Published on February 16, 2017

The internal rewards of interning abroad

Why intern abroad? Besides job opportunities, a boosted resume and winning on Snapchat and Instagram, what else could interning abroad possibly do for you?

Why intern abroad?

 

1. You'll discover yourself in a context far away from home

This personal and professional adventure is a chance to redefine who you are by mixing things up. Outside of your home country and embedded in international groups of friends, different aspects of your personality will flourish and bloom. You may discover new interests, hobbies and blind spots in your knowledge of the world.

 

2. You'll form enriching relationships with people from a different culture

Connecting with interesting individuals from a variety of backgrounds helps us to see past cultural differences. It allows us to understand and appreciate what makes us human beings.

 

3. A sense of accomplishment

Going abroad gives you so many exhilarating moments of, “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” and ultimately, “I did this". Broadening your horizons and incorporating international travel into your life experiences is something you can be proud of, especially doing it as more than a tourist and in a professional setting.

 

why intern abroad

 

4. You'll gain a deeper feeling of independence

Although you have the support of your fellow interns and your internship coordinator, going abroad is something you’re essentially doing by yourself. You can take pride in the bravery it takes to throw yourself into a new cultural context. You're the one interning, exploring a new city and making new friends. This kind of learning experience makes you more willing to take risks in the future to be on your own.

 

5. Your fears and anxiety about going abroad will diffuse

There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself. Though Roosevelt was speaking during a time of war, this quote can apply to a lot of different personal experiences, just like going abroad. The fear of the unknown can be dehabilitating and crippling unless you learn how to work past it. Going abroad is a leap in the right direction. By doing an international internship program, you're throwing yourself into a foreign context while still receiving a great deal of support and cultural training. It's the perfect balance.

 

why intern abroad

 

6. You'll immerse yourself into a new culture and gain a new perspective

Going abroad is the ideal way to experience a different culture. You're completely immersed into a new society that has different values, social norms, customs and beliefs. Even if it can be uncomfortable and lead to the occasional awkward moment, living in a foreign culture can be incredibly rewarding for a young person eager to expand their understanding of the world.

 

7. You'll have a greater understanding of the limitations to your knowledge

Going abroad is a great way to feel uninformed. Because the world is a really big place. There’s too much to know to be an expert in every country and culture and government in the world. Realizing how much you don’t know about what goes on outside your borders is an incredibly eye-opening experience. Hopefully, this discovery leads to greater awareness of the world around you and its beautiful diversity.

 

 

Apply now to boost your career and reap all of the internal benefits of interning abroad.

 

Sources:

Photos

1. by The Intern Group

2. based on Pensive, by _zhang, CC-by-2.0

3. courtesy of Elizabeth Trovall

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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