9 Best World Cities for Summer Internships Abroad

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When considering summer international internships, you might know the exact type of internship or field you’d like to work in. But when the world is your oyster, it can be difficult to decide in which international city to intern abroad. 

two girls smiling while interning abroad in the summer
Make memories, friends, and a dent in your professional bucket list during summer internships abroad!

So, let this list of the nine best cities for summer internships abroad be your global internships guide—just pick the place that's right for you, select a field of work to focus your internship on, and find the perfect program (you can get matched with a few here!) to help you make the experience of your dreams come true.

Top cities for summer internships abroad this year

9. Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain
Park Güell, Barcelona

If an internship in Spain is what you’re after, startups, sustainable architecture, and social media are just a few of the fields available in Barcelona. Its diverse economy and distinct culture set this capital of Cataluñya apart from other major cities in Spain. Wide boulevards, state-of-the-art buildings, and a stunning gothic cathedral offer something interesting to see or do at every turn. After spending the day at your internship in Barcelona, take a relaxing stroll along Las Ramblas and then sit down to some tapas and conversation!

8. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin internships allow you to further develop your professional skills and check things off of your bucket list. Try your hand at sports photography on the rugby or football pitch. Develop your CV by writing plays and designing costumes for one of Dublin’s major theatre companies. Accompany political party members to parliamentary meetings. You can even shape Dublin’s future, and your own, with an internship at a technology or marketing startup.

7. Berlin, Germany

girl in berlin interning abroad
Berlin is captivating—fall under its spell!

Gain valuable skills and develop your Lebenslauf (CV) with a summer internship in Germany! The capital of industry and government in Germany, Berlin offers internship opportunities that range from education to entrepreneurship to engineering (and everything in between). With the excellent transportation system, you’ll be able to get to your workplace in a snap via the U-Bahn. Internships in Berlin are sure to deliver rich professional and cultural experiences; with ample shandies within easy reach, Berlin makes a great destination summer international internships.

6. London, England

Union Flags lining a street in London, England
London - Union Flags

The possibilities are endless when it comes to summer internships in London. A capital city of more than 8 million people, London is the UK’s hub for any industry you can think of – finance, film, fine arts – you name it. With an extensive transportation system, your internship in London will be just a few hops away on the Tube. This also makes after-work shopping on Carnaby Street or theatre-going in the West End easily accessible, too!

5. Milan, Italy

Interested in business or fashion? Look no further—internships in Milan, Italy offer what you’re looking for. In Milan, you can spend the summer honing your craft at an atelier, in public relations at an international fashion house, or with a finance or marketing firm. Don’t forget Milan’s other great export – food. Imagine a summer internship with an exporter of gourmet products where it’s your job to ensure the rest of the world gets their share of fine Italian cuisine —mangia!

4. Rome, Italy

gelato in italy
Summer internships abroad in Italy mean daily gelato to unwind from a long day!

Another powerhouse in Italy makes our list of best cities for summer internships abroad. Intern abroad in the Eternal City! Summer internships in Rome offer a breadth of unique experiences, from coding with a tech firm at a startup incubator to handling antiquities at a cultural foundation housed in a 17th century villa. Take in the scenery of the Vatican or the Coliseum on your daily commute or lounge on the grand steps on the Piazza di Spagna with Italian university students after work.

3. Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China skyline
Shanghai Skyline

Secure an international internship in the financial hub and largest city in China –Shanghai. This thoroughly modern city features a heavy influence from Western culture, architecture, and business (exemplified in the French Concession, a popular tourist area). Find Shanghai internships in engineering, economics, and education, among many other fields and industries. 

2. Santiago, Chile 

Santiago, Chile City skyline
Santiago Skyline

A summer internship in Santiago, Chile, is the perfect way to gain experience in education, health, business, and government—though these are just a few of the fields Santiago has to offer. Home to more than 6 million people, Santiago is the economic, political, and cultural capital of Chile. In addition to the bustling downtown, the city is flanked by the Andes and the Chilean Coastal mountains on both sides, and an easy drive to the Pacific coast.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

study abroad in rio
It may their winter, but Rio is still hot hot hot!

Buy your very own pair of Havaianas and immediately put them to good use! Summer international internships in Brazil's vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro will do anything but disappoint. With a variety of internship fields beckoning international students—not to mention a buzzing economy chock full of opportunity—it's up to YOU, future CEO in training, to make the most of this incredible experience. Take full advantage of the #1 destination for best cities for summer internships abroad!

Next steps to summer international internships

Don't pack your sunblock juuuust yet. There are a few items on your internship to do list you should check off first.

  • Decide where to go. Give that world map a good-hard look and figure out where you want to call "home" during this adventure of a lifetime.

  • What type of internship do you want? There are plenty of different types of internships to be had abroad, it's just a matter of YOU deciding which field of study/experience you want to pursue.

  • Choose from the best intern abroad programs. Pay attention to past participants’ reviews, program/job reputation, location, and your ease of getting settled. Some providers may even provide contact info for past interns if you want the REAL dirt. Here's more advice on how to find the perfect program provider for you. Pro tip: You can use MyGoAbroad to compare programs side-by-side.

  • Plan your finances.  Sort out your on-going funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge in travel (in addition to program costs and airfare). Do your research to have an idea of how much your day-to-day life in Spain will cost, and get to work on learning how to pay for your international internship.

  • Get prepared. Preparing to intern abroad is as fun as it sounds. With the days til departure number dwindling and your excitement boiling, it can be easy to overlook the details. Lean on us to help guide you through your pre-departure process—that's what we're here for.

You're ready for summer internships abroad

Sitting around and doing nothing with your summer is so yesterday. Instead, use your time off to pad your resume with incredible work experience and new skills that future companies could never say "no" to. Summer international internships are the perfect antidote to lazy, wasted days. Improve your future job prospects—and your tan—with summer internships abroad.

Find the Summer Internship of Your Dreams Now!

This article was contributed by IES Internships, a unit of IES Abroad. Though IES Abroad was founded in 1950, IES Internships was developed in 2013 to further expand international opportunities. Browse all of IES Internships summer placement opportunities now.

Topic:  Top Destinations