If you want to know more about global policy and financial markets, or to develop strong research and analytical skills, then take an internship in economics overseas. You’ll get to put your economic studies in a different perspective, learning about different countries' government services, monetary policy, import and export markets, and other macro- and micro-level issues.
Just as you study many different topics in economics classes, economics majors may intern in many different fields. Some may focus on financial markets, and intern as financial analysts. Others may also find internships as data analysts in market research organizations/consultancy, administrators in governmental agencies or research institutes, international trade specialists at exports/imports centers and more!
An internship in economics is best for students who like theories, data, research, policy; and for students who want to see how individuals, governments, firms, and nations make choices on allocating scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited needs.
If you’re interested in interning abroad in economics, you can choose from:
- A research project in a local university/national lab/commission/profit or nonprofit organization/governmental or nongovernmental association
- An administrative position in a local governmental agency
- An analyst position in a bank/consultancy/tech company
- A teaching assistant at a university
Many of these positions will overlap with other industries, so it's best to search by job title, rather than "economics internships".
Where to Go
Europe is a good place to start. If you want to work in a governmental agency, the European Union and European Commission generally welcomes students from other countries to learn about their policies and promote international relations.
China, Brazil, Thailand, Kenya
If you are interested in economic development -- like how learning about how effective a program, policy, or institution is in terms of helping closing a gender/racial/wealth/etc. gap in a specific area, then you're best looking outside of Europe. China, Brazil, Thailand, and Kenya are great destinations to look for these types of internships. Of course, they're not the only destinations where this type of economic internship is available.
South Africa and Australia
If you are a data enthusiast, or you want to conduct a research project, there are some pretty innovative programs being run in South Africa and Australia that will help you build networks and launch your academic or professional work. Europe is also a good destination for this, but consider expanding your search to other corners of the globe as well.
Planning Your Trip
When applying for internships in economics abroad, some common qualifications you'll see include:
- Not all internships in Economics requires mathematical or statistical backgrounds, but strong analytical skills are always a plus
- Academic or professional writing skills may be helpful in some types of internships
- Communication skills and multitasking skills allow you to do well in any kinds of positions
- Some programs/internships may ask for knowledge in quantitative tools or programming (excel, R, Stata, SAS, R, SPSS, SQL, Python, C++ etc)
- Proficient in the local language may help you understand the market/policy
The housing typically depends on what type of program you're doing while interning abroad. If you're conducting a research project at a university, students will likely stay in a dorm room or off-campus apartment. Participating in a non-school affiliated programs? Then expect to find an apartment yourself. Most likely, the program providers would assist you in finding a place to live, or at least they would have a plenty of housing resources for your to choose.
Contributed by Ying Ruan
Economic Internships Abroad
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