Recent grads eager to enhance their resumes while getting international experience will benefit from applying to internships abroad. Whether it's gaining that insightful business experience at an international corporation in Europe or interning with a human rights NGO in Asia, there are tons of options to help your resume stand out when you apply for jobs in the future.
Young professionals who want to gain international internship experience right after university can choose from the following fields:
Recent grads with an interest in business can choose from accounting, finance, administrative, management, hospitality, tourism, or international marketing opportunities. Whether your strength is in account management, creative outreach, working with people directly, or managing things from behind the scenes, you will be able to find a business internship that aligns with your career goals.
Get your foot in the door by networking with global-minded communication companies overseas. Internship journalism fields include fashion, sports, medical, and science journalism. You may also find internships in production, talent management, or media marketing.
Fuel your creative drive by spending time overseas working at a graphic design, film production, performing arts, or photography internship. Music enthusiasts can even spend time interning at a music studio, an orchestra, or a theater. Fashionistas can land an internship working at a fashion magazine, or fashion design company.
With jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math holding more significance than ever, gaining experience at a global company is crucial. Program types in this field include marine biology, biochemistry, electrical engineering, civil engineering, information technology, computer science, and wildlife conservation.
From teaching English to doing field work with NGOs, there are many opportunities for people interested in international relations. Internship types include teaching English as a second language, being a classroom language assistant, or interning in government departments and NGOs. This field is great best for interns with experience in international law, political science, or human rights.
Nothing can help you enhance your understanding of global health issues like living and taking part in field work, hospital and clinic apprenticeships, and learning from doctors overseas to see best practices in another country. Recent grads can land an internship in nursing, pre-med, HIV/AIDs prevention, medical research, traditional medicine, or physical therapy.
Where to Go
With the initiative to be more globally minded, businesses from all fields are focused on cross-cultural communication and collaboration, so it won't be hard to find an internship in your field, no matter where you choose to go. Here's a breakdown of internship types that are most prevalent in each region of the world:
Development continues to remain at the forefront of many businesses and NGOs in Africa, so the most common internship types include community development, education, medical, health, humanitarian, environment and conservation, and tourism and hospitality. Some popular African destinations include South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Madagascar and Seychelles.
In Asia, business, healthcare and tourism internships draw many recent grads from around the world each year. If this piques your interest, try heading to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, or Taiwan.
Recent grads with an interest in development and healthcare internships can look to Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand, for starters. If you're looking for an ethnic diversity and international relations experience, look to Bangladesh, India, or Sri Lanka.
Australia & New Zealand
Because of its grand biodiversity and perfect backdrop for movie sets, the most popular fields for internships in Australia and New Zealand include environment and conservation, journalism and media, art, photography, film, and hospitality. As a recent grad, you can land an internship in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, or Wellington to name a few cities.
There's something for everyone in Europe, whether it be an internship in fashion, politics, engineering or business. Popular all-around destinations include the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. History and politics enthusiasts in particular may want to head to the Czech Republic or Poland, and recent grads who are interested in art or fashion will find Italy, Spain, and France to their liking.
The most common internships in the Middle East include NGOs/international development, tourism, education, agriculture, and energy. As a recent grad, you can gain international internship experience working in these fields in Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Israel, or Turkey.
Recent grads can gain internship experience in business, finance, eco-tourism, marketing, community development, or hospitality by coming to North America. Popular destinations include New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, San Juan, or San Jose, expanding across the US, Canada, and other islands.
For recent grads interested in environmental conservation, education, and tourism, the Caribbean would be a great fit. Find internships in destinations like Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, or Puerto Rico to enhance your resume and get real world experience.
Best for those interested in environmental conservation, business, or community development, recent grads should start their search with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Costa Rica for their internship.
South America is a great destination for nearly any internship. Recent grads interested in conservation, community development,ealthcare, law, or human rights may want to start looking in Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.
Planning Your Trip
Applying to Internships
When applying to internships abroad it's good to look into the following before you go:
- Required work experience
- Visa requirements
- Hiring cycles for specific types of internships
- Language requirements
- Costs of living
- Work culture
- Work attire, cultural norms
- Paid/unpaid opportunities
Go Overseas is a great place to start. Most of the program providers on our website list information about visas, language/relative work experience, costs of living, and hiring cycles. Many alumni reviews will talk about the work culture and other etiquette norms about interning abroad in a specific country to provide you with helpful information before you go.
Most internship opportunities abroad will require that participants find their own housing. In some instances, certain internship programs may provide participants with things like a housing stipend or a homestay. However, this all varies based on program, so it's really important to research the cost of living in each location if you need to find housing yourself.
Work attire varies depending on where you are in the world, as well as your line of work. Someone interning in finances will need to pack more formal attire than someone working on environmental initiatives in the outdoors. Some countries may also be more conservative and will, therefore, expect modest clothing. Another thing to keep in mind is that most of your electronics will require adapters and power plugs in order to work abroad.
A good way to judge what type of clothing you should pack is by looking through photos on the company's website to see how current employees are dressed . It never hurts to ask your boss or refer to alumni to find out the preferred dress attire for the internship either.
Contributed by Danielle Ortiz
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Is it expensive to live in Spain?
While larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona can be on the more expensive side, the cost of living in Spain is lower than in most European countries. A room in a shared apartment in a city center like Madrid can range from about €250-€600 euros ($270 - $650 USD).
Is it safe to live in Spain?
Spain is a very safe country. But, just like the rest of Europe, Spain is notorious for pickpockets. It's important to not carry your passport around and always keep an eye on your phone!
What is it like living in Germany?
Living in Germany, depending on the region, can offer huge variations in your day-to-day experiences and routine. There are numerous articles written on modern-day German life and culture, and they're mostly very accurate.
Regarding the language barrier, there are always solutions to "bridging the gap". Although most Germans speak at least some English and often another additional language, you will face moments where German language skills are required. The best advice is to never give up learning and bettering your German at every given opportunity. Just remain patient, learn to accept that sometimes you won't be able to properly communicate, and most importantly, learn to be okay with making mistakes.
Is English widely spoken in Taiwan?
While it's possible to get by in Taiwan only speaking English, it's generally a good idea to brush up on some basic Mandarin phrases. English will be more widely spoken in Taipei than in other parts of the country. The government has alluded to plans to make Taiwan a Mandarin-English bilingual nation by 2030, but at this point English is not nearly as commonly spoken as Mandarin.
Is living in Germany expensive?
Compared to other European nations, the cost of living in Germany is actually quite reasonable. Rent tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum, and Berlin is recognized as being one of the most affordable capital cities on the continent. Generally, you can expect to need around $1,000 a month to cover all living expenses, including rent.
What European countries are best for internships?
Some European countries and cities are more well-known for certain industries, so it depends on your preferred field. However, some popular countries include the UK, Germany, and Ireland for engineering and business, France and Italy for fashion, and Belgium and Switzerland for politics.
Where can I get an English-speaking internship in Europe?
With over 200 languages in Europe, the UK might be the most obvious English-speaking country in Europe. While knowing a second language is helpful, you can find internships for English speakers in many European countries including Ireland, Netherlands, and Spain.
Do you need a visa to intern in Europe?
Visa requirements vary by country depending on the duration of the internship and work hours per week. Most internships will require some type of short or long-stay visa with work rights, so it's a good idea to check with your employer or home country embassy.