12 Paid Summer Internships for College Students in 2018

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GoAbroad helps you learn how to find paid summer internships

So, you’re on the hunt of that elusive unicorn in the world of work experience: paid summer internships. People will say you’re crazy, they’ll say they don’t exist… but, guess what? Paid summer internships are out there! They’re competitive, but not impossible. With a little research, some hard work, and a killer application essay, you can snag one for yourself! 

We’re here to jumpstart that process for you—work smarter, not harder, right!? Here’s the lowdown on the current landscape for college internships, plus 10 specific paid summer internships for college students in 2018. None of those work for you? We also included a few tips to help you find some more. 💪

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Consider an internship abroad your boarding pass to the boardroom.

The secret to finding paid summer internships for college students

There are a number of different types of paid internships in the world, and not all of them will force you to live off of cups of ramen. Many organizations provide sizeable stipends that will allow you to survive (and thrive!) in your internship abroad. You can even find paid summer programs for college students, depending on how thorough your research and how far in advance you jump on your applications. Hint: the earlier, the better!

[Read the GoAbroad Top Travel Destinations Report for 2018]

While some internships are offered by academic institutions, others may be provided by government programs, international companies, or even small travel organizations. Here are just a few of those internships abroad that you can be rocking in 2018: 

Make it easy & use paid internship placement programs

There are organizations around the globe that exist simply to help connect YOU to profitable, meaningful work in other countries. When you sit down to sift through all of your paid summer internship options, give these folks a second (or third) look:

work placement italy

1. Placement Italy

What's that you say? A paid marketing & business development internship in Milan? YUP! Placement Italy's paid marketing internship is the perfect fit for communications students. Not only will you have the chance to explore magnificent Italy (ideally not only through your belly, but NP if that's the case), you will get your hands on significant marketing initiatives and projects—perfect for livening up the ol' resume. You don't need to speak Italian, but you do need to speak ROI, KPIs, campaigns, and analytics, if you catch our drift. 

Read more: 15 kickass marketing internships abroad (some paid)

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2. Cultural Homestay International

If you dream of improving your hospitality skills or knocking out some tourism class credits, look no further. Cultural Homestay International runs internships in Mexico (and Spain, truth be told) aimed at giving YOU the real-world experience necessary to launch an exciting, global hospitality career. 

The kicker? You need to know Spanish, be able to commit a minimum of two months, and have previous work experience in the hospitality industry. Small price to pay to earn those pesos or Euros, though!

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3. Premier TEFL

If you're an education major or simply want to gain the skills to teach English abroad someday, consider participating this summer in Premier TEFL's paid 3 month cultural ambassador and at-home tutor internship in China. You'll be based in one of China's heavy hitters (like Beijing or Shanghai), giving you ample access to both cultural immersion and modern amenities to accompany your summer in the far east. Your homestay means cheap living, amazing food, and REAL relationships with locals. You game? 

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4. Oyster Worldwide

Find paid seasonal work in a Canadian hotel with Oyster, an organization that specializes in short-term gap year and career break jobs. This position spans the full summer season—May through September—and is structured more as work experience rather than a pure internship. You'll still get the best training possible, though (complete with awkward office water cooler talk!). Check out this option if being in the great outdoors while also helping people have a safe and comfortable stay there sounds up your alley.

Check out top academic internships

If you’re looking to beef up your academic AND professional resume, these internship programs are just the ticket. Learning opportunities abound when you combine study and research with hands-on work abroad. These programs are usually fully funded, so not only are you not paying a program fee, but you’ll likely receive a stipend for participating. No need to do the math on that one, it’s a great deal! Show off your book smarts and your street smarts with these prestigious and rigorous programs. 

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5. Technical Internships with IAESTE

The IAESTE Internship Placement Program offers students who are studying subjects in the technical field with the opportunity for paid internships abroad in 2018 in over 80 countries. The program offers support for work visas and accommodations beforehand, as well as cultural excursions and networking opportunities once you arrive. 

As with most paid internships, this program is extremely competitive. With the technical field being such a large field with so many qualified applicants, this particular paid internship will be an especially difficult one to snag. Be sure to put a lot of effort and special care into your application, so that you stand out!

Read more: The World's Best Places to Intern in 2018

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6. The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is one of the most esteemed programs for those looking to gain experience abroad. Although there are many different kinds of Fulbright programs, ranging from grants for academic study, to financial support for work abroad, to paid teaching positions, all Fulbright programs include some kind of funding for its participants. The Fulbright Program is also known throughout the world, and is guaranteed to elevate your resume, making you a much more competitive candidate when applying for future jobs. 

I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but the Fulbright Program is one of the most exclusive programs out there, so get ready to compete with the best and brightest for a limited amount of available positions. 

[Get matched with internships for college students]

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What time is it? Time to ROCK paid summer internships for college students, and take on the world.

Go through governments

I’m sure you never thought a public service job could pay well, but you’d be surprised! If you’re looking for paid summer internships for college students, the best route to go is through the good ol’ gov. With federal and private funding, government internships can really be quite lucrative. However, that funding is still limited, meaning these internships are as competitive as they are prestigious. 

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7. U.S. Department of State Internship

There’s no better way to learn about what it’s like to work abroad in government than to...work abroad in government. The U.S. Department of State’s Internship Program offers students the incredible opportunity to intern abroad at a U.S. Embassy in a number of countries. This internship is technically unpaid; however, once you’ve applied and (obviously - because you’re a rockstar) been offered the internship, you can apply for the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship

This fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend for one intern at each embassy abroad, to fund their experience. It’s competitive, but the possibility of interning at a U.S. Embassy in another country is an incredible experience, and worth the hard work of applying!

