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Absolute Internship


Absolute Internship is an award-winning global internship program. We offer students the opportunity to broaden their professional and social network whilst gaining invaluable skills in their industry of choice. Since our inception in 2009 we have matched over 4,000 students with 800+ corporate partners in world-class cities including Barcelona, Beijing, Bogota, Hong Kong, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Montreal, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm and Tokyo. We are regularly featured in The New York Times, BBC News, Forbes Magazine, Financial Times, and Bloomberg as a worldwide leader for internship programs.


Carrer Bailen 20
08010 Barcelona Barcelona

Oh la la - we're now in Paris!

Are you ready to open yourself to new opportunities abroad and join students from across the globe on an international adventure? We just opened a new Summer Internship Program 2020 in Paris! Save your spot now by submitting your application form.


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Yes, I recommend this program

The Lisbon trip was honestly a great experience for me.

The city in general is a great place if you're someone who is worried that they will feel out of place in a foreign country, because it's so diverse and plenty of people speak English and Spanish. It has a rich culture which you feel when you're there whilst also having a good nightlife and buzzing tourist atmosphere. Whether you're a European like me or someone from another continent, Lisbon is a great place to live for a short period of time, with relatively low prices and plenty of things to see if you are a bit of a traveller (plus there's beaches nearby - the temperatures are above 30 degrees celsius in summer).

Absolute Internship (AI) were quick to resolve any issues I had during the 6 weeks I was in Lisbon and always made it clear that they wanted to help improve my experience in any way I could, albeit both their advice on how to make the most of the trip and their communication prior to me coming to Lisbon wasn't great. When I applied for the program around January-time, the person from AI who was finding me a job was at times slow to respond to my emails but did make a clear effort to find me an internship that suited what I wanted to get out of my experience (any job in marketing). I had secured the job by the end of February and AI's payment scheme meant that I only paid the total amount once I'd secured the right internship for me. When I'd arrived in Lisbon, the AI coordinator taking us was very quick at responding to my messages, and I was repeatedly reassured that if there were any issues I had with any aspect of the course, I should let the coordinator know as soon as possible, which was helpful.

As someone who was concerned about whether this company were legit or not (and if I'd just paid a large sum of money to a bunch of scammers), I was relieved to find early on that they were as legit as I'd hoped, and most of the others on the course had found AI through their universities, which was also reassuring. I was satisfied with the quality of AI's care and support, although I know that there were others that were unsatisfied with some responses to their more serious issues (e.g. they really didn't want to continue with their internships but AI couldn't find them another one).

I was the only Brit and European on my course, with the others coming from North America, South East Asia and the Middle East - they were all a great group of people and we did quite a few activities together, which was nice. The social side of this trip was great and although it was a bit lonely to start with, as expected, I'm really good friends with many of the people I met on this course - no need to worry about whether you'll make friends or not!

Overall I would highly recommend the Lisbon trip! As someone who has been on a poorly run internship scheme before, AI definitely offered a professional internship scheme that I'm grateful I went on and was worth the money in my opinion.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared to feel lonely at the start. When you're abroad alone, it's awkward and you're meeting a whole bunch of new people so you'll find it a bit difficult for a couple of weeks maybe - but that's OK! Be open and stay positive, try to make the first move with someone to hang out or add them on social media etc because they probably just want to feel comfortable too.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Where shall I start?....I have always dreamed of interning abroad so when this opportunity came along I couldn’t refuse. Once I arrived in Lisbon I must say it was quite different than being in America, and took me a little time to get accumulated to what would be my new life for six weeks. However, my coordinator Aiste did a great job at making me feel right at home, along with the other amazing members in my group. I really loved the trips and events that Absoulte Internship organized for us, it allowed us to experience the culture, traditions, and learn the history of Portugal overall. To anyone who is considering interning abroad “DO IT”,your life will never be the same. Remember your dreams are worth investing in, so why not start now!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open minded to this experience. Don’t allow what you’re accustomed to, to prohibit you from trying new things. Also, be intentional about setting goals you would like to accomplish while being here, it really helps to keep you motivated
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Yes, I recommend this program

Lisbon was an amazing experience. I was nervous to be over seas for 6 weeks at first but the people and city made me feel right at home. You learn new things everyday at your internship and have wonderful experiences along the way. Absolute also always has cool events planed. I would highly recommend taking this opportunity! This opportunity is great for adventuring and learning and simply seeing more of the world and experiencing other cultures. There are millions of things to do in Lisbon so you can never get bored. Also, at your internship you will learn many new things if you apply yourself and ask to push your limitations. If you do this, your employer will certainly help you achieve that next step. Remember, this is the best time in life to make mistakes, as an intern.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I learned more about the culture than anything which was very surprising and eye opening.
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No, I don't recommend this program

I'm doing an internship in Tokyo this year in Graphic Design and I can say with 110% surety that this is a total waste of money.

