Internships are probably the most important part of your studies as it’s what provides you with the hands-on experience in your field. Up until this point, you were probably in the classroom studying theories and reading about practice without ever actually practicing! Welcome to the most exciting part. Still, you’re probably deciding where and with which company you should intern.
An internship abroad is a great choice for combining the needed experience you’re seeking, with the curiosity of exploring new lands and culture. Why intern at home when you can benefit tenfold by an internship abroad? Read the tips below to see if you might be cut out for the best experience of your college career.
Choosing a Country
Choosing a country for your internship abroad can be the toughest decision you’ll make. You have to do some research on the kind of experience you’ll receive during your internship based on the current political structure, economy, industry standards, visa requirements, cost of living, culture, and language. There’s no such thing as perfect, and therefore you might have to sacrifice some preferences for others, but keeping all of these things in mind is sure to ease the process.
Know Your Internship
When you take an internship abroad, you might get so wrapped up in the idea of spending weeks in a new country. The thought of making friends and exploring might cloud the reason you’re actually going. Sure, being in a new country is exciting and doubles as a vacation of sorts, but don’t become distracted by the glitter, focus on the gold. You’re here for in-field experience.
Make sure you know where you will be interning, and how you’re going to benefit. What can you expect to learn and do during your internship? Is it a well-known company, or is there room for you to help in the development? Which of your skills can you contribute, and which skills will you develop? These are all important questions when assessing an internship abroad.
Learn the Language
If you aren’t fluent in the language, make sure to enroll in language classes. Knowing the language will absolutely make for a smoother transition into your experience abroad. By learning the language, you’ll be able to more deeply connect with the locals at your internship site, and those you come across on your daily errands. It allows you to connect and understand the culture you’re immersing yourself in, and adds a crucial skill to a resume.
Besides, what’s an employer going to think when they see you’ve interned in a country where you never bothered to learn the language? Trust me, there are only benefits here.
Choose a Homestay
Homestays are the perfect way to truly embrace your internship experience abroad. Staying with a local family will provide you with insight on the daily life of a local family in your chosen country. In addition, you’ll get to practice your new language skills, try the traditional foods, and get insight into local hot spots around town. With a pleasant homestay experience, you’ll leave with a new family whom you’ll have to revisit. Maybe you’ll even return the favor and host them in your home country one day.