Physics is a scientific discipline that seeks to explain phenomena such as matter, energy, space, and time at their most fundamental levels. But what professional applications does this broad reaching scientific field hold once you graduate into the job market? A physics internship abroad is the perfect way to explore potential career paths while simultaneously getting out of the lab and adventuring into the grand world around us.
Why Intern Abroad in Physics
Physics is first and foremost a pure science, which is one important reason why you should consider undertaking an internship abroad to supplement your studies. Having some professional experience under your belt, especially in a global context, will greatly help down the line as you are searching for a profession to apply your academic background toward. Whether in lab research, engineering, astronomy, or any other related field, a physics internship abroad will be your gateway to a long and successful career in this important scientific field.
Physics is a universal discipline which can be applied to countless different professional endeavors all over the world. However many applications of physics are fairly industry intensive, meaning that the potential locations where you might search for a physics internship abroad can be somewhat limited to countries with adequate available resources.
In the West, countries such as the United States, Canada, England, and Germany are all widely regarded as premier nations for physicists to aspire to work in. These countries each boast a handful of the most prestigious universities in the world, as well as industry-heavy scientific sectors which remain on the cutting edge of physics research and application.
In the East, the same can be said about leading countries such as Japan, China, India, and Singapore. All of these nations are great places to search for a physics internship abroad, as they also boast many world class universities and consistently lead the world in technological and scientific research.
These examples are only a small subset of the many countries where you might land a physics internship abroad, so take your time to research all the different locations and applications that are out there. You never know where in the world you might find that perfect internship opportunity that you have been looking for!
Being a pure scientific discipline, there are several directions you can go with a physics internship abroad. If you want to stick with the basics, then research-based internships are widely available in laboratories and other such research centers all around the world. As the field is closely related to astronomy, observatories are an especially popular context for this type of physics internship abroad.
Moving beyond research to industrial application, engineering is generally the most popular field of applied physics which many choose to pursue an internship abroad within. Civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering are all examples of subfields that you might look into as a budding scientist with a background in pure physics.
Especially if they are research based, many physics internships abroad will further enable you to pursue academic credit in combination with your daily work in the laboratory or in the field. For currently enrolled students interested in this path, physics internships abroad generally run concurrently with the fall, summer, or spring semesters.
One more important factor to keep in mind the language barrier. While English speaking internships are widely available, many will also expect you to be adept in the local language. This can be a great opportunity to gain fluency in a second tongue!
Benefits & Challenges
Life Experience. Tackling the problems of the universe from inside a lab or classroom can be thrilling, but it is much different from getting out there and engaging the real thing. A physics internship abroad is your chance to break free and explore our beautiful planet.
Job Experience. You can spend a lifetime studying physics and never run out of infinitely fascinating puzzles to be solved. At some point though you’ll need to become employed, which is where an internship abroad will prove of great value.
Global Experience. Last but not least, you will be interacting with fellow scientists from all over the world while you intern abroad in physics. This can be a great opportunity to network, make friends with colleagues, and develop valuable cross-cultural communication skills.