Doing an internship in your home country would certainly be easier. You wouldn’t have to worry about visa processes, buying an international flight, or navigating the workplace and making new friends in a foreign language. You could apply to work at an organization in your hometown or use your parents’ and friends’ contacts to find an internship placement. Sure, it’d be easier, more comfortable, and perhaps a very valuable work experience.
BUT-– I imagine that you have stumbled upon this blog post because there’s a part of you that wants to explore– to travel, immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a new language, and meet people from all over the world. These are just some of the benefits of international internships. An international internship is your opportunity to do all these things while gaining valuable work experience. Below, I have listed just 3 of the many reasons why you should choose an internship abroad as you make plans for summer 2015.
1. Get uncomfortable.
Getting out of your comfort zone– though challenging at first– is an extraordinary catalyst for growth. Living internationally in a city with very different customs than what you are used to will teach you to be more open-minded, accepting, and patient. When future employers see on your CV that you completed an internship abroad, they will instantly be assured of your adaptability, initiative, ability to see other viewpoints, and willingness to try new things.
2. Go from conversational to proficient.
Completing an internship in a foreign language will significantly develop your language skills. If your goal is to move from being conversational in your second language to speaking fluently, practicing the language in a workplace environment is essential. Furthermore, not only will you be practicing your target language in the office, but you will also be presented with a host of real-life situations in which to practice as soon as you step foot out of the office.
3. Build an international network.
Living in a major international city like London, Madrid, or Hong Kong will enable you to not only meet locals, but also to meet fellow expats who, like you, have left their home countries to live abroad. Through your colleagues and friends, you will form a global network of contacts which will be valuable to you both personally and professionally. Though the foreigners in a given city may come from all over the world, the expat experience has a way of uniting people together. This worldwide network will be of great benefit as you seek a career in your given field– no matter where you choose to go next.
By pursuing an international internship with The Intern Group, you can gain all of these benefits and more. Living abroad in any of our five destinations– London, Madrid, Hong Kong, Australia, or Latin America— is certain to be a challenge that will stretch and grow you for the better. Whether you want to practice your Spanish in Madrid or Colombia, your English in London or Australia, or your Mandarin or Cantonese in Hong Kong, you will immensely improve your language skills in a country that speaks your target language. Finally, as our interns come from 70 different countries, you are sure to experience an international network of people with varying viewpoints and backgrounds, but like-minded aspirations and goals for the future.
So, rather than staying home this coming summer, I encourage you to take the plunge today and apply for an internship abroad. The world is waiting! Why would you?
Photo 1: The Intern Group
Photo 2: The Intern Group