An internship abroad could be a great opportunity to not only develop professional knowledge but also expand your academic and cultural horizons. During your international internship, you could be placed in a field relevant to your studies. There, you may have the chance to participate in the day-to-day work environment and use your abilities in a real-world setting. When you’re not working, you could potentially take classes to earn valuable college credits. Or, you could simply explore a new country and culture.
Travel and professional development are combined to offer students an international experience they're not likely to find at home with internships abroad.
Internship Abroad: Quick Facts
- International internship programs may be available each semester. Start times could include spring, summer, fall, and winter semesters. Plan to pursue an internship abroad when it is convenient for your schedule.
- Internships abroad typically last an entire semester. Some programs may even last an entire year. These longer programs could allow you to delve into the work processes of your placement. Program length vary.
- Both unpaid and paid internships abroad may be available. Check with potential programs for more information.
- Many students ask what to pack for an internship abroad. Pack light! Before heading out, be sure to research the country you might be living in. Some countries might have a rainy season or be extremely hot. Knowing that before you head out could make a world of difference.
Why Intern Abroad?
Students choose to pursue an internship abroad for many reasons. For some, it could be chance to see the world. Others might be looking for an additional learning opportunity.
But, there’s really no one reason to intern abroad. More so, it’s a combination of offerings! Students could have the chance to benefit from the following as part of an internship abroad.
- Professional Development
- Extra College-level Classes
- Language Studies
Of course, exploring a new country could be worth the experience by itself! But, it’s great to know that you could potentially gain professional knowledge without missing out on important academic courses. Schools vary so check to see if course credit is an option for you.
Plus, intern abroad programs could make these opportunities more accessible. Intern programs may help you set up accommodations, airfare, and other necessitites prior to even boarding the plane. This could make your travel a little less stressful, and a lot more fun! Every program is different, so contact them directly to learn what additional services may be available to you.
Professional Knowledge & Interning Abroad
One of the most popular reasons to intern abroad may be to gain professional experience. These programs often place students in real-world work scenarios, trying to match the position to their interests or concentration. This way, students may develop their professional knowledge of a field they might pursue in the future. For instance, media communication concentrations could choose to work with a public relations firm. Or, business majors might have the chance to work in finance sector or a company’s management department.
Plus, since many of today’s employers are seeking flexible, globally-minded workers, an intern abroad opportunity could be a great way to acquire the kinds of transferable skills and knowledge that may be needed in the modern workplace. You might learn about different kinds of office cultures and work styles. And you might develop useful soft skills, such as communciation, project management and more. Graduates of international internship programs may have the opportunity to test drive these abilities within their program and then implement them once they return home.
Studying During an Internship Abroad
As a busy student, you may be worried about missing vital classes by studying abroad. But, an internship abroad may count as valuable credits that you could put towards your degree program.
In addition to the internship itself, intern abroad programs typically offer outside learning opportunities. These may be brief courses at a local university in your region which allow you to continue your studies and potentially complete important coursework. School’s may even accept these as concentration or general credits. Of course every school and program is different, so check with your academic advisor to see if this might be an option for you.
Additionally, international internships may relate directly to your major. This way, you could enhance lessons in the classroom with an understanding of its professional applications. For example, the following concentrations could have the chance to expand their educational horizons during an internship abroad.
Programs may not be limited to these concentrations. Check to see available programs and their courses offerings.
Political Science Concentrations
Since many international internships are located in major cities, students often have access to vast political structures. During your time abroad, you could have the chance to study a different government system through both an internship and classes. As you work inside a parliament, congress, or other political structure, you may take courses to better understand its development and evolution. Then, you might apply that to the knowledge you have about your home country. Comparing and contrasting could be a great exercise!
Media Studies Concentrations
International internships may afford students a chance to test their media studies knowledge in a global setting. Or learn about communications within a different culture. Media companies can be found in major cities around the world, potentially creating a variety of opportunities. And while you’re testing your media savvy in the internship, you could be developing new skills and knowledge in the classroom. Classes could cover topics such as foreign media strategies or outreach programs, just to name a few.
Business majors might be interested in an internship abroad as an opportunity to interact with the global market. You could see international business theories put into practice. Then take courses to learn about different hiring practices, management styles, and financial techniques in your chosen area. An international internship might not only illuminate international business methods, but also influence how you view business at home.
Learning a Language When You Intern Abroad
Outside of your internship abroad (but also potentially in the office), you could have the chance to learn a new language. Depending on where you intern, you may be able to study the following languages.
Language studies are typically offered one of two ways. First, many intern abroad programs offer intensive language programs before placing students. These are typically 2 to 3 week-long courses that cover the basics of a language. This could help students feel more comfortable working in an environment where they might not speak the primary language.
Or, students could choose to immerse themselves in the language. This could be as simple as exploring the country you’re staying in. Ordering a meal, talking with friends, or asking for directions could be a great chance to test out your language abilities.
Available language courses may differ by program. Check with representatives from possible schools for more information.
How to Apply to an Internship Abroad
To find and apply to an internship abroad, you could start by browsing the list of sponsored programs on this page. For more information, click a program’s link. This provides you with a brief description about the program and available semesters. While there, you could also request additional information by filling out a simple on page form.
You can also narrow down the list by picking your preferred country, term, or work type from the menu bar. This may help you find a perfect program that address your unique needs.
An international internship could be a perfect opportunity to get a flavor for different working environments while also learning more about other cultures, and yourself.
What could you learn from interning abroad? You may only find out by exploring your options below!
Featured Program Information
John Cabot University
CAPA The Global Education Network
Musiker Summer Discovery
Augsburg College Center for Global Education and Experience
University of Minnesota
Spanish Studies Abroad/CC-CS
Connect-123 Internship & Volunteer Programs
Barcelona Study Abroad Experience
University of Haifa
Spanish Institute for Global Education