Working abroad as an intern is a smart way to add international experience to your resume. But deciding where to intern may be a challenge if you don't know where in the world that you want to go.
As you begin your research toward finding the perfect internship, you'll want to look at the best cities and countries for your industry, consider your skills in a second language, and think about budgets and visas (if you need one). But before all of that, it's a good idea to get a general sense of where you'd like to be in the world. Don't worry, we have you covered with our list of the 10 best places to intern abroad in 2019.
The countries below were selected based on a few factors: their popularity on Go Overseas and on search engines as a whole, and the number of internship opportunities that are available in each country. Within each country, we also picked programs based on the positive reviews they received from Go Overseas users, and also tried to give you options across a range of industries.
This is the first year we've published this list, so everything is marked as 'New.' We plan to update this list each year though, so in the future, you'll see which countries have moved up or down on the list.
As you can see, the list spans the globe and five continents, meaning you can pick from a wide range of cultures and new languages to experience. If English is the only language that you speak, you'll also find four countries on this list where you may be more likely to find an internship that fits your language skills: Australia (#4), England (#5), Canada (#6), and South Africa (#7). India (#10) is another good candidate.
Read on to learn more about why you might want to consider one of the countries below for your time living and interning abroad.
China is the most populous country in the world, making it an exciting choice for an internship. You'll find a wide range of dialects, cultures, and cuisines across its 22 provinces, and plenty of opportunities for diverse experiences. It's a country where business is booming in many industries, meaning there are dozens of internship programs in China.
You could opt to work in business or engineering in Beijing, Chengdu, or Shanghai. Or, go for an architecture internship in Shenzen -- which is considered the center of China's high-tech industry. If you have an interest in journalism InterChina can place you at a job throughout the country. No matter what your area of interest, if you research internships in China, you are likely to find a program that is the right fit.
Popular internship programs in China:
- Business and Engineering internships in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai with Hutong School
- Architecture and Engineering internships in Shenzhen with CRCC Asia
- Marketing internships in Shanghai with 1-2-3 Marketing
- Medical and Healthcare internships in Shanghai with Connect-123
If you want to live in the fast-paced city of Tokyo, or experience the beautiful landscapes and architecture of Kyoto, you may want to consider an internship in Japan. Some of the main industries in Japan are electronics, automotive, and chemicals, so people who are interested in the tech-sector may find that Japan is an excellent choice. In the Land of the Rising Sun, you'll also find a thriving international business culture, and ample opportunities to teach English.
One unexpected opportunity we found in Japan is working as a ski and snowboard instructor with EA Ski and Snowboard. Many programs offer flexible internships where you can pick your industry and location, like Asia Internship Program, to find the perfect fit for you and your career.
Popular internship programs in Japan:
- Internships across many industries in Tokyo and Osaka with Zentren
- Teaching internship in Japan with Gakko Summer Camps
- Flexible internships in Fukuoka with Meiji Academy
From Madrid to Barcelona to Seville, the major cities of Spain can be an exciting place for an internship. In your free time, you can try tapas, watch beautiful Flamenco, and see the country's collection of art and varied architecture. If you speak Spanish, that'll be a plus, but there are also numerous opportunities across hospitality management, communications, and web development that will help you learn the language while working.
If you want to contribute to the community, you could go to Madrid to partner with an NGO through Serve the City. If your interests are in tech and the internet, Ironhack will place you in a coding or web development job in Madrid or Barcelona. Tourism is also a key sector in Spain and you'll find opportunities at hotels and tour companies across the country.
Popular internship programs in Spain:
- Healthcare and nursing internships in Madrid or Seville with Adelante
- Hospitality management across Spain with Instituto Hemingway
- Communication and media internships across Spain with AIPC Pandora
If you want to intern in English, The Land Down Under may be the place for you. To make it easier to plan your time in Australia (and stay longer), you may be eligible for a working holiday visa for one year if you meet certain requirements.
The country's stunning natural beauty, vast coastlines, and arid Outback mean that you'll find ecological internships, which can be an ideal fit for nature lovers. Startup culture is also booming, with opportunities to help your career thrive as you learn how running a business works and learn valuable entrepreneurship skills.
Popular internship programs in Australia:
- Startup internships all over Australia with Start Me Up
- Global agricultural internships all over Australia with WISE Foundation
- Cultural ecology internships all over Australia with Institute for Cultural Ecology
- Law internships in Perth with Travellers Worldwide
- Internships across many industries in Sydney with Global Experiences
Another great option for native English speakers is landing an internship in England. Get ready to experience pub culture and to see some of the world's best museums during your free time. Or, you could explore the country's picturesque countryside, churches, and villages.
