Interning abroad is one of the most enriching experiences and an attractive addition to your resume. The task at hand is finding an internship that fits your needs and falls into your schedule. Luckily, interning abroad is becoming increasingly popular and there are opportunities essentially year-round. Spring internships can be done during spring break, before or after the spring semester or during the entire semester itself. It's an opportunity you'll be sure to not miss out on.

South Africa

A popular destination because it does not require the intern to learn another language since English is widely spoken throughout the country. Another reason why South Africa is a popular destination is because there are many opportunities for interns to work on humanitarian rights issues with organizations such as UNICEF or WWF.


The nation of over a billion people is unsurprisingly a popular destination. There is a large demand for English speakers so, you will be welcomed with open arms. China and its large metropolises like Hong Kong and Beijing are home to many of Forbes top 500 companies and has a large role in the business world. Knowing Mandarin is undoubtedly helpful but, it is not necessarily a requirement to intern in China.


The home to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics is seeing an increasing international focus. The 5th largest country in the world is home to many outsourced American jobs and has many connections to the English-speaking world. Interns have a wide range of options of places to intern from American companies to beach resorts to education. Knowledge of Portuguese will help any interested intern.

Program Types

Paid Internships: These are undoubtedly the hardest to find. Believe it or not but, many international businesses do not feel comfortable paying a foreign intern without ever meeting them and in most cases, interns will need to obtain a different visa. Finding a paid internship will take a lot of research, it is best to first find the country or region of your choice and secondly, the sort of company you would like to work for. It is important to know that it greatly depends on what type of company you are hoping to work for i.e. it is going to be difficult to receive pay from a non-profit. Make sure you do all the research possible to properly prepare yourself.

Internships for Credit: Internships for college credit are in most cases, unpaid. These types of internships are great for internationally minded students who would like to supplement their in-class education with relevant experience that they can apply in the workforce. Students can participate in an internship throughout the semester. Interning abroad does not postpone graduation so long as you properly prepare yourself and make sure you meet the credit requirements for your target graduation date. Other internships take place, in most cases, after the spring semester and still counts for credit.

Non-profit: Non-profit internships are a popular choice since it is more of a volunteer program in which the employer is eager to welcome help. This is highly beneficial to the interns because it gives them a chance to work in a company that may focus on an important issue. Many interns will choose to participate in these programs because it gives them great experience and a chance to work with great organizations such as Doctors or Engineers Without Borders or for global non-profits like the Red Cross or UNICEF.

Funding Your Spring Internship

Funding you internship abroad is a difficult but in not way an impossible process. It will take a lot of planning and research. If you are going to be a paid intern, congratulations, just make sure you have enough money for transportation and a little extra just in case. If you are participating in a credit-earning internship, you should be able to receive financial aid from your home university or government.

In most cases, you will need to save up as much money as possible before you go; side jobs, fundraisers, applying for scholarship, etc. are all helpful. There are a lot of opportunities to receive money to fund your internship abroad, it is just a matter of finding them. Also, it is a good idea to ask the company/organization you are applying for if they will help fund your transportation costs.

Contributed by Joel Freeman

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