Ask the intern: I don’t know which destination to pick
“Hi Fiona, my name is Kate and I was hoping you could help me with something. I don’t know where to travel to for my internship. I’m really interested in doing an international internship. I have read your blog on how to choose an internship destination, but I’m still a bit unsure. I don’t know a huge amount about any of the destinations. I have done a bit of research online but I was hoping you could give me a bit of an insight into each destination.” – Kate
Hi Kate, thanks for getting in touch! I completely understand that it’s such an exciting but tricky decision. How do you decide between nine amazing cities? Nine amazing new experiences? Hopefully I can help. I will give you a brief rundown of each destination and an insight into what each one has to offer. So, in no particular order:
If there is one phrase that is used above all others to describe London, it is “never boring”. London is truly a city that never sleeps. There is always something to do, or somewhere to go, at any time of the day, any day of the week. If you feel like Chinese food at 3am on a Wednesday, someone will deliver it to you. If you want to wander and grab some street food you will find deluxe, warm brownies, Korean inspired tacos, fresh-cooked samosas, French cheese, Sri Lankan takeaway, luxurious sandwiches. Truly anything you could think of.
But I will steer away from food. London is a fast-paced financial hub, the home to many of the largest and most successful companies in the world. You will find yourself thrown immediately into the exciting life of a Londoner, always having something to do or somewhere to go. London also boasts a lively and innovative creative scene for those looking to move down that path, with up-and-coming artists and creators around every corner. Where better to start your career?
Berlin, the capital and largest city in Germany, has spent the last decade transforming itself into an artistic, financial and cultural powerhouse. Berlin truly has many faces. It boasts a bustling alternative music scene, beautiful architecture, museums for history lovers and some of the most incredible food markets in the world. Where else can you swim in a beautiful converted barge floating on the river Spree? Or relax in the hammocks to its side?
Germany is one of the most influential countries in Europe and many of Europe’s most famous companies have headquarters here. It therefore can provide a stepping stone into the European business culture. Berlin also stands out as a hub for the arts and has flourishing creative sectors. All of these amazing experiences are out there for you to make the most of.
New York, the big apple. How would you describe New York in one word? Alive. New York is a city which is truly multicultural. With over 800 languages spoken in the city, and with almost 40% of New Yorkers born outside the US, New York is full of incredible experiences. My favorite fact about New York? If you ate at a new restaurant every day for 12 years, you still wouldn’t have visited all of New York’s eateries.
The amazingly diverse culture in New York is reflected directly in its business culture. New York is the home to some of the most exciting companies in the world, with some of the world’s largest NGOs and Non-Profits, PR & Marketing firms and exciting IT opportunities based here. With a wealth of opportunities to offer, New York has developed as a hub for entrepreneurship and start-ups. It’s the perfect place for any budding entrepreneur.
Shanghai is a vision of the future. When filmmakers envisage the skyline of the future, Shanghai is the image they could draw from. With towering skyscrapers, the bright lights of Shanghai are enticing for any intern looking to kick-start their career. Where else in the world is there a five-storey slide to fly down in a shopping mall? Who needs stairs? But although Shanghai has a modern, futuristic skyline it is also home to beautiful ancient buildings, a magical forest, an antique water town, and a park known as the “Garden of Happiness”.
Shanghai is a center for Finance, Business, PR & Marketing and Hospitality & Tourism, with some of the most exclusive hotels in the world situated here. These companies have an incredible foothold in the Chinese market, and the connections you will make here will be incredibly important throughout your career.
Australia, the land down under. Although it seems very far away from almost everything, Australia has an unbelievable number of incredible experiences to offer. The Australia program is based in Melbourne, voted the world’s most liveable city for the past five years. You will be able to hop on the tram, wander through the skyscrapers, grab a coffee at a cute, alternative café and relax on the beach. All in a day’s work for an intern in Australia.
With its proximity to the Asian market, Melbourne is a great place to start your career in Finance. But as a bustling creative city, there are endless opportunities in Fashion, PR & Marketing and more. The main problem you will have when taking part in an international internship in Australia is that you just will not want to go home. Australia steals the heart of so many travelers, and for good reason. I mean, where else can you cuddle a koala?
The Intern Group Colombia program is based in Medellín – the city of eternal spring. Medellín is a city of hidden marvels. Wander through the interactive ‘Parque de los Pies Descalzos’ (barefoot park), ride the cable cars over the city, maybe even take a weekend trip to Guatape. Interning in Colombia allows you to be in the heart of South America. With breathtaking scenery and a lively professional environment, Colombia is the perfect place to be an intern.
Colombia is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. With Medellín named as the world’s most innovative city in 2013, beating out Tel Aviv and New York, it is truly a hub of entrepreneurship and business. Medellín is also an incredible place to be an engineering intern, as the city is developing so quickly. The Intern Group has strong links with the Colombian government, so if government and politics is more your thing, Colombia is definitely the place for you.
Hong Kong is, without a doubt, a powerhouse. It is an incredibly modern center for business and technology. However it has opportunities within almost any field you can think of. Companies in Hong Kong are paving the way for businesses worldwide, and with their forward-thinking, innovative ideas, are changing the face of all kinds of career fields.
Hong Kong, as with many of these cities, is another which has many faces. Hidden amongst the skyscrapers and modern masterpieces are intricate ancient temples and beautiful serene parks. If you can see yourself working in a huge skyscraper, relaxing on the beaches of Lantau island, wandering the bustling bird market, or grabbing some incredible street food, then Hong Kong is the place for you. It truly exemplifies a mix of modern and traditional and is the perfect place to start your career.
There’s a word commonly used in Ireland which really sums up Dublin as a city – craic. The definition is relatively tricky to pinpoint exactly, but in rough terms it is essentially ‘good times’, but can be used to describe fun, enjoyment, excitement and so much more. Dublin, the fun-loving capital of Ireland is a creative, financial, and business capital, and the perfect place for an international internship.
As you wander the cobbled streets of Dublin, chatting to the notoriously friendly locals, you will experience a city which is truly humming with life. You will be able to grab a quick drink in the quirky pubs of Temple Bar, grab a bite of famous Dublin Coddle and even visit the National Leprechaun Museum. If you’re looking for a bustling business capital which has a fun, creative atmosphere, Dublin is the place for you.
Last, but absolutely not least, Madrid. Spain is the land of incredible food, amazing people, and stunning landscapes. Madrid, as the country’s capital, has all of these things, and more. It is a center for global business and its position in the heart of Europe allows you to be perfectly placed for your international experience.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a freshly cooked churro dipped in melted chocolate, but it is definitely a must. Madrid is a haven of amazing food, its world-famous tapas allow you to try all kinds of incredible fresh food, all at the same time. A city of beautiful architecture, wandering the streets you will find incredible buildings, bustling squares and world-renowned museums. You will feel like a true local as you live and work in this amazing city.
I hope this gives you a little bit of an insight into the destinations and maybe will help you to choose a city. They are all incredible cities, full of opportunity and I can guarantee that you will have an amazing experience in whichever you choose. If you want some more information on fun things to do in each destination, and what they have to offer, check out The Intern Group’s Pinterest page. It is full of great photos, blogs and destination-specific articles.
I love hearing from you! If you have any questions, stories or queries, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org