If you are debating on whether or not to intern abroad in chemical engineering, consider the vast benefits: you can choose to go almost anywhere in the world, you will undergo tremendous professional growth by working outside your comfort zone, and you will be making industry contacts from all over the globe. Plus, as if this needs saying, you will be embarking on one heck of a world adventure.
Why Intern Abroad
If you are currently studying chemical engineering or have recently graduated, then most entry-level job opportunities will expect you to have at least some prior professional experience in the field to be considered for employment. Undertaking your chemical engineering internship abroad is a great way to advance your career by gaining the necessary training that you will need to break into the industry, while also demonstrating to future employers that you possess the ambition and flexibility required to work in a foreign context.
Because it is such a highly valued profession, you can intern abroad in chemical engineering throughout many different regions of the world. Keep in mind, however, that the location you choose to undertake your chemical engineering internship abroad will significantly impact the particular industries in which you might find work opportunities.
For example there will be a stark difference between chemical engineering internships abroad in the developing versus the developed world. In countries such as Japan, Australia, Germany, and the United States you will be working within fully industrialized economies where most chemical engineering companies manufacture high level commodities.
Alternatively in countries such as Vietnam, Ecuador, Ghana, or Tanzania, you will be working a chemical engineering internship abroad within the context of an economy which is still in the early stages of development. Thus the professional applications of chemical engineering will be quite different in these areas (as will likely be the pay-grade), and you will likely be working to produce less industry-intensive products.
The countries listed above are only a small handful within the vast world of professional opportunity that awaits you as an intern abroad in chemical engineering. Start by looking through our programs listed on this page to get a good idea of the types of opportunities are out there.
There are several different directions you can go with a chemical engineering internship abroad. The first is deciding whether you would rather intern within the realm of scientific research or in industrial application. These are the major routes that chemical engineers typically choose to undertake beyond their studies (though the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive of one another). Try to choose an internship abroad in chemical engineering which aligns most closely with your ultimate career goals in this sense.
While the daily responsibilities during your internship abroad in chemical engineering will vary significantly between placements and locations, in general you can expect to be working under the guidance one or several professionals in the field. You will likely undertake a variety of general tasks in the office or laboratory, while also engaging in hands-on work yourself. Some specific industries that are common areas to intern abroad in chemical engineering include pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and plastics.
Chemical engineering internships abroad generally last from three to six months, depending on the availability and aspirations of the intern. They can also be full time or part time, and many will combine your work with the opportunity to earn course credit in a variety of related academic fields.
Benefits & Challenges
Take Your Pick. Chemical engineers are in high demand all over the world, affording you the rare opportunity to intern abroad in essentially any destination you set your heart on.
Global Experience. While you intern abroad in chemical engineering you will not only begin to develop valuable skills that can help you thrive professionally, but you will also be challenged to tap your true potential by working in a completely foreign environment.
Network. As a chemical engineer you can work anywhere, and interning abroad is a great way to begin making contacts from different countries across the world. Who knows, maybe that chemical engineering internship abroad will turn into a full time job!