Internships Abroad

10 Up & Coming Places to Intern Abroad in 2021

Andrea Ella Palmer
Topic Expert

Andrea Ella Palmer is a freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned a Master of Public Health from University College Dublin in 2017. Andrea has lived and worked in the US, Ireland, and Spain. She is currently based in Madrid.

In today’s competitive job market, experience beyond your degree can really make your application stand out. Internships are the perfect way to gain hands-on experience while receiving valuable guidance from seasoned professionals in your field. Employers are keen to see that as a new graduate or career changer, you can put the theory of your studies into real-world practice.

If you want to take your internship experience to the next level, why not try going overseas? Interning abroad adds a special layer: it demonstrates everything from curiosity and independence to a desire to learn about and understand other cultures. Undertaking your internship abroad can help you grow not only professionally but personally. You’ll meet new people, try new foods, and maybe even learn a new language while you’re at it! In this increasingly interconnected world, having international experience under your belt shows a commitment to diversity and intercultural collaboration; two things that will help you succeed as you begin your career.

The following countries have been chosen due to their unique offerings and specialized industries, making them up and coming destinations for 2021. Past participants have found the internship programs listed below to be not only useful but enriching as well. Worried about international travel in the face of the current pandemic? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here, too. Go Overseas has included several virtual internship experiences to give you all the same benefits from the comfort of your own home.

Due to Covid-19, travel restrictions can change rapidly as the situation in each country develops. Because of this, prospective interns should maintain close contact with their program coordinator and monitor their destination’s official guidance. Entry information for US citizens can be found on each country’s respective embassy website.

Kenya

This East African country, while known for its stunning landscapes and wildlife conservation, boasts an emerging world economy. According to Global Finance, 5 of the top 25 companies operating in Africa are located in Kenya. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report ranked Kenya highly for ease of starting a business which makes it a promising country for startup ventures and small businesses. All of these things make it an attractive destination for internships for the business-savvy and aspiring conservationists, alike.

Outside of your daily intern duties, you’ll have the opportunity to explore this incredibly diverse and beautiful country. Kenya’s official languages are Swahili and English, but it is home to over 68 other tongues. Culturally, Kenya is a mix of tribes and ethnic groups which weave together a unique and bright tapestry of music, dance, and food. Whether you spend your time in bustling Nairobi or traversing one of the vast national parks, you will find something to love about Kenya.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Kenya

Ghana

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Ghana is a fascinating country with a growing industrial sector. Since it was the first sub-Saharan country to break free from colonial rule and gain independence in 1957, Ghana has seen increasing political stability and economic growth due to its gold, cocoa, and oil. The country enjoys a diverse culture with a focus on the importance of family and respect for the elderly. Music and dance is a huge part of life and Ghanians celebrate around 70 major festivals every year.

Internships in Ghana cover everything from healthcare and social work to journalism and law. Projects focus on fostering sustainable development in the local communities you’ll be working in. Polishing up your CV is even more rewarding when you know the work you’ve done has made a real difference!

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Ghana:

Spain

Spain is consistently among the top countries to study abroad so it seems like a no-brainer that it would make a great place to do an internship, too. A locale with notoriously sunny weather and tasty tapas, Spain is home to Barcelona and Madrid, two international hubs of business and culture. This destination has got you covered whether you fancy art and architecture or rubbing elbows with executives at a multinational company.

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.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Spain:

Panama

Panama: a country where you can watch the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic. This Central American country acts as a literal bridge to South America but once you arrive, you’ll want to stay put. An extremely biodiverse place, you can see tons of wildlife, lay on the beaches on both the north and south coasts, and trek through its vast rainforests. Aside from its deep connection with nature, it is also the home of the Panama Canal, once of the seven modern wonders of the world.

Aspiring environmentalists and conservationists will love the internship offerings in Panama. Who wouldn’t want to devote their time to helping sea turtles? Opportunities exist in sustainable development, ecology, and wildlife care and management. Don’t forget to practice your Spanish while you’re there!

