Why do an internship abroad rather than studying abroad?
I want to start out by saying, if you have an opportunity to travel abroad, whether it is to study or intern, I highly recommend it! With that being said, here are 5 reasons why I chose to intern abroad rather than studying abroad.
1. Experience: At this point in my college career, I had not yet done an internship. At my university, an internship was required for my program. I wanted and needed the work experience that an internship would give me. Mix this with my desire to travel and I chose to intern abroad. An internship abroad will stand out on your resume, especially to global companies. You learn things that you just can’t learn in the classroom.
2. Recommendations: It is very important to have recommendations from professionals in your field. By establishing yourself as a hard-working and passionate intern, you will be noticed. A recommendation from your supervisor will show future employers how valuable you were as an intern.
3. Networking: If you eventually want to work abroad, either for an international company or to travel as part of your job, it is important to have networks in your field from all over the world. Your supervisor and co-workers are great connections to have and the global network that you build with your fellow international interns is invaluable!
4. Portfolio: An internship gives you real work to put in your portfolio. If you are writing articles, doing social media or working on a campaign, you can showcase your skills through a portfolio. This shows future employers what you are capable of. It’s an added bonus that this work was done in a different country!
5. Immersion: The final reason that I chose to intern instead of studying abroad was the full cultural immersion aspect. To my knowledge, while studying abroad, you go with a group from your school. You go to class, eat meals, live in dorms and travel/sightsee together. You lean on each other when you are lost, homesick or afraid. You may be wasting time and money on credits that you don’t need, just to be able to go abroad. Now this might be right for you, but I wanted to learn how to truly be independent and live like a Londoner. By interning abroad, I did most things on my own. I felt like a true Londoner commuting with the rest of the working population, interning from 9-6 and then exploring after work. I occasionally met with friends for dinner or picked something up on my way home. My days were long and sometimes hard, but I wouldn’t change anything. Interning abroad is less like a class trip and more like real life.