid internship you found in the country you wanted to be in. The main goal of the internship is to gain experience, not money. A few months of financial sacrifice could lead to better opportunities for years on end. Just because how your quest doesn’t turn out how you originally envisioned it doesn’t mean you should toss the dream away.
- Sacrifice: Since you can’t bank on your salary to pay for every night out, now you have to rethink your costs of living. A few minutes of math at home will be the difference between a great experience that doesn’t damage your wallet, to adding to debt mountain, especially if you’re a recent grad! Pinch the pennies, don’t spend your free time trying out every restaurant and watering hole in the area, and being a little Spartan abroad can also help with life lessons of how to balance your budget, and knowing the lifestyle you can maintain from your job.
- Be Professional: A lesson you will need to learn in the real world is that while you have earned or about to earn a fancy piece of paper in academia, you will still be at the bottom of professional organizations. While you are being selected for a great opportunity, remember to be respectful of it. Plus this is the start of your professional career. You will need to present yourself in a manner that will make your employers take positive note. Such an internship can lead to a great recommendation for your next job, maybe even continuing your work as a full time employee, or it could be a false step that means you will have to start over from scratch after spending time, effort, and money to make your internship possible.
Paid internships abroad are up for grabs—will YOU be their next hire?
While the possibilities of a fully paid internships abroad remain elusive, this only means you have to prepare more to make the most of the opportunity. By researching the benefits of internship programs, an internship that can cover living expenses, travel, or provide a stipend can offer you more in personal and professional growth than a few extra dollars in your pocket. An internship should be a bridge to your real career goals. Keep that in mind, and you will see that your growth of professional experience is a long game.