So you’re beginning your research into international internships. Congratulations! Interning abroad is one of the best investments and most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. If this is your first time abroad, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. There are so many options as to how to intern abroad and even more providers who offer an extensive list of services. 

To help you find the right questions to ask about an internship abroad, we’ve listed the top questions and tips to ask an international internship provider including ourselves. Check it out!

Why are information calls important?

An internship abroad is a big commitment and can help you pursue a career in your chosen sector, as such it is important to ensure that the program you choose is the right one and will help you achieve both your personal and professional goals. Information calls are the first opportunity for you to find out more about interning abroad and the different programs available. They will help you find an international internship provider that is a good fit for you and your career goals.

How?

By requesting more information or scheduling a call to speak with a representative from one of the internship providers. During the calls, you can begin to gauge the type of company they are, what type of companies you could potentially be interning for, and get a breakdown of what the process may look like especially if this is your first time abroad or interning with this specific internship provider. 

Though you may not be sure what questions to ask about an internship abroad or where to even start, a call will help guide you in the right direction. It will help you at least determine if interning abroad is what you want to continue to pursue and if the internship provider is a good fit for you.  

There are several other ways to help you best prepare for your call with an advisor. These include…

Writing All Your Questions Down

It’s easy to forget what questions you were going to ask while on the phone with the advisor. Therefore, before the call, sit down for a few minutes and write down a series of questions you want to ask, concerns you have about interning abroad, the providers, or whatever relevant information you are seeking. Here are some questions to ask about an internship that you can consider writing down:

  1. How does the process work from start to finish? 
  2. What is the next step after this call?
  3. Am I looking at the right internship program? 
  4. How long will the process typically take?

Starting with these specific questions will help you get an idea of what the process looks like, your next step if you want to move forward and ensure you’re looking at the best program for your internship goals. So, go on, ask the questions, you can thank us later.

Coming Prepared

One of the most common mistakes we get with information calls is candidates being unprepared. They often don’t know what they are looking for in their internship, why they want to go abroad, or why they even scheduled the call. 

You are not expected to know what type of internship you wish to pursue or what industry you are wanting to go into right away. After all, one of the benefits of an internship is to get the answer to those questions. However, the more information you are able to provide the advisor with, the better they will be able to guide you in the right direction and the greater benefit you will get from your internship. 

With this in mind, how do you come prepared for your information callback? 

It is important to think of specific questions to ask about an internship. Research what program you are interested in, such as a summer internship for 6 weeks or a longer internship if you just graduated from University. Read through the webpages on the programs you’re interested in and note any questions that the page does not answer for you. 

If you are unsure what program is best for you, then explain to the advisor, what you are ideally looking for in an internship and ask which program would suit you best. 

Advisors have several years of experience dealing with candidates in your situation, therefore you should make use of this by asking them for their suggestions and recommendations. 

If they provide you with a program that you think fits your career goals, then follow up by asking for more information about the program as well as why they think it’s a good fit for you. Asking these specific questions will help you determine the best course of action to achieve your international internship goals. 

Asking for a Follow-up Email

Follow-up emails are incredibly helpful for verifying information relayed over the phone, accessing direct links to important information, and maintaining contact with the internship provider. More so, if you do have further questions to ask about an internship or about the program, you will have direct contact within the advisor who can help.

Unsure what types of questions you should be asking?

We’ve listed our top ten questions to ask about an internship to help get you started.  

1. How can this specific international internship provider help you?

There are many international internship providers and they all do a variety of things. Asking this question will help you understand and narrow down the right provider for you. To learn more about how Capital Placement can help you, read more about us and what we do

2. Am I eligible for the program? 

Every country, program, and program provider have requirements for their internship programs. It’s always best to check that you can intern in your desired country or internship program. This includes checking to see if you meet the academic requirements, as well as, ensuring that your degree is from a university from an eligible country.

3. What are the fees? 

It is no secret that an internship abroad can be quite pricey. It is best to ask what the overall cost is going to be. Each provider has different fees and often additional things like visa sponsorship, travel insurance, health insurance and more are not included which can all add up on top of the program fee. More so, do not shy away from asking each provider how they feel they compare to other providers on the market. It is in your best interest to go with the best program and provider for your career goals. 

4. Can you talk to alumni?

Talking to others who underwent the same process as you, will help you find out more information about the process and provide a different perspective from the advice that an internship provider can offer. Ask them about their internship experience and how they found living abroad to help you decide if it is something you want to do. Many of our alumni at Capital Placement are happy to speak to future interns, if you would like to speak with them then this is something you can discuss during your information callback or in a follow-up email

5. Is it a paid or an unpaid internship?

This is a crucial question especially if you are looking for a paid internship. Most summer internship opportunities are unpaid due to visa restrictions, however longer internships can be paid, it is important to check how much this is because it can vary depending on the location of the internship. 

6. What does the internship look like?

This question can help you gain insight into what an average day will look like and help you decide if it is a good fit for you. It will also help prepare you for interviews with potential employers as you will have some knowledge of typical tasks that will be required in your chosen field of internship.

7. Do I need a visa and will you help me with it?

For most locations, you’ll need a visa and often, acquiring a visa can be quite time-consuming, expensive and confusing. This question is crucial to ask to help you know if the internship provider will help you with your visa or if it is something you’ll have to sort out independently. Even if the provider does not help you with the application process they may be able to give some guidance on the best places to look to help you fill out the application and relevant documents. Here at Capital Placement, we not only guide you through it but work with you one-on-one to ensure a smooth visa process. 

8. How can they guarantee you an internship?

It is important to know how they will secure you an internship placement. Follow this up by asking what happens if they don’t get you an internship. In particular, find out about their refund policy in the event that they are unable to find you an internship.

9. What is included in the program fee?

As mentioned previously, a program fee does not guarantee that everything you need to intern abroad is included. Ask if travel or health insurance is included, how about accommodation, or a local sim card. In addition to asking what is included, ask what is not included in the program and how much each of those will cost you. The more information you know about what is and isn’t included, the better prepared you will be before you leave.

10. How can you get more information about your program?

Find out who you can contact if you have any questions or who will be your point of contact if you need some advice. 

 Final Thoughts

Now that you have a starting point and great questions to ask, you are ready to find the best internship program and provider for you. Though these aren’t the only essential things to ask an internship provider when you are requesting more information, it will be a great start to your research. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Interning abroad can sound complicated and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The more information you have, the more prepared you’ll be for an experience of a lifetime. So go on, ask those questions, we’ll be waiting.   

Don’t forget to share this post!

Julia Hurtado

Julia Hurtado

Having spent an entire summer dedicated to travelling abroad, Julia now focuses on helping other students experience life outside their home country. As an American now working in London, Julia enjoys sharing advice on interning abroad, sipping tea (with 2 sugars, 1 milk please) and reading in her spare time.

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