7 simple tips for making the most of your internship abroad

Pursuing an internship abroad is a big commitment. With all the time, energy and money you’re investing in an internship abroad, it’s important to get the most out of the experience. Follow these words of wisdom to ensure that you’re making the most of your internship abroad so that you can come back home with no regrets.

 

7 simple tips for making the most of your internship abroad

1. Be curious

Never stop asking questions. In order to be respectful towards the people around you, you may have to restrain yourself until you find a particularly forthcoming friend. Also, don’t forget to do investigations of your own. So much information is at our fingertips through the internet.

 

2. Make human connections

It’s not just about networking or making cool friends. Reach out to make genuine connections with others. It will be one of the most fulfilling things you do while abroad.

 

making the most of your internship

3. Come early, stay late

It’s a bit of a cliche, but if you have the opportunity to take on projects, try to say “yes” as much as possible. The more work you do, the more you’ll learn and the more worthwhile the experience will be. However, there is something to be said about maintaining balance. As you let your ambition push you to take on projects, don’t forget to say “no” and opt for cultural experiences and travel adventures when those arise too.

 

4. Say “yes”

Push yourself to go for as many new experiences as possible. Don’t let hesitations or the fear of the unknown or of looking stupid hold you back from trying something new. You can’t learn anything by playing it safe. Be bold, even if it’s uncharacteristic. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

5. Do your research

Investigate your role and destination city beforehand. Have an idea of what the company’s goals are and what you can do to help them reach those goals. Talk to your colleagues for advice on how to succeed at the company. The more prepared you are, the better. That also goes for getting to know your internship city. The more familiar you are with the country, language, etc, the more you’ll be able to absorb new knowledge and there’s going to be a lot of that.

 

making the most of your internship

 

6. Be open to criticism (it’s the only way to get better)

Even though it may feel as though somebody is taking a red pen to your heart, getting constructive criticism is almost always a good thing. You can’t get better unless you understand places where you can improve. The important thing is to not internalize the negative feedback, but rather use it as a test of your resilience and ability to make improvements.

 

7. Maintain a positive attitude no matter what

Whether or not you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed or nervous, it’s important to always stay positive and in good spirits. Being upbeat and displaying a good attitude will win over the respect and affection of your coworkers. The people from your office will be more likely to lend a hand when you need guidance and stay in contact once you leave if you’re a pleasant colleague. On the flip side, coming into a new workplace with a poor attitude will permanently damage your reputation and make it less likely you’ll get a recommendation from your boss or lasting professional contacts.

 

 

Haven’t secured an international internship yet? Learn more here.

 

Sources:

Photos

1. by The Intern Group

2. by The Intern Group

3. by The Intern Group

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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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