Interning abroad is a lot of fun, and it also comes with many benefits. Here are just 10 of the many reasons why you should consider traveling abroad as an intern:
1. A Great Resume Builder
Make your resume stand out from the rest. Just a small percentage of students go overseas to study, and even less choose to intern overseas. Therefore, when you participate in an internship abroad, you are setting yourself at an advantage, especially as you develop global experiences and skills that relate to your field.
2. Explore a New Part of the World
By interning abroad, you will become immersed in the culture in ways you wouldn’t if you just traveled or studied overseas. Interning allows you to learn a great deal about another country’s customs, work behaviors and how they operate. By meeting local colleagues and residents, you will also be able to explore parts of the country and region that others don’t have the chance to.
3. Earn College Credit
There are many internship programs out there that partner with colleges and universities. Therefore, when you choose an internship program, see if your school or a partner school will also let you earn credit while you work overseas. By doing so, your internship will appear on your transcript and will show potential employers that your work overseas was valued.
4. Learn or Practice Another Language
It is no secret that we live in a global economy where businesses interact on an international scale. With that in mind, today’s employers are often looking for new hires that have language proficiency. Knowing languages like Spanish and Mandarin can be extremely valuable in today’s globalized society while also making you more marketable as a potential employee. An internship program will not only help you hone the language, but many offer classes for you to develop or expand your knowledge.
5. Gain New Perspectives
By interning abroad, you have the ability to learn a great deal about another culture, but also about society as a whole. By talking to others, you will gain a variety of different perspectives. In turn, you will develop a broader understanding of the world, current events and topics related to your particular field of study. Employers see this as a valuable skill, as it shows that you are able to handle conflict and tackle problems in new ways.
6. Hone Soft Skills
Many employers in today’s economy struggle to find new talent with strong interpersonal skills. They say that many employees who enter straight out of college lack the ability to interact with others. With that in mind, employers are often attracted to candidates who have overseas experience because it allows them to overcome communication barriers and develop those soft skills that are necessary in the workplace.
7. Discover Yourself
Many people return from studying or interning abroad having learned a great deal about themselves. While you are in another country, you are often pushed outside of your box and forced to learn new things, which causes you to reflect on your own identity and experiences. In addition to gaining new perspectives, when you work overseas, you will also gain the confidence you need to enter the workforce.
8. Develop a Global Network
When you build your career and credentials, you are also building a network of people who can provide support, advice, and connect you with other people in your industry. By interning abroad, you develop this network on a global scale. This allows you to connect with colleagues about jobs with international corporations, or even allows you to move to another country for work. You never know when a contact will come in handy, so make sure to utilize and keep in touch with the people you meet overseas.
9. Show Future Employers Your Adventurous Side
Future employers will be impressed that you decided to embark on a journey abroad for several months. Make sure to highlight this in a resume, cover letter or even an interview. It shows that you are courageous and willing to try new things.
10. Have an Experience You Won’t Forget
Interning abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will see new things, meet new people and cross items off your bucket list. Chances are that when you come home, you will continue to talk about your experience for the rest of your life.
Erica Wolfe is a proud, active member of Delta Phi Epsilon and a Marketing Associate at Greek Streak – an online Greek apparel retailer providing fraternity and sorority clothing for the Greek community.