When Lucie Merieux, a young woman from France, began an internship at a marketing firm in Los Angeles she knew the experience would be different than any internship she had completed before.
"I felt like people would expect much more from me here than in a company in France," Lucie said.
"You don’t know what to expect [when you start interning in another country]," she added. "You know the language will be different, and also maybe the pressure. In France when you talk about working in the U.S. everyone says 'oh they are under pressure over there. Everyone is working like crazy,’'but you don’t really know what it will be like."
After spending six months in California assisting with a variety of tasks in marketing, communications, and social media, Lucie gained a new perspective on what it is to work in the United States through her internship.
"I learned a different way of working," she said. "You learn a lot from people because they have different ways of working. I felt like as an intern [in the United States] I had more responsibilities than in France. I learned methods of organization, reporting so you really know what the results of the actions you took are and team work."
Having completed her internship in the United States, Lucie is heading back to Europe for a job in marketing. She noted her internship abroad gave her many skills she will carry forward in her future.
"When I go back to France I’ll probably be more organized and more efficient," she ended. "It’s a great experience. Everyone should experience this one time in their life."
No matter where you are from or what country you choose to do an internship in, interning abroad will likely differ from interning in your home country. After all, the cultural differences one experiences in social aspects are also found in the working world.
As interns like Lucie will tell you from personal experience, there is no way to fully prepare for what differences await you as you intern abroad, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take our best effort to prepare you for what you might expect. Read on to discover some ways interning abroad differs from interning in your home country.