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7 reasons an internship abroad will be the best thing to ever happen to you

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

An internship abroad is the perfect way to gain experience in your field before building your career. Aside from the professional aspects, an internship abroad has many benefits for your personal life as well. Here are 7 life-changing reasons to intern abroad.

1. You’ll make lifelong friends from around the world

There’s nothing quite like making friends while you’re abroad. It’s a unique kind of bonding experience. Nearly everyone doing an internship abroad is open to meeting new people and learning about different countries and cultures. Establishing friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds will make you realize that despite our differences, there are always ways in which we can connect with one another. Having an international group of friends also means you have couches to sleep on in many different countries, whenever you decide to travel the world again.


2. You’ll be on a more international career path

An internship abroad sets you up for a much more international lifestyle. It can be a stepping stone to living abroad for a longer period of time. It may even lead to a career path in your home country where you work with people from different parts of the world. Although you can become part of the international professional community at any age, it always helps to get your foot in the door when you’re younger and starting your career.


3. The world as you know it will become so much bigger

Spending an extended period of time abroad will make you realize how large and diverse the world really is. When we stay in the same country our whole lives, we don’t expose ourselves to as many different cultures and ways of life. Going abroad will show you that there’s a lot more to the world than what you know. This humbling and paradigm-shifting kind of experience is one of the best reasons to intern abroad.


reasons to intern abroad


4. You’ll discover what’s unique about where you’re from

Going abroad is more than just learning about a new country and its culture. The experience also gives you an entirely new lens to see the world through. After removing yourself from home after staying in a foreign country, you’ll come back with a fresh perspective and notice new things about your home culture you never quite realized before.


5. Your definition of “normal” will change

Going abroad turns your idea of what “normal” is on its head. Because the reality is “normal” doesn’t exist. Every single person lives a different life and experience. Instead of comparing these experiences, appreciate the differences and recognize that there are so many ways to live life. What you see as “normal” is just your reality and not anybody else’s.


reasons to intern abroad


6. You’ll learn to speak a foreign language

There are many benefits of interning abroad and becoming bilingual. Knowing a foreign language not only gives you access to a different culture, but it’s also great for your brain. Speaking a second language actually delays the effects of Alzheimer’s, for example. Knowing a foreign language also can boost your professional opportunities as the world continues to globalize.


7. You’ll be more likely to travel in the future

Travel is a truly enriching experience that opens up your eyes to so many beautiful things the world has to offer. That being said, travel can also be a frustrating and exhausting experience. That’s why traveling while you’re young is another one of the best reasons to intern abroad.  You’ll learn quickly what kind of traveler you are, what interests you and where your limits are. Once you travel at a young age, you’ll be able to fill your vacations with exciting, international trips for the rest of your life.


Now that you know 7 reasons to intern abroad, learn more about how to boost your career overseas.




1. by The Intern Group

2. by The Intern Group

3. by The Intern Group

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!