Welcome to our ultimate guide to internship abroad!
You and I know for a fact that more opportunities are out there! And that, sometimes, you have to go the extra mile to get something special and worthwhile… But we know first hand that finding the right internships is not as easy as everyone else makes it.
A lot of research (and soul searching) has to be done when deciding on pursuing your internships: your industry of interest; potential company that you will be interning in; the duration of the internship; and what are you going to get out of it.
After having all of that sorted out, you will have to spend some time muddling over the logistics of it all. Not to mention self-doubts and concerns that come in-between. Would you be a good fit for the internship? Would you be able to contribute to the organizations in a meaningful way? Do they embrace the four-day work week schedule?
This is why we decided to create a space where you can find all things internship abroad from useful insights into the different kinds of international internships to where to find and how to get an internship! We will be answering your questions and concerns in this guide to internship abroad!
But if time is not one of your assets, jump to other parts by clicking on the topics below!
Before we go into all the exciting details we have prepared for you in our ultimate guide for internship abroad, let's begin by defining what an internship abroad actually is!
An internship abroad is a work opportunity in various areas of interests that occurs outside of a student's or a graduate’s home country. And if an in-person internship abroad does not fit in with your schedule, not all hope is lost— a remote internship abroad is another attractive option!
Generally, a typical internship abroad lasts from 3 to 12 months depending on the flexibility; goal of the intern and the company in which they serve.
The reasons why internship abroad is being sought after by many may vary from person to person. Sometimes an internship abroad is a course requirement by universities. Other times, students and graduates actively search for internships abroad to gain additional work experience or to get some idea of how the industry operates.
Internship abroad can be found with the help of internship provider companies, embassies, and consulates accessible to you!
In this portion of our guide to internship abroad, we will be going through what we think are the best reasons to start an internship abroad since starting something utterly new is never easy, especially when they do not come with good reasons for them to do so!
Here are 5 very good reasons why you should start an internship abroad!
An internship abroad gives you the opportunity to obtain a certain amount of experience in the field that you are interested in turning into a career. Work experience is the number one qualification for every job post (including entry level ones!).
A good amount of work experience abroad will familiarize you with the realities of the corporate world, company culture, the nature of the industry in which you are going to become a part of, and a more well rounded idea of what would be expected of you to do at work.
Your international work experience will automatically gain you a certain level of trust from your prospective employers. The chances of you successfully landing on the job would double!
Living and interning in a culturally diverse environment is not for everyone. Not everybody is comfortable with being outside of their comfort zone that is their home countries!
An internship abroad allows you to immerse yourself in cultures that are different from what you are used to in settings that are new to you.
It requires a certain level of dedication and determination to learn and accept new challenges almost on a regular basis. You will learn to be more empathetic towards those who do not share your background, or perspectives, as you bring diversity to the office.
In completing an internship abroad, you already have obtained your cultural competency and make yourself more desirable in the global job market. The more culturally intelligent you are, the higher the chances of you working in international organizations!
Connections matter in both your personal and professional life. An internship abroad will expose you to various talented professionals in different social groups across multiple industries around the world. And get this: you will be able to call them your colleagues!
Not only does an internship abroad help you build meaningful relationships with others throughout the duration of your internship but it offers you the opportunity of a lifetime to maintain the relationships with them in the long run. Hence why first impressions matter— once you nail Day 1 of your internship, the rest is history!
Your global network will grow but so will your reputation and credibility. In the business and professional world, it is not who you know, it’s who knows you that counts the most!
Resettling in a foreign country is a huge deal, temporarily or permanently. From grocery shopping to maintaining your social life and developing yourself professionally, you have a lot on your plate!
It is totally normal for you to feel overwhelmed when you feel like everything around you is crumbling down. It is only through this experience that you will gain transferable life skills. This is the pinnacle of doing an internship abroad..!
An internship abroad will mold you into the person whom you have the potential to become! You are guaranteed to come out of the internship stronger than ever before, ready to dive head first into the professional working world!
Of course, our guide for internship abroad wouldn’t be complete without this final perk: additional foreign language skills!
It is a common misconception that by spending many many months living abroad in said country you would master your language skills. Though that may not be 100% accurate, there is some truth in it.
A foreign country is the ideal practice ground for you in that sense since you are constantly surrounded by it. An internship overseas takes this one step further by offering you the opportunity to practice the language you are most keen to learn in your preferred line of work!
