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7 things you have to do before graduating college

Completing your credit hours and turning in all of your coursework is just part of what the university experience is all about. The following 7 things to do before graduating college are absolute must-do’s before graduation day. Don’t waste time binging on Netflix – cease the moment and find your next adventure.


1. Gain work experience at an internship

University teaches us many things. It’s a place where we learn to think, delving into an array of subject areas, and engage in debates and discussions to widen our understanding of the world around us. That said, a lot of college experience tends to be theoretical. Though this isn’t a bad thing, oftentimes college grads lack concrete professional skills to supplement their degrees. That’s why finding an internship or a part-time job during school is one of the most important things to do before graduating college. It gives you a competitive edge for when you graduate and are looking for a job.


2. Travel

There’s nothing like traveling while you’re young. It’s the perfect time to expand your horizons and embark on an adventure. You can meet interesting people, see new places, learn about yourself and other traditions and cultures. The places you travel at such an impressionable time in your life will have a long-term impact on how you see the world and how you see your home.

Expanding your horizons beyond your home country can have a lasting impact on how you see the world. You’ll realize that so much goes on beyond your borders and learn to appreciate how interconnected the world truly is. Seeing architecture, transportation, government, gastronomy and more, in a different part of the world, will give you that vital global context that can be applied to both your professional and personal life.


things to do before graduating college


3. Learn another language

If you already speak English – the international language – it can be hard to see the value of learning another language when you’re struggling in Spanish class. But just wait until you start communicating with real people in another language, you’ll start to feel your brain and perspective changing. Learning a second language helps you become part of the international community because you are living a common experience of most people around the world – speaking and hearing more than one language. Also, speaking another language allows you to communicate with a whole new community of people, giving you access to a new world of literature, art and music. Each language has different ways of expressing feelings, thoughts, desires and emotions, so learning another language also gives you a tool to access different forms of expression.


4. Meet international students

College campuses and internship abroad programs bring in a mix of people from all sorts of backgrounds. In life we don’t always have this rich opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world. While studying, take advantage of the diversity around you and make some international friendships. You’ll learn about a new part of the world, make a new friend and maybe have a couch to crash on next time you want to travel internationally.


5. Go outside your comfort zone

College is the time to stretch yourself and try new things. This exploration is different for each student – there’s no “right” way to get outside your comfort zone. Exposing yourself to new experiences, ideas and people can take you into interesting directions and add new perspectives to your life experience that will stay with you for the rest of your personal and professional life.


things to do before graduating college


6. Join a club

University isn’t just about getting the grades. It’s also an important time of life to get involved. Whether it’s volunteering, becoming part of an artistic group, a fraternity or sorority or anything else, college can help you explore your interests beyond the classroom. These extracurricular experiences help develop different parts of your brain and also provide the perfect platform for establishing friendships and developing people skills.


7. Test drive different career options

How can you be expected to know what you want to do when you grow up if you aren’t given the chance to test out different options. Figuring out exactly what you want to do with your life takes time and patience. One way to discover viable career options is to take on internships. It’s a low-commitment way to work in an industry and see what you like and don’t like. Even if you decide a career field isn’t for you, these experiences can also help you decide what kind of office environments you work best in, whether or not you prefer working in teams or by yourself, etc.



Learn more about how to boost your career with an international internship.



1. based on Piedmont Virginia Community College, by PVCC Graduation 2017, CC-by-2.0

2. by The Intern Group

3. based on Riverside., by Knar Bedian, 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!