If you are interested in fashion or business, you may want to consider an internship in London, and you'll find a few programs that can help you find a company that's a good fit. Finance, innovation, and engineering are other popular industries in England, and there are programs that can take you to London, Exeter or other major cities across the country.
Popular internship programs in England:
- Engineering, fashion, and more in London with BUNAC
- Fashion internships in London with Fashion Week Internships
- Innovation internship in Exeter with Corckscrew
- Finance internships in London with HKCareers
- Marketing, fashion, and business internships in London with Study Abroad Europe
If you are from the United States or an English-speaking country in Europe, Canada could be a place where you can work without a language barrier. It's vast national parks are great for nature lovers and can provide some quiet when you aren't working.
The country has many job opportunities across almost every industry including its major ones: energy and agriculture. You'll even find programs where you can work as a ski or snowboard instructor if your dream internship opportunity doesn't involve working in an office.
Popular internship programs in Canada:
- Professional internships in Toronto with The Intern Group
- Ski and snowboard instructor training across seven resorts in Canada with EA Ski and Snowboard
- Customizable internships in Toronto with International Career Studies
- Agricultural internships across Canada with the WISE Foundation
- Flexible internships across Canada with Stepwest
7. South Africa
If you are looking for an internship where you can work in English, South Africa is another country you may want to consider. Beautiful beaches and a fascinating mix of cultures will leave you with plenty to explore during your free time.
Because of its diverse landscapes and wildlife, conservation and international development internships are popular, and there are programs that could take you across the country. Writing and communications is another top industry, particularly in Cape Town.
Popular internship programs in South Africa:
- Conservation and community development in Limpopo with GVI
- Internships across many industries in South Africa with Projects Abroad
- Customizable internships in Cape Town with VaCorps
- Writing and communications internships in Cape Town with Roots Interns
- International Development internships across South Africa with Imagine Scholar
- Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp with BonBillo
France might make you think of fashion, food, and Paris, but it's also a popular country for internships. It's an ideal choice if you speak French or want to learn the language, and you can choose to work in any number of cities and towns across the country.
In France, hospitality and culinary internships abound. You'll also find opportunities with local businesses, and programs that let you customize your career path in places like Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and Angers.
Popular internship programs in France:
- Hospitality internships across France with Center for International Career Development
- Culinary Arts internships across France with Grastronomie France
- Customizable internships in Aix-en-Provence with CEA
- Internships with local companies in Angers with Ecolanguages
- Veterinarian internship outside of Paris with Institute for Global Studies
9. South Korea
From hilly countrysides to fishing villages and high-tech cities such as Seoul, South Korea offers a lot to experience during an internship. Working holiday visas are also available here for a year if you meet certain requirements -- that means you won't be limited to finding a program that lasts for only a few weeks or months if you'd like to stay longer.
Teaching internships are popular in cities and towns throughout South Korea, like with the Princeton in Asia program. Jobs in international business development are also plentiful. You could work in a social enterprise in Seoul, or in architecture in any number of cities. You'll find that many of the internships in South Korea let you pick your location to make it easier to find the right fit.
Popular internship programs in South Korea:
- Teaching internships across South Korea with TaLK
- International Business Development internships across South Korea with Asia Internship Program
- Social enterprise internships in Seoul with Korea Gapyear
- Teaching internships in Gwangju, South Korea with Princeton in Asia
The South Asian country's tagline is Incredible India for a reason -- even if you lived and worked there for many years, you could not experience all of its historical landmarks, rich culture, and 22 languages. With several major cities and growing tech, business, and engineering industries, India is an intriguing location to pick for your internship.
You could work at an NGO in Udaipur or in business or technology in Mumbai. There are also opportunities to gain experience in healthcare and sustainable development. If you decide to work in India, the possibilities are endless.
Popular internship programs in India:
- Engineering and sustainable development internships across India with InternshipDesk
- NGO internships in Udaipur with Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Professional internships in Mumbai with Pave
- Healthcare internships throughout India with Child Family Health International
- Leadership internships in New Delhi, Bangalore, or Mumbai with The Global Leader Inme
While these top our list of the most popular places to intern abroad in 2019, you can use it as inspiration if none of these seem like the perfect fit for you. We also have a list of up-and-coming internship destinations you might want to consider instead.
No matter where you choose to intern abroad, remember that this doesn't have to be your last experience abroad. Your internship is a chance to gain international experience in an industry you might want to spend your career in. Your internship is the perfect chance to be open-minded and try something new!