Depending on the duration of your internship and the field that you are in, you may be able to bring your additional language skills up to a certain proficiency level and get yourself an extra competitive advantage over other competing candidates for your dream job!
Next on our guide to internship abroad, we will be getting into the nitty gritty details of the many types of internships that you may be interested in doing!
Remote or virtual internships are one type of work experience that allow for interns to carry out their assignments outside of their typical workplace environment while internal (and when appropriate, external) communication often happens on online meeting platforms.
This type of internship offers interns the opportunity to work at flexible hours and help them practice their time management! Remote internships are also an effective way for Marketing or Language interns, for instance, to focus more on the tasks at hand without having to waste time commuting to and from the office.
In-person or onsite internships are a way of acquiring direct hands-on work experience at the workplace with a goal to familiarize interns with tools, equipment, and professionalism.
Doing an in-person internship enables interns to accustom to company culture, fixed working hours, and other rules and regulations that come with it. This internship is more suitable to those who are in need of real-time and practical experience in the fields in which they seek interest in such as engineering, architecture, and medicine.
Curricular internships are set out by universities to help their students gain academic credits in order to complete their respective degrees— whether they be a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate’s. This particular internship usually takes place towards the final year of university.
The objective of curricular internships is solely for students to apply the knowledge that they have accumulated over the academic years to real life practices. Since they are an integral part of a student’s learning experience, this type of internship is unpaid and it is mandatory for students to produce an internship report with written records of the activities that they partake in.
As opposed to curricular internships, extracurricular internships are targeted towards students who have just recently graduated from their bachelor’s or master’s degree for no longer than 12 months.
Extracurricular internships are designed to promote specific practical skills enhancement. This internship comes with a reimbursement throughout the course of their internship which typically lasts for the maximum of 12 months. Participants often receive certification of completion towards the end of their internships.
A non-profit internship is especially catered towards those who are eager to create lasting positive societal impacts. This internship consists of activities pertaining to a wide variety of topics from humanitarianism to environmentalism and law.
Unlike other internships, non-profit internships may or may not come with monetary incentives, depending on the host organization. Regardless of that, non-profit internships offer interns gratifying work experience for them to look back on, and more importantly, applicable skills for future endeavors.
We have listed five out of six internship options for you to choose from when considering an internship abroad (because the last one, paid VS unpaid internships, deserves its own section!).
In this following portion of our guide to internship abroad, we will be touching upon three key elements of paid and unpaid internships in which we will be going through them in three different segments: 1. What are paid and unpaid internships, 2. their significance, and last but not least 3. benefits!
That said, let’s start this section off with a short and simplified definition of paid and unpaid internships!
Paid internships are referred to as any given type of internship that offer monetary compensations such as stipends, hourly wages, or weekly salary. This type of internship usually lasts for 6 months however its duration can be prolonged to one academic year.
Unpaid internships on the other hand do not provide such benefits. To compensate for the lack of incentive motivation, host companies may choose to cover other costs of transportation, food, and housing!
With the rising concerns over the ethics and moral codes of unpaid internships globally, you might be wondering why unpaid internships have not yet been abolished? To answer that, we will have to look into the importance of both types of internships.
Not only do paid internships allow for students and graduates to obtain work experience and adopt new skills while making a certain amount of income, but they act as an entryway for them to obtain permanent employment while exploring their career choices.
In the eyes of interns, paid internships may seem like a more reasonable and viable option given the fact that they are being rewarded for their input and contributions to host companies. At the end of the day, it’s only fair that you receive something in return, right?
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is where unpaid internships step in. Unpaid internships allow interns to gain valuable work experience when positions for paid internships are not an option!
Statistically speaking, paid interns have a higher chance of receiving job offers when compared to unpaid interns. Why? Potential employers view paid internships as a form of short-term employment!
Paid internships give interns a glimpse into the professional world and a typical work day in the office. This creates an easier transition for interns to shift from their accustomed university lifestyle to one of working adults.
This is not to say that there are no good reasons for you to pursue unpaid internships, however. In its defense, unpaid internships benefit both participating interns and their respective employers. Interns come out of the internships with valuable experiences and practical skills while companies are able to enjoy lower expenses.
Unpaid internships are easier to get your hands on, meaning that you could potentially put it to your advantage! It is often the case for unpaid interns to gain a wider overview exposure in various aspects that make up an industry whereas paid internships offer a limited breadth of experience.
