If you are planning on beginning a career in museology then an internship abroad will provide you with the formal training necessary to land a job in the field. Interning abroad at a museum will allow you to develop a broader understanding of world histories and cultures, which happens to be what most museums feature. Museum internships abroad also allow interns to generally have the experience of a lifetime, while working in an entirely new country!
Why Intern Abroad
Many of the most prestigious museums in the world today are international by nature, displaying a collection of art and artifacts from countries all over the world. By completing a museum internship abroad, you will undergo valuable skills training within the global context, and prepare yourself for work in all different types of museums and locations. Most importantly, beyond the star on your resume and the valuable professional experience, completing a museum internship abroad will expand your worldview and reinvigorate your passion for preserving cultural history.
Most countries around the world maintain museums in one form or another, leaving the door open for internship placements in nearly any country that strikes your interest. Where you choose to go will determine both the type of cultural experience you will have and the type of museum internship you will be able to find.
North America and Europe boast what are typically considered to be the most prestigious museums in the world, with vast collections that span the globe in origin. From the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. to the Louvre in Paris to the Uffizi in Florence, these economically developed continents feature collections of some of humanity’s most infamous cultural achievements. If you are ambitious enough to apply for a museum internship in these big leagues of museology, then you’ll find a huge wealth of opportunity across these regions.
Museums in other regions of the world tend to be more regional in nature, featuring a display which can be tied more singularly to the nation’s cultural history. Influential countries ranging from China to India to Brazil boast large-scale national museums with an impressive diversity of collections, from ancient history to modern art. If you are interested in a challenging experience moving outside the Western world, then interning abroad at a museum in the developing world can be an invaluable alternative educational, and personally enriching, experience.
Museum Internships Abroad
There are many different types of museums out there, and there are many different types of museum internships available too. From research and data collection to marketing and management to anthropology and art preservation, the museum industry is open to applicants coming from many different educational backgrounds.
As an intern abroad your duties will thus depend largely on the niche you find within the museum community. For example, if you apply for a position in collections management then you might be preparing archival materials, conducting inventories, and monitoring the environmental conditions of storerooms. If you apply for a position in community or public relations, then you might be working in advertising, outreach, and market research. Don’t jump into an internship abroad in a museum without knowing what you are up against – research thoroughly all the different placements out there and the type of training you will partake in at each!
Museum internships abroad tend to last between one and six months. If you are still enrolled in school while completing your internship abroad, there are many opportunities to combine your work with studies for academic credit as well. Do keep in mind that the language barrier might influence what museum internships are available in different locations, though generally larger museums use English, in addition to whatever local language is spoken, some might also expect you to be adept in the local tongue.
A museum internship abroad is your key to a bright future in the field of museum studies. Not only will on-site training greatly enhance your qualifications as a potential museum professional, but completing training abroad will show prospective employers that you have a well-rounded and flexible personality to match. Whether you plan on working at an art gallery or national history museum, in New York City or in Shanghai, undergoing an internship abroad will be a fun and educational experience that will help prepare you for a successful career in the industry.