Internships help you explore a field of study further, get experience in an industry, and build connections within a company. You may have to work for free or for a very low wage to have the privilege of learning from established professionals in your field or industry. The hours are usually long and the work can be plentiful, but when you do an internship abroad, you get to spend your days working in a field you love while exploring a new place. You may even get to learn a new language, and the experience itself, whether positive or negative, lets you explore a country you have always wanted to see while earning an impressive entry on your resume. It may sound like a dream, but scoring an internship abroad is a very real possibility and easier than you think.
Most schools in the United States will offer credit for qualified internships, but not all internships will qualify. That may or may not matter, depending on your particular field of study, the requirements of your program, the reason you want a particular internship, and the employment laws of the country in which you intend to complete your internship. Some colleges may not give you the necessary documentation you need to prove that you are completing an internship, so do your research before accepting an internship. Plus, whether your internship is paid, required, or counts for college credit can change the legal right you have in the host country and even the process you need to follow to get a visa.
Depending on your college, you may have to pay to get acknowledgement for your internship on your college transcript. In addition, many internships are unpaid or do not offer enough pay to support yourself financially while staying in the country. You will incur expenses for food and accommodations, as well as the adventures you will have. To be able to get a visa to your host country, you will need to prove that you have adequate financial support before paying the fees for the visa. Travel expenses also have to be tallied as well as health care. Make sure you have an emergency fund, just in case.
Websites to Use
There are organizations that offer internship abroad placement services for a fee but you don’t need to use them to find a great opportunity. You can find internships in your host country on your own through sites like GoOverseas.com, which provides information about programs for studying, interning, and learning a language in different countries, and GoAbroad.com, which offers a variety of information about volunteering, studying, teaching, and interning abroad. Both provide reviews as well as information. The career placement services office at your college may also be able to help.
Interning abroad is a great way to earn work experience while gaining life experience. Being in a different country, with a different language, different customs, and a different culture, makes an internship abroad challenging — you’ll be away from friends and family, and will likely have difficulties communicating — but the trade-off is worth it as long as you do your research first.