Before we get to that list you clicked on over here for, let's have some real talk: Paid internships abroad are not necessarily easy to come by. Paid summer internships -- which are generally shorter and more in demand -- are even harder to find. Still, we'd like to help.
Where to Find Paid Internships Abroad
For the most part, you’re going to be better off finding paid internships on your own rather than through a provider. There are some programs and providers that will find you summer internships that pay some kind of wage or stipend -- but given that most of those providers will charge you a fee and it will probably only even out for you in the end. (And maybe that’s all you need!)
Your best bet in scoring a sweet paid internship is to apply directly through an international company with a global internship program.
It is nice to have a helping hand, but some international companies will provide you the same amount of help (if not more) in areas like travel and housing.
In fact, your best bet in scoring a sweet paid internship with all the bells and whistles is to apply directly through an international company with a global internship program. Some of the best deals out there will be through big name financial and consulting companies, but there are plenty of others as well. So let's get to it!
1. Goldman Sachs -- Intern Abroad as a Summer Analyst
If you’re interested in financial markets you can intern abroad practically anywhere with Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst.
Locations include India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. (What a limited selection... NOT!) There are no specific requirements as far as majors -- academic achievement is what matters most here.
Not only is this an awesome opportunity to spend a couple months abroad, but many interns end up getting offered a full-time position. Not bad!
2. KONE -- All-Expenses Paid Internship Abroad
You may not have heard of KONE, but they're actually an international leader in the escalator and elevator industry, have been voted one of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes, and they have internships abroad!
While this is definitely a great industry for an engineer major, KONE also has internships in IT, business, law, and other disciplines. Language skills may be required, depending on the host country.
The best part of interning abroad with KONE? They WANT you to intern in another country, so their International Trainee Program (ITP) includes round-trip travel expenses in addition to your salary. Oh, and they’ll arrange your accommodations and make sure you have an in-country point person to support you. Sweet deal!
3. Deloitte -- International Business Internship Abroad
With Deloitte’s Internship Program you may find yourself networking and gaining skills with a business internship in Brazil, China, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey -- there’s a little something for everyone! Given that Deloitte is considered one of the “Big Four” professional services firms, it’s also an experience that will look amazing on your resume!
Given the way it's set up, this is also a great program for someone who is a little nervous about the prospect of spending a whole summer abroad. You will spend the first few weeks of your internship training in your home country before you set off for your month abroad.
4. L’Oreal -- Intern in HR in Malaysia
...or as an intern in operations in France. Marketing in Dubai or Brazil. Retail in Italy or Sweden. Research in Switzerland or finance in Hungary. The possibilities are endless with French owned beauty and cosmetics company, L’Oreal.
Their Global Opportunity Programme encourages students and young graduates to intern in other countries across the globe. They also have a huge variety of opportunities that are sure to be relevant to your studies and geographical interests.
5. IAESTE -- Paid Technical Internships Worldwide
From engineering to agriculture, computer science to architecture, and a lot of things in between, IAESTE, the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, offers paid internships in technical fields in more than 80 countries around the world.
And if foreign languages aren’t really your strong suit, this internship program is right up your alley! English is the required language for most internships in most countries.
Of course, knowledge of the local language will always be helpful in your day to day!
6. U.S. Embassy in Paris or London -- Intern in International Relations
Generally speaking, internships at U.S. embassies abroad are unpaid, but the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend to one intern at each embassy each summer -- perfect for high achieving international relations majors.
So first you have to land a U.S. Department of State internship, then you have to land the fellowship, but what a summer you’ll have! And hey, even if you don’t get the fellowship, you’re still paving the way for a great career in foreign service or international relations.
7. German State Parliament -- Internships in Government & Policy
Through the Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments (EMGIP) fellowship program, students can get paid to gain international experience in government and policy with an internship at a German state parliament (Landtag).
German language skills are required, as well as studies in the fields of international relations, public administration, law, economics, European studies, or political science.
If working in government doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Cultural Vistas Summer Internship Program in Germany offers paid summer internships in Germany in a wide variety of fields.
8. The World Bank -- International Internships
While most World Bank positions are in Washington, D.C., there are typically a few positions abroad, and all internships are paid!
Internships are offered in "economics, finance, human development, social science, agriculture, environment, private sector development, as well as other related fields." (source: The World Bank).
The catch? You must be enrolled in a graduate program, and in most cases, you will need to know a second language. We never said World Bank didn’t have their standards...
9. KPMG -- Internships Abroad in Finance
Summer analysts have all the fun! KPMG, a global network of firms providing audit, advisory, and tax services, isn’t necessarily looking for students with any specific major, but they want smarts and some interest in finance.
I’d say the fact that they cover ALL costs -- visas, health insurance, flights, local transport, and centrally-located local accommodations -- would be enough to make just about anyone take an interest in finance! They also provide a local orientation, driving lessons, and will connect you with other American employees on assignment in your host location. It’s a win-win!
10. H&M -- Internships Abroad in Business / Engineering
For students who are majoring in business or engineering, but also have a passion for fashion, a summer internship with H&M at their headquarters in Sweden might be just the thing for you. Applications need to be submitted by November of the previous year and are pretty competitive, but if you get the internship it's six weeks of living abroad and learning about one of the most successful international clothing brands out there.
Furthermore, 50% of H&M's summer interns have later come on to work for them full time -- meaning, this internship isn't just an internship, it's an opportunity to live and work abroad permanently if you do well.
Ready to Intern Abroad This Summer?
I’m sure there are some arts or history majors out there shaking their heads and sighing at this point, but by no means take this list as a be-all-end-all!
There are opportunities out there for everyone in every discipline. You may just have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, or utilize the networks of a program provider. You might even find that a fellowship or study grant better suits your goals. (And there are tons of artists in residence programs if you do a little searching!)
There are opportunities out there for everyone in every discipline.
But first things first. Do your research on some of the big international organizations in your field, and chances are you’ll find that many of them have an international internship or trainee opportunities. And if they don’t, maybe you should get on that and send them a proposal...