You've made the easy decision to do an internship abroad, but now you're faced with a hard task: deciding where in the world to go. Go Overseas is loaded with highly ranked internship programs filled with rave reviews from the interns who've done them. Narrowing down your choices can seem overwhelming when looking at the sheer number of options. We get it! To help you out, we've outlined the top countries to intern abroad.
Start your research here and be on your way to an exciting and valuable internship abroad in 2023!
How did we pick these locations?
Lastly, we used our own industry knowledge to ensure we're recommending locations that are vetted both by you, the community members, and us, the experts, so that we feel confident the locations included are the best of the best!
Best for marine science: Australia
Average monthly cost of living: $1,500-$2,000 (2,280-3,040 AUD)
Internship examples: coral reef regeneration, sea turtle rehabilitation, coral reef monitoring, marine mammal surveys
Known as “the Land Down Under”, this large island in the Pacific Ocean is home to miles of beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and diverse flora and fauna. Aspiring marine scientists and conservationists should look no further than Australia for their ocean internship. Learn how to scuba dive and explore the underwater world while helping the creatures who call it home.
Many Australians love sports and the outdoors so interns seeking an active lifestyle will feel right at home here. While the weather is diverse across the island, there are more than enough days of sun during the year to enjoy all of the exciting activities Australia has to offer.
Best for teaching internships: Vietnam
Average monthly cost of living: $700-$1,000 (17,407,250-24,867,500 VND)
Internship examples: preschools, K-12 schools, adult business English
Aspiring TEFL, or teaching English as a foreign language, teachers can find numerous programs to practice their skills in Vietnam. Students are friendly and generally very keen to learn English which is always a plus for teachers in training.
While classrooms lacking the newest technology may sound like a downside to teaching in Vietnam, the opposite is true. Teacher interns operating in classrooms lacking tech will learn to be more resourceful and creative than they ever imagined.
Many teaching internships in Vietnam are paid, though not as much as full-time professional teaching positions. However, due to the low cost of living, your stipend will go further than in other countries.
Read more: The 4 Best Cities to Teach Abroad in Vietnam
Best for health and medicine: Costa Rica
Average monthly cost of living: $950-$1,100 (584,100-676,330 CRC)
Internship examples: mobile medicine clinics, hospital nurse shadowing, rural public health education
Touting one of the best healthcare systems in Latin America, interns seeking practical experience in health and medicine will have a lot to learn in Costa Rica. Opportunities can be found for nursing, public health, and pre-med students to both shadow and work directly with patients in the field, depending on student qualifications. Interns will have the chance to make a real difference in the lives and health of Costa Ricans.
Outside of your intern hours, beautiful Costa Rica will be your playground. Spend weekends lounging on the beach or exploring the cloud forest. Filled with sprawling national parks, you will be able to enjoy a quiet walk through nature with countless chances to catch a view of the varied wildlife.
Best for design: Italy
Average monthly cost of living: $1,200-$1,600 (1,200-1,600 EUR)
Internship examples: fashion photography, graphic design, architecture
Italy is synonymous with creativity. The country’s long artistic history and reputation as a fashion powerhouse make it a no-brainer for interns seeking an introduction to the design field. Whether you want to create the next hottest runway looks in Milan or brush up on your graphic design skills in Florence, there’s an internship to give you a leg up in this competitive industry. Just look around you for inspiration -- Italy is bursting with beauty that will be sure to move any design intern.
If pizza, pasta, and gelato sound like a good night out, you'll have plenty of opportunities to sample Italian cuisine. Well-connected by rail and bus, city hop on the weekends to see all of the famous sights, from Roman ruins to modern art museums in the major city centers.
Best for wildlife conservation: South Africa
Average monthly cost of living: $750-$1,000 (13,060-17,410 ZAR)
Internship examples: elephant conservation, big game surveys, wildlife rehabilitation, conservation trail guide
If conservation is your field of choice, look no further than South Africa for a meaningful internship experience. South Africa is committed to conservation with numerous protected national parks and wildlife preserves. Home to large populations of elephants and several critically endangered species, aspiring conservationists will find a lot to love about efforts to protect animals from poaching in places like Kruger National Park.
If you're an outdoor enthusiast, of course, you'll find no shortage of stunning landscapes to enjoy during your off hours. South Africa is also home to bustling and dynamic cities where you can grab a nice meal and have a drink at the local watering hole with your new colleagues.
