Are you wondering whether doing an internship is the right step for you? Have you been weighing up the pros and cons of whether to travel and intern abroad? If so then this article is for you!
Perhaps you have spent the last few years working hard to obtain a degree and are about to graduate but are not quite ready to settle down. Perhaps you are still busy studying but would love to make the most of your summer vacation and utilize this time to travel, while at the same time improving your future career prospects. Consider a short-term internship abroad as this is exactly what you will achieve.
Here are some of the most valuable benefits you can expect from taking part in an intern abroad program:
An internship abroad will make you stand out from the crowd
Not many students seek out international internships each, year which will automatically make you different. Participating in an internship in another country will tell future employers that you are not afraid to push boundaries. You are someone who is willing to go the extra mile and try something new. One of the most common questions in a job interview is “Can you give me an example of how you dealt with a difficult or challenging situation”?
Having spent time on an internship in another country will give you unlimited interesting, unique answers to this common interview question which will most certainly set you apart from other candidates. Having interesting stories about how you have worked in unique environments and adapted to different cultures will give you ample opportunity to show case your unique skills and abilities. Making your interview process far more interesting and fluid. Particularly if you can convey what a worthwhile and meaningful experience this was for you. Spend time after you have returned home after your internship reflecting on your unique experience and how much you learnt. This will assist you in your ability to easily answer these types of interview questions with depth and clarity.
An internship abroad will teach you how to communicate effectively in a multicultural environment.
You will more than likely be working with local employees – quite possibly you will be required to work with people who don’t speak much English. This is a unique opportunity to learn about different methods of communication, how other cultures handle different situations, and about differing work styles and ethics. These are things you may not have the opportunity to experience while interning in your home country.
In today’s global work space, with ever-increasing opportunities worldwide and a growing sense of a “borderless” universal society, most industries highlight cross-cultural skills and sensitivity as a key requirement for prospective employees.
Alan Weis, the author of several books and an architect of professional communities has identified 5 ways to build cultural intelligence:
- Be curious and interested in learning about other cultures.
- Develop an awareness of self in relation to others.
- Make your mind a clean slate.
- Develop an awareness of your biases towards other cultures and traditions.
- Put yourself in situations with people from different cultures
For more information on building your cultural intelligence you can find the complete article below:
An internship abroad provides an opportunity to work in a new environment which promotes transferrable skills:
A transferable skill is an ability or expertise which may be used in a variety of roles or occupations. According to a recent article in Forbes there are 7 vital transferable skills which will speed up your job search and improve your long term professional success:
- Technical Skills
- Communication Skills
- Critical thinking Skills
- Multitasking Skills
- Leadership Skills
An internship abroad will allow you the opportunity to hone your communication, critical thinking, multitasking, teamwork, creativity and leadership skills. You will be required to work in a team of multicultural individuals, need to solve problems with limited resources and constantly think outside the box. Offering you the perfect platform to develop these transferrable skills in a safe environment.
For more information on these seven transferrable skills identified by Martin John Yate check out the article below:
Internships abroad are great professional and personal networking opportunities.
In an extract from Top Resume, Amanda Augustine states that:
“Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships — professional and personal — it can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.”
An internship abroad will not only allow you many opportunities to network both professionally and personally but it will facilitate the opportunity to network on a global scale and put you head and shoulders above people who have not ventured abroad.
For more information about how to network effectively read Amanda Augustine’s article in Top Resume:
Internships abroad often allow you to earn academic credit:
Many universities allow you to earn academic credit for your internship experience. Some require international experience to fulfill the graduation requirements. Each university’s requirements are different. However there are internship providers out there who will assist you with this process. It is important for you to check with your particular academic department on their policies for academic credit.
Here is an example of what is required from an internship in order to gain academic credit, in a recent article from UC Davis:
Specific requirements of internship in order to gain academic credit.
- Students are able to apply the concepts and methods of one or more academic disciplines to an appropriate work experience or field setting;
- Students are able to grow intellectually by the extension of the general intellectual tools of one or more academic disciplines to the workplace;
- Faculty sponsors are able to assess the quality of academic work completed by the student.
- Work that is clerical in nature or involves routine maintenance or service responsibilities does not qualify for academic credit.