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Panama:

South Africa

South Africa is becoming a popular destination for international internships and currently, Go Overseas features opportunities with over 100 programs. Known for its natural beauty and wildlife, South Africa is a culturally diverse country with an intricate past. It’s a great choice for those interested in social justice, racial equality, and human rights and many opportunities exist for social work and community building projects.

After a hard day’s work, enjoy the thriving foodie scene in Johannesburg or relax on the beach in Cape Town. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Big 5 at Kruger National Park: elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffalos.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in South Africa:

Brazil

Carnaval, samba and capoeira, and caipirinhas: it’s no secret that Brazilians love to have fun. With pristine beaches, vast rainforests, and sprawling, lively cities there’s certainly a lot to celebrate. Brazil is also home to 21 Unesco World Heritage Sites including Iguaçu National Park where you can find one of the largest waterfalls on Earth.

But don’t be fooled by the laid-back vibes; Brazil means business, too. Boasting the largest gross domestic product in South America, Brazil has several strong sectors to rely on. Agriculture, manufacturing, finance, and the service industry (hello, tourism!) drive the growing economy and provide interesting internship opportunities. Whether you want to learn the ropes of the hospitality business or help guide community development, you will have the opportunity to do so and more in this welcoming country.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Brazil:

Argentina

Buenos Aires is considered Latin America’s most European city and a walk through the Recoleta neighborhood will show you why. It is called “la París argentina" due to French immigration from 1840, whose influence can be widely seen through the architecture. Birthplace of soccer stars Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, Argentina is famous for other cultural icons including the tango, gauchos, and literary giants like Jorge Luis Borges.

Argentina has a wealth of natural resources and the energy and agriculture sectors make it a strong economic power in South America. Over 5 million tourists visited Argentina in 2019: the cities, beaches, and beautiful Patagonia region continue to pique the interest of travelers worldwide.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Argentina:

Colombia

Just behind Brazil, Colombia is the second most biodiverse country on the planet which makes it a great destination for nature lovers, environmentalists, and adventurers alike. Spend your time in Colombia exploring some of its 51 national parks or simply kick back with a cup of coffee in a cafe in Medellín. If dancing is your thing, you’re in luck! Cali, located to the southwest of Bogotá, is considered the salsa capital of Colombia where you can find unique styles of this expressive dance at bars and venues across the city.

The internships offered in Colombia are guaranteed to be just as colorful. Gain hands-on experience in the film industry with this gorgeous country as your backdrop or choose from a variety of disciplines like politics, architecture, or graphic design to bolster your CV.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Colombia:

Turkey

A country that spans two continents, Turkey’s long and rich history is truly a mix of cultures. Asian, European, and Middle Eastern influences can be seen here making it a unique internship destination. Famous for its tea, baklava, and iconic Hagia Sofia, you can also find other lesser known wonders here. Your internship experience won’t be complete without a visit to Cappadocia to view the otherworldly landscape in a hot air balloon.

From Istanbul with its soaring minarets to the political capital Ankara, a wide range of professional experiences await you. Turkish culture will be sure to expose you to different ways of thinking and will no doubt instill a well-rounded and more open world view.

Exciting Internship Opportunities in Turkey:

Virtual Internships

If the global pandemic has sidelined your travel plans for the foreseeable future, you can still enjoy the benefits of an international internship from home. Remote internships are designed to give you all the benefits of an in-person experience but without the hassle of getting from point A to point B which can be very convenient for those unable or unwilling to travel.

Asia Internship Program matches interns with a professional supervisor in their chosen field who will provide personal guidance and challenging projects that will be sure to impress future employers. Highly rated by past participants for its support and overall programming, interns found this to be a great alternative to a physical internship during Covid restrictions. Try out a remote internship and get a leg-up on the competition.

Check out more virtual internships

Covid has thrown a wrench in many of our plans for 2020, but don’t let the pandemic derail your career plans, too! Pursuing an internship in 2021 could be the perfect way to get your professional life back on track while enjoying some much-needed travel. However, don’t rule out remote opportunities which can provide you the full experience from the safety of home. Whichever route you choose, make your professional development a priority for 2021!

This article is updated annually and was most recently revised in December 2020.