Internships Abroad

The 10 Most Unique Internships Abroad in 2023 (Work & Travel!)

Check out our list of immersive and skill-building unique internships abroad and do something amazing in 2023.

Zebras drinking from a pond.

Internships are a fantastic way to build skills and get practical, hands-on training for your intended career path. But when it comes to turning a good resume into a great one, consider taking your internship overseas! All over the world, there are organizations ready to work hard to place you with companies that share your passions and align with your interests.

These internship providers were carefully chosen to reflect the best in support, benefits, safety, and participant satisfaction. As trusted organizations, they are experienced in facilitating great learning opportunities that are sure to foster personal and professional growth.

If you’re looking for unique internships overseas that will allow you to gain new skills and see the world this year, consider the following 10 best off-the-beaten-track opportunities for 2023.

What makes these internships unique?

The following internships are unique because they're not held within the confines of a traditional office. Travel internships abroad turn the world into your workplace.

Whether you're spending your work hours in the jungle, at an archaeological site, or in a studio, these unique internships abroad all come with similar benefits:

  • You'll learn about your field where it happens. From archaeology in Rome to wildlife photography in South Africa, you will be truly immersed in real-world settings.
  • You'll gain important skills and develop positive traits. Internships abroad cultivate independence and resiliency and show your commitment to intercultural communication and exchanges.
  • You'll stand out to employers. Hands-on, international experience in your field will set you apart.

Help save the Amazon with Hoja Nueva in Peru

Woman holding wild boar.

Program length: 1-52 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: accommodation, 3 meals a day/7 days a week, airport pickup, in-country transportation
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Gain extensive hands-on research experience across a wide range of specialties like statistical ecology, mammalogy, and herpetology.
  • Past interns felt welcomed into the Hoja Nueva program like family, both by the staff and fellow participants.

Cons:

  • Living deep in the jungle isn't for everyone -- be prepared to live a rustic life and get dirty!
  • Wildlife rehab interns must stay a minimum of two months.

Whether your passion is animals or conservation, you'll have the chance to experience both through an internship with Hoja Nueva. Interns will work at a remote research center in the Amazon where they will be close to nature and able to make the biggest impact. Tasks include water and wildlife research, community health and development projects, and animal care and rehabilitation.

Staff is trained in CPR and wilderness first aid guaranteeing an experience that's both fun and safe.

"I stayed at Hoja Nueva for two months doing a general internship. I decided to go there because they run a really vast variety of projects ranging from Herpetology and Mammal Ecology to the reintroduction of all kinds of animals. This gave me the absolutely perfect opportunity to figure out which area of biology I later want to specialise in!"

Clemens

Program Details

Program:
Rainforest Conservation: Wildlife Research & Animal Husbandry in the Amazon
Provider:
HOJA NUEVA
Location:
Peru
Starting Price:
$730.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5

Become a divemaster with Caribbean Reef Buddy in Grenada

A diver taking an underwater photo of a turtle.

Program length: 3-8 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: hotel accommodation, breakfast and dinner 7 days a week, training, 1 excursion a week
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Get involved with a wide range of activities such as reef regeneration, reef monitoring, and marine photography.
  • There are opportunities for total newbies to gain the experience and certifications needed to progress to Divemaster training.

Cons:

  • Interns must budget extra for daily lunches.
  • If you're looking for PADI certification, Caribbean Reef Buddy provides advanced training through Scuba Schools International (SSI).

Earn your Scuba Schools International (SSI) professional Divemaster certification in Grenada and further your conservation or tourism career. Caribbean Reef Buddy's Divemaster internship is perfect for those looking for intensive training that will improve their diving skills and knowledge of scuba safety. Over a three-week period, students will earn their certification in addition to getting involved in marine conservation projects.

All equipment is provided but interns are encouraged to bring their own gear in order to get comfortable diving consistently with the same equipment.

"Coming here has been a revelation! These guys really know what they're doing and have a programme which is structured perfectly to prepare you to become a divemaster. They're thorough, diligent and very very professional. I came away knowing that I needed to continue in this direction because diving is the career choice for me."