AI physically lied on there marketing about what is included and what is not, to name a few: breakfast, laundry etc. They also catch you by saying that transport and data being included and once you arrive they mention that it is only included for the first month.

They have no communication between co-workers and we were left stranded for the company visits because program coordinators are incapable of answering their phones.

Also, note that when a time and place is arranged for a meet-up they will leave without you and not communicate where they're going so you'll be stranded at night with nowhere to go. Without providing you with a top-up as promised

When I requested a refund I was told that to receive a refund YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR ONE 12 WEEKS BEFORE THE PROGRAM STARTS. Oh yes, they literally take your money and give you a slap-dash to pacify you.

In terms of work, they promise a life-changing event: this is not the case. They just pair you with anyone that DOES NOT match your CV.

I can list a million other things that they false advertise. Like once you complain they send you a policy saying that they cannot be held responsible for any information on their website!

Just don't do it, it's a total waste of money and absolute basically steal your money and they don't care if your happy or not.

When I complained about the level of service and the product not being as advertised I was responded with a "thank you for your feedback". The program is a total scam!! It's not a coincidence that you can't find any bad reviews. They blocked my roommate from all social because of her reviews. They also deleted all her negative reviews.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Request your refund now! You'll be wasting a ton of money and time and it's really not worth it. The product advertised is not the one you'll receive.
Response from Absolute Internship

Dear Mene,
First of all let us apologise for not being able to live up to your
expectations. We can assure you, our main goal as a company is to ensure that students are developing professional and personal skills via our programs. It is incredibly saddening to hear your feedback that you feel let down despite our efforts to resolve your concerns.

As we previously responded to your concern in detail, we want to emphasize that we arranged phone calls with you to ensure we fully understand your concerns, we talked to you in person on location and communicated with you via email as well. We certainly took on some of your concerns that we need to improve and we are glad to advise you that internal changes are taking place to make sure there is no misunderstanding regarding what's included in the housing and how we provide SIM cards.
We apologise if it wasn't clear that we supply our students with a local SIM card when they arrive to our program and on top of that we also add data and minutes for them for the first 30 days to start them off.

To address the reviews, we are actually not allowed and able to delete reviews to our liking, as the review platforms do not allow it.
We were sorry to find out that you decided to leave our program and student housing without informing us. It was reassuring to know that you carried on with your internship placement and we truly hope that you gained plenty of useful skills that will enhance your employability. As unfortunately we couldn't receive more updates from you regarding your situation we honestly hope that you are taking away positive experiences
as well. We can only hope that you will see this experience in a different light and that your experience was not influenced by any negative attitude from another student in the program.

Again, let us apologise to you that you didn't have the experience you hoped for and we would like think that spending a few weeks abroad has helped you broaden your network and gave you invaluable life skills.

We wish you all the best with your future Mene.
Best regards,
The Absolute Internship team

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Yes, I recommend this program

I had an extraordinary time in Singapore with my fellow students and the Absolute staff. Carol and Nina were excellent in our transition and I always looked forward to seeing them throughout the trip. Very friendly, helpful and were amazing to be around. The lodging throughout Malaysia and Singapore was top notch and could not have asked to stay in finer hotels.

Absolute placed me into my internship right off the bat and it was a perfect fit for what I was looking for. I learned many countless skills while abroad. Everyone in their college career should have an opportunity to study abroad or at least go abroad. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and to get the confidence of working in a foreign environment will help me moving forward. I am so glad I was able to go on this trip as it has impacted my views and skills greatly. I wish I could go back right now with my group to experience it all again.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not think the program could have been improved. Maybe in Malaysia not to do as much, but then again I enjoyed seeing everything we did even though we were on a time crunch.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Thinh Vu

Although born in America, Thinh is a proud Australian of 18 years. He is currently in his 2nd year of Law/Commerce at The University of Queensland. In the little leisure time he has, he enjoys watching TV shows such as Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Modern Family.
A group of students gathered.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I would tell them to take the opportunity and go! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I absolutely do not regret anything. I've met amazing people from around the world who have inspired me so much.

Additionally, living in such a cultural melting pot has widened my view on the world and I've experienced so many opportunities that wouldn't be possible in Australia. Most importantly, I would recommend that everyone intern abroad as your CV will thank you so much!

The Australian graduate market is increasingly competitive and an internship automatically places you above other people and this can only be a good thing.

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

The hardest part of going overseas is leaving my family and friends for 2 months. This was my 1st time overseas without my family and it honestly didn't sink in till I arrived.

Although I felt nervous and home sick at the start, these feelings almost disappeared instantly as the Absolute staff, other interns and my supervisors made me feel at ease in England. In fact, I almost forgot how much I missed home in a few weeks as I was so busy learning and enjoying the London life!

Although you miss home, there are so many means of contacting friends and family back home thanks to the Internet and social media. And being away from home for 2 months makes you realize how important and special your friends and family back home are!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My one piece of advice would is be ready to learn, adapt and embrace the internship and the country. Being adaptable to change is an amazing quality and it makes your time overseas instantly better! Make use of your internship and learn as much as possible. Embrace your internship city and experience everything that the city has to offer.

