Interior Design Internships Abroad

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A Guide to Interior Design Internships Abroad

Interior design is a multifaceted industry involving conceptual design, budget management, and plan execution. The final project is influenced by a fusion of a client’s vision and the designer’s style. Interior design internships abroad will open your eyes to a variety of creative spaces and build your portfolio exponentially. From commercial projects to residential homes, experts with a keen eye and vast experience are needed in every region of the world. Keeping up with current trends and exposing yourself to different cultures will allow you to create your own creative edge when kicking off your career in the industry.

Why Intern Abroad in Interior Design

Interior design is an industry that requires field training. While interior design degree programs will give you a business-minded approach, it’s equally important to seek hands-on experience shadowing industry leaders; this experience will allow you to mold your own individualistic approach to design, from inception to installation, as you build a name for yourself internationally.

Interning abroad will foster your cross-cultural communication skills, which are critical to becoming a successful interior designer. Developing relationships with your clients involves the ability to carry out productive discussions. The key is to be able to listen and filter through conversations in order to understand the core elements of your client’s scope. What is your client’s style? What feeling do they hope to exert from the finished piece? Is there a hard project deadline? While utilizing industry jargon and listening to the various tastes of clients, you’ll learn how to visualize and deliver a project seamlessly.

Interior design is often a reflection of a city and its people. Your future clients may come from various parts of the world and they might expect you to have a personal style with influences from other cultures. Perhaps you’re a designer that thrives in fashion-forward and modern spaces, but your client wants to add a classic European flair. Your international internship experience will teach you how to implement small touches in design that give the space exactly what your client desires. Understanding the design nuances of various regions around the world will help you obtain a portfolio that is fitting for clients of various backgrounds.


The location of your interior design internship abroad will determine the type of interior design you’ll be exposed to. You should seek out a country that gives you the type of inspiration needed to expand your design horizon. Interior design internships are often combined with specialized courses in design or the opportunity to learn a new language, so location selection is key.

Milan, Italy is a city that exudes historical design significance; its infamous architecture boasts some of the world’s most beautiful interior spaces. Staying up-to-date on market trends through an internship in Milan will unmask some of the most creative and cultural spaces throughout Italy (and ultimately, the world).

Antoni Gaudí made Barcelona, Spain one of the most sought after countries for studying architecture and interior design. He is renowned for his ability to create spaces that were influenced by religion, nature, and architecture. Gaudí’s creations optimize lighting and ventilation through manipulation of windows, shutters, and blinds. Completing an interior design internship in Spain will train you to implement stylistic nuances in the most peculiar Gaudí-esque manner.

Turkey is an up and coming interior design hotspot. With an eclectic culture and history from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Turkish spaces display intricate details and dramatic juxtapositions. The harmony of textures, colors, and mosaics create a leading upscale international aesthetics. Bordering eight different countries at the intersection of European and Asian cultures, you’ll find design that has combined elements from a myriad of regions. 

Interior Design Internships

Interior design internships are available in every part of the world! From small design firms and entrepreneurial companies to large corporations focusing on mass-scale projects, there are hundreds of interior design internships abroad to be had. If you have a strong educational background in the fine arts and design, you’ll be more eligible to apply for larger companies. If you’re just starting out, you might want to consider smaller firms that provide you with more one-on-one attention. Additionally, architecture firms, manufacturers, and real estate companies are always seeking bright talent too.

Interns can work anywhere from 10 to 20 (or more) hours per week, depending on their individual internship contracts. As field experience is imperative for success in interior design, try seeking out an internship that has more contact hours. Keep in mind that interior design jobs often focus on a combination of specialties. Some examples of interior design internships abroad are outlined below.

Furniture Designers analyze interior space and optimize the functionality of pieces. Pulling knowledge from ergonomics and considering living and working conditions, furniture designers often collaborate with industrial engineers to design their own furniture collections.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technicians play a key role in the presentation of design plans to clients. Illustrators are needed to draw interior spaces by hand or via the computer. This role utilizes skills in space planning and technical detailing necessary for production. 

Historic Preservation incorporates a scientific aspect within interior design. This technical occupation is a growing field attracting designers from all over the world. In order to become a specialist in a certain era, it’s crucial to learn the colors, materials, and wall coverings that are distinct to specific periods.

Design for the Vision and Hearing Impaired is a specialty focusing on accommodating interior space for a number of people with disabilities. Barrier-free designing also involves planning for wheelchair access for the orthopedically disabled.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Constant Inspiration. Whether you’re designing a warm and chic space or a loud and sumptuous area, interning abroad in interior design will give you inspiration that you cannot find in the comfort of your home country. Your creative juices will flow as you walk amongst aesthetically pleasing architecture and peruse through local cultural museums. 

Learn To Be Client Focused. Hands-on experience in the field helps you understand how to meet your client’s needs. When designing a residential home, you’ll design a space that caters to only one client’s needs, but when designing a restaurant, you’re designing for an owner’s desire to please hundreds of patrons. Your global experience with clients will set you on the right path to becoming a reliable industry expert.

Industry Clout. With all the knowledge and experience you'll gain from interior design internships abroad, future employers will undoubtedly be impressed by your international experience. Starting your interior design career as an intern abroad refines your professional integrity and places a spotlight on your resume. Why not put yourself at the intersection of international experience and industry knowledge?

Foot in the Professional Door. Interior design internships could also lead to a job recommendation needed in a competitive field or even a full-time position. Network as much as you can, and you’ll undoubtedly find niche opportunities.

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Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Interior Design Internships Abroad


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