What’s more, taking up unpaid internships shows future employers that your priorities lie in something other than money. It also indicates that you are truly dedicated and committed to what you are passionate about— which might as well be the determining factor that separates you from the rest of the crowd.
Now that we have covered everything you need to know about internship types, it’s time for us to move on to the most crucial parts of our guide to internship abroad that we do not want to skip!
In the following segment of our guide to internship abroad, we will be taking you through the steps of how to successfully apply for an internship abroad!
This first step is what will dictate the direction of your internship! Take time to figure out what industry you are interested in interning in, how long are you planning to do your internship for, and the reasons you are pursuing the internship! If you already have your preferred country and company in mind, that’s even better!
Once you have a clear idea of what you want out of your internship, you can now proceed onto the next step!
When it comes to document preparation, you are strongly advised to start gathering your required materials early! By doing so, you will have more time to perfect your documents. Plus, we know that getting approvals and documents from professors and universities can be time-consuming.
Wondering what those documents are? Our guide to internship abroad has the answers!
To boost your chances of landing an interview with your host internship company abroad, we recommend that you format your resume or CV in a chronological order with emphasis on any of your relevant work experience and your educational background.
It is also worth mentioning that you should definitely include any additional activities or skills that you have engaged in or acquired outside of your university experience! This includes anything from foreign language skills and awards, to educational clubs you have attended in the past!
There’s a little tip: have someone you trust or your professor to read over your resume for a mistake-free resume to send out to companies!
In this one-page document, you have the opportunity to explain why you are the ideal candidate for this position. This is where you can highlight your accomplishments and how your knowledge and skills could be an asset to the company!
Keep in mind that there are other types of cover letters too! A referral cover letter is where you are being referred to a position by someone whom you know. Don’t forget to make it personal and mention the name of the referrer!
Another cover letter is one where you send out to companies when job advertisements are absent.
Regardless of which letter you are sending, you should always attach your cover letter together with your resume or CV.
To take your cover letters up a notch, include a couple of job related keywords in your cover letter and address your hiring manager or recruiter directly. Always proofread your writing and ask for feedback from others!
There are two types of transcripts: official and unofficial. The difference between official and unofficial internships is that official transcripts are issued by the university. It may take between 4 to 8 weeks for universities to issue and deliver those transcripts!
Unofficial transcripts can be printed directly from the university website without an official seal from the university. Most companies will often ask for you to send them official transcripts afterwards.
Letter of recommendation is a written document that underlines your strengths and academic performance. Many companies today would ask for two to three letters of recommendation.
We suggest that you send your resume or CV when sending out your requests for a letter of recommendation from your current professors or employer.
After you have all of your documents ready, you should spend time getting ready for your interview! We strongly encourage you to study the industry in which you are interested in becoming a part of and familiarize yourself with technical terms and vocabulary as a way to show interest in their line of work.
Right after your interview, we highly suggest that you write a thank you email to your interviewers (hiring manager; recruiter; etc.) to let them know of your gratitude and interest in the internship position.
However, it is important that you keep the mails professional and straightforward to avoid risking your chances of landing on your internship. The worst you want to do is to clog their inboxes with hundreds of your follow-up emails!
International internships may be fairly difficult to find when you don’t know where to look with various destinations offering different rules and regulations! Language barriers could play a major role in preventing you from getting your hands on your dream internship abroad.
That said, this portion of our guide to internship abroad will provide you with useful resources of when and where to look for internships abroad!
Although major job listing sites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or Indeed could provide you with an internship abroad in the fields that interest you and countries that you have been dreaming of visiting, you risk missing out on other internship opportunities offered by the remaining companies in the market.
If working in large companies is not what you are fond of doing, we strongly recommend that you search for international internship providers like AIP and check out their niche and unique selection of internship options! They usually allow for you to customize your internship abroad and optimize your opportunity in respect to your chosen destination, duration, and industry.
To save you from the trouble of having to (re-)apply to every company that piques your interest, with the help of internship providers like AIP, you will only be required to send your application once to apply to their program— in which they will gather information of your preference and interests to find you your perfect match for an internship!
Don’t know where to start your internship? We made a list!
Now that you do not have to worry about sending out multiple applications, you can spend your remaining time preparing for your real internship and financing your budget for your time in a foreign country!
Resettling in a foreign country is daunting and stress-inducing. Considering the state of the economy, social status, and other contributing factors, being physically present for months-long internships may not sound that compelling. For this reason, remote internship becomes an appealing option.