Mike

Program Details

Program:
Marine Conservation Divemaster Training Program in the Caribbean
Provider:
Caribbean Reef Buddy
Location:
Grenada
Starting Price:
$8,080.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 4.85

Provide veterinary care to wildlife with Oyster in South Africa

Unique Internships - Veterinarian with Elephant

Program length: 2 weeks to 3 months
Price point: $$$
What's included: accommodation, 3 meals a day/7 days a week, airport pickup, in-country transportation, reference upon request
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Alternate between working with domestic, farm, and wild animals -- get the experience to help you decide where you'd like to specialize in your future career!
  • You won't just be shadowing with Oyster, you'll get to work hands-on with the animals through a variety of interventions.

Cons:

  • You will need some prior work experience with animals to participate.
  • Be prepared to be on the move and to stay in potentially rustic accommodations like cottages and farmhouses.

If you’re looking for practical experience and love animals, roll up your sleeves and get behind the wheel with Oyster. During this internship, you'll work side by side with veterinarians who care for zebras, lions, and rhinos on a daily basis.

As a mobile vet, your office and patients will change day-to-day. This will allow you to work with several kinds of animals and see different places throughout South Africa. Wildlife specialists will train you to provide a wide range of medical care that encompasses domestic animals in villages, agricultural livestock in remote locations, and wildlife in game reserves.

Participants must have some experience working with animals. Current 2nd- or 3rd-year vet students can join a separate internship better suited to their experience and learning needs.

"The staff were really supportive and interactive. Very hands on, full of practical opportunities and staff that really cared about your experience. I would really recommend this placement to anyone that is contemplating a career in vet meds or as a vet nurse."

Vikka

Program Details

Program:
Veterinary Internship in South Africa
Provider:
Oyster Worldwide
Location:
South Africa
Starting Price:
$2,549.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5

Photograph endangered animals in South Africa with African Impact

Three lions on a rock.

Program length: 8-12 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: accommodation, 3 meals a day on weekdays, in-country transportation, airport pickup, training and extensive mentoring
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Past interns felt safe and comfortable at the lodge where they stayed.
  • This program is suitable for beginners to professional photographers.

Cons:

  • Participants must come with their own SLR camera and laptop.
  • You will need to budget extra money for weekend meals.

With African Impact's wildlife photography internship, taking pictures is more than just a way to capture incredible memories -- it's a way to raise awareness. Both aspiring and seasoned photogs will contribute to an important body of work to be used for conservation and education while growing their own portfolio. Interns will stay near Kruger National Park while they receive expert mentoring from professional conservation photographers.

Through their partnership with The African Impact Foundation, African Impact gives its interns the opportunity to attend cultural presentations, discussions on poaching, and even stargazing under the open South African skies.

"I always wanted to come to Africa as a photographer. The experience changed me. I had tears leaving the place."

Brigitte

Program Details

Program:
Internships in Africa with African Impact
Provider:
African Impact
Location:
Multiple Countries
Starting Price:
$1,295.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 5

Learn traditional medicine with Linguistic Horizons in Peru

Man jumping in the air by Machu Picchu.

Program length: 2 weeks to 6 months
Price point: $$$
What's included: shared accommodation, breakfast and lunch or dinner on weekdays, airport pickup, excursions, guided hikes and cultural activities, workshops, health & accident insurance
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • You'll be acclimatized to the change in altitude with a hike.
  • There are no educational or degree requirements to participate -- just a passion for traditional medicine and nutrition!

Cons:

  • Additional trips, like Machu Picchu, aren't included but can be purchased separately.
  • Be prepared for lots of walking and hiking -- those with mobility difficulties may find this program challenging.

Linguistic Horizons prides itself on its commitment to meaningful and impactful projects and their Holistic Nutrition and Natural Medicine internship is no different. Set in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, participants will learn from local professionals and holistic medicine and nutrition practitioners.

Excursions will focus on exploring organic farming, hunting for medicinal plants, and visits to markets to identify superfoods. Interns will also engage in hands-on workshops to gain skills in vegan cooking, herbology, and cleanses. Outside of the learning opportunities, guided hikes and cultural activities will introduce participants to the beauty and heritage of the local areas.

If health and medicine aren't for you, they have a wide range of other fields available that can be personalized to your interests.

