Why do an internship abroad? Why not? It’s the kind of real-world professional experience that will make you a more open-minded, culturally-aware and balanced person for the rest of your life. Check out these 11 reasons to intern abroad in your 20s and learn about what an international internship can do for your career and well-being.
1. To learn another language
Learning a second language is one of the most valuable skills a young person can gain. Not only is it an excellent skill for your brain, but it looks good on your resume. It can also open up a lot of new doors and opportunities in the business world and beyond, thanks to emerging markets all around the world. More than that, learning another language opens up a window to a new culture and world of poetry and literature that can only be accessed through language.
2. To figure out what on earth you want to do in life
Taking some time outside of the university world to dig into a real-world office in a major international city is a great way to get a taste of what the real world feels like. It can help shift a young person’s perspective from student to adult so they can make more informed judgments about what they truly are interested in doing and being in life.
3. To leave everything behind and find some clarity
University, high school or whatever community you’re living in can be a kind of echo chamber. Your friends and family probably have certain expectations for you and an idea of what you’ll do and where you live. Breaking away from all of those influences and going abroad can be very freeing. It’s a chance to live your experiences freely and find your joy and passion away from the eyes and expectations of others.
4. To realize you can
Jetting off to another part of the world to live and intern is not something just anybody does. It takes some guts and humility to jump outside your comfort zone and trust that everything will be fine. Once you do bite the bullet and take that leap, it’s an exhilarating feeling to realize that you can do it – and a lot of other things. Fears are kind of like dominoes, once you conquer one, the rest start to fall down on their own.
5. To boost your resume
A resume is the first thing a potential employer reads about you. It reflects your professional experience and will decide whether or not you get called in for an interview. A professional internship abroad is a wonderful thing to list on your resume, as it both reflects a commitment to your career field but also an adventurous spirit and willingness to try new things. Plus, if you picked up some language skills, that’s another coveted quality you can write down on a resume.
6. To test drive your career field
Still not sure what you want to be when you grow up? That’s OK. You’ve got time. While you’re figuring it out, test drive a career you’re interested in with an internship abroad while also exploring a brand new culture.
7. To network with international professionals
An internship abroad provides many opportunities to meet fellow interns and professionals from all around the world. Moreover, your workplace is a great place to meet local professionals and make lasting international friendships.
8. To find a mentor abroad
A mentor can offer career insight and advice for a young professional trying to find their path. The great thing about finding a mentor abroad is that you also get a global perspective, which may not be as narrow as advice from a mentor from your university or hometown.
9. To have an adventure while you can
Twenty-somethings generally have less responsibility than older folk. Interning abroad gives you the chance to try new things and spend time developing different interests and passions. It’s the perfect time to have an international adventure and you’ll also be growing professionally at the same time – the best of both worlds.
10. To learn from the culture and customs from a different part of the world
We’re living in a global society where cultures are intertwining and innovating more than ever. It’s important to gain experience outside your home and culture in order to become a more culturally-sensitive and understanding person and professional. Exposure to different ways of life can also help open your mind to new problem-solving methods, perspectives and philosophies.
11. To get outside your comfort zone
Employers love gutsy professionals working for them – people who know how to think on their feet and aren’t afraid of entering unchartered territory. Deciding to go abroad and try out a completely foreign professional experience is a character-building experience that will garner you respect next time you’re in an interview.
Why do an internship abroad? Why not? Apply now to boost your career with the travel adventure of a lifetime.
Photos by The Intern Group