If you’re entering your final year of university or college, chances are you’re starting to think about what you’re going to do after graduating. Considering doing an internship? Interning abroad is a great option as you will get to travel to a new place whilst working at the same time. Doing an internship in another country can seem daunting and is costly, but it has so many perks. During an internship abroad, you’ll meet so many new people, become even more independent, and develop new skills which will become useful in your future career. Read on to find out 6 benefits of doing an internship abroad.
- You can learn a new language
As many businesses have offices in multiple countries, it’s helpful to be fluent in another language. A lot of employers look favourably upon candidates who can speak another language. Yes, you can learn a new language through Duolingo or in a classroom in your hometown, but actually living in the country itself will enable you to become properly fluent. Before setting off on your internship, be sure to find out if there are any language courses you can attend in the evenings and on weekends – this will give you more motivation to practice the language and you’ll expand your social circle too.
- You’ll be able to network
Whilst doing an internship abroad, you’ll be able to meet new people from all over the world. This will be useful if you are job hunting or ever need a place to stay while travelling in the future. The people you connect with during your work placement might know of job vacancies in your chosen feed, or simply be able to provide you with a recommendation letter. Set up a LinkedIn profile so that you can easily connect online with people you met during your internship and don’t have to worry about losing their number.
- You’ll gain new skills
I’m sure you’ve heard countless times how important transferrable skills are. Interning abroad will enable you to gain new skills that will impress future employers and set you apart from the rest of the competition. By working in a different country, you’ll become more confident through interacting with people from a range of backgrounds on a daily basis. In addition, you’ll learn about different cultures and enhance your problem-solving abilities: in pretty much any job it’s beneficial to be able to think on your feet. Time management and leadership are two other skills you’ll develop during your internship abroad.
- You’ll have opportunities to travel
Make the most of your days off and go exploring. Create a bucket list of places to visit in your city and the surrounding areas. If you are lucky enough to get a long weekend or several days off in a row, why not venture further afield? Travel to other cities or towns within the country, or even set off to another country. While interning in the UK, you can easily hop on the Eurostar and spend the weekend in Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam and other destinations Europe.
- You’ll experience personal growth
By working in a foreign country, you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone and grow as a person. You’ll become less reliant on others, since you’ll have to organise things yourself, and in some cases you might end up living alone. Maybe you’ll have to find your way back to your accommodation late at night by yourself, or navigate a train system in a foreign language. Homesickness is usual at first, but you’ll soon become more familiar with your new surroundings and settle into your new workplace.
- You’ll have more career opportunities
Completing an internship in a new country opens up more career opportunities. For example, graduates who are interested in fashion will get a head start if they do an internship in a major city like London or New York. Hong Kong is a fantastic city for business, while Switzerland is considered the best country for highly paid jobs in engineering. Doing an internship abroad will enable you to figure out if you want to live in that country long-term and if you want to continue working in that sector.
How can I find an internship abroad?
Have you always dreamed about working abroad but don’t know where to start? Beyond Academy is an organisation that offers international internships in London and many other cities across the world (including Barcelona, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo), and in a whole range of industries (such as architecture, business, engineering, journalism and law). As well as securing your work placement, Beyond Academy will also help you find accommodation and organise social activities so you can make new friends during your time abroad.
Doing an internship abroad opens up so many possibilities, and is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it! Before you embark on your internship, spend some time thoroughly researching the sector you’ll be working in and the area you’ll be living in. If you don’t already know the language, try to learn some phrases beforehand.
Have you ever worked abroad or are considering doing so in the future? I’d love to hear about your experiences!