Kickstart Your Career With an Internship Abroad


Updated on Mar 06 • 6 minute read

When you relocate for an exciting internship abroad, you’re opening yourself up to a world bursting with opportunity. Perhaps you studied internationally and felt that taking on an internship was the next viable step, or maybe you opted for an internship to make sure your CV is ready for your job hunt at the end of the summer.

Many young people seek an internship because they’re not quite sure of what will come next, or perhaps they’d like to have a little real-world experience before jumping straight into their professional lives. Regardless of your reasons, the end result is typically the same: you will be far better prepared to kickstart your professional career than you may have imagined.

So, after you’ve checked off several of our great reasons to do an internship abroad, you’ll want to know how to best utilize what you learn and the things that you experience, to be sure that you’re taking full advantage of this valuable opportunity.

Let’s explore a handful of informative tips and ideas to ensure that you embrace your internship to the fullest!

Why do an Internship Abroad?

As already mentioned, there are a number of reasons to embark upon an internship abroad. However, you’ll also want to understand what opportunities may come your way during your internship, along with how you can apply them to your career path. Understanding why it’s beneficial for you to do an internship is one thing, but knowing what do with the experiences that you’ve gained during the process is quite another. Be sure to understand what your end goal is, and steadily work toward it, while keeping in mind the reason you chose to do so in the first place.

Here are some of the most popular reasons people opt for international internships. They double-up as tips for making your internship as advantageous as possible.

It’s a good way to make a career choice.

The reason that usually stands above the rest for doing an internship is that it can be used as a stepping stone for permanent employment, perhaps even in the same company. Once you’ve decided the path that you’d like to pursue, you can begin to look at the countries that offer the most jobs and internships in that field. Many areas of the world are known for being home to large corporations and successful young startups in certain niches, so it’s nice to know where these opportunities are, and then plan accordingly.

The insights that you will attain while doing an internship are invaluable. While a potential employer will definitely want to see that your education is there, there’s not anything quite like real-world experience to highlight what you have to offer, and to give you that real edge over the other candidates. That’s exactly right! When a potential employer sees that you’ve had an internship abroad or have participated in an exchange program, this can give you an instant step up from your competition.

You can broaden your horizons.

Taking on an internship can be one of the most eye-opening experiences of your entire life. Even if you may have studied abroad, there’s a greater sense of independence that comes with an internship, and it’s completely different from a classroom environment. Once you’ve decided on an internship in a particular city, you can begin to embrace the culture, and you’ll soon find that there are dozens of ways you can step out of your comfort zone.

In doing so, you’ll develop a much more open-minded approach to everyday experiences, and you’ll learn to embrace diversity. This can be a very important trait to possess in a competitive workplace environment.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn valuable skills.

While it’s true that many people explore the idea of doing an internship for the opportunity to build upon their current experiences, you may also learn additional skills that can be very appealing to an employer. Every new tool that you can add to your resume will only make you that much more impressive to the companies you may or may not yet have your eye on.

For example, if you’re interning in an office environment, with a focus on healthcare, you may find that (while there) you’ve also learned how to manage complicated computer systems, work with elaborate email templates and even pick up a few customer service tricks along the way. These are the aspects of an internship that will show a potential employer that you are more than a run-of-the-mill, one-dimensional candidate.

It will make a great addition to your resume.

As mentioned above, every skill that you learn when moving for an internship will add an extra line to your resume. When designing your resume and preparing it for your job search, it’s important that you include everything that can make you a valuable asset to the company.

Of course, if you have interned in a particular niche, and you are hoping to work within that same market, then your experience will make you stand out from other candidates. Additionally, other skill sets that you have ascertained will build even further upon your centered experience. For example, if you worked with a team, list that you are an excellent team player. If you often helped your superior with miscellaneous tasks that weren’t exactly part of your daily tasks, then make your potential employer aware that you are open to learning, have a flexible mindset and will embrace the opportunity to step outside of your standard job description.

You can begin networking right away.

Everyone knows that building a professional network can be extremely important when you start your job search. The old saying can be very true: sometimes it CAN be all about who you know.

When you move abroad and begin to expand your network, the connections that you make ensure that you know the right people, offering an additional advantage when you begin looking for connections or even recommendations. During your internship, you will undoubtedly rub elbows with a number of influential people, who could be instrumental in helping you obtain a permanent position, especially within the same company.

An internship will undoubtedly make you a better job candidate.

Any way that you look at it, doing an internship will prepare you for the professional working world. You’ll have a base of experience that can only be had by doing the actual work, which complements a good education and great attitude very well.

When doing an internship, be open to learning new things and developing professional friendships and contacts. Take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity!

Preparing for your internship

Now that you know what to expect from an internship abroad and how it can ultimately kickstart your career, you’ll want to be sure that you’re prepared for this next big adventure! Whether you are currently living internationally or this will be your first time overseas, there are a number of benefits to living abroad, which you can take advantage of as long as you have planned ahead.

Always begin by:

Securing your internship - In many countries, you’ll need to have your internship set up before you arrive. Plus, if you’re open to several different countries, you’ll want to measure your options and see which internship, including its location, will better suit your preferences.

Exploring your intended location - If you plan on staying in the country for a year or more, you will want to make sure that it is an environment where you feel you can flourish. Learn about the requirements for obtaining work permits and registering your address. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure that you will enjoy the city’s climate, its culture and things to do when you’re not interning. HousingAnywhere has numerous, in-depth city guides for countries like:

Finding an apartment to share or a private room on a trusted housing platform - This may be one of the most important things that you do before moving. Housing is in high demand, so it’s important that you save your time and money, and work with a reliable site like HousingAnywhere, where you know about the fees upfront, and where you’ll be notified immediately about new listings.

Considering travel insurance ! - When you’re relocating abroad, you never know what might come up, so it’s always best to be prepared. Most plans will include coverage for medical expenses, personal assistance, accidents, theft or loss of your luggage, and more.

Having a plan - While this may sound a bit obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people think they can just “wing it” when they move abroad. Always have both a short- and long-term plan. Decide what your next step is after your internship is over, or think about what you’ll want to do should you be offered a permanent position at the company.

This will be one of the most shaping, exciting and beneficial times of your life, as long as you are prepared. Going into an internship with a Plan A and a Plan B is always a good choice, that way you’ll have already explored your potential options.

Good luck with your internship, as well as the start of your professional career!

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