In the span of just a few decades, computers have revolutionized the ways in which we interact with our world. Communication between any two points on the planet has become nearly instantaneous, making computer science one of the most globalized fields worldwide. Students looking for a career in the constantly changing world of computer science must always be up to date on technological breakthroughs, no matter where in the world they take place.Computer science internships abroad are the perfect way for students to break into the field and learn how other countries and cultures use technology to improve their daily lives.
Why Intern Abroad in Computer Science
Given how broad the field of computer science is, the enormous number of ways that computers are used every day around the world, and the highly competitive nature of many domestic internship placements, computer science internships abroad are becoming more and more valuable.
Code is universal, so the field of computer science tends to be very similar across languages and cultures. The hardware is essentially the same regardless of where on earth the device is used, and even programming languages tend to be similar, especially if the software is meant to be used in an international capacity.
All technological lingo, firewalls, viruses, and competition for advancements aside, computer science is an excellent field for international internships.
While computers are used just about everywhere in the world, the best locations for computer science internships abroad are generally in the developed world, where access to reliable, fast internet is more widespread. Below are just a few of the most common destinations for computer science internship abroad.
Ireland. A leader in fields like agriculture, internet technology, and trade based services, Ireland is a major player in the field of computer science, both in Europe and around the globe. With an economy driven by technology, Ireland is a natural choice for computer science internships abroad. Professional connections in Ireland can be life-long valuable assets, and can even lead to full-time job offers if living and working overseas is your long-term goal. A lackluster economy in recent years has left Ireland with some hard times, but an influx of young and talented technological specialists is needed to right the ship, and the Irish know it. Another pro for your pro-con list: no language barrier means that interns can get all of the resume perks of having interned in a foreign country without the stress of having to learn another language.
China. Perhaps the most fast-paced economic environment on the planet, China could just be the computer science dreamland. Businesses that are desperate to “make it big” in the emerging economy constantly demand well-trained computer science experts. Everything from software coding to web design is on the table when working for businesses in some of the largest metropolises in the world, like Beijing and Shanghai. Given the global nature of the business arena in China, language barriers may be less of an issue than most interns would anticipate, as English is quickly becoming the pervasive language of the global economy. For a more sure fire chance of working in an English speaking environment, interns should check out computer science internships in Hong Kong.
Mexico. The highly competitive nature of computer science internships in the United States can often be too stressful and cruel for many interns to take on. But, many students don’t realize that there is an entire market of mostly untapped, equally educational opportunities to intern abroad just south of the border. Mexico is home to hundreds of major businesses servicing both North and South America, and the technology departments of these businesses are always looking for fresh talent to keep their technological resources functioning and advancing. Spanish skills will likely be a necessity in many internship placements, but for anyone with a basic grasp of the language (and a solid appreciation of delicious Mexican food), Mexico can be an excellent choice for computer science internships abroad.
Computer Science Internships Abroad
While there is certainly a theoretical side to the field of computer science, the majority of theory is reserved for universities rather than private businesses. Hence, the business sector tends to host the largest number of computer science internships abroad, meaning interns will likely be placed within a company that is utilizing technology in some aspect of their daily business. International internships typically entail interns work on the more practical side of computer science.
Programming, software engineering, and web design, for example, are all common very common areas of focus for computer science internships abroad. Interns are often assigned to various projects being carried out within their host company, in which they are either solely responsible for the project’s completion or work in conjunction with other interns to complete the project. Additionally, a full time employee will frequently be assigned to pair up with interns to act as a mentor; mentors can serve as excellent professional contacts in the future, regardless of where on earth your computer science internship takes place.
Interns can expect to work primarily during normal business hours (aka. the good ol’ 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Generally speaking, computer science interns should have at least some experience in the field, which they will typically be required to obtain during the first two years of their undergraduate education. Therefore, computer science internships are encouraged during the final two years of degree programs for this reason. Programming skills in applicable computer languages, knowledge of computer parts and hardware, and a solid grasp of any software required for daily tasks will all be required, depending on the specific computer science internship. Consequently, the latter abilities are all excellent, marketable skills to feature on your resume when searching for computer science internships abroad.
Benefits & Challenges
Experience & Skills. In a field that is as globally connected as computer science, an internship anywhere in the world can only be a positive experience for any up and coming professional. Computer science internships abroad provide students with their first taste of professional life and adds a highly credible line to their resume. Computer science internships overseas will provide you with even more though, as it will show that you are able to adapt to new work environments.
Syntax Exposure. While computer code meant for internationally used software is typically constructed using English syntax, interns may also be asked to work on or with code intended for local use. Software being written for use within the country or within a specific business may need to be written using the local language. If this is the case, some basic language skills may be required, so interns should prepare themselves accordingly.
With so many businesses and industries today in need of computer science professionals, skills in the field are more desirable than ever! Computer science students would be crazy not to take advantage of this demand by opening themselves up to literally an entire world of internship opportunities and professional experience!