Next Step Connections

Why choose Next Step Connections?

Next Step Connections offers real-world internship experiences across Asia for students since 2008. Our educational experiences are designed to provide all students with the skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce. We are committed to empower global youth to meet future challenges, and reach their full potential through transformative career-building experiences in Asia.

Our programs are best suited for students and young professionals looking to travel the world to build their skills in real work environments with an open heart to new experiences – those in search of diversity, community, and purpose.

We are experts in customised internships, study abroad, career starter programs, learning expeditions across Asia. From Hong Kong to Shanghai to Tokyo to Seoul to Bangkok to Singapore to Saigon to Delhi to Jakarta, we have been a catalyst of change for over 5,000 students, 100 university partners and 1000 employers.


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Yes, I recommend this program

My experience and support was perfect

I feel like I was able to get enough support to allow me to grow and smoothly move into an international country. I was able to learn to become more independent and responsible in 8 weeks. Aaron was able to find the perfect company for my preference and had always given me support and guidance when travelling. I thank him a lot for his help and it makes me want to do the process all over again! I’m still shocked by how much I learnt during my time in Bangkok, I’m surprised at how much I’m capable of growing. I’m very drived after the experience to continue to work and I’m excited for my future endeavours

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Future Travellers, just be open to trying to new things and saying yes to everything. As my workmate said “push yourself out your comfort zone, you would have already grown ”. Also be prepared to learn a lot even things you didn’t know you needed to understand. But overall the all work together!
  • Kind Environment
  • Everyone willing to help and challenge me
  • Independence
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

My time as an intern in Thailand with NextStep was one of the more life changing experiences I’ve had. NextStep did a fantastic job helping me with placement and making sure I was having an enriching experience while I was there. NextStep provided me with an advisor that taught me about cultural history and norms that was crucial in gaining a broader understanding and appreciation for Thai culture. I can’t recommend doing an international internship enough because not only did I learn professional skills, I learned a lot about myself and my worldviews.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend for future travelers to accept and embrace uncomfortable moments. Living, working, and traveling abroad will inevitably place you in situations that are new and probably uncomfortable. Being willing to embrace these situations will leave you as a more resilient and well rounded person.
  • Gain extensive first hand experience in an international setting
  • Learn about a new culture and try new foods.
  • Gain professional skills needed for entry level career postions
  • Far from home
  • Various uncomfortable situations but many led to enriching and fulfilling memories
  • Difficult to learn a new language
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Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely life-changing experience

I have been thinking about what to write for a while now and I still don't know where to start. Me living in Thailand for almost five months on my own?? You tell me that in 2018 and I wouldn't have believed you!

But yet here I am, back home after having interned in Bangkok for 20 weeks from October 1 to February 14. In this day and age where having a degree does not separate you from your peers and jobs available for recent graduates are scarce and usually underpaid I knew I had to find a way to somehow make my CV stand out from the rest. I'm not going to lie. The thought of leaving my comfort zone was scary. I've been lucky enough to travel to many places from a young age but I did so with my family or friends by my side. Honestly, I just didn't think I was ready, though I didn't tell anyone that.

However, I felt like that was something I needed to do. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary and I kept a positive attitude at all times. I was prepared to live the experience of a lifetime so I embraced the challenge. In the end, I must say, I did not feel like I was overcoming any sort of challenge whatsoever. P.I (aka Aaron) picked me up at the airport, helped me settle in, and gave me many tips about navigating through the city and Thai culture. I was even more excited to get started!!!

What I am most grateful for is definitely having had the opportunity to intern for a leading international PR & Comms agency, where I made tons of friends from all over the world and gave me the headstart to my career I was looking for. Spain has been in total lockdown for over a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic but I am starting a new job in finance next Monday!!! We as a country are preparing for an upcoming economic crisis and this 22-year old just got a full-time job in one of the most renowned Spanish companies. THANK YOU!!

I'm sure I'll still leave some things out but I want to stress how happy I was in Bangkok and how easy it was for me to feel welcomed into Thailand. I used every weekend to walk around the city and I ate street food daily. P.I and my coworkers even taught me some basic Thai sentences which made the locals comfortable around me. I think I can still order some Thai food as of late April lol!! Btw, in addition to Bangkok, I visited Phuket, Krabi, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (I visited to Petronas Twin Towers on Christmas Day!!!)

I will cherish all the memories I made in Thailand forever. My favorite with P.I is definitely going to the nationally-televised Muay-Thai fight. I still get goosebumps. That was epic!!!

Thailand, I will for sure be back at some point.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Not being able to withdraw money with my credit card when I had no money left
I asked a coworker to do that for me. My family sent her the required amount onto her account. Thank you Pim!!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience !

My Business development & Marketing internship in Hong Kong has been a life-changing experience and I am very happy with the overall outcome. Next Step Connections (NSC) has made sure that my application process is smooth and I am matched with companies that best fit my profile and expectations. Interning in Hong Kong allowed me to network with people around the world and the local working culture has provided me an insight into the level of competition in Hong Kong. NSC’s staff member, Jacky Mo’s continuous help and support have made sure that I was safe and had the best time even when the city was facing tough situations with continuous protests. The chance to explore the diversity, festivals and local culture has been a significant part during my internship period.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
My friends wanted me to try snake soup before I leave Hong Kong, since you can't usually find it in most places around the world.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My journey from Japan

Thank you NEXSTEP for the incredible service and support you provided me throughout my program. The knowledge, networks, job skills and overall experience I gained have not only increased my confidence as I prepare to enter the workforce, but are actually paying off in the first couple of interviews.

I want to thank the people and professional friends I made in Thailand for hosting me and opening my eyes to the incredible businesses, startups, and networking opportunities available in Bangkok, which was super developed, entertaining and fun to live and work in.

