Are you considering doing an internship abroad for a semester or summer? Whether you're headed to London, Cape Town, Shanghai or São Paulo, if you’re considering or have decided to do an internship abroad, we’ve compiled four steps to ensure you are prepared for the process!
If you simply search “International Internships”, you might be overwhelmed with the results. Start by considering the following:
- Does my academic programs require an internship or practicum that I can fulfill abroad?
- What courses could an internship abroad count toward?
- Is there a particular skillset or experience you’d like to develop in an international context?
- Do you speak another language that could increase your chances of landing an internship abroad?
Pondering these questions can guide you toward the type, location and duration of an internship that might interest you and be most valuable to your experience. Now that you’ve honed in on the details of your desired internship, you can continue to use the internet to make searches. Your results will still be extensive, but at least you’ve narrowed it down a bit!
We also suggest meeting with an academic or study abroad advisor to see if they are aware of options considering your responses to the questions above. They are most familiar with your graduation plan as well as what can be applicable to you as a student.
You can also take a look at Opportunities on DiversityAbroad.com to search for internships! Simply use the filtered search to find programs specific to your interests.
Internships abroad are competitive and fill quickly, especially if it is paid or has great incentives. Starting your search and applying early will increase your chances of landing an interview. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! This means to apply to a few internships in the chance that you are not selected for your first choice. If reaching out regarding your progress is encouraged, don’t hesitate to contact the program or internship administrator to ask any clarifying questions that may allow you to build a stronger application.
Even if you’ve already consulted with your academic or study abroad advisor to confirm that the internship qualifies for your studies, great! If you haven’t, make sure to do so ASAP to discuss receiving credit for the internship. Oftentimes, there is a form that will need to be completed by your institution and internship provider that will be used for academic purposes, as well as for your visa application if necessary.
Now that you’ve been approved for your internship, it’s time to plan your trip!
- Apply for a passport if you don’t already have one
- Purchase your flight. Websites like StudentUniverse offer discounted airfare for students!
- Apply for a visa, if necessary.
- Will you require a visa to travel and work abroad? If your internship program does not provide visa assistance, make sure to contact your study abroad advisor ASAP to begin the process. Some visa application processes can take months, so it’s better to start sooner than later.
- Housing & Accommodation.
- Does your internship offer housing? If so, that’s awesome! If not, check with your global programs office to see if they provide any service or assistance with finding short-term housing abroad in your host country. Reach out to alumni from your internship program to get insight on their search, or better yet, maybe they have a connection for a vacant room! Do you want to live in a bustling neighborhood? Or do you prefer a more residential, quiet town? Is your concern more so being near your internship site? Do research on the community you’d like to live in by reading blogs, articles online.
- Create a Budget