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Tips for making the most of your international internship

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” ― Milton Berle

An internship abroad can be a hefty investment. Everything possible should be done to make it a memorable and career-boosting experience. Consider these handy tips for ensuring you’re making the most out of your international internship.


1. Arrive on time

Punctuality will guarantee that you never miss out on important meetings or information. It will also reflect your professionalism and show that you’re someone who can be depended on.


2. Communicate your learning goals

See if you can talk to your advisor about what you would like to learn over the course of the internship. Of course, the company is going to have certain needs that may not align 100% with your learning goals, but if you talk about what you want and need from the experience, there should be a way to negotiate so both of you are happy.


3. Ask for feedback

It’s really important to seek out criticism and feedback in order to improve your work quality and be a better professional. Pick milestones, maybe the end of each month, to request a meeting with your supervisor in order to discuss progress and ways your work could be better. Remember not to take the criticism personally – it’s just meant to make you a better professional. Learning and growing through feedback is an excellent way to ensure that you’re making the most of your international internship.


Tips for making the most of your international internship


4. Reflect on your own work

Take time every two weeks or so to look at the work you’re turning in and see how it could be improved. Could it have been completed faster? Did you leave out something important in a report? Write down some tips on things to improve for your next couple weeks and track your progress. Facilitate your own professional development when possible.


5. Get enough sleep

If you’re staying out late and arriving exhausted to your work, chances are you’re not going to be working at your full capacity. If you want to crank out your best work – which is what will ultimately make you a better employee – you need to be operating on at least 8 hours of sleep each night.


6. Take care of yourself

Besides getting enough sleep, it’s also important to be eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Your brain needs healthy food just like your body, in order to have the energy to work to its full potential. Exercise will keep your stress levels down and your mood up.


7. Befriend your colleagues

Try to talk to as many people in your office as possible. Establishing these personal and professional connections will not only make your time at the office more enjoyable – because you’ll be working with friends – but you’ll also have some coworkers to come to when you need advice, a critique, help or even a recommendation for your next job. A strong network of colleagues is an indicator that you’re making the most of your international internship.


Tips for making the most of your international internship


8. Make sure you get your work done

Don’t let work go undone at your internship. It’s important to budget your time so you can complete what’s been assigned. If you’re having a really tough time meeting deadlines, talk to your boss about lightening the workload or talk to coworkers to see how you could work more efficiently.


9. Go to office events

When you’ve got an invitation to do something with your coworkers – take it! Even something as simple as eating lunch in the cafeteria or break room can go a long way in embedding yourself in the office community. Even if you feel a little like you’re on the outside looking in, you’ll still learn a lot about the local office culture and hopefully make some friends along the way.


Apply now and boost your career!


Photo 1. by The Intern Group

Photo 2. by The Intern Group

Photo 3. by The Intern Group

Blog by Maeve Allsup

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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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