As I swirled around the newsroom of the City Journal one afternoon as an intern in Melbourne, I noticed that something about the mood of this Australian newspaper was off.
I glanced all around at the group of reporters, photographers, and layout designers before me and realized what element was lacking -- stress. Though we were on a tight deadline to finalize story edits and complete layout to send the next edition of the paper to print, the atmosphere of the room remained laid-back and calm. This chilled ambiance was a far cry from what I had experienced in other newsrooms in the United States as a journalism student at my home university. Gone was the sense of panic and overwhelming urgency. And yet, the stories got edited, photos cropped to the corrections and layout was completed in ample time to send to print.
These experiences as an intern abroad formed my first encounters with a working culture different from my own. During the semester I spent down under as an exchange student at RMIT University, my internship gave the culture lessons I learned in the classroom and while hanging out with local friends, and context in the professional world. I was able to engage with Australian culture on a deeper level and learn to adapt to these changes in culture while gaining professional skills.
My personal experiences taught me the value of participating in an international internship first hand. Not only are internships a great resume booster, the real-world experience and knowledge you gain will follow you throughout the remainder of your studies and burgeoning career to give you greater depth, flexibility, and global knowledge. Not all international internships are equal though, and if you are taking the time to relocate overseas and participate in an internship, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right opportunity for you.