Go out every night as you'll never know when you'll be back in that city. Having the above quality makes your internship period an experience you'll never forget. Lastly, I would recommend bringing the appropriate clothing for overseas.

I went to London in winter and I didn't bring enough warm clothing and got sick for 1.5 months! So make sure you stay healthy.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Anne-Fleur Vaartjes

Job Title
Business Development Associate
Having studied at an international school in Antwerp, lived in Hong Kong and currently living in Shanghai, Anne-Fleur has been exposed to many different environments and cultures and aims to continue to travel and explore to keep learning and growing.
hong kong skyline

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is probably sitting around the table on a boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam, with people from all over the world, ranging from Israel to Romania and Venezuela, and just listening to their life and travel stories. One woman told me that she comes up with the best ideas while traveling, simply because when you travel you break your routines, you are taken out of your comfort zone, you see new things and become more open-minded, which in turn stimulates the creative brain. Just listening to them really inspired me and made this trip one of the best ones I went on – even though the beautiful scenery of course also played a role.

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

Underrated: I would say that Singapore is definitely a destination that is often underrated. There is not a place that can even compare, with its modern skyscrapers, perfectly clean streets and one of the most sophisticated transportation systems in the world. Some might say its modern structure is associated with a lack of culture, but in my eyes the opposite is true, with Singapore hosting a more diverse mix of cultures than I have seen in a single country. Although it is a young nation, it is branching out, becoming more present in for example the art and music scene, with street artists singing on the bridge at Clarke Quay as you make your way to one of the numerous outstanding restaurants that serve unique blends of food from different parts of Asia. Singapore is lively and dynamic: there is always something to do and the opportunities are abundant, with the country often found at the top of the rankings regarding ease of doing business.

Overrated: To be honest, I have not lived in a place that I believe is really overrated, and it is difficult to say a destination is overrated after only having visited the place for a few days. Living in Hong Kong has been an unforgettable experience for me and it truly is the gateway to Asia as I see it, filled with opportunities. Currently living in Shanghai, this city is fascinating to me in a very different manner, yet equally resourceful.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe a combination of communication, transparency and passion are the key to being a successful company. As people in the top section of the hierarchy, it is important to communicate important decisions to the lower parts, meanwhile, lower-level employees should be able to voice their opinion to the higher-level employees. This, together with transparency, creates an open work culture which has been proven – as I learned in business school – to positively affect the output of the business. Additionally, people should not start packing and get their keys out to be ready to leave when the clock strikes 5. If the employees really enjoy what they do and have a passion for their work, they will be willing to work more hours to achieve a certain goal or simply to deliver the best service and in this way allow the company to grow.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

In the short time that I have worked at Absolute Internship I have become more confident, a better communicator and learned what it is like to start and expand a company through the behind the scenes exposure to this successful and exciting start-up. From the start, my co-owners really involved me in every decision and made sure I knew that my opinion also matters. I am given a lot of responsibilities, which is challenging to handle when you are new to a job, but that is what I was looking for. I came here to learn and that is exactly what I am doing, every day. Moreover, my ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur, and working at an international start-up like this, that just keeps growing yet continues to deliver outstanding services, has given me a taste of what it is like running my own company.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

The main thing that stood out to me from the beginning was how much each employee loves what they do, as well their ability to motivate their colleagues. Everyone knows the name and interests of each applicant and they all support each other and work incredible hard to find the best internship for every candidate, even if this means working many over-hours.

They high-five each other when someone confirms a new partnership with a company and the biggest reward to them is a happy student.

This is definitely one of the best work environments I have been surrounded by and it is what allows us to provide this unique service the way we do.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

It may sound cliché, but to be honest I am always proud to say that I am working at Absolute Internship. Within five years this company has grown immensely, and it continues to do so, with an additional program in Madrid which was only recently created, and the co-owners looking to expand further. To be able to grow so quickly, yet keep improving the service that is delivered is very impressive to me. Yet, if I would have to mention one moment that made me particularly proud it would be when I received a message which mentioned that Absolute Internship is part of “The 10 Best Sites for Finding an Internship in 2016” according to Forbes. But then again, I have not been part of this team for long, and to me the thing that would make me the proudest would be when a student says that we made a difference in their career path or even life, and from what I have heard from my colleagues, this happens often. I could not ask for more.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

To be honest, I have heard a lot of stories that brought a smile to my face. One student was talking about how clear it is to her that we love our job and really care about the students. Another student is currently working in a reputable firm and told us how grateful he still is for the opportunities we provided him with. Lastly, it is always awesome to hear when a student is asked to stay at the company after completing the internship and the student accepts, as this means we have done our job well; the student was happy with the internship and we were able to have a positive impact on his or her career path.

More Interviews