I also appreciated how close it was to several other of the most amazing countries I have visited including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia.

If you have the chance I recommend studying and doing a professional internship abroad with NEXSTEP in Bangkok, Thailand. This has been the most memorable experience of my life. I am sad that it will soon come to an end. All I can say is Bangkok, you’re the best, thanks for the journey of a lifetime. I’ll be back again soon.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Max Leblanc

Max Leblanc is a 21-year-old dual French and American citizen who grew up in New Jersey and is currently an undergraduate student at Skidmore College. He is studying International Affairs and Biology and interned in Shanghai.

Describe a goal you set and how you went about accomplishing it:

One of the goals I had set for myself before I left for Shanghai was making as much of an effort as I could to apply the Chinese I learned at University of Melbourne. I really wanted to integrate into Chinese culture as much as I could rather than being just a tourist. In the beginning of my experience in Shanghai, I was a little intimidated to speak Chinese because I was afraid people would not understand my pronunciation.

However, as I started to meet new people especially at work, I started to learn more words and improve my pronunciation. This gave me more confidence to speak in public like at shopping malls when I need to get a size for clothing or ordering something on a menu. Being able to communicate better makes want to continue to improve my Chinese vocabulary even if I’m not in China.

Tell us about an experience that you had that you could not have had at home:

One experience that I have had in China that I certainly could not have in France or America is the traditional Chinese cultural experience. For example, Tea is an integral part of Chinese history that emperors regarded as crucial for physical and mental health. I was walking in Yu Garden, which is an area of Shanghai to visit old Chinese temples, eat some local food, and buy some silk products.

As I was strolling along, 3 Chinese students approached me asking questions about myself. A couple minutes later, I was walking with them because they wanted to take me to a traditional tea ceremony. Going inside a private room, a woman was showing and explaining different types of tea to me and their various effects to the human body and mind. The woman also washed the teacup after introducing each type of tea. I was able to taste the best fruit tea of my life, which was a splendid red colour.

I was even able to take some fruit tea home with me after the ceremony. This experience was unique because not only did I learn about tea practices; I was able to meet local students. It is isn’t common to see other people my age just approach me like that in France or America and was a wonderful moment.

What was the best place you visited outside your intern abroad city?

My favorite city outside my intern city was Hangzhou. I would say I even liked it more than Shanghai. I went to Hangzhou to visit my friend from my university in America. It was a beautiful city surrounded by green hills and mountains. It had a national park with a lake in the centre. My friend and I rented bikes for the day and we were able to explore the entire park.

I saw lotus flowers for the first time and also the Broken Bridge that is a historic bridge of Hangzhou. One thing I really liked about Hangzhou was the people. I found that they were a lot friendlier than Shanghai. It seems that life had less pressure and people valued their leisure time more. I also like it because there was lest foreign influence than Shanghai.

I loved the local food like fresh grilled fish on a stick coming directly from the lake. I also really loved the way people dress. Women dress quite elegantly with a summer dress, high heels, and a sun umbrella.

Where was your best photo taken and what was it of?

My best photo taken was in GufuBao village in Hebei province about 2 hours south of Beijing. It’s a picture of myself with one of the little girls in the school at the village site. She certainly made me smile, as I was so happy to make an impact at her school.

This photo was very meaningful because it taught me how much of a difference in gap there is between children who live in the large coast cities like Shanghai and those that live in a rural village. This photo also taught me about what’s important in life and how fortunate I was to be able to travel thousands of kilometers to help children in need.

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad:

There are so many delicious foods to eat in Shanghai and I highly encourage everyone to try foods they cannot eat in their home country. For drinks, China has incredible watermelon juice, banana milk, coconut milk, tea, and milk tea with pearls. They are all very refreshing especially during the summer when the humidity of China is quite high.

For foods, China has great tasting bread for meals and/or snacks especially pork floss bread and sausage bread. In addition, food from Xinjiang province, which is noodles with beef, peppers, and onions, are delicious. Xinjiang restaurants are all around Shanghai and are definitely worth the search.

Staff Interviews

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


Job Title
Managing Director - Bangkok, Thailand
Experienced Resident Director with a demonstrated history of success working in the higher education industry.

Skilled in Event Management, International Relations, Leadership, Student Development, and other International oriented projects.

Strong educational and professional background in Southeast Asian studies and Tourism and Hospitality Management.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's hard to choose just one, as my journey abroad has been full of so many amazing people, places and cultures. I would say the best parts were the unforeseen and unexpected moments where plans and related expectations went out the window and I was just living side by side with locals following no plan.

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

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be directly involved in the creation of new programs from idea and development phases through the marketing and delivery of those programs. I am excited to work with students helping them find their professional footing and access improved professional growth and opportunities through internship and working side by side with leadership on the processes for improving programs for our students and partners.

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

I have so many alumni that contact me, and return and visit me, but one of them said I am part of their Thai memories and experience, and so they felt a return without catching up would be a tragedy. That was the best story. In fact, now I have more than 10 students living in Thailand working, in relationships and continuing education. We are all close, and that is meaningful to me.

I always said to my students: once a P.A. student always a P.A student. My students refer to me as a P.A., which is a term of respect in Thai culture.

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

What makes NEXSTEP unique and makes me proud is that our specialists are truly specialists.

In many companies, you speak with a program manager or specialist who has hardly or never actually traveled to the place they are promoting and sharing with students. We are all specialists in Asia and the majority of our programs are managed by people who have lived in the country for years, or native to the country.

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

It's all about the students who we serve. We were them, we are their connection to the country they chose, and it is a duty and an honor to be the person who helps them fall in love with the country we represent.

It is that dedication to international education and what that means not only to our customers but to the people and places where we work and the world, as we help build peace, through knowledge and understanding.

Professional Associations

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