And this is precisely why this section of the guide to internship abroad will weigh out the benefits and downsides of remote internships!
Here are the two main perks of remote internships.
Remote internship enables you to complete your tasks wherever you are in the world! This means that you do not have to spend hours on the public transportation commuting to and from your workplace.
When there is no need for you to commune, theoretically speaking, you are spending less money on transportation costs which equates to fewer expenses from your end!
When you are working remotely, you have more time on your hands to complete other tasks you have going on in your day to day life such as continuing your education or working your part-time job.
Remote internship also provides you with the opportunity to practice your time management and self-discipline since you are not in the presence of your supervisor or those who have the authority and power to motivate you to complete your assignments. This also serves as a training ground for when you step foot into the professional world in the near future.
Although working from the comfort of your own home may sound promising at first glance, interning remotely does not fully represent the overall environment and atmosphere of what it is like to work in an office.
This could become problematic when said interns transition into the professional world due to the absence of their knowledge in corporate culture, their communication styles; and their overall social competency.
When your home is your workplace, you may find it troublesome to switch off from work. Or limit the amount of distractions during your working hours, for that matter. The lack of proper division of space could result in disruption in workflow and lower productivity level as a whole.
This section of our guide to internship abroad may interest those who are thinking of applying to paid internships abroad because we will briefly discuss how much you would earn as an intern! However, it should be noted that financial incentives may vary greatly depending on the duration of your internship, the country where your internship takes place, and the industry that you intern in.
Now that we put that aside, let’s discuss money matters!
With the exception of China whose law clearly states that international interns are not to be rewarded with salary (other reimbursement such as food and transportation stipends are offered instead), monetary incentives are given to all interns in the rest of Asia.
As of 2022, the minimum wage for international interns in Asia is approximately between USD500 to USD1,500 per month.
Things operate somewhat differently in Europe, however. In accordance with the European Union rules and regulations, international interns are expected to earn 50% - 60% of the total minimum wage which is anywhere from USD450 to USD2,051 per month.
It is worth mentioning that although these figures are an estimation of what interns are most likely going to earn in different regions of the world, certain companies may view interns as potential candidates for their full-time positions and consider higher wages.
An opportunity that offers engaging, fostering, and practical experience like internships abroad does not come around so often. However, high achievements and outstanding performances are not sole determinants of successful internships because that’s only half of the equation!
Interning abroad means to practice other essential skills outside of technical and practical ones! The other half of the equation lies in your experience living abroad, that includes all the extracurricular activities that you engage in; how you expand your social network; go around language and cultural barriers and so forth and so on.
In this final section of our guide to internship abroad, we will be loading you up with helpful tips that will guarantee you a successful internship abroad!
This is how to intern abroad!
There is no better time and way to learn a new language than to practice on a regular basis. Make use of your day to day interactions with your grocer or bus driver. Try to hold conversations with a stranger on the streets and see where that takes you!
This is the perfect time to take in those cultural cues too!!
See the world! Visit new and exciting (or eccentric) places! You will be able to exercise your creativity and problem solving skills when you engage in unfamiliar situations more so than when you are not! Take this as an opportunity for you to expand your perspective and meet new friends!
We’d say that’s a plus!!
This one may appear to be a no-brainer in the era of the internet of things. However, we do not mean becoming friends and following others on social media but to continue strengthening the relationship with those whom you have met during your internship abroad!
Maintaining your relationship with them not only offers positive emotional values but it builds you a strong web of networks which you could count on!
You have now reached the end of our ultimate guide to internship abroad!!
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few key points that we want you to take away from our ultimate guide to internship abroad!
Internship abroad, of all its various types, offers you valuable work experience and exposes you to new cultures, languages, and environments that will only add to your personal and professional life in the near future whether or not it comes with financial incentives.
They are truly life-altering. Therefore, we say you make the most out of your time collecting the best life experience and industry-specific sets of skills.
Since international internships are crucial to the development of you as a valuable citizen of the world and as an individual, we strongly recommend that you connect with professional international internship providers like AIP who will walk you through the steps of selecting and applying for the internship and destination of your choice!
Plenty of opportunities to develop your personal and career growth awaits you. Don’t wait any longer to transform your life for the better. Apply to AIP’s fully customizable internship programs today or visit AIP’s website for more details on our internship programs!