"The program and experience was indeed a trip of a lifetime, and it will forever change me as a person. The hardest part was leaving this incredible place, as three weeks was just not enough time!"

Alex

Program Details

Program:
Customized Internship: Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco
Provider:
Linguistic Horizons
Location:
Peru
Starting Price:
$2,795.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.9
  • Safety 5

Get creative with ArtBound Initiative in Berlin

A woman stands in a square in Berlin.

Program length: 2-6 months
Price point: $$$
What's included: professional and career coaching, access to the ABI networking platform, pre-departure and visa support
Compensation: unpaid or paid, depending on specific placement

Pros:

  • ABI partners with over 250 international companies including CBS and Vice.
  • You'll be coached before going into the interview process to ensure you do your best to land the position you want.

Cons:

  • Due to visa restrictions, you need to be currently enrolled in a university or have graduated in the last 12 months.
  • Housing is not included in the program fee and can get expensive in Berlin.

ArtBound Initiative helps you break into Berlin's iconic arts scene with an internship in a variety of fields. Interview for positions within studio art, art administration, gallery and curation, cultural management, design, film production, and more. ABI's personalized coaching and mock interviews will help you secure a place in a top company doing what you love.

Generally, short-term internships are unpaid, but some companies may offer stipends or payment to interns who commit to longer durations. US citizens can intern visa-free for up to three months. For longer stays, an internship visa is required, but don't worry! ABI is here to guide you through the process.

"Amazing support, having the ABI team walk me through the bureaucracy that comes with living internationally has been so beneficial, in addition to the career coaching. Having an industry professional review your CV and portfolio have been invaluable, and the program as a whole has really allowed me to kickstart my career."

Ching

Program Details

Program:
Creative Internship in Berlin with ABI
Provider:
ArtBound Initiative
Location:
Germany
Starting Price:
$3,250.00 USD
4.73 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • Growth 4.65
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.55
  • Housing 4.2
  • Safety 4.8

Become a safari field guide with GVI in South Africa

A man chops at a tree limb with a large blade.

Program length: 6 months or 1 year with an optional add-on of 1, 3, or 6 months
Price point: $$$
What's included: shared housing, all meals, all equipment, in-country transportation, airport pickup, certifications, pre-departure support, 24/7 emergency support, career coaching
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • This experience is extremely immersive and will directly expose you to the big 5 animals, countless birds, and diverse plant life.
  • Past interns made fast friends with other like-minded participants on base and bonded over a passion for wildlife.

Cons:

  • Long-term programs can be expensive -- check out GVI's scholarships.
  • Life on base isn't always luxurious. You may take the occasional cold shower and will have to wash laundry by hand.

GVI's career internships give you long-term opportunities to break into the conservation field. Choose from 6 months or 1 year and spend your time with Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) certified trainers learning the ropes of field guiding.

At the conclusion of your internship, you'll be able to show off a range of qualifications including The FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2), CATHSSETA National Qualification (NQF2) in Nature Guiding, Cybertracker track & sign, a wilderness first aid certificate, and more. This will make you extremely marketable for a position in the field. What's better, GVI has a career guarantee -- interns who train for three months or more have a job waiting for them at the end of their internship!

"GVI has given me the confidence to push myself in ways I didn't think I ever could, I have found the courage to leave my job of 8 years in Central London to chase my dreams of working in wildlife conservation full time."

Rebecca

Program Details

Program:
GVI: Internships in South Africa
Provider:
GVI
Location:
South Africa
4.86 Rating
based on 21 reviews
  • Growth 4.75
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.55
  • Safety 4.85

Break into tech with iXperience in Lisbon

A large group of people pose smiling with their arms in the arm.

Program length: 6 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: hostel accommodation, excursions, hybrid internship, access to coworking space, daily mentoring
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Past course instructors have included staff from Google, Meta, and Microsoft.
  • Alumni loved the support and guidance from the program staff and instructors.

Cons:

  • Meals are not included so you will need to budget extra money for meals out or cooking at your apartment.
  • This is a bootcamp program so it may not be right for you if you're looking for a long-term internship.

iXperience in Lisbon offers a hybrid internship program that pairs technical skills training with a local internship. For the first two weeks, you'll focus on studying your chosen specialization online. The following four weeks, you'll be interning at a local company full-time 3 days and week, and part-time the remaining 2.

