Top 10 Destinations for Internships Abroad in 2018

by Published

Interning abroad can pave the way to a lifelong international career that eventually inspires Jay-Z to name a song after you. We’re not making this up.

The famed fashion designer, film director, and screenwriter, Tom Ford, studied interior architecture before relocated to Italy and going on to save Gucci from financial ruin in the 90s, establishing his own fashion line, and eventually diversifying into the film industry. His name was further immortalized into popular culture when Jay-Z released a song with titled “Tom Ford”. Not a shabby life!

What catalyzed this whole series of successes and launched Tom Ford into the worldwide fashion spotlight? It all began with an awesome internship at the luxury fashion label, Chloé, in France during his college days.

Top 10 Destinations for Internships Abroad in 2018

Completing an internship halfway around the world allows you to forge international connections, build global prestige, and discover a new perspective on any given field that will bedazzle your resume and jumpstart a cross-border career. The presence of multinational companies isn’t confined within national borders, so why should you limit yourself to the opportunities back home?

Our top 10 destinations for internships abroad in 2018 will turn up that inspirational flame to help you get your career and intrepid aspiration off the backburner!

1. Germany

Lake with canoes on shore
Hintersee in Ramsau, Germany

As the industrial powerhouse and economic pillar of the European Union, Germany is one of the big boys for internship programs abroad in the automotive industry, finance, journalism, and STEM. Home to the autobahn, birthplace of the modern car, and headquarters to automotive giants like BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz, it’s no wonder car enthusiast race over to Germany for some of the top internships in the field.

Pros:

Considering Germany’s politically and economically stable condition as being a well-developed Western European country, the cost of living is quite reasonable. If you play your cards right, your groceries will cost a fraction of what they do back home.

Cons:

Formalities and mountains of bureaucratic paperwork can make workplace culture seem uptight and difficult to get used to. Even if you’re still calling your coworkers Herr Schmidt or Frau Müller six months down the road, it doesn’t mean you’re disliked and being kept distant.

Notably Amazing Internships:

2. India

Women wearing sarees
India

With a blossoming economy and a massive population to match, India is an exciting up-and-coming destination for awesome internships abroad that will be sure to teach a thing or two about a dynamic, emerging markets. From the snowy summits of the Himalayas to the southern city of Thiruvananthapuram (that’s not a typo), you can expect to find rewarding internships in information technology, social work, or public health.

Pros:

All the linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity in India means you get to participate in some pretty amazing colorful celebrations and eat mouthwateringly flavor-packed foods.

Cons:

Depending on where you’re completing an internship in India, some modern amenities such as A/C or washer machines may be absent. Every day chores can take longer to do, so there are no excuses for laziness!

Notably Amazing Internships:

3. China

Crowded street in China
Shanghai, China

Kickstart your global career in one of the megacities of the Middle Kingdom, where you’ll find a rapidly evolving economy leading the world in various industries and financial power. Home to the colossal internet retailer, Alibaba, China also boasts countless other business giants that provide plenty of opportunities to complete internships in business, technology, and finance.

Pros:

With the largest population on the planet comes an unfathomably vast ocean of culture, food, and history into which to plunge. One of the world’s top economies is another bonus reason to intern in China.

Cons:

While your internship and office may be conveniently operated in English, don’t expect the outside world to be at all understandable. Apart from learning one of the most difficult languages, dealing with a wholly foreign alphabet can be an obstacle that makes the simplest errand daunting.

Notably Amazing Internships:

4. Costa Rica

Monkey in a hammock
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s green landscape is lush with opportunities to intern in sustainability and environmental conservation. Government-backed programs and well planned environmental policies make Costa Rica a model for sustainability that have generated a flourishing ecotourism industry. Besides a blissful year-round climate and sloth colonies, you’ll find a laidback pace of life and welcoming coworkers while interning in Costa Rica.

Pros:

An ideal climate makes packing a piece of Costa Rican flan (which is, by the way, delicious). Leaving out cold weather gear leaves plenty of room in your suitcase to bring back fresh coffee beans and a hand woven hammock. 

Cons:

Costa Rica is a wildly popular choice with tourists and expats looking for a safe and affordable location to settle down in or explore. The gringo disadvantage means you may face blown up prices in touristy areas or be treated as a visitor even if you’re there to work.

Notably Amazing Internships:

5. Italy

People in masks during carnival
Venice, Italy

Fulfill your dreams of driving to work on a Vespa and eating a lifetime’s supply of handmade noodles for lunch that will melt in your mouth, all while lathered with Nonna’s love-infused tomato sauce. While the first part is a bit unrealistic, you are guaranteed to live la dolce vita as you live and work in Italy as an intern in the arts, architecture, or fashion.

Pros:

Trace the development of the Western world in a country bursting with Roman ruins, painstakingly detailed Renaissance art, and great modern contributions like the pizza.

