9 things you can cross off your bucket list if you intern abroad

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ―Augustine of Hippo

It’s never too early to start compiling your bucket list (the long list of things that you want to do before you die). There are some adventures best had while you’re young and free of major responsibilities, like raising kids or paying a mortgage. Consider your lifetime aspirations and think about if an internship abroad might help you cross a thing or two off your bucket list:

 

1. Live in a foreign country

Spending an extended period of time, rather than just a vacation, in a foreign country is an important life experience to have under your belt. Not only will it help you understand a new culture on a deeper level, you’ll also gain valuable life skills, and become more self-sufficient.

 

2. Learn a new language

Interning abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to learn or improve a foreign language. Developing foreign language skills in a professional environment will be great for your resume. Also, while picking up a second language, you can more easily connect to the local culture and see how language actually shapes beliefs and culture.

 

3. Make friends from all over the world

Interning abroad gives you the opportunity to befriend young, adventurous professionals from all over the world. These lifelong friendships that you establish abroad will not only lead to a long list of international professional contacts, but also you’ll make interesting, multicultural friends who you can travel with or even visit in their home countries.

 

your bucket list

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” ― Anita Desai

 

4. Travel the world

Taking an internship abroad, instead of a domestic one, adds a whole new element of travel and cultural discovery to the internship experience. On the weekends you can travel to different places in a brand new region and really get to know a different country. Before or after your internship you can also take advantage of being in a far away region and take some time to backpack around before heading back home.

 

5. Gain professional experience abroad

Spending some time in a foreign office or workplace gives you a unique insight into a foreign culture. You’ll gain international professional contacts and learn about your field in a different country. The experience also looks outstanding on a resume.

 

6. Learn to cook an exotic cuisine

Picking up some favorite local recipes while you’re abroad will allow your trip to continue even when you go back home. Food allows us to travel without buying a plane ticket. Through cooking you can share your travels and cultural experience with your friends and family.

 

your bucket list

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

 

7. Go without the comforts of home

You can never truly appreciate what you have until you live without it for a while. Going abroad allows you to see your life through a whole new lens. Once you return home, you’ll value the people and amenities in your life in a different way.

 

8. Test out a career

Don’t commit to a lifetime of one career without giving it a test spin while you’re young and have time to change your mind. Getting real world professional experience can help you make life-changing decisions about your career path at an early age.

 

9. Take up a new hobby

While interning abroad, why not pick up a new interest or hobby in order to better connect with the local culture. You’ll become a more interesting, multicultural person and also be able to pursue this interest while back home and connect to a whole new group of people.

 

 

Apply now to tick all of these off your bucket list!

 

Sources: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/travel

Photo 1. based on Hillcrest ‘Before I Die’ wall, by Tony Webster, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. by The Intern Group

Photo 3. based on cooking, by norimutsu nogami, CC-by-2.0

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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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