International interns lead extremely busy lives while abroad. Effective time management skills are truly the key to success. Between full-time internships, social and cultural events, professional development workshops and maybe even learning a new language, it can be hard to keep organized.
When you’re in a new culture, outside of your comfort zone, things can seem a bit overwhelming at first. This is especially true if you’re doing a short-term internship, and don’t have as much time in your new city. You’ll probably have a long number of things you want to do, places you want to see. Utilizing effective time management skills, both during your internship hours and during your free time will ensure a successful experience abroad. Of course, the professional development aspect and the personal growth opportunities are equally important. If you manage your time effectively, you’ll be able to take full advantage of both!
Here are the most effective time management skills for busy interns abroad:
Make a list
Start by making a list. Consider starting even before you leave your home country, as you’ll likely have more free time before arriving. Try listing out the top things you want to do while abroad. This could include places to eat, specific dishes to try and the sites you most want to see. However, it should also include your professional to-dos. If you’re looking to make strides with your new language, find a mentor or master a professional skill, put it on the list! Organizing your travel plans and professional goals beforehand will make it easier to keep track of them when you arrive in-country.
When you have a limited amount of time, prioritizing is key. No matter how long your international internship is, you probably won’t have time to do and see everything you’d like. There are endless travel opportunities, lots of new people to meet, and an incredible amount of things to learn. Prioritizing your top weekend trips, destinations and sites will make it easier to see more, with less stress. Additionally, prioritizing your tasks and assignments in the office will help you to be more effective and efficient, and stand out as a stellar intern!
Getting an early start, whether it’s on your day or on a specific project, will afford you a lot of extra time. Consider getting up a bit earlier in the morning to try a local breakfast dish before work, or to walk by one of the top sites on your list. Additionally, getting a head start on your assignments or projects will help you be more methodical and thorough, as you won’t be rushing to finish things right before the deadline.
Ask for help
At the end of the day, interning abroad means being part of a unique, global community. Reaching out to your fellow interns, your supervisor, or the local team for help when you need it can often be the best way to come up with a solution. Additionally, a local perspective is frequently exactly what you need if you’re facing an issue in your new country. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. You’ll find people around you are more than happy to lend a hand.
Apply now for an internship abroad, and launch your career!
1 . Canada’s Cultural Capital, by Jazmin Million, CC BY 2.0
2. North Charleston Business Expo, by North Charleston, CC BY-SA 2.0
3. International-0460, by VIA Agency, CC BY 2.0