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Global Experiences/AIFS Abroad

About

Global Experiences believes that everyone deserves a career they love, and their mission is to help young people find their paths sooner in life. Global Experiences internship programs open doors for young people to enrich their lives personally and enhance their futures professionally. Along with exciting placements in many different locations, Global Experiences internships abroad provide the support to assure students of great, safe and educational experiences, and an award winning career development program to connect the dots between school and the professional world.

Since 2001, Global Experiences has established a network of over 7,000 alumni and has given students and recent grads the chance to gain concrete skills in their desired industry, meet industry contacts, and experience the 'real world' in a new location. Global Experiences' staff are all world travelers and live to pay it forward.

Scholarships

Global Experiences Generation Study Abroad Scholarship

Global Experiences offers scholarships for both summer and semester terms in any of the organization’s 11 global cities. Full scholarships are available for semester-long programs, with special consideration given to those who are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Global Experiences also contributes to those who receive a Pell Grant or Benjamin A. Gillman scholarship, for both in person and virtual programs.

Value
$500 - $3,000

Reviews

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Chloe
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience

Having an internship in Florence, Italy was an amazing and unique opportunity. I got very lucky with my internship placement at a travel company; it was a great fit for me and I became close friends with my coworkers and boss. I also made friends with the other Global Experiences interns that I was living with. We all lived in the same complex, which had all the amenities we needed, including AC, heat, and laundry. The apartments were in a great area close to the city center.
The Florence location coordinators, Erica and Anna, are great! They were prompt at responding even outside of work hours, and helped with everything from internship questions to suggestions on the best clothing tailor in the city. They provided each intern with hands-on attention and advice.
Overall, I would recommend this program. Global Experiences is a great program to do in your college or post-college years because it helps give you a better idea of what your future goals and plans are.

Pros
  • Personal growth
  • Work experience in another country
  • New connections
Cons
  • Personal expenses with no income from a job
  • Needs a more streamlined COVID isolation plan
Default avatar
Aleah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Australian Adventure with Andrea

I chose to go abroad to Australia with Global Experiences not really knowing what to expect. I knew I wanted to go abroad to Australia, but I didn't know exactly what that experience would entail. Andrea, the program advisor for Sydney, made this an amazing experience in several areas. She worked hard to make sure that my internship was a good fit for me, and found things for my cohort to do based on our interests. GE made discovering Sydney so much easier, and I definitely recommend! Thank you GE and Andrea!

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Rosie
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience I Don’t Regret

My experience overall in Milan through Global Experiences was one that I do not regret. Although our program was fairly small (and felt this way at times), it was a way for me to form close relationships with my roommates. The first two weeks we were enrolled in half day language classes which gave us a lot of free time to explore and get situated with the trams and public transportation, as well as the layout of the city. After this, each of our individual internships picked up and occupied most of our time. Because of this, we traveled to various countries early on in the program as we had the time to do so. My internship placement was okay, and although I had some complaints and difficulties, overall I know that I learned a lot and will be able to use this experience as a stepping stone in whatever career path I take. The city is lively and there’s definitely stuff to do, but you have to look for it. Although not the typical study abroad experience with easy classes and partying, this I felt was the perfect happy medium of an abroad experience I missed out on due to COVID while also incorporating a job/internship/career jumper experience.

Pros
  • Easy Transportation
  • Great Shopping
  • Very Lively
Cons
  • Very Metropolitan, Not Very Green
  • Food Isn’t Incredible, But Okay
  • Summer Months Are Incredibly Hot
Default avatar
Drew
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic internhsip

Best internship I’ve ever had. I visited a lot of Spain it was great. The program did an overall great job planning fun activities for me to do, and places to visit. A great experience and would reccomend to all students who want to intern abroad, Madrid was a great city to live in. It Was a fun three months for me, a great experience. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about Spanish culture. Could be a life changing experience for some people. I got to travel all over Spain and I enjoyed that very much. The internship was my favorite, I have interned at multiple companies in the US and this internship in Madrid has been the best in office experience yet.

Default avatar
Cora
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Florence

It was such a great experience! I was able to really dive into the culture and make friends with locals. My internship was so much fun and i was so fortunate for my boss. She was like my Italian mother and was so kind and caring. I absolutely loved working at her clothing boutique. My advice would be to say yes to any opportunity that arises; you’ll grow so much if you do. I learned so much about my wants and needs by coming here. I made friends for a lifetime and made connections around Europe as well.

Pros
  • Meet new friends around the world
  • Experience a new work culture
  • Travel
Cons
  • Shared rooms
  • Expensive

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I joined this program for a billion reasons but for the sake of the people reading this I’ll try to shorten it down. After traveling to Spain on a family trip over the summer, I developed the travel bug. No one in my family had ever studied abroad but I couldn’t find a reason not too. Besides traveling, making new friends, and living my life to the fullest...I’ll be attending grad school in a year and they rank international work very high. Just a little added bonus :)

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Salisbury University does a fantastic job taking most of the organization out of my hands. My only tasks consisted of getting a few forms signed, a few phone calls with the global experiences team (resume prep, skill building, etc.), and then completing an interview for my internship. The school was very supportive and made sure I was on top of my tasks. They were always there to answer my questions and put me at ease.

