Published on September 22, 2015

From countryside community to big city life: the life-changing perks of interning abroad

There’s no place like home. It’s where you come from and where you have developed your idea of the world. It's all you know. And as someone from a small town, itching to get out of the bubble and grow as a person, there's nothing quite like an experience abroad that can expose you to so many new and interesting things. Why intern abroad? Consider these ten perks of taking an international internship in a large city abroad:


why intern abroad


1) Get to know another culture, country and its customs

An internship abroad is an incredible way to see and experience another way of life. Living in your hometown bubble has shielded you from the diverse lifestyles and ways of thinking out in the big wide world. Going to a large international city to intern abroad will introduce you to a vast marketplace of ideas and beliefs.


2) You'll mature and adapt

As you are introduced to different cultures and ways of life, you’ll learn to be more comfortable with people who are different from you. Realizing that it’s completely okay to have different values and ideas to someone else's will take you far in life.


why intern abroad


3) You'll find your way

After living in a cosmopolitan city and getting lost a few hundred times, you'll soon learn how to get around the most enormous place you've ever been to! Learning how to be comfortable and confident in a foreign environment is an invaluable skill that opens up options, as urban areas tend to have more job opportunities and higher salaries.


4) Network, network, network

It's not what you know, but who you know. Whether they be colleagues, fellow interns or friends, interning in a city abroad allows you to meet people from all over the world. People you would never have the chance to meet in a small town. Big cities bring people from all over the world together. These connections lead to international friendships, work resources and even career opportunities.


5) You'll gain confidence

After proving yourself at a big international firm in a global city, you'll feel more confident applying for jobs in cities at home. The combination of working in a well-known international area and a large urban area will prepare you for your job search more than the types of positions you would find at home.


why intern abroad


6) It'll open your mind

Large international cities are fast-paced and full of well-educated professionals. The exchange of ideas in cities and the diversity of opinions and lifestyles is almost overwhelming. If you’re from a small town it will get you thinking about life in different ways. It will open your mind to new professional goals, people and perspectives.


7) It'll open your eyes

Traveling to a foreign country in itself is an unforgettable experience. While living in a foreign city you'll have the chance to see incredible sights that will blow your mind.


8) You'll catch the travel bug

Traveling is a skill that you develop with experience. It's hard to break into it when you're older. Getting out of your small town and traveling to a foreign country while you're young will encourage you to continue exploring the globe when you're older.


why intern abroad


9) Language exposure

If you’re from a small town, you have probably only heard one language your whole life. Going abroad to a cosmopolitan city will expose you to endless languages and cultures, proving that those foreign language classes really are important if you want to travel and connect with other cultures. There’s nothing more rewarding than learning a foreign language and then being able to share that skill with native speakers.


10) You'll stand out from the crowd

Like most young people, you're probably worried about where you'll find your first full-time job in your desired career. An international internship can help you find that first position, as you will earn international experience relevant to your field. In addition to the portfolio and experience you can refer to in a job interview, talking to potential employers about having worked abroad in a major international city is sure to grab their attention.


Photo 1. based on Copenhagen airport - Up and away, by Thomas Rousing, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on, by, CC-by-2.0

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

Photo 4. based on, by, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third 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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