Resort Internships Abroad

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A Guide to Resort Internships Abroad

If you have a colorful imagination combined with a desire for exploring far off lands, you could live out your own real life Dirty Dancing adventure by getting a resort internship abroad. As a resort intern, you can expect a placement fee, but you will make back the money and then some while gaining a once-in-a-lifetime experience most people only dare to dream about. Imagine having the “time of your life” just like Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze did at Kellerman’s Resort!

Why Intern Abroad in a Resort

The rewards of resort internships abroad as opposed to resort internships at home are immeasurable. Undergraduates studying hospitality or tourism will gain invaluable experience and insights about future career opportunities, which will allow them to fulfill degree requirements and gain an edge on their peers by nailing down long term employment upon graduation. However, recent hospitality graduates should equally consider jazzing up their resumes and building their networks through resort internships abroad.

Many long-term resort jobs require international experience, because most customers are travelers coming from around the world. If you already have experience working with people from different cultures under your belt, you will instantly be a more attractive employee for companies looking to hire full time employees. If you intern at a resort in Thailand, for example, you will pick up valuable information about Thai people, such as basic Thai phrases and cultural customs, which may be beneficial in future professional situations.

Resort internships will not only allow you to hone your skills related to customer service, marketing, or maybe even management, internship placements abroad have the potential to change your life, and possibly the lives of others. By immersing yourself in another culture, your perspective of global issues will change forever. The friendships and connections formed during your resort internship will not only impact your future, they will also make a positive impact on the businesses, customers, and colleagues you meet along the way.

Locations

If you are looking for resort internships, the world is your oyster. Countless resort internship opportunities are available across the globe, so the trick is choosing the ideal environment for your personal interests and ultimate career goals.

Australia offers resort internship opportunities in destinations like the Great Barrier Reef, modern cities such as Darwin, the outback of Uluru, or the rainforest of Tasmania. In Tasmania, you could experience your own crocodile hunter adventures in your free time! 

If you are attracted to the Asian culture, you could intern at a resort in the gigantic city of Beijing, China. If you prefer the ocean and enjoy tropical climates, you could venture to Palau, Malaysia, where season 10 of the show Survivor was filmed. Imagine becoming a divemaster or instructor exploring and training other water-loving explorers the ins and out of diving. In your free time, you could hang with fellow expats on the beach exchanging travel stories. 

If you prefer colder climate opportunities, you could intern at resorts in countries like Switzerland or Canada. Remember The Overlook Hotel in The Shining? Forget Dirty Dancing and imagine yourself in a Stephen King novel living in a resort with snow all around you (minus the paranoia and violence of course!). You could gain hands-on experience in a real life work environment and ski or snowmobile in your off time. 

Resort Internships

After you've narrowed your location search down, it's time to determine what type of resort internship is right for you. Do you like to interact with different types of people or prefer to work more behind the scenes? What part of working in resorts attracts you?

Customer Service. Interns providing customer service at hotels and resorts can typically expect to find internships for six to 12 months. Kitchen and bar help, room service, receptionist, and shop attendant placements are commonly available at resorts worldwide. If you choose a more upscale hotel or luxury resort, internships in areas such as sales and marketing, management, or front desk staff are all usually viable options as well.

Culinary. Kick start your career as a top notch chef by interning in a high-end hotel or resort restaurant. These types of resort internships will give you the experience required to land a full-time job anywhere in the world, providing you with valuable instruction and techniques for food preparation in your specific country.

Recreation. Consider a resort internship as a SCUBA instructor or a ski or snowboarding instructor, depending on your location and preference for snow or water. These types of resort internships typically do not require prior certification, but do request that you have previous experience (for safety of course!).

Benefits & Challenges

If you are a student, interning abroad in a resort is a perfect way to earn academic credit as well as work experience. It is important to do thorough research before accepting a resort internship offer, to ensure you cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s required for credit transfers. As with most new experiences, expect some surprises, but know what you are getting into ahead of time to alleviate some surprises. 

A major issue interns can face is a language barrier with their boss or supervisor. You might want to study the language before you depart to better immerse yourself in the entire experience once you are working. 

Another challenge interns face is not liking the experience after the first week. It can be overwhelming starting a new job and especially so in a foreign country. Give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings before throwing in the towel. Sometimes the most rewarding life experiences come from facing fear, overcoming obstacles, and leaving the “I can’t” attitude in the rear view mirror!

Why in the world would you want to travel to a far off country to intern in a resort? Because, why not! If you have a love for travel, experiencing new cultures, and quenching your thirsty-for-adventure spirit, you can gain the skills required to land a job upon graduation. If you want to make sure your resume shines brighter than other candidates in your field, while having an adventure of a lifetime, interning abroad will give you a leg up among the competition and just makes sense.

Step out of your comfort zone and dance into the great big world of opportunity that awaits you by interning abroad in resorts. 

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