Cons:

Italians don’t have the greatest reputation for their fluency in other languages. If you really want to commit to Italian immersion, pick up as much of the language as you can before starting your awesome internship.

Notably Amazing Internships:

6. Singapore

Man jumping in a pool
Singapore

What do you get when you throw a portion of every Asian country and a dash of the rest of the world into one tiny island city-state? A colorful global fusion filled with unique attractions and curiously diverse districts called Singapore! Interning in Singapore gives you the chance to gain experience in the cultural melting pot and global commerce leader of the East.

Pros:

Sure, English may be one of the dominant languages in Singapore, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up the special Singaporean dialect known as Singlish from your coworkers. Learn a secret slangy language that will confuse everyone back home.

Cons:

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in Asia, which can make an unpaid internship in the Singapore a budget squeeze.

Notably Amazing Internships:

7. Canada

cabin in the woods
Lac la Hache, Canada

This big guy is often brushed aside when thinking about “internships abroad” and written off as just a colder, friendlier version of the United States. Not only does each province proudly own its unique characteristics, but Quebec even gives interns a chance to pursue French proficiency without the pricey transatlantic flight to France. An advanced economy coupled with a pristine frontier give way to a diverse mix of opportunities to intern in Canada.

Pros:

There’s good reason Americans always threaten to immigrate to Canada during every presidential race. Great healthcare, a diverse economy, and maple syrup just scratch the surface. Test the Canadian waters as an intern before the next election comes around!

Cons:

Stock up on warm knitted toques (Canadian for beanie), because winters in Canada outside of warmer British Columbia mean months of snow shoveling and shivering.

Notably Amazing Internships:

8. Australia

Kangaroo jumping
Brisbane, Australia

Where else can you intern in a country surrounded by 22,293 miles of coastline and a temperate, pleasant climate year-round? We’ll give you a hint: It’s Australia. Interning abroad in Australia means you can load up on those Tim Tams and Vegemite for breakfast before setting out for a rewarding day interning in ecotourism, environmental conservation, or business. Australia also offers heaps of awesome internships in film, stemming from a cultural appreciation for the arts and theater.

Pros:

Active interns and outdoor enthusiast will rejoice to find that a warmer climate even during the winter months allows for year-round sports and activities.

Cons:

The high minimum wage in Australia offsets an equally high cost of living. However, if you land an unpaid internship, we suggest monitoring spending and avoid eating out frequently before it’s too late!

Notably Amazing Internships:

9. Ireland

Pub in Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Jagged, rocky coastlines and ancient castle ruins in a country that resembles a giant island golf course of green pastures—what better backdrop to an internship abroad than Ireland? City slickers will find dynamic internship opportunities in Dublin or Cork in several business-related fields. For those dreaming of the quiet pastoral lifestyle, consider placements in education or healthcare in the countryside.

Pros:

When you research your dream internship programs abroad in Ireland, keep an eye out for programs that offer college credit. It’s a great way to complete a semester or year-long internship while also staying on track academically.

Cons:

Pubs and social drinking are tightly woven into the cultural fabric of Ireland as the main gathering point for social interactions. Those opposed to alcohol might have trouble finding “dry” alternatives for meeting with Irish coworkers and friends.

Notably Amazing Internships:

10. England

Double-decker buses and Union Jacks on a street
London, England

You’ve read all the literature in school, seen the countless pictures of your friends popping out of red telephone booths on social media, and wondered just what all the rage over England is about. Whether it’s for the bewitching accents or the idea of afternoon tea, come to England for internship programs abroad and discover the attraction for yourself. Working side-by-side with Brits will give you an exclusive look that will answer any question you’ve ever had about England.   

Pros:

There was a time when high society and posh mansion gardens were reserved to a select elite. Now us plebeian can enjoy fine English theatre, tour stately homes, and all the other artistic contributions England has given the world.

Cons:

The inflated tourist prices coupled with an overall more expensive currency than the US dollar make London and other popular cities more expensive than what an unpaid intern might like.

Notably Amazing Internships:

Whether you’re trying to get your foot in the door of a dream industry or just testing out new waters, completing internship programs abroad exposes you to a world’s worth of professional experience and cultural know-how. Even short-term internships squeezed into winter or summer vacation can bring about the same life changing benefits. Make 2018 your year: Work hard, travel hard! 

Intern Abroad Scholarships Spring, Summer, & Fall 2018 

PSST! Don’t forget the free money! You didn’t think we would let you leave without mentioning some stellar ways to fund internship programs abroad, did you? Regardless of if you land a rewarding unpaid position or an internship placement that provides a little monetary cushion, extra cash never hurts.

After getting familiar with some background and timeline information on internship scholarships, check out these amazing opportunities to help fund your accommodations, food, and travels abroad:

Browse tons more intern abroad scholarships here!