Development Internships Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Development Internships Abroad

All over the world, development is catching on as one of the most acknowledgedly important fields of work in creating a better future for our planet. Inequality is rampant on the global stage, and individuals who devote themselves to development efforts play a valuable role by putting in the work to level the playing field.  Within this broad and interdisciplinary scope, a development internship abroad can be the first step towards doing something great with your career.

Why Intern Abroad in Development

In a way, human civilization has always been, and always will be, developing. Now that our world has become so interconnected to the point that decisions made in one place can drastically affect outcomes in another, the global community has begun to rally in an effort to harness and direct these effects in a more positive direction. Making the leap to intern abroad in development will give you the on-the-ground experience and exposure that has the power to shape you not only as a young professional, but as a world citizen.


What qualifies a country as “developing” is a continuous matter of debate, but statistics that lead to this categorization generally include income per capita, rate of literacy, life expectancy rate, and other such measures of human development. Numbers and figures can still often prove deceiving, however, because even countries with some of the most powerful economies in the world continue to struggle through high rates of poverty and inequality (for instance the BRICs countries of Brazil and China).

Nevertheless some countries have less access to resources or are less stable than others, and these are generally the most popular destinations where to intern abroad in development. As a general framework, the global south is for the most part less developed economically than the global north. For instance many sub-Saharan African countries such as Cameroon and Zimbabwe sit towards the bottom of global development rankings in many measures.

Other major regions of the world that are less developed in a relative sense include Southeast Asia and Central America. Countries ranging all the way from Costa Rica and Haiti in the western hemisphere to Thailand and Vietnam in the east thus can also be very productive destinations where to intern abroad in development.

Internship Placements

Development is an incredibly broad professional area that encompasses many more specific industries within. Government, economics, engineering, medicine, education, environmental studies, urban planning: all these fields and many more have their place in the overarching framework of development, and all can be applied toward the combined effort to create infrastructure and opportunity for the world’s less fortunate.

So while it may be impossible to peg a single type of development internship abroad considering all the different types of work the field encompasses, the principal point is that essentially any subject area you’ve studied can be applied toward some sort of development work. Most of the highest level development planning comes from NGOs or otherwise international organizations, while concrete on-the-ground projects are often the terrain of more localized groups or administrations.

Both of these branches of development (high-level planning, on-the-ground implementation) can be equally rewarding formats to being with a development internship abroad, depending on your ultimate career ambitions. Most development internships abroad tend to last between three and six months, and some can also offer the opportunity to earn academic credit along with your daily work. Not a bad option for those still enrolled in school and looking to get a step ahead!

Benefits & Challenges

Firsthand Experience. Learning about various aspects of development in a university setting can equip you with valuable knowledge, but nothing can stand in for the first-hand experience you will gain through a development internship abroad. It’s time to get out into the field!

Localized Impact. Embarking on a development internship abroad is an incredible opportunity to travel, gain professional experience, start building a global network, and, most importantly, help leave a positive impact on the community where you work. What is there not to like?

Push Yourself. No one said it would be easy. Culture shock while adjusting to a new environment can provide difficult at first, but accepting the challenge head on will only sweeten the ultimate reward. 

Embarking on a development internship abroad can be a truly formative experience for individuals from all over the world. Travelling to another country, witnessing an entirely new way of life, and working together to build a more serviceable infrastructure has the power to inspire a brighter future for our planet. The time has come to start making a difference!

Read More

A Guide To
Development Internships Abroad


 Find Development Internships Abroad Now


This listing has been saved 168 times

Professional Internships in New Zealand

Internships bring experience. Experience brings marketability. International experience shows imagination and self-confidence. All this can be yours interning in amazing New Zealand! You can be practical AND have a great adventure at the same time. If you’re serious about your future, we have some seriously great opportunities for you. Most fields are possible, so check with us. In New Zeal...


This listing has been saved 170 times

Global Internship & Volunteer Programs with Connect-123!

Whether you're looking for a hands-on, career-related internship that will set you apart from the crowd or a chance to use your skills on a meaningful volunteer project, Connect-123 provides customized programs that are tailor-made for you. We run programs in six exciting international destinations: Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Shanghai, Dublin, Sydney and Barcelona! Programs are open to stu...


This listing has been saved 49 times

Fashion Industry Internships - Paris

Fashion Week Internships is the only specialist fashion industry internship provider, delivering dynamic fashion-forward internship experiences in Paris. Working with over 2,000 industry leading brands, retailers, designers, labels and PR/events companies, our programs give motivated students and graduates the opportunity to experience the fashion industry up close! Paris is a city like n...


