6 ways an international internship prepares you for a successful career

An internship abroad can enrich your life in a number of ways. It’s a unique opportunity for you to earn valuable professional experience while traveling and immersing yourself in a new culture. The different ways you learn and grow during your time abroad will stay with you for decades, making you a more international, culturally-sensitive, dynamic and open-minded professional. Check out these incredible benefits of working abroad.

 

6 ways an international internship prepares you for a successful career:

 

1. The experience pushes you to become a more dynamic person

When thrown into a completely foreign culture, you’re forced to alter your behavior to fit the new cultural norm. Having to make these personal changes to fit in at an international office pushes you to be more adaptable and dynamic. These skills will come in handy no matter where you end up.

 

2. You can hone your international networking skills

An international internship program thrusts you into social situations with citizens from the world over. At your internship you’ll have the opportunity to meet established professionals in your field. This is a great way to build up your network of professional contacts. You’ll also have the opportunity to make connections with other interns from all over the world in your free time.

 

3. It’s an opportunity to gain a global perspective

Going abroad opens your eyes and ears to the world beyond your home country. Living and interning in a brand new cultural context offers you a fresh perspective. Once you step out of your comfort zone and see how another culture operates, you’ll start to understand how big and diverse the world really is. You’ll realize just how important it is to understand what’s going on in the world beyond your own borders.

 

benefits of working abroad

 

4. Meeting and working with a diverse group of people keeps you open to new personalities and points of view

There’s more than one right way to do things – each person approaches a task a little differently. These different perspectives and viewpoints can help solve complex problems and bring innovation and new ideas to the workplace. Working among professionals with different backgrounds at a young age will free your mind from the notion that a certain task has to be done in a certain way.

 

5. You learn to become comfortable being uncomfortable

One of the best takeaways from an experience abroad is how it forces you to become more open to feeling uncomfortable and out of your element. When you’re abroad, you’re put into new situations where you may not know what to say or how to act, but you have to figure it out somehow and keep your cool. People who can adjust quickly, adapt and think on their feet are exactly the kind of people managers want beside them in an important meeting or presentation.

 

benefits of working abroad

 

6. Foreign language experience in a professional setting will open up unexpected doors

Knowing a second language can open up any number of professional doors in your future. For example, if you’re at a company that is looking to expand internationally to Latin America and you speak fluent Spanish, you’re a far more valuable employee than a monolingual. Language skills also help you connect to people from different parts of the world, so you can cast a wider net when you are networking.

 

 

Apply now for an international internship to reap all of the benefits of working abroad.

 

Photos

1. based on Cydcor Conference attendees, by Cydcor, CC-by-2.0

2. by The Intern Group

3. by The Intern Group

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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!

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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.

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