Schooooool’s out for summmmmer! **cue Alice Cooper** Ok, let’s put down the air guitar and talk shop for a minute. Why should you consider a summer internship abroad? Well, what better way to gain career orientated, in-depth knowledge that will further set yourself apart from everyone else that did summer internships? Not to mention you'll earn those coveted passport stamps!
How do you get a summer internship abroad? Not to worry! We, at Go Overseas, are here to bring you all the deets on how to get a summer internship abroad, tips for applying, and all the wonderful benefits of spending your summer working abroad!
Not ready to move abroad for an internship just yet? Check out these summer internships online.
Paid Internships: Most students would agree that a paid internship, especially in the summer, would be the ideal situation for them. However, typically, these opportunities exist in a larger company that has a budget to work with.
Fortunately, more and more organizations are recognizing the value of an intern program. It’s a win-win situation because if companies take the time to recruit quality interns and train them properly, they might consider offering a select few a full-time position. This isn’t to say that unpaid internships don’t have the same value, though. It’s just that funding the experience may take some creativity on your end.
Internships for Credit: The work you do in this type of summer internship abroad should be correlated closely with your particular field of study so that you continue getting credit for your degree. For example, an academic sponsor will most likely be required, and you could be required to write papers, keep a journal, conduct ethnographic research in the country you’re interning in, present your findings during or after your internship, and demonstrate the knowledge you accumulated over the summer.
Non Profit Internships: Don’t let the stigma of being “unpaid” shy you away from interning with a non-profit organization. There’s always a need for additional help in these service-focused organizations, and they are typically more than happy to accommodate interns who are enthusiastic, energetic, and passionate about the common cause (plus it looks fabulous to have an NGO on your LinkedIn profile). If you’re an enthusiastic self-starter, this type of internship over the summer would be an excellent fit for you!
Service Learning Internship: This type of internship is defined differently among organizations, but essentially if the intern meets their learning objectives through giving back to the community, the experience can be considered “service-learning.” This type of internship requires setting clear goals, time to self-reflect, and the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge in your desired field.
Australia: Pack up and head down under to Australia for a fun and exciting internship experience abroad! The country’s varied economy combines great job opportunities, such as marketing, fashion, and environmental research, with an incredible culture. Australia’s popular cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and more – also boast beautiful parks, beaches, wilderness, and city life that are all worth exploring. Just remember that summer in the Northern Hemisphere is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
England: Did you know England has one of the largest economies in Europe? With a range of industries, this country offers many internship opportunities during the summer months that will help forward your career! The most popular internship location is London – a hub for global business that offers both a meaningful work experience and a spectacular city experience. Don’t forget to check out the Big Ben and London Eye when off the clock!
China: China is one the world’s fastest-growing economies. It's increasing global influence has made China a top destination for internships abroad. No matter which city you’re in, you’re guaranteed to gain valuable international work experience in a variety of industries including business, finance, and marketing. While out of the office, interns are able to immerse themselves in China’s rich culture.
Spain: Looking for professional development, plus sunshine and beaches? Spain might be the perfect summer internship abroad for you. Its largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are sure to help you gain relevant career experience as leading cultural and economic centers. Head over now to work in industries such as business or hospitality while enjoying Spain’s incredible fiestas, nightlife, and beautiful landscape!
Planning Your Trip
Most experiences abroad will require some financial commitment. Make sure to do your research as there are many different types of "free" options out there.
It’s possible to get financial aid during the summer if you are taking credits, but check with your home institution for those specific requirements. Remember, it might be possible to incorporate a class into your internship so talk with your academic advisor about the type of work you’ll be doing and how it may fit into your credit course load.
Boost your resume minus the on-campus FOMO
It’s safe to say if you’re pursuing an internship -- much less an internship that’s out of your home country -- you’re the go-getter type. Translation: you most likely have a ton of on-campus commitments between classes, extracurricular clubs and orgs, a part-time job, Quidditch Club practice, volunteering, or whatever else eats up your free time! It can be scary to give all that up for a semester or even a year abroad.
A huge benefit of interning abroad during the summer is you don’t necessarily have to “miss out” on all your normal Fall/Spring on-campus activities and you’re setting yourself apart from the rest of the crowd by gaining an extremely valuable asset to your resume.
Shorter time = less busy work
From a business perspective, a huge benefit of bringing on interns is (let’s face it) super cheap or free labor to help with some of their projects. If a company only has you available to them for 2 or 3 months, they’ll more than likely have you jump in quicker than if you were available to them for a longer period of time (say a full semester or year).
For you, this means less mundane tasks and more projects. If they want to see results from you in a summer semester, they’re going to have to train you quicker and get you started with things right from the get-go. Sometimes the best way to learn is to dive in with both feet and run with your ideas.
As an added bonus, you’ll be able to dedicate 110% of your efforts to your internship and getting the most out of your free time (to travel or sightsee of course!) because you won’t have those pesky academic obligations to prioritize during the summer months.
Get out of your boring part-time job
Everyone's had “that job” -- the job that pays the food/shopping/gas/tuition/rent bills, but you don’t necessarily wake up excited to spent your day there. Spice up your life with an experience that will not only provide you invaluable pre-professional experience but could also quite possibly be the time of your life!
It’s likely you'll be interning with other students from all over the world. What a great way to hone your intercultural communication skills, broaden your horizons, and have some like-minded travel buddies for your weekends off!
Instead of working at that car-wash, restaurant, amusement park, or babysitting your neighbor's kids all summer, how about expanding your world network and traveling on the weekends? Sounds like a win-win.
Ideal time to “get your foot in the door”
It’s quite possible that if you impress your bosses over the summer, they might offer to keep you on full-time after your internship concludes. According to seasonal recruitment cycles, the end of 3rd quarter (late summer/early Fall) is a great time to be job hunting.
Even if you’re not graduating quite yet, leaving a great impression is an added bonus that will give you a huge boost when you are looking to commit to a full-time position and sending out your network feelers. You’re bound to be more confident reaching out to your former supervisor because that personal connection is already established. Plus by then you’ll want to get back on a plane, anyway.
As an international intern, you'll inevitably pick up some key phrases and put your language skills to the test! Potential employers really value language learning and/or fluency -- especially in an increasingly globalized workplace. Consider seeking out a language school in your host country to hone that grammar. Plus, this is another great way to meet ex-pats!
Contributed by Anna Morris
Summer Internship Programs Abroad
When should I start looking for summer internships?
If you want to start an internship in the summer, it's a good idea to research and apply for open positions a few months beforehand. Then, during the Spring, you'll be able to attend interviews and decide which internship you want to pursue.
How can I get an internship with no experience?
Most employers do not expect their interns to have much experience beforehand. The most important thing is to show that you have a genuine interest in the field and the motivation to learn new things.
How can I get a summer internship abroad?
After you decide what field you want to do your summer internship in, start looking for openings abroad at your school's career center and online. You can start with our Internships Job Board on Go Overseas.