This listing has been saved 11 times

Intern in Ecuador (Quito)

On CISabroad’s Intern in Ecuador program, you may find yourself working on a sustainable farm or developing educational curriculum for at-risk children. You could also intern at an orphanage, work in community development, or learn the ropes in a medical facility. Whatever your placement in Ecuador, you’ll gain professional work experience tailored to your skills and interests. And, you’ll rece...


This listing has been saved 90 times

Affordable Internships That Work For You! From Just 2 weeks!

Intern Abroad HQ is here to make internships work for you! The Sister company of IVHQ - the world's most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization. Whether you're a student looking to fulfill study requirements, taking a gap year, or looking for short-term career enhancement. We have over 60 career-focused internship opportunities Our internship fields include: - Animal Care - B...


This listing has been saved 8 times

South Africa Wildlife Conservation Short-Term Internship

Always dreamt about travelling abroad to Africa to work in wildlife conservation? Embark on this adventure and join our South Africa Wildlife Short-Term Conservation Internship. Located in the lush Limpopo province, home to an abundance of wildlife, as well as the famous Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino), interns will be spoilt for choice. You will get the chance to learn a...


This listing has been saved 30 times

Human Rights in Argentina with Projects Abroad

Project Abroad’s Human Rights project in Argentina is based in Córdoba and offers interns the unique opportunity to get involved at a grass roots level, raising awareness of human rights in a variety of marginalized communities or at risk groups Daily tasks may involve interviewing victims of human rights abuses, academic research and reporting, out-of-office field work, presenting to local co...


This listing has been saved 37 times

Best Competitive China Internship Program with GAC

Thinking of interning in China? let us help you gain work experience, sharpen your skills and get credit transfer all in the China Internship Program. Get such an experience by joining Go Abroad China’s Internship in China Program; we partner with 500+ companies inside China to arrange paid internships for college/university students and graduates. Go Abroad China is an international compan...


This listing has been saved 287 times

International Internships in New York

*Please note: as we offer international internship programs, our USA internships are not available to US Citizens. We encourage you to look at our other destinations (London, Canada, China, Europe, Australia or Latin America). New York City is a cultural and financial hub of the world that will leave you wanting more. We offer successful applicants the chance to gain invaluable work experien...


This listing has been saved 54 times

IES Internships - Cape Town Summer

Recently named as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa, Cape Town is the perfect place for a summer internship! With IES Internships, you are guaranteed an unpaid internship placement working up to 40 hours per week in a business or organization that suits your career goals. Build a global network of professional contacts and gain real-world experience all while exploring everything th...


This listing has been saved 12 times

Business Internships in Madrid with Adelante Abroad

Fashion business, accounting, finance, law, tourism, marketing, consulting, international events – are just a few examples of the wide variety of internships available with Adelante in the International Business sector in Madrid. Spain has business relations with countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia - what you do in your internship will vary depending on your specific sector, but you w...


This listing has been saved 100 times

VACorps Professional Internship Programs in Cape Town

Have you considered what type of internship in South Africa would best suit you? We are connected with an extensive list of companies and organizations in Cape Town. We will place you in a working environment where you will make a constructive contribution to your selected organization while gaining the useful internship experience you desire.


This listing has been saved 18 times

Internship in Shanghai with Asia Internship Program

China, a country that has been in an outstanding position on the global economy with the spot of the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer, and its fast-growing consumer market. Doing an international internship in China is a value-added to your CV which will set you apart from other candidates. It is an opening door for your future with a vast array of professional experienc...


This listing has been saved 58 times

Intern in Australia with World Internships

World Internships offers flexible, customized internships in a variety of fields in the "Land Down Under." Realize your dream of living and working in beautiful Australia, while enjoying exceptional support and group activities that will engage you with both your fellow international interns and the locals. As the first & second most populous cities in Australia, Sydney & Melbourne are fantasti...


This listing has been saved 39 times

Intern in Singapore with Absolute Internship

Spend the summer gaining valuable work experience on Absolute Internship's award-winning Singapore program. Stand out as a future job applicant by completing a full-time internship in the world's most technology-ready city. Work within your industry of choice with over 30 fields to choose from, including Human Resources, Finance, Business, Entrepreneurship and Marketing/PR. Our company visits...