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Monday 9 May 2022

Why an international internship should be on your radar

 Internships Abroad and how they benefit you

It's been a fair few years now since I left University, and even more since I started! There seems to be this assumption that when you start university you have your whole life plan figured out, or that by the end of the course you'll have the answers. I'm here to tell you that if that hasn't happened you're one thousand percent normal! Nobody has the answers we're all just winging it really. If you've just finished University or are coming into your final year you've probably started thinking about what's next. There are many options such as graduate schemes, a regular job, further studies, and the one I'm here to tell you all about internships! Both here in the UK and internationally.

International Internships

What are internships?

Internships are a fixed period of work experience within an organisation, they're generally used to gain practice and real-life experience. It's an opportunity to put your University knowledge into practice and gain skills and experience in your chosen profession. Internships can vary from shadowing a more experienced member of staff to doing a round-robin in different areas of the business. Here in the UK internships are paid but it's important if you're looking internationally to read any contracts thoroughly and understand what remuneration you may get and whether you're allowed to get paid on the visa you're on.

Why international internships?

Internships are an excellent way to get an understanding of the professional field, international internships have even more benefits and you should absolutely consider them - here's my top three: 
  • Travel: Probably the best reason of all, after completing a quite grueling university course and living through a global pandemic you're probably itching to get out there and explore the world. By choosing an international internship you get the best of both worlds. You get to travel, see new cultures, and meet new people all while still working professionally and improving your hireability 
  • Independence: The last few years have been a little bit different, so chances are your university experience hasn't quite been exactly as you'd expected. Whether that means lectures over zoom or not moving away now is a great time to get out there and gain the independence you want. Moving to a new country for an internship will be daunting but the skills and experiences will last a lifetime 
  • Improved adaptability: Nothing screams adaptable like throwing yourself into an entirely different environment, it will help your cv stand out when compared to other graduates in the same field

Where can I intern?

International internships are exactly that, they're fully global and generally, if a company has a head office or a leading area within a country then they could be open to internships so that's everywhere from Europe to International internships Seoul. The key thing to do is decide what companies you'd like to intern with, generally, this will be linked to your degree and used to be reserved for certain industries. However, now the choice is vast so don't rule it out just because you think the opportunities won't be there. Map out a few industries or specific companies you'd like to intern with and hit google. Or if you have a country in mind then check out internships in that specific country to see if any interest you

How do I get an international internship?

Finding an international internship is the easy part, securing the internship is a bit more difficult, think back to applying to university many have a similar process. You'll likely need to submit your cv and cover letter so make sure it's personally tailored to that specific internship. Generic cover letters won't cut it at this level of competition. Research the country your applying to and check if there are any particular customs when applying for a role to make sure you include as much relevant information as possible.

Once you've gone through the CV sift you'll then likely be invited to interview, there are thousands of question examples online but make sure you check out your careers team at University. It's highly likely they'll have an internship specialist who may have a few hints and tips for international interviews and specific customs. 

What else to consider when applying for international internships?

When applying to work abroad there are a few areas you need to consider. If you're from the UK thanks to Brexit we now don't have quiet the freedom we used to so make sure you check any country entry requirements, length of stay rules and visa eligibility. 

Obviously living and working abroad will expose you to a new culture but it's highly likely a new language too. While ingratiating yourself is the fastest way to learn a language it can be really challenging to begin with so make sure you hit up the books and start learning the language basics before you go.

As well as a new language, the workplace may be vastly different to what you'd expect in the UK so it's important to go with the flow and embrace the change. Listen a lot and learn quickly and make sure you pay attention to your mentors and peers to get the most out of your programme

Have you considered an internship?

International Internships

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