Supercharge your future career in data science by studying things like data analytics, machine learning, and data visualization. Or, specialize in software engineering and gain skills in HTML, CSS, building databases, and implementing APIs. Whatever you choose, you are guaranteed to be highly marketable and sought after by employers within the tech field.

"Through the strong relationships formed with your professor, internship manager, program coordinators, and peers, iX Lisbon was a great investment for both my professional future, my knowledge of the world, and for developing strong friendships with people from all over."

Annika

Program Details

Program:
iXperience Lisbon – Career Bootcamp + Internship Summer Abroad
Provider:
iXperience
Location:
Portugal
Starting Price:
$11,450.00 USD
4.82 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 4
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4
  • Safety 5

Investigate ancient ruins with IES in Rome

The neon word "ROMA" glows in the air in front of the Colosseum in Rome.

Program length: semester (3 months)
Price point: $$$
What's included: shared housing, 3 academic credits, excursions, virtual orientation, support from local staff
Compensation: unpaid

Pros:

  • Part-time internships allow you to explore Rome in your free time.
  • Past interns felt they could totally immerse themselves in Italian daily life, including learning about the culture and taking language lessons.

Cons:

  • Budget more for food -- it's not included.
  • Rooms are shared between 2-3 same-sex interns -- if you're someone who needs alone time this could be a concern.

Aspiring archaeologists have the unique opportunity to work on real-life digs in Rome with IES Abroad. Participate in excavations, document artifacts, and help preserve Italian cultural heritage during your semester abroad.

Outside of your part-time internship, you will have the option to take survival Italian language classes as well as go on excursions with fellow interns. You will also have the opportunity to bond with your IES roommates by making dinners together at your apartment or taking trips around Rome, Italy, or the rest of Western Europe.

If you're looking for a short-term internship, they also do a summer session!

"Not only did I learn to adapt to a new work environment and culture but I also learned a lot about myself and improved my cultural intelligence. I gained worldwide skills that you can't learn back at home, and I was also able to attend networking events and met professionals who come from all over the world and found themselves working in Rome."

Sol

Program Details

Program:
IES Internships Rome
Provider:
IES Abroad
Location:
Italy
Starting Price:
$0.00 USD
5.00 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 4.8
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 4.8

Join the fashion scene in London with Beyond Academy

A man and woman smile at the camera while on a boat in Cambridge, England.

Program length: 6-24 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: career development and networking, local activities and day trips, airport pickup, visa support
Compensation: unpaid or paid depending on specific internship placement

Pros:

  • Beyond Academy puts a major focus on professional development like career coaching, workshops, and networking.
  • Alumni of the program rave about the support they receive while in London.

Cons:

  • Accommodation is not included and must be arranged on your own or through the program at an extra cost -- London is expensive!
  • Participants must budget extra for meals while interning in London.

Beyond Academy offers prospective interns a way to step into the bustling world of fashion in London. Known as one of the "Big Four" in the fashion world, London stands with New York, Paris, and Milan as a top destination for those seeking the glitz of the catwalk.

Your internship with Beyond Academy is tailored to you and your interests. You can be matched with fashion-focused positions within areas like design, photography, journalism, public relations, marketing, and more. There really is something for every intern.

Past interns benefited from extensive professional networking and support. You can expect to come out of your program with a polished CV, new industry contacts, and new friends.

"I feel like I was able to grow professionally and personally during this program. The support team encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone, which gave me the opportunity to make new friends and great memories."

Robert

Program Details

Program:
London Internships with Beyond Academy
Provider:
Beyond Academy
Location:
England
Starting Price:
$3,350.00 USD
4.83 Rating
based on 18 reviews
  • Growth 4.85
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.6
  • Safety 4.9
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Take the road less traveled in 2023

Let this list encourage you to take a chance on an interesting internship abroad. You might be surprised by what you can learn if you’re willing to take on something a little more unconventional than a typical 9-to-5. Fuel your passion and gain a unique perspective in 2023!

Read next: How to Budget for Your Internship Abroad