Best for tourism and hospitality: France
Average monthly cost of living: $1,350-$1,700 (1,350-1,700 EUR)
Internship examples: restaurant wait staff, hotel front desk service, ski instructor, kitchen assistant
France is a tourist favorite. From the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower to the villages and wineries dotting the picturesque countryside, there are countless sights, sounds, and tastes to enjoy. Tourism and hospitality internships can be found in Paris, the City of Lights, and at major hotels and restaurants where participants will learn how to keep up in truly fast-paced atmospheres.
Outside of the capital, opportunities abound at ski resorts in the French Alps, wineries in Bordeaux, and seaside getaways in the French Riviera. Because English has become the default international language, interns with native or near-native proficiency will find their linguistic skills put to good use as they help guests from around the globe.
Best for business and finance: England
Average monthly cost of living: $1,400-$1,700 (1,200-1,450 GBP)
Internship examples: international business, supply chain management, human resources, business development, nonprofit management
Students hoping to jump headfirst into the business and finance world will hit the ground running in England. Home to a plethora of multinational corporations you can intern with abroad, England also ranks highly in the financial sector.
London and New York City often spar for the top spot of the strongest world financial market. In 2020, Investopedia ranked London as second on their list of top three financial centers. With the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange headquartered here, interns will have access to a robust financial education.
Many interns choose England for its accessibility in culture, language, and location. Unlike other English-speaking nations, England is easily accessible by a relatively short plane ride for those coming from North America. Despite the notoriously rainy weather, England is full of cozy corners that can fill the greyest day with warmth. Even in London, interns will have no trouble finding an inviting restaurant, pub, or cafe to kick back in after a long day at the office.
Best for tech: Japan
Average monthly cost of living: $1,250-$1,600 (177,370-227,030 JPY)
Internship examples: technical support, front-end web development, programming, quality assurance monitoring
Japan is a great option for students looking for an internship in tech. The startup scene continues to grow there, especially in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. Whether you're interested in web development or programming, there are tons of opportunities within the intimate and exciting setting of startups.
Japan is a land of tradition where seemingly simple things are done mindfully and with care. Tea ceremonies and the delicate art of sushi-making show the gracefulness of Japanese culture. In terms of pop culture, Japan gave the world Nintendo and everything “kawaii”, or cute, like Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon.
The unlikely combination of old and new makes this island truly magical. Interns will love Japan for its ancient heritage sites which coexist seamlessly alongside a modern and efficient infrastructure.
Best for engineering: China
Average monthly cost of living: $1,000-$1,400 (7,190-10,060 CNY)
Internship examples: software engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering
As the world’s most populous country, it’s no surprise that opportunities abound for interns in China. Emerging as a world superpower, China is a manufacturing and export hub for pieces of tech like microchips that are putting it in close competition against the US. In recent years, China’s increase in the production of solar panels, turbines, and other clean energy technology shows its steps to join in the fight against climate change.
Culturally, China’s sheer size makes it a land of diversity in food, history, and even language. Travel outside the international cities of Beijing and Shanghai and you’ll find China alive with traditional villages undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of globalization. Hop on a train part of their high-speed rail system and explore this fascinating country outside of working hours.
Best for marketing: Spain
Average monthly cost of living: $1,200-$1,500 (1,200-1,500 EUR)
Internship examples: SEO, English content writing, social media marketing
Great weather, low cost of living, and a laid-back, “no pasa nada” attitude. What’s not to love about Spain? Interns have consistently flocked to Spain for these reasons and more. However, it’s not to say that there isn’t hard work to be done. Despite the stereotypes that Spain is all sunshine and siestas, prospective interns can be sure they’ll dig into some serious work.
Spain is a top destination for marketing interns who are looking to balance invaluable work experience with a great quality of life. Marketing internships are offered across several major cities allowing participants to get involved in national and international campaigns. Although many interns end up in the capital Madrid, there are placements in other gorgeous and historic cities like Barcelona, Sevilla, and Valencia.
As if an international internship wasn’t enough to beef up your CV, you can add language skills to your list as well. Spanish is spoken in 21 countries by over 450 million people and you’ll have plenty of moments to practice while on placement and in your free time. Many internships will be run in English but bonus if you have Spanish language skills! This would be the perfect time to practice.
A world of choice
Students seeking international work experience have a literal world of choice waiting for them in 2023. All around the world, international internships can be undertaken in the places where they're done best. Why not go to the source and intern abroad in the country of your dreams? You won't regret it!
Read on to learn how to make your internship happen: