Invest in an international internship before forking out for grad school

A traditional graduate school program isn’t for everyone. An expensive advanced degree indicates an individual has jumped through the hoops of traditional education, while actual work experience proves you know how to do the job. Though some professions absolutely require an advanced degree, many lucrative career fields prefer professionals with experience in the sector. Young people around the world are opting to do internships rather than paying for grad school programs for that very reason. Depending on your desired career field, an international internship just may be the best next step instead of spending loads of money on a pricey traditional graduate school program.

 

Why should you invest in an international internship before paying for grad school?

1. Experience in an office abroad

Working in an office in a foreign country teaches a young professional a lot about working in a multicultural environment. There’s also a big difference between traveling abroad and working abroad. Having worked in an office in another region means you’ll understand the office culture in another part of the world. You never know when that kind of experience will translate into opportunities like one day leading an international team at your work.

 

2. The opportunity to develop second language skills

In our increasingly global society, foreign language skills are becoming more and more important. Not only will an international internship increase your foreign language abilities through day-to-day interactions, but working in a multilingual working environment will improve office foreign language skills. You’ll also become much more comfortable working in an environment where foreign languages are spoken, where you may not understand everything being discussed. There are only so many online courses that you can take or language textbooks that you can read. The most effective language learning takes place when you’re fully immersed!

 

paying for grad school

 

3. Networking opportunities with established professionals around the world

One of the many perks of an international internship is the opportunity to work alongside (and befriend) top-notch professionals in your field. Having mentors that can offer advice and inside knowledge while you’re beginning your career can really help you maximize your efforts at work.

 

4. The chance to test drive your career at a top firm

The Intern Group offers high quality internships at established and well-respected firms in order to give interns the best possible opportunity to develop and sharpen skills necessary for a successful career in their field of choice. This “test drive” gives you the opportunity to explore the industry and see if this career really is for you before paying for grad school!

 

5. Getting your foot in the door at an international office, in the field of your choice

Many entry level jobs these days still require related work experience. An internship is a great way to get this necessary experience in your field in a learning environment intended for professional development.

 

paying for grad school

 

6. Hands-on, on-the-job learning, versus theory-based learning

The best way to learn something is by doing it. Internships are the practical way to learn about the field of your choice, as you’ll be doing the job you want instead of merely learning about it.

 

7. The opportunity to discover and travel a new country

Spending time in a foreign country teaches you lessons you can’t learn any other way. You become aware of the huge role culture plays in how a person acts and you learn how to get past cultural differences in order to join together and solve a problem. These interpersonal skills can’t be learned in a textbook.

 

8. Multicultural competence

Being able to handle yourself in a variety of multicultural contexts is a valuable skill in any sector. Companies like to have employees with a nuanced understanding of culture and cultural differences because these employees can offer personal insight in situations that require a multicultural vantage point.

 

9. It’s a gutsier choice

Taking an internship abroad takes courage. It’s the road less travel by, which is something employers will respect. That adventurous and brave spirit is proof that you’re not afraid to take risks in the name of personal and professional development.

 

 

All photos by The Intern Group

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth 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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