- A student for whom academic credit may be awarded is one who:
- Possesses a suitable background in the discipline for which academic credit is sought;
- Possesses the background or skills necessary to successfully complete the requirements of the internship;
- Will experience significant intellectual growth as a result of the internship and the associated academic work (see 3C below).
- When it is determined that an internship is appropriate for academic credit and a student is suitable for that internship, the arrangement for credit must involve the following elements:
- Department guidelines vary by discipline. It is the responsibility of the student to correspond with a department representative to determine the requirements for their program of study. The department may recommend additional action.
- Prior approval by a faculty sponsor whose background and expertise is related to the area of the internship and appropriate for supervision of the student’s activities.
- Adherence to department guidelines setting forth specific requirements for the granting of academic credit. Requirements will vary depending upon the nature of the discipline, but generally it is to be expected that a student will complete reading assignments and a research paper or project that requires the student to relate the academic discipline to the internship experience. The paper or project should demonstrate the student’s ability to perform critical reasoning and/or methods of research appropriate to the discipline. Student participation in a concurrent seminar or discussion section may also be required and student achievement documented.
- Faculty/student contact as appropriate, including, at minimum, a preliminary conference setting forth the faculty member’s expectations and requirements for satisfactory completion of the internship for credit. Consultation by the faculty sponsor with the field supervisor is encouraged whenever possible.
- Department requirements for research papers or projects should be proportional to the commitment devoted to the internship. Students: check with your College for possible further restrictions on the number of units of internship credit you may apply toward your degree.
Suggested Time Commitment and Unit Value
Commitment per Week:
- 3. – 5 hours 1 unit of credit
- 6 – 8 hours 2 units of credit
- 9 – 11 hours 3 units of credit
- 12 – 14 hours 4 units of credit
- 15 – 17 hours 5 units of credit
- 18 – 20 hours 6 units of credit
- 21 – 23 hours 7 units of credit
- 24 – 26 hours 8 units of credit
- 27 – 29 hours 9 units of credit
- 30 – 32 hours 10 units of credit
- 33 – 35 hours 11 units of credit
- 36 – 40 hours 12 units of credit
A good internship should meet the following criteria:
- A structured work experience related to a student’s major and/or career goal
- An experience that should enhance a student’s academic, career, and personal development
- Should be supervised by a professional in the field
- An experience that can be one academic term (summer, spring, fall) or multiple academic terms in length
- Paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time
- An experience that is mutually agreed upon by the student, supervisor and/or faculty member
- Meets registration requirements for 0 credit hour or academic internship course
- Depending on the field the experience might also be called a practicum or co-op
Leadership and Skill Development
- Learn new skills and add to your knowledge base while gaining confidence in your abilities
- Opportunity to practice communication and teamwork skills
- Gain industry knowledge first hand from an organization and professionals
- Provide evidence that you have initiative, are reliable, and have a sense of responsibility
- Apply some of the ideas learned in school and provide a bridge between school and the professional world
- Achieve a sense of accomplishment by contributing to an organization
Networking and Establishing Mentors and References
- Meet new people and practice networking skills while establishing a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references
- Open to door to advice on the next steps to take on your career path
- Gain valuable experience and accomplishments to add to your resume and/or enhance your application to graduate school
- Create an advantage over other job or graduate school applicants
- Potential for a full-time job offer at the end of the internship based on your performance
Peter Vogt has identified the following three questions you should ask yourself before choosing which internship is the right one for you:
- What Specific Experiences Will You Have During the Internship?
- Who Will Your Internship Supervisor Be?
- What Key Skills Will You Learn from the Internship?
For more information on which internship is the best one for you have a look at his article:
If you would like to boost your resume in the following 5 ways:
- Stand out from the crowd
- Communicate effectively in a multicultural environment
- Develop transferrable professional skills
- Increase your professional network
- Gain academic credit while travelling this summer
Consider taking part in an internship abroad: https://evolveabroad.com/courses/
For a great additional information, tips and a helpful guide for transitioning from college to a career check out this article https://groomandstyle.com/college-to-career-guide-new-grads/?msID=c690dfca-d83d-4f28-bdc2-8b20191c0b93