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Reasons an internship abroad is the holiday gift that keeps on giving

This year while you’re writing your letter to “Santa”, take into consideration your priorities. If material items are your cup of tea, by all means, ask for the new iPhone, some swank sneakers or a car. Now, if you’re looking for a little adventure, multicultural experience and the opportunity to kick-start your career, think a little harder. Think about what international internships for students, grads and career changers could offer this holiday.

This holiday season, instead of a product, ask for an experience – an experience that will stay with you your entire life. Opt out of the traditional materialistic holiday gift. An internship abroad isn’t exactly the gift item of the year, but what you reap from the experience will last a lifetime (and much longer than your iPhone battery).


What an internship abroad will give you:


1. Interesting international friends from all over the world

Think about how amazing it would be to establish a network of friends from all corners of the globe. Since young people from all around the world participate in the The Intern Group program, you’ll end up learning not only about the country where you’re living abroad, but also the lives and various home countries of your fellow interns. After the internship experience is over you’ll have a long list of places to stay next time you’re hungry for some international travel.


2. Work experience in the field of your choice

Perhaps this isn’t the most exciting gift of all, however, it certainly is useful and life-changing. Work experience in your career is an important first step to nailing a permanent position that will get you a giant step closer to your dream job. A relevant international internship in your field gives you a jump-start to your career that will get you ahead of your peers while offering that vital multicultural perspective.


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3. An international adventure

Interning abroad is much more adventurous and exciting than a short little vacation, because you’ll actually have time to explore and discover your destination city at length. Moreover, on the weekends you can take day trips to neighboring towns and cities. If you’re based in Europe, you may even get the chance to explore other countries – all while also earning pertinent work experience to your field.


4. The chance to learn about another culture

The internship program allows you to work in a local firm in the industry of your choice, meaning you’ll often be working alongside locals. Having daily interactions and working on projects with people from a different country is an authentic and effective way to learn about a new culture. Meanwhile, on nights and weekends you can learn all about local food, entertainment, practices, beliefs and the language while exploring the city with fellow interns.


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5. Foreign language skills

Experience in an office abroad is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve on a second or third language. Learning professional foreign language skills will especially come in handy next time you’re applying for a job as employers increasingly prefer hiring bilingual individuals.


6. The best Instagram feed ever

How much better will an international internship somewhere like Melbourne, Madrid or Medellín look rather than a new cell phone? Your international adventures with your diverse group of friends will give your besties back home a severe case of FOMO.


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that an international internship would be there


7. Interesting anecdotes for parties and mixers for years to come

Well, you don’t want to be “that guy” who is always talking about that one time he lived abroad. However, if it comes up naturally in conversation, being able to relate to people through your international experience can be both entertaining and illuminating to people who don’t have experience abroad. Moreover, you’ll forever have a connection to people who are from the country where you lived abroad as you understand more about where they are from than the average person.


8. International mentors

One of the benefits of an internship experience is the chance to work alongside established professionals who can offer advice and guidance. An international internship can offer the same thing, only these colleagues are from all over the world, which gives them the added bonus of having a global perspective.


Read more about our international internships for students, grads and career changers andapply now to boost your career!



Photo 1. based on London, by Pug Girl, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on ALUMBRADOS 2010, by Iván Erre Jota, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 3. based on Árbol de Navidad Madrid, by Hola Fernando, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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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!