The Potential Benefits of an International Internship Abroad Program

The possibility of  interning abroad is something lots of students dream about. And while the idea of living and working abroad is an exciting prospect, your thoughts might be: “It can’t be done.” “Living abroad is costly,” “International internships are too difficult to get, and working and learning to study abroad in a foreign country is hard to adjust to.”

But aside from doing the initial legwork regarding job placement, accommodation, and paying for airfare and other expenses, an international internship can be a truly enlightening experience for most young people and can set you on a life-changing path with the experience of living and working in another country.

Still on the fence about applying for internship abroad programs? Consider these potential benefits.

Increase Your Self-Confidence With An Internship Abroad

There’s no question that going outside of your comfort zone is perhaps the greatest teacher of all. A whopping 84% of the IES Abroad graduates surveyed said that studying abroad had not only helped them gain valuable job skills, but they also gained a significant amount of maturity and the ability to adapt and communicate succinctly with other people. The global experience that many young people gain from interacting with others in a different country and culture may be invaluable when pursuing careers back home.

During my internship, I was able to develop professionally as well as personally. Adapting and succeeding in a new work environment in a foreign country is an amazing, and oftentimes humbling experience. Of course it's a great resume builder too; but I think it becomes much more than just a line item on your resume

Learn a New Language in an International Internship

Depending on your major, learning a new language may be a requirement for graduation, and can add a diverse skill to your resume when it comes time to apply for jobs. Despite the challenges of communicating in a foreign language, the experience is sure to be a positive one, giving you the confidence to stretch yourself in the workplace and beyond. Being immersed in the city or town and having to communicate with locals is sure kick your language skills into high gear!

Gain Independence By Interning Abroad

Perhaps one of the biggest potential benefits to international internships is the sense of independence you’ll gain. For many students, this is their first time away from the U.S., and while the experience of culture shock might be a little scary at first, the chance to live independently in a foreign country is an exciting, priceless opportunity. Navigating your host country is much more than showing everyday and learning the workplace etiquette—it’s also about exploring a new city, living and breathing the culture, and learning how the locals live.

Acquire Transferable Skills Through Your Internship Abroad

Since many of today’s employers are seeking flexible, globally-minded workers, an intern abroad opportunity—whether it’s an unpaid or paid internship—could be a great way to acquire the kinds of transferable skills that may be needed in the modern workplace. Graduates of international internship programs may have the opportunity to test drive the skills they’ve learned abroad and implement them in new ways once they return home and are officially on the job market.

A Priceless Experience You Won’t Forget

There are few experiences in life that are more unique and life-changing as living and working abroad. The intercultural, academic, personal, and social benefits that are associated with an international internship may be perfect opportunities for young people to get a flavor for different working environments while also seeing how other cultures operate in the business world. Despite your reservations, interning abroad can be a reality for you. Thanks to assistance from college career development professionals, pursuing an international internship has never been easier for today’s students.

What will you learn from interning abroad? You’ll only find out by exploring your internship abroad options!