The hospitality industry, more specifically restaurants and hotels, is a very prolific sector in which to land an internship abroad. There are opportunities around the globe for individuals to gain valuable international experience in a variety of service settings, through anything from internships in small cafes in Italy to five star hotels in Thailand. So the question is, where will your ambitions lead you?
Why Intern Abroad in Hospitality
Employers in the hospitality industry look for flexibility, communication skills, and social adeptness when hiring new employees. Nothing will show off your experience and qualifications in all of these categories quite like a hospitality internship abroad. By interning abroad in hospitality you will be forced to meet challenges head on, and adapt to the demands of a new culture and highly stimulating work environment. A hospitality internship abroad will allow you to undergo tremendous professional growth and demonstrate to future employers that you have what it takes to succeed in the hospitality industry anywhere in the world.
There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the location for your hospitality internship abroad:
The first is language. In a restaurant or hotel setting it is likely that you will be interacting with both local and international patriots on a daily basis. By knowing English you are already highly qualified for a hospitality internship abroad, as this is the most commonly spoken language around the world. However, it will also be a tremendous help if you are least conversationally adept in the local language of your internship location. Language skills will open the door to many more hospitality internship opportunities abroad, and make daily life easier too.
You will also want to consider cultural differences. The hospitality industry is largely about service and customer satisfaction, so you will want to go to a place where you are familiar enough with the cultural intricacies to adequately meet these demands. For example, if you are coming from America you might have a hard time interning abroad at a hotel in Japan, China, or India because the cultural customs of everyday interaction are vastly different in these places.
These are just general points to consider and help guide you in selecting a location, so don’t let any nervousness allow you to shy away from interning in a drastically different culture. While certain locations will undeniably present a challenge to adapt to, the growth curve will be that much more impressive because of it. The whole world, from South America to Africa to Australia, is open for hospitality interns!
Hospitality Internships Abroad
The hospitality industry encompasses a very large and extremely diverse field of service positions all around the world. Restaurants and hotels are some of the largest businesses within the hospitality industry, but other areas you can intern abroad in include general tourism, event planning, or even with cruise lines.
Just as the hospitality industry itself features many different sectors, within each realm there are a vast number of hospitality internship opportunities available. While most people only ever experience the interactive side of businesses, such as restaurants of hotels, behind the scenes there is often a large operation that includes marketing, advertising, sales, human resources, and any number of other positions. As a hospitality intern abroad, it is likely that you might train in one or more of these roles.
Hospitality internships abroad generally last between two and six months, depending on the intern’s preferences and availability. On the other hand, whether or not you will be paid for your services usually comes down to your host country’s labor laws and the practices of the specific business which you are interning with. Remember while interning abroad that the hospitality industry is largely about the connections you make and keep, so take advantage of your international internship to do some global networking!
International Work Experience. The hospitality industry is largely global, so if this is the career path you choose then you will be interacting with people of different nationalities and backgrounds all the time. Hospitality internships abroad are a great way to improve your people skills and cultural IQ!
Travel Opportunity. Interning abroad in hospitality is more than just a chance to gain work experience, it is also about traveling the world while you are young. During your internship abroad, and in your future career, you will have the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, but you’ll also get to see a good chunk of it for yourself too.
Networking. Can you imagine completing a hospitality internship abroad and coming home with professional connections from all over the globe? That is exactly what will happen if you place yourself in a global environment and put in the effort. Who knows what job opportunities might pop up along the way!