Engineering Internships Abroad
Guide to engineering internships abroad
In today’s competitive job market, an engineering internship abroad can give you an edge over the competition. Engineering internships for international students provide countless opportunities to gain practical skills that university degrees can't always provide. The best part is, you can build your resume all while having fun immersing yourself in a new country and its culture!
Types of engineering internship programs
Engineering is an extensive field with many specialties and sub-specialties to explore. Here are some of the most popular types of engineering internship programs abroad.
In broad terms, mechanical engineering deals with everything that moves and/or requires forces to make it move. Tasks in this field include assessing the loads in a machine, determining deflections, stresses, and vibrations, and making sure devices meet the intended design.
During your mechanical engineering internship, you will work closely with other engineers to optimize products to ensure that they are fit for purpose, cost-effective, and simple to manufacture.
📌 Specialities within mechanical engineering: automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, energy generation, and automation
More and more products use electrical and electronic components to improve their use efficiency. Electrical and electronics engineers research, develop, design, test, and manufacture electrical systems and components. Components include rotating machines, power and energy storage systems, and electronic circuits and systems.
As with any area in engineering, electrical and electronics engineers regularly find themselves in cross-functional project teams with colleagues in their own area and other fields of engineering.
📌 Specialities within electrical engineering: acoustics, defense, medical instruments, mobile phones, nanotechnology, radio and satellite communication, and robotics
Chemical engineering applies physical sciences and life sciences together and is employed in many industries including biotechnology, food, and law. This field is very fast-paced and client-focused with varied project times. Creating solutions to problems may take a few days whereas developing new materials may take years! Interns will be at the forefront of technology creating products, operating facilities, or designing new processes.
📌 Specialities within chemical engineering: nanotechnology and molecular, bioengineering, chemical process, and alternative energies
Civil engineering is one of the oldest forms of engineering and it deals with everything that needs to be built. Take a look outside your window! All the roads, houses, buildings, bridges, pavements, sewers, and many other things took shape because of a team of civil engineers.
As a student participating in an unpaid or paid civil engineering internship abroad, you can get very close to the planning, design, and management of a variety of construction projects.
📌 Specialities within electrical engineering: structural, transportation, and environmental
Best countries for engineering internships abroad
The US is a leader in the engineering world, but if you’re an American student looking for an international internship experience, there are countless destinations that are blazing trails. Here are three of the top countries for engineering internships abroad.
- China: China is a great destination for civil engineers due to its rapidly expanding infrastructure in cities across the country. China also boasts the 3rd tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower, which is a modern civil engineering feat.
- United Kingdom: home to three universities in the top 10 globally for engineering education, the UK offers a breadth of opportunities across all specializations in engineering. A leader in engineering education, you’ll be able to work with UK companies who are putting theory into practice.
- Germany: largely regarded as the top country for mechanical engineering in Europe, Germany has a history of industrialization and innovation. Interns interested in the auto industry will find opportunities at powerhouse brands like Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz.
- United Arab Emirates: Due to the construction and oil industries in UAE, engineering has become a booming business. It is largely made up of expats so you will have a diverse experience with opportunities to learn from a wide breadth of people. Companies operating in UAE are usually big multi-national, well-known brands.
Where to find engineering internships abroad
One of the best ways to find engineering internships abroad is to apply through a program that will match you to top employers. Not only do program providers set up interviews with employers who are offering positions in your area of interest, but they also guide you through the visa process and support you in your transition overseas.
Opportunities can also be found on the GO internships job board!
How to apply to engineering internships abroad
To apply for a paid or unpaid engineering internship abroad, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow.
- Check that you meet the eligibility requirements. Be sure you fulfill the academic, language (if applicable), and visa requirements. Some programs may only be open to upper level engineering students or recent graduates.
- Prepare your application materials. Update your resume (CV) and craft a personalized cover letter. Some employers or program providers may also ask for a personal statement or portfolio of your completed projects.
- Submit any necessary documents. You will likely need to submit paperwork like academic transcripts from your home university and letters of recommendation.
- Prepare for the interview. Before your interview, know why you want to intern abroad and have an idea about your future career plans. Don’t forget to practice!
- Apply for a visa. Depending on the length and location of your internship, you may need to apply for a visa. Consult the country’s local consulate as well as your employer/program provider to learn about the visa process.
Which countries are best for engineering internships?
Some of the top places to do an engineering internship include the US, Australia, China, Spain, and England. There are programs accepting engineering interns all around the world though so you're not limited to these five countries.
Is it possible to get a paid engineering internship abroad?
Internships in the field of engineering are both paid and unpaid. Engineering skills are in high demand, so there's a chance that you can land a paid internship overseas in your specialty.
What do engineering companies look for when hiring interns?
Aside from an aptitude for their engineering specialty, when hiring interns, companies look for a positive attitude, good time management and organizational skills, curiosity, and great interpersonal communication.Related Content
What kind of experience do I need for an engineering internship?
Many companies do not expect interns to have work experience outside of their studies. While some employers may prefer to hire college juniors or seniors or recent graduates, there are positions that cater to engineering students at every level of their education.
What kind of engineering internships can you get?
There are internships around the world in various sub-specialties like mechanical engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering, chemical engineering, and more.
What does an engineer intern do?
An intern's responsibilities and day-to-day activities depend on the type of engineering program they choose. For example, as a civil engineer, you may work on planning and design, while as a mechanical engineer, you may assess the load of a machine or make sure devices meet their intended purpose.