12 tips for breaking out of your shell at your internship abroad

How to be brave and break out of your shell at your internship abroad


1. Introduce yourself to a new coworker every day.


how to be brave


2. Bake your way into your colleague’s heart by bringing them some delicious homemade treats from your home country.


3. Rehearse what you’re going to say before speaking to your boss or making an announcement.


4. Take deep breaths or a short walk outside when you feel nervous or overwhelmed.


how to be brave


5. If you don’t feel comfortable in big groups, get to know just one or two colleagues at a time by asking them to grab coffee or lunch.


6. Take advantage of online formats to converse with colleagues like email or internal office chats.


7. Smile – it’s the simplest way to communicate friendliness and a positive attitude.


how to be brave


8. Go along with local greetings, like kisses on the cheek, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.


9. When you are just starting out, focus on getting to know the people on your team and that sit by you instead of worrying about conversing with the whole office.


10. Have a sense of humor about yourself. Miscommunication and awkward moments are bound to happen, especially in a multicultural, multilingual office, so learn to take it in stride and maintain a good attitude.


11. Say “yes” to office hangouts, even if you’re nervous.


12. Be patient – it takes time to feel comfortable in a new office, especially when it’s in a foreign country.


Click here for more information about our international internship programs.



Photo 1. based on Handshake man – women, by Flazingo Photos, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Walking…, by David O, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Cowgirl, by skedonk, CC-by-2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

To learn how to apply to our internship programs, click here.


Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Comment