Going abroad for an international internship is an increasingly popular choice for students and young people looking to enhance their curriculum. The duration of these international internships varies, they can last from being a year, as typical for language students seeking gap year alternatives, or they may last from several weeks to several months.

Summer internships are very popular, and allow students to the opportunity to visit a place which is new to them while gaining valuable work experience to compliment their theoretical qualifications – degrees, certificates, etc.

An international internship is a much greater undertaking than work experience at home, a student must often make his own plans to travel, to find and rent accommodation – the whole processes generally requiring more responsibility on the part of the student. This reflects quite well on students who complete their internships, as employees will recognize students who have the drive to complete a stay abroad, the ability to be independent, responsible and organized.

This is not to say that going for an internship abroad is entirely about the initial difficulty! Indeed, one of the main reasons going abroad for an internship is so popular is the excitement of living in another country, thus many students consider the experience far more desirable and worth the extra effort when compared to regular internships.

The goal of an international internship depends entirely on the person undertaking it. It could be an opportunity to make contacts in a company which interests you, an opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in your future career, or it could be an opportunity to take a break from one’s regular routine – a trip abroad, while at the same time doing something productive and worthwhile. This is especially true of paid internships, which offer an immediate reward and sense of productivity, but many consider the experience well worth undertaking a regular internship all the same.

How to choose an internship?

There are many strategies nowadays to choose the best internship abroad. You can consider the following factors while looking for an internship abroad:

  • Time: Look for it in advance, when planning to have an internship abroad; it is necessary to plan everything for the internship as early as you can, through the internet, schools, agencies or companies.

    Make a schedule with the deadlines to apply to your favorite internships. Also look for the internship length so you can assure that it fits with your timetable or interests.

  • Career Fit: When planning to look for an internship, check first if it fits with your academic background and interests or if it is a field that enters in your professional expectations.

    Sometimes after college we do not know what career we want to pursue, however, it is a great idea to take an internship since it could be a way to identify your professional path.

    Talk first with your teachers, friends, family or professionals that area already developing a sucessful career.

  • References: Look for references with other students or young professionals that have already done internships in the same place that you are looking, so you have a better idea of what you can expect and if it really fit to your interests.

  • Destination: As you are looking to learn while practicing your academic knowledge the internship should offer not only a good working environment “inside the office” but also as a whole: consider the destination while you take the decision.

    You maybe have two potential internship options that fits well with your career interest and you do not know how to choose, then consider the language and cultural aspects of the country of destination: Which one will you choose?

  • Development possibilities: You can also take the internship as an opportunity to continue developing a career inside the company you choose, so this it is very important that you select an enterprise or institution that is opened to provide you further options after you finish the internship.

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