So, you’ve decided that you want to broaden your horizons, travel the world, and gain some invaluable, career progressing and formative work experience all at the same time. Sounds like an international internship would be a natural fit for you. International internships are a quickly growing trend that we are seeing nowadays as the world’s millennial generation is seeking adventure abroad but doesn’t want to compromise their future career. Many young people are leaving the comforts of their home countries in search of life changing experiences. If you fall under this category, great! But… where do you start? How do you find an internship internationally?
The most daunting aspect of embarking on this adventure is trying to organize it. You might start off by Googling your chosen destination and see what opportunities there are, but you will quickly find that the Internet is full of travel websites offering all sorts of information and it is extremely difficult to filter through them all and take the helpful details in. Some decide to just book a flight and go, but many of us have external factors, like parents, who may not like this idea.
Here’s some advice for when you’re looking for an internship abroad and for when you finally arrive…
The first step and probably the biggest one is finding an internship in your chosen sector in your chosen city. The one thing you need when trying to look for an internship abroad is perseverance. If you are in a position where you don’t have any contacts and no one to help you find a placement in the city you are hoping to work in, finding an internship can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating. Emailing every company you can find in your chosen sector with your CV and cover letter can sometimes yield results, but you shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t even email you back. You can bet that your CV is one of thousands that end up on these executives desks. For many, it takes time to learn the lay of the land, to network, and then to find an internship.
Once you’ve been accepted onto your internship you’ll need somewhere to live. The most common advice you’ll hear whenever you move somewhere new for an extended period of time is that you should always visit the apartment first. Websites are often misleading and you have to know what you are paying for. However, if you are traveling far then this is simply not possible. A common alternative is staying in a hostel for a short period of time while looking for a new apartment. There are many websites on the Internet dedicated to finding apartments but Facebook is also a good resource. Most big cities will have Facebook groups based around flat sharing. Once you’ve settled into a new place you will feel much more at ease in your new city, as this is probably the most stressful part of moving away.
Making friends in a new city can often be hard. If you don’t have any contacts in the city in which you’re based, there aren’t other interns or you don’t have colleagues of a similar age, it can be very difficult to make friends. Once again, Facebook is the answer. There are expat groups on Facebook in which people post events, meet ups and other social activities, but if you’re all alone you really have to be confident and put yourself out there.
The Intern Group can organize every last detail of your international internship for you. Your internship, your accommodation, your social life… everything! You will be living with other interns of a similar age, doing the same thing as you. Dedicated program coordinators with an extensive knowledge of their city will organize social events so you will never have a dull moment. The Intern Group will also find a professional internship for you that will take you closer to your future career. Letting The Intern Group take all of the stress away from finding an international internship will truly allow you to enjoy your experience.
Photo 1: The Intern Group