A technology internship will provide you with a different perspective while widening your knowledge in the field. Consider going to a country where Google isn’t available or where PayPal isn’t the main payment platform, and then imagine how this will affect your behaviors and outlook on technology. Going to a different country will show you how a different culture and its people use technology to better suit their needs. Technology internships abroad serve two major purposes: gain irreplaceable IT experience and build a global network you can use for your future job search.
Why Intern Abroad in Technology
IT internships are critical in today’s job market, and interning abroad will give you the international experience to easily apply what you’ve learned outside the classroom. Consider how you can learn about UX/UI, different coding languages such as HTML or Rails, or how different countries use data and A/B testing to build better products.
With startups and tech companies becoming more and more popular places of work, you’ll have to get ahead of the curve and set yourself apart from other candidates. Technology internships abroad will give you the opportunity to build your network, practice a new language, learn about new technologies and tools, and challenge your interpersonal skills by enduring culture shock and a new job all at once. Not to mention, gaining international experience will definitely set you apart from the herd with your global perspective. Although most technology jobs do not require any international experience, getting international internship experience on to your resume is a great opportunity to go above and beyond.
IT internships don’t have many requirements, giving almost any techie the chance to experience technology abroad. Before you fill in your name on applications, just make sure you are passionate and have a genuine interest in technology. Make sure you also practice your communication skills because you’ll be in a new country so being able to work with different nationalities will be a huge challenge and benefit. Also, an international internship in technology isn’t just about a free lunch and a job where you can come and go as you please. An IT internship will help you become a well-oiled machine, so be ready to work hard and learn faster.
Technology is available globally and has different needs for different nations. Companies like Uber, AirBnb, WhatsApp, and more have global offices where you can learn on-the-job experience in a range of countries. Here are a few places to consider for IT internships abroad:
China is the second largest economy in the world, and there are plenty of technology internship opportunities available throughout the country, especially in cities like Shanghai. Within the city of Shanghai, there’s a bustling nightlife culture, a huge art scene with multiple districts, pop-up shows, and galleries always in motion, as well as a growing entrepreneur community. Brands like Naked Hub and We Work have centralized entrepreneurs by providing a great deal of networking and social events.
Hong Kong is a country state with about 8 million people, so the city is always moving, but on the south side of Central Island, there are multiple beaches with oceanfront views. As a global financial hub, technology interns can look forward to working within the financial and banking industry. For a quick weekend getaway, you’ll be only an hour ferry ride away from Macau and another hour metro ride from Mainland China. If you are concerned about the language barrier, have no fear, Hong Kong has two official languages: Cantonese and English (UK).
Australia. If you’re up for a challenge, but don’t want to compromise on when it comes to language, then intern in technology down under in Australia. IT internships in Australia will present you with the best of both worlds, when you’re not busy working hard. Outdoor enthusiasts will have the choice of venturing into the desert, forest, and even the Great Barrier Reef, but don’t forget the metropolitan cities of Sydney and Melbourne too. For the best IT Internships, look in these cities. Melbourne was considered one of the world’s top startup hubs in 2015 and has been named the best place to live in the world for multiple years. During technology internships in Australia, you’ll have the chance to work in positions related to mining, agribusiness, fintech, or healthcare.
Technology Internships Abroad
When you begin your search for IT internships, know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed with both questions and options. First, consider the country and industry that you’re most interested in. Then after that, start reviewing your placement options. Consider, for example, that Asia has a strong need for interns in e-commerce, which entails working on applications, mobile devices, and banking. On the other hand, if you are interested in building something new that’s not yet available, you might consider technology internships in someplace like New Zealand.
When you begin applying for IT internships, don’t worry about having enough experience, because that’s what internships are for. However, there are some recommended prerequisites to better your chances of landing your preferred internship placement, such as:
- English language skills
- Computer science major or experience in the field
- Proficient in CRM (i.e. Salesforce)
- Passionate about technology and emerging technology trends
- Can commit at least three to six months
No internship in technology is a golden key to the kingdom, but an internship will increase your chances of landing a position in the IT industry. In order to maximize your post-internship job opportunities, do your best work during your technology internship, be sure your output reflects your work ethic, take every chance to build your network, and be open to learning new skills.
Benefits & Challenges
The pros of getting an IT internship abroad definitely outweigh the cons. This is an opportunity to gain experience in your field, but also see a new part of the world. As you find yourself creating a pros and cons list in your iPhone’s note app, you will wonder why you haven’t left yet. So, ask yourself this, why NOT take advantage of IT internships abroad?
You’ll get career related experience on a global scale, and that opportunity shouldn’t be taken lightly. While some of your peers are finding creative ways to say they fetched coffee, you will stand out easily with an international location alone. Moving across the sea to start your career will reflect your commitment to the IT industry; not to mention your knowledge will be different than every single one of your competitors. Learning about technology trends in China or new technologies available in Europe will makes more valuable to any IT company.
One of the main challenges of technology internships abroad will be the potential language and/or cultural barrier. As a technology intern, learning not only how to do the job, but also the dos and don’ts, will add to the adversity. As a U.S. citizen, you might be well informed about western based technologies and industries, but imagine working in Shanghai and not knowing anything or very little about Alipay or Weixin.
In order to overcome the challenges, you’ll have to be humble and very flexible. You will have to understand that technology internships are opportunities to learn and be challenged. When you return home, you’ll be able to deal with a wide range of situations that your counterparts will have no idea exist! Afterall, trial by fire is the best way to learn.
The field of technology is red hot and an IT internship abroad will be like you are walking into the kitchen. As you venture abroad, you’ll emerge from your technology internship more experienced and confident in your dream career.