Think you have to stay put at home to gain practical experience in your chosen field? Think again! Pharmaceutical expertise is sought after across the globe, so you don’t need to sacrifice embarking on a fantastic adventure to get a foot on the career ladder. In Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America—whether in the heart of the city or out in the sticks—medicines are needed, so it will be a piece of cake discovering pharmaceuticals internships abroad that are right for you!
Popular Locations for Pharmaceuticals Internships Abroad
Cliché it may be, but the world really is your oyster! International pharmaceuticals internships abroad can be discovered in the heart of major cities like Sydney, Buenos Aires, and Shanghai where you can learn from the most experienced and highly trained professionals; or, you can ply your trade in remote villages in Ghana, Vietnam, and Kenya where community clinics are in desperate need of competent, hard-working trainees to lend a hand.
Spain. Boost your Spanish language skills while working in one of the best places to intern in 2018. You’ll be sure to improve your career gaining hands-on experience in well-resourced facilities observing and assisting expert staff. A spectacular country to explore on your weekends off, with beautiful Moorish palaces, incredible fiestas, awe-inspiring cathedrals, and miles of stunning coastline, you might not want to go home again!
China. Another top-rated destination for meaningful travel, interning in China is an exceptional opportunity to gain a unique perspective on pharmaceutical provision and development. Home to a fifth of the world’s population, ‘bustling’ is the perfect word to describe China—every village, town, and city is crammed with unbelievable structures of the modern and ancient world (hello Great Wall!), stunning landscapes, and exciting markets boasting everything from a bewildering array of teas to intricately carved jade.
South Africa. Working with dedicated pharmacists and doctors, international pharmaceutical interns can gain invaluable experience dealing with medical issues not common in their native countries, such as parasitic infections and vector-borne diseases, alongside more familiar conditions such as diabetes. An extraordinarily diverse nation (with 11 official languages!), whether your interests lie more with the marvelous national parks and penguin colonies or the excellent wine country and museums, your experience will be as incomparable as the country itself.
The Benefits of Pharmaceuticals Internships Abroad
The pharmaceutical industry is all about creating and dispensing medicines to help people get better, and exposure to diverse cultures, belief systems, and environments is indispensable for such a human-centered profession. You don’t need to choose between doing good in the world and beefing up your résumé either, as opportunities abound to combine the two; it’s possible for you to contribute your much-needed skills while simultaneously learning how understaffed, under-resourced clinics provide quality services in extremely challenging environments.
Academic theory is all very well, but nothing gives you a feel for the work (and the areas you’d like to specialize in) better than hands-on practical experience making tough decisions in real-life situations. Experience which, incidentally, will make a great topic for that next job interview! Not only will you gain knowledge of diverse working practices in the sector, but different legal and professional requirements between countries means you may be given far more responsibility in your overseas placement than you’d be able to get in your native country. This early career experience can also open the door to letters of recommendation, mentors, pharmaceutical research opportunities, and pharmacy positions in the future.
International pharmaceuticals internships could see you working in a rural community pharmacy, the dispensary of a city hospital, the research department of a global pharmaceutical company, or even a combination of these. Don’t despair if you’re not bilingual or available over the summer; there are loads of placements for English-speakers (often offering language classes for the monolingual). Many have flexible start dates and durations (from two weeks to 12 months) so you can work your internship around your studies and other commitments. Some providers even offer customized elective/pre-registration placements for current pharmacy students.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for Interns in the Pharmaceutical Field Abroad
Now you’ve started hunting for your passport, don’t get too carried away! No internship (even one overseas!) will check off everything on your wish-list so follow this advice:
Research, research, research! Make sure you’re choosing the right placement for you by carefully looking into the program requirements, reading international pharmaceuticals internships reviews, and speaking to program alumni. Speak to your university and professional student bodies to check the placement meets the requirements of your course and profession—particularly if you’re looking to get academic credit.
Don’t forget the details: take into account the time and costs of visa applications, travel vaccinations, and fine-tuning your CV/résumé. Also keep in mind the cost of living (e.g. food and commuting) may be different to your home country’s. Check out GoAbroad’s Intern Scholarships Directory to help you cover the costs of your trip.
Don’t assume anything: accommodation, for instance, can range from homestays with local families, shared dorms with other interns, or your own room in an apartment (and your definitions of ‘private’ or ‘spacious’ are not universal!). Also ensure the organization’s expectations of you align with what you want to gain from the experience.
When it feels daunting and overwhelming—so many extras to consider, so many uncertainties—it can be tempting to just stick with the safe option and stay home. But the best things in life never come easily. You’ll never grow up if you don’t stretch yourself; sometimes you need to abandon the comfort zone. Pharmaceuticals internships abroad will be challenging, but when you’re prepared and willing to tackle what comes your way, you’ll have the time of your life, guaranteed!