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

I have 2 big pieces of advice
1. SAY YES TO EVERYTHING! Even if something isn’t up your alley, try something new. That being said, try to cross one big thing of your To Do list every week. Also, download the “Pin Drop” app. It marks everything you want to do on a map. SUPER CONVENIENT!
2. Don’t except an internship if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for. I personally loved my internship but one of my roommates didn’t step up and say that she didn’t like the internship they lined up for her. This program is extremely accommodating and will find an internship you’ll love. They’re really big on having a 10 out of 10 experience.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

My internship was very different in hours compared to everyone else. Most internships are 9-5 from Monday-Friday. Most days after work, I’d try to get together with the other people in the program and grab dinner or do a small activity. On the weekends I always tried to do something BIG. By doing this, I crossed off everything on my list!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was actually commuting to my job. I found out a month before going to Australia that my internship was 2 hours away by transit (most are local). I didn’t find out until the week before I got to Australia (when my boss emailed me) that she picks me up and drops me off from work 3 days of the week. Global experiences knew this too but I didn’t ask. I simply uberpooled (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) the other days. Most of the time I saved 50% off my Uber fee and they didn't pick anyone else up. I realized that commuting to work wasn’t even worth fearing. If you’re uneasy about something, talk to the global experiences staff or email your employer.

What were your favorite things you did in Australia?

-Camping in the Blue Mountains
-Figure 8 Pools
-Sydney Bridge Climb
-Great Barrier Reef (a little piece of advice, you’ll want 3-4 days here at least!)
-Melbourne Cup in Melbourne!
-Glow worm caves
-Holding a Koala and Feeding Kangaroos at the Gold Coast
-Grounds of Alexandria
-Wine tasting in Hunter Valley
-Chinese Garden of Friendship

Staff Interviews

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

Lydia Theologus

Lydia spent her senior year of college interning abroad in Florence, Italy for a Tuscan Wine Touring company. After graduating, she wanted to help other young professionals have the same life-changing experiences. At GE, Lydia's favorite job tasks are showcasing their interns' amazing experiences abroad on their platforms.
Lydia Theologus

What is your favorite travel memory?

When thinking of my favorite travel memories, an array of breathtaking new sights, laughter, stepping out of my comfort zone, and spending time with unforgettable people flashes through my mind. One memory that combines all four aspects was during my time interning abroad in Florence, Italy.

My roommates and I took a day trip to visit Cinque Terre, the string of centuries-old villages on the Italian Riviera coastline. After exploring Riomaggiore (picture the famous shot of colorful houses on a seaside cliff), the beach town of Monterosso al Mare was next on our list. The furthest villages away from each other, there were two options for methods of transportation: the train, or a strenuous 7.5 mile hike that could take up to 5 hours. While most of the group opted for the train, my roommate from Amsterdam was feeling adventurous and asked me to join her in the hike.

Together, we braved through climbing, descending, narrow passages, and steep, uneven stone steps. Though it was exhausting, the trek was well worth it as we discovered incredible views of the coast, lush olive groves, and exotic plants and flowers.

My favorite part was coming across a quaint stand selling limoncello during one of the descents, manned by a sweet old Italian man. While I may have regretted thinking that taking a limoncello shot in the middle of a 5-hour hike would be refreshing, I’ll never regret that I said yes to a new adventure that would turn into a cherished memory.

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

I started working at Global Experiences fresh out of college, eager to learn and take on responsibilities. While I've gained technical skills such as learning how to code and Photoshop, I've also learned valuable soft skills that I'll have with me for the years to come. I've gained organizational skills and become more confident in my decision making. Through being welcomed to give new ideas and input, my creativity has also been able to grow.

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

I'm lucky to be able to work with many of our alumni and interns while they're abroad and capturing their stories and experiences. I get to hear a lot of awesome perks that our interns receive from working hard at their internships, but my favorite was when our Barcelona Fashion Business intern, Olivia V., attended the 080 Barcelona Fashion Show for work. She was interviewed by Elle Magazine, and was featured on their next issue!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

This question is perfect for me because I have gone on one of GE's internship abroad programs!

Fall of my senior year, I had a marketing internship abroad in Florence, Italy for 3 months. Studying abroad in Italy had always been a dream of mine, and Florence seemed like the perfect choice for many reasons. I wanted to experience a different culture, and knew that Florence had so much art, history and architecture to offer for me to learn and explore. For my first time living abroad, I wanted to live somewhere that was easy to get around in, yet was also an easy gateway to explore the rest of the country and Europe. The language barrier did not bother me either because I heard that Italians were friendly and just appreciated you trying to speak their language.

Upon arriving, these reasons proved to be right on all accounts. Interning in Florence, Italy was everything that I could have dreamed of and more!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I find Global Experiences to be unique because of how passionate every member of our team is about our mission. We've all had life-changing experiences abroad, and want to help young professionals gain a worldly perspective while enhancing their career path. We truly care about every single intern that goes through our program and are dedicated to finding the best possible match for them from pre-departure to when they're on the ground. I felt that myself as I was going through the Florence program, and was confirmed once I started working behind the scenes at GE.

I was especially proud of my team when we pledged to donate $20,000 every year in scholarships to interns. We want to make this experience accessible to as many students as possible, and to make this official was really exciting.

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

I believe that the biggest factor in being a successful company is to value your customers and always put their best interests first. It's important to ask for their feedback, listen, and act on it. No one knows their customer journey better than they do. Using their data to create useful, personalized experiences for others is okay, but it's important not to abuse their data. A successful business starts and ends with valued customers.

Professional Associations

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