Watch: How to make ANY internship an amazing experience

Go for paid summer internships for college students at multinational companies

Certain big, international companies offer internships not only in their domestic offices in the United States, but also in their international offices! Not only are these internships paid, but they often also include the potential for an offered, full-time position at the conclusion of the internship. Work experience and a guaranteed job after graduation? What could be better?!

The downside is, there aren’t a lot of these kinds of internships. Most of these companies offer internships in their home country, and only for domestic students. However, those companies that truly emphasize international collaboration will have a handful of high-profile and (are you seeing a pattern here?) competitive internships. 

goldman sachs

8. Goldman Sachs

Are you a fan of finance? Students and recent grads who are hoping to gain experience in the financial services industry can do so in a competitive international environment, with colleagues who are at the top of their game. Another plus: Goldman Sachs offers internships in pretty much every corner of the world. The Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East—they’re all up for grabs! 

Just make sure you have a polished resume and are really to compete with the best for a very limited number of positions. This is the sort of internship abroad that will set you apart in the your upcoming career search, marking you as a notable candidate for future employers. It will also equip you with incredible skills and give you the hookup when building your network of professional contacts.

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Hate to disappoint, but these highly competitive paid summer internships don’t include making coffee runs.

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9. H&M

For those with a passion for fashion, H&M’s business internship at its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. This amazing position gives interns a glimpse of how a multinational company operates, as well as offers the possibility for a permanent position after completion of the internship. It allows you to live and work in one of Europe's most premier cities, and gives you inside access to the production of one of our most basic necessities: clothes. Also, hopefully, free shoes. 

Read more: 15 best internships in Europe in 2018-2019

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10. Google

Welcome to the big leagues - if you’re ready to take your career prospects to the next level, consider an internship abroad in 2018 with Google abroad

Obviously, these are tough internships to get. You’re going to need to be on your A-game to snag one of these, but interning with Google while living in Dublin, Paris, or any other of Google’s international locations will definitively set you apart from other applicants in the future. It’s also a great way to network your way into a future job!

Read more: Incredible places for women to intern abroad this year

Consider alternative payment options for summer internships

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11. Weekend Student Adventures (WSA) Internship

Companies like Weekend Student Adventures (WSA) offer paid summer international internships for college students that don’t pay you in stipends, per se, but rather free weekend trips all around Europe, offered through their company! 

While studying abroad for a semester, you’ll also gain experience in writing, marketing, event-planning, and social media advertising through this internship, all the while earning some free, incredible trips in some of Europe’s most exciting cities.

Read more: Are unpaid internships worth it?

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12. GoAbroad Internships in the Philippines

Hey, that's us! 😊

If living in close proximity to gorgeous beaches and having the chance to drink fresh coconuts every day—all while working in one of Tacloban's coolest companies alongside incredibly kind and hardworking (and sing-songy) coworkers—sounds attractive to you, then get this: GoAbroad hires interns in our Philippines office on a rolling, regular basis. The package typically includes free airfare, your lunches during the work week, and housing. It might sound too good to be true, but it isn't! Inquire for available internships here.

[WATCH: How to Make Any Internship an AMAZING Experience]

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If your goal is that corner office, these paid summer internships for college students will help you get there.

Next steps for scoring paid summer internships for college students abroad

When researching paid internships, it can feel like a bit of a wild goose chase. After all, paid internships are (unfortunately) not very common in the United States or in many other parts of the world. It’s important when researching paid summer internships for college students to make sure that the program that provides the internships, and claims that they’re paid, is a verified source—in many countries, it can be illegal to pay interns, and you don’t want to accidentally participate in something illegal. 

However, if you work use your resources and do plenty of research, you can find paid internships to apply to! Here are a few tips:

  • If you’re looking for a customized helping hand to finding the perfect program, be sure to use GoAbroad’s Online Advisor, where you can fill out exactly what you’re looking for, and get advice on programs in return!
  • If you’re starting to narrow down your search between internship programs abroad, take advantage of MyGoAbroad, which you can use to compare programs side-by-side. 
  • Contact your university to see if they offer any official university internships abroad, or would maybe consider building a customized and school-approved internship just for you.
  • Check out these GoAbroad-approved tips on How to Get an Internship Abroad, from application tips to interview guides. 
  • If you can’t manage to find or successfully obtain a paid internship abroad, there are always scholarships or financial aid! You’d be surprised by how much funding is out there for students and recent graduates hoping to intern abroad. Even if you can’t get paid on your internship, you can at least have your experience nearly fully funded!
  • Download our ebook for more top tips on how to have a successful internship abroad.
  • Still feel like you want to know more about paid internships abroad? Here’s everything you could possibly want to know

Your secret to success? Paid internships for college students

man and woman in business attire shaking hands

Make lasting connections that will open the office doors to your successful career.

Summer or semester, your future career depends on your ability to snag internships—so why not make it a profitable learning AND financial venture for yourself? Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of finding a paid internship abroad! Although there aren’t many, they are out there, and as long as you’re a hard-working, competitive candidate, you’ll be boarding a plane to your incredible and life-changing work experience abroad.

You’ll be an office pro in no time, and this time learning the ways of the world in another country will prepare you for a successful future on the career path of your choice. 

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