Our university years are the best years of our lives. Putting aside the stress of our submission deadlines, late nights, and long lectures, the university is a place that is bursting with opportunities! With so many influential people you could be meeting, and projects you could be leading, the worst thing you can do is to simply wait for time to pass so that you can finally graduate university. Therefore, here is where the benefits of an internship come along.
One of the best things that you can do, however, is to go on an internship abroad. Essentially, an internship is an engagement where you gain experience working for a short period in a company related to your field. The benefit of an internship is to boost your professional career because you get to apply theory to practice, network with people in the field, and get a feel of what your line of work entails. We challenge you to take this to the next level by pursuing this internship in a different country. As a result, this means that yes, you’ll be hopping on a plane, travelling across the globe, and returning home only months later.
It also means leaving the familiarity and comfort of your own home for a completely foreign place. This may seem daunting since it sounds like nothing but uncertainty. But we can assure you that the benefits of an internship outweigh any fears you may have. Read on for 7 reasons why you should say yes to being an intern abroad:
Photo by Brooke Cagle
1) International work experience
As an intern, your responsibilities will be similar to any other internship. Generally, all interns are expected to complete various tasks for the company under the supervision of a mentor. The internship is a great time to expand your skillset. However, working as an intern abroad sets you apart because you will learn to meet the expectations of the industry in a different country than your own. Because the market, systems, and practices vary from country to country, your experience and global perspective will be a valuable asset for you in your career. Employers highly favour graduates with international work experience, so telling people that you have internship experience abroad will immediately distinguish you from other young, fresh graduates.
2) Develop your interpersonal skills
If being in university hasn’t helped you with your confidence yet, an internship abroad definitely will. Coming out of your comfort zone is a scary thing, but during your internship, your interpersonal skills are going to soar! You will communicate with people from different cultures and develop cultural awareness. You will have problems to solve and become more adaptable and independent. One rewarding benefit of doing an international internship is that you will become a more confident person by the time you return home. Confidence is the soft skill that comes in handy in all of your professional needs like public speaking, pitching a business idea, leading a team, and negotiating deals.
Photo by Samantha Gades
3) Make international friends
In an internship abroad, socialising with other people for work and personal purposes is something you have to be prepared for. But don’t worry – chances are, you won’t be the only person who has come a long way from home. You will meet friends who have come from all different parts of the world to pursue work or their studies, and all of them would have a unique background and story. By the end of your internship, you’ll have met people from all over the world, and this means that you’ll have an extended, global network. This will come in handy for when you visit each other’s countries, or if you have a favour that requires international connections.
Photo by Alice Young
4) Develop global awareness
Having global awareness means knowing how social, environmental, and political factors impact the world. The 21st-century global citizen needs to know their role in contributing to international understanding, and doing an internship in a different country is one way to achieve this. During your time abroad, you’ll start to notice the similarities and differences between your home country and the new place you are in. Inevitably, you will begin to compare both these countries in terms of societal norms, environmental habits or even the infrastructural composition. What’s great about this is that you will start to view your own country with a new lens and begin to appreciate its unique beauty. You’ll develop a new level of understanding of your country and its people.
5) Improve your language skills
Have you ever dreamt of speaking a new language? An internship abroad is your pathway to learning that language. Want to speak Japanese? Go to Japan. Want to speak German? You can go to Germany, or any country that uses German as a primary language. If you need to get better at English, you can also consider countries where English is an official language. Immersion is the fastest way to learn a foreign language since you will be hearing native speakers use the language every day in formal and informal settings. Whichever destination you choose, an internship abroad is an excellent platform to speak and learn a foreign language, and improve your English skills.
Photo by Ibrahim Rifath
Travel is, by far, the main reason that motivates people to pack up and move abroad. Sometimes, we just want to have a change of scenery: see new places, try new things, and wander about. Therefore, an international internship is the best way to do this! While the focus of the internship is to work and learn, you can still schedule your weekends for a mini-vacation to go for a hike, or take a road trip to visit a different city. You could even check out a neighbouring country since you’re already in the area. Many of our travel-savvy interns book affordable weekend flights ahead of time and then head to the airport on Friday afternoons after work, luggage in hand. This is definitely one of the best benefits of an internship abroad!
7) Live like a local
Another reason to pursue your internship abroad is if the idea of living like a local excites you. When we are tourists, we visit all the top 10 must-see spots, taste new flavours, buy souvenirs, and then leave. We never get to see what goes on from morning till night in town, or what goes on in the markets, or how the locals run their day-to-day errands. Since you would be living and working there, you will get to experience a new city or country and know it like the back of your hand.
An international internship is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will not regret. Although your focus there would be to develop yourself professionally, you will also discover yourself and find out what you are truly made of. As a result of doing an internship abroad will open your eyes to your industry, to global issues beyond your four walls. Truth be told, we can’t think of any reasons not to! You are at the peak of your almost-adulthood, and this is the time to make it worth the while! Check out our internship programmes now to explore your options and read more about the benefits of an internship.