Ok, so you want to know how to get an internship abroad? Perhaps you’re a student or recent graduate looking to gain some experience and expand your cultural horizons beyond the UK border.
Doing an internship abroad can be a daunting process – but that doesn’t mean you should rule it out!
It’s your opportunity to learn, experience a new culture and who knows? You might just fall in love with the place.
The first step to getting an internship abroad
As with all big decisions in life, there can be dangers in the process of getting an internship abroad and you can never be too prepared.
Whether you’re tackling your applications on your own, through your university, or through an internship provider/agency there are a few options to consider before you start applying:
- Going it alone: Researching and submitting applications independently is a great way to save money, but may not necessarily be the safest or easiest option to get an internship abroad.
There’s always a chance you could miss an opportunity by looking in the wrong areas and you won’t receive much support once you’re out there, if any.
- University assistance: Asking for your university’s help is something you’d be silly not to do – it’s usually always available.
It’s free and they will most likely be associated with Erasmus, meaning they’ll have a broad selection of international opportunities.
But universities tend to discourage you from going too far afield – they want to keep you in their sights to ensure you stay with them. Don’t get too hung up if they have a somewhat negative outlook on you leaving the country.
If you’re at one of these 10 unis, you’re in luck! You’ll be guaranteed to receive great careers support.
- Internship provider/agency support: Signing up to an internship provider comes at a price, but the price you pay speeds up and simplifies the whole process for you.
These providers know exactly where to look and are more than familiar with the process, making it less stressful for you and not to mention, safer and more official.
No matter how you decide to get an internship abroad, make sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead by reading these 10 top tips for finding an internship.
Find a city where you will thrive
Knowing how to go about starting your applications is one thing, but knowing exactly where you want to apply or even what country you are drawn to is a completely separate issue.
Nailing this early on will ensure you’re not left in the dark, so it’s important to:
- Knowing where your industry thrives: You want to give yourself the best possible chance to get an internship abroad that is tailored to your skillset, so knowing where to find the most opportunities is a great start.
Maybe you’re interested in fashion? Milan has plenty of internships in the fashion industry where you can develop your expertise.
Or are you pursuing a career in technology or engineering? China is the booming development capital of the world, so it might be the place for you.
- Consider learning the lingo: If you haven’t already, learning the language of whatever country you’re interested in will not only massively broaden your horizons on employer front, but will also keep you street smart and aware of things outside of the office.
And if you aren’t exactly a bilingual boss just yet, don’t panic. Even learning a little in the lead up to your internship will go a long way for your progression in both your job, social life and safety.
- Look into global companies: This one is tricky, as despite being a much safer and idealised choice than some lesser-known companies, these opportunities will be the most competitive of all, so you have to stand out.
Large international companies like H&M, L’Oreal and Goldman Sachs will have established internship programs across the world, but they have earlier deadlines than most, so don’t miss out.
Don’t fall at the first hurdle
So let’s say you’ve landed your dream internship abroad and you’re preparing to head off. Congrats!
This means not only will you be encountering a new country’s culture, but you’ll also be navigating through unfamiliar business territory and developing your professional skills, all while trying to make a good impression – exhausting, we know.
Learning how to stay safe abroad is just another piece of the puzzle, but as long as you come prepared it’ll feel just like home in no time. Here are our pearls of safety wisdom:
- Visas: Getting a visa is as important as remembering your passport. Even though you don’t need a Visa for countries in the EU, other countries may require one – for example a US Visa is $160 and an Australian Visa is AUD350.
Researching this should be a top priority before you go as it can be expensive, and be sure to check the regulations of EU Visas after Brexit.
- Buy health insurance: this will safeguard you if anything bad should happen – you never know if you’ll need it.
- See a doctor: checking in while abroad is a great way to take care of yourself and stay healthy. You may also need to have some extra vaccines in certain countries so it’s worth double checking this.
- Ask colleagues for advice: Asking these guys will be the best way of staying safe, and your they’ll always want to help you.
If you’re a woman interning alone, ask your female colleagues for tips on how to keep yourself safe in the city – hopefully you’ll even make some friends along the way!
Asides from that, all you can really do is pack your bags and prepare for an exciting year of interning.
Staying safe will make your year a lot less stressful, meaning you can spend a lot more time making the greatest possible impact in your workplace.
But making safe choices doesn’t happen on its own – you need to ensure your own well-being and have your own back.
As soon as that’s covered, you’ll be on your way to success!
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