There is no denying that internships are the best way to prepare yourself for a successful career, offering a foot in the door in your field. Where you decide to take that internship can add on all kinds of extra benefits – especially if you cross international borders. So, if you’re asking yourself “why should I intern abroad?”, we’ve assembled this list of eight unique advantages to consider.
1. It’s impressive
Listing an international internship on your resume, or mentioning it in an interview, will set you apart from other candidates. Venturing out and gaining career experiences in another country reflects a bold attitude, global outlook and willingness to try new things. Those qualities are universally treasured in employees. Because international professional experience is not that common, you will be a more memorable candidate in general.
2. The chance to have your own international squad
Going abroad requires taking a leap of faith. It can be an unsettling thing to arrive to an unknown country and start a new internship. Despite the challenge, you are not alone. You’ll meet all sorts of people – from coworkers to other international interns. These bonds you make abroad, especially with other people in the same situation, run deep.
The people in your circles will be open to meeting new people and learning about different cultures. Establishing friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds will make you realize that despite our differences, there are always ways we can connect with one another. Having an international group of friends also means you have connections in many different countries. So when asking yourself “why should I intern abroad? really think about the benefits this could have on your friendships and opportunities for future travel.
3. Living a new normal
Being abroad turns your idea of “normal” on its head. In reality, “normal” doesn’t exist. Living with new rules and expectations will force you to consider other ways of living life. This shift is crucial to having a more objective and evolved view of your own culture.
4. You’ll be on a more international career path
An internship abroad sets you up for a much more international life and can very well lead to a job abroad. The lessons and insight from your international experience may also be used when you get back home to 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 young and starting a career.
5. You’ll discover what’s unique about where you’re from
Spending time abroad goes beyond learning about a new country and its culture. The experience also gives you an entirely new lens to see the world. After staying in a foreign country, you will come back with a fresh perspective and notice new things about your home culture you never quite realized before.
6. 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 experience is one of the best reasons to intern abroad.
“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
7. Learning a foreign language
Immersion learning through an internship abroad is one of the best ways to become multilingual. Knowing a foreign language not only gives you access to a different culture, but it’s also great for your brain. The answer to “why should I intern abroad?” also has health benefits. Speaking a second language can actually delay the effects of Alzheimer’s. Knowing a foreign language also can boost your professional opportunities, as employers increasingly seek multilingual workforces.
8. Easier international travel for life
World travel is a truly enriching experience that opens up your eyes to all sorts of wonderful things. That said, international travel is not easy. There are many frustrations that may come with exploring an unknown place and culture. That is why living abroad while you’re young and adventurous can have lifelong travel benefits. Early on, 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 find it easier to fill your vacations with exciting, international trips for the rest of your life.
Now that you know the answers to “why should I intern abroad?”, learn more about how to boost your career overseas.
1. by The Intern Group
2. by The Intern Group
3. by Hannah Brown