After the long and arduous application progress, you have finally landed your dream internship.
Interning abroad provides a unique lifetime experience for improving your intercultural communication, life skills and future career opportunities, but it is mostly UNPAID.
And we all know that living without any steady income is pretty tough.
Going abroad comes with a huge number of costs you have to pay; air ticket, visa application, living expenses, food and so on.
Alexandra Mondalek calculates the cost breakdown of summer interning in a TIME online article ‘Here’s How Much Your Summer Internship Will Really Cost You’ (read more).
The article states the cost of living during your internship period totals to approximately 6,000 USD. However, that the estimate is only based on living in the US.
Check the living cost in a specific city that you would love to land your internship from NUMBEO.com.
NUMBEO is collecting data in order to provide you current and timely information on world living conditions including the cost of living, housing indicators, health, and pollution.The allure of big foreign cities makes them an attractive place to intern, but the many perks that come with living there also come with a higher cost.
That is the reason why sometimes financing internships abroad are not always affordable for everyone.
Luckily, there are many sources of scholarships, funds, financial aids or grants out there waiting for you to apply.
If you have a financial problem, but still dream of taking an international internship, there are several ways to cover your expenses.
Grants and scholarships are sometimes called “gift aid” because it is free money which doesn’t have to be repaid, unlike loans.
Normally, grants are need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.
Either way, it means FREE money provided for educational purposes. Luckily for you, internships can fall under this.If you are still a student, your university is the first place you should consider to gain access to available financial aid.
Universities receive funding from foundations or corporations to help their students.
The funding is developed into the various type of grants based on the students’ need.
Of course, the requirements for each grant differ depending on your course, program, academic performance and so on.
You should consult your university’s student affairs department or go on their website for more information.
Aside from university funding, there are also many organizations and associations that provide financial aid for students.
Even foreign embassies may be offering funding for students looking to move into their respective country.
If you are having trouble, Go Overseas collects and provides a various range of scholarships to help you plan your internship abroad.
Nothing is better than FREE money right? The scholarship is usually provided based on your academic performance or your financial needs.
Be aware before applying that every scholarship has their own specific requirements and deadlines.
The downside is, the appeal of scholarships makes them usually very competitive. More money attracts more applicants who are all vying to win.
The chance to obtain a scholarship is usually slim. Nonetheless, you should still give it a shot, especially if it doesn’t cost much to send out applications.
Here are some financial aid providers out there we collected for you.
Erasmus+ is one of the most popular student communities in Europe that provides many grants to support traineeships abroad (which also means internships) for European students who currently enrolled in post-secondary education.
These opportunities are also open to recent graduates, under the conditions that your traineeship must be relevant for your degree and personal development needs, have 2-12 months duration, and you apply through your sending institution only.
The amount of money you receive varies according to living costs in your destination country, the number of students applying for a grant, the distance between countries, and the availability of other grants.Please, be careful with deadlines. Erasmus+ Mobility traineeship applications are open for only a limited time each year. Don’t miss your chance!
For more info, read Erasmus+ Program Guide
Federal Student Aid
The U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) major financial aid programs helps students pay for education and self-improvement.
The basic eligible criteria of application for Federal Student aid are:
- demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
- have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
- be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program, and at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
- maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
- sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
- show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education
Some of ED’s programs also require the student to prove their financial need. They provide up to 4,000 USD in scholarships and grants for the specific needs of students.
This is the great source to find opportunities and financial support for your internship abroad.
If you are earning credit for your internship, you are eligible to use your federal student loan.
You can apply through the financial aid office at college or university or check on their website.
Gotchosen is an innovative new way to get a scholarship.
They have been providing a Social Network Scholarship of 5,000 USD every month in order to help people pay for their education.
If you need the scholarship to support your internship, follow these easy steps!
- Apply and write a post
- Share your posts with your friends and family and get at least 10 upvotes by the end of the month
- Get a scholarship!
One of the Social Network Scholarship winners, Mariana says:
“I could not stop thinking about the opportunity even if it would be very hard, it was possible to win.
After I began to plan how I would do it – what post to write, what picture to use and how I could count on my friends. I prepared enough to do everything I could to win!
On the other hand, only with my efforts, it would be insufficient. I would not have won if not for the efforts of my friends and family, which in turn mobilized their friends and family.
It was very exciting to see the amount of people cheering for me!
At the end of the competition, I did not truly believe I had achieved a win.
I had just woken up when I got the email saying I was the winner and I swear I never woke up so fast in my life!
It was a wonderful surprise that will allow me to achieve great dreams from now. Thanks, GotChosen!”
The opportunity always open for the ones who chase it, so why don’t you give it a try? (Click)
Have you ever heard about crowdfunding? It is an excellent financial alternative in realizing your project/campaign.
Your project can be about anything, in this case, it shall be about getting your internship abroad.
With crowdfunding, you will earn a small amount from many different people online, and the final accumulated amount might be bigger than a grant provided by an organization.
Even if you do not raise all the money you need, every little bit helps. Crowdfunding platforms are easy to use and there are several good ones available to use for funding your trip.
You can check for more information on GoFundMe or other crowdfunding websites. Here’s an example of how you can use one crowdfunding platform to fund your internship abroad.
GoGetFunding is the number one reliable crowdfunding website that lets you raise money for anything that matters to you the most.
From personal causes and events to projects and more, which includes interning abroad.
They’ve helped people from all over the world raise millions online to follow their dreams with their easy steps.Actually, there are many people using GoGetFunding to achieve their education and career dreams with the help from anonymous Internet benefactors.
From tuition fees to travel expense to the entire internship, some are willing to sponsor the dreams of strangers.
If it really matters to you, they are someone out there waiting for giving you a hand.
In other words, a paid internship. There are many companies that provide interns with a monthly salary.
Some companies will pay a high amount to their interns including a mobility grant. This is especially true for sectors and industries short on people and looking to hire.
Keep in mind that job market demands differs from country to country and city to city.
So if you can’t find a paid internship in one location, you can try expanding your search to look elsewhere.
Some companies offer lower wages, but it is still better than nothing. You can also try researching into employee perks the company may provide, such as discounts and the like.
Ultimately the decision is up to you on what you would consider acceptable compensation based on your living expenses and savings.
Part Time Jobs
If you can’t raise enough money from any of the previous sources, you only have YOURSELF to rely on.
You can start finding ways to cut costs such as sharing accommodation with friends or finding a roommate.
One definite way is to find another source of income. Part time jobs are a great way to cover your trip abroad.
Instead of waiting for someone to help you, it might be better to work and earn the travel fees to fund yourself.
Part time jobs are more flexible, enabling you to fit it into your schedule freely, even if you have classes or internship.
Let’s not forget, part-time job can enhance your CV and increase your chances of getting hired in the future.
It shows that you are hard-working and willing to earn your keep, which is what employers are seek in their candidates.
What kind of jobs can you do?
- Bar/restaurant: part time work at bar or restaurant can have additional benefits, such as free food from leftovers that can cut your cost of living. Keep in mind that tipping culture differs from country to country.
- Retailing: includes anything from local supermarket to fancy-brand-name shop. Generally, your responsibilities will be check-outs, dealing with customer queries and refilling the shelves. Can be tiring, but they usually give you a staff’s discount as a perk of working for them.
- Tutoring: if you are a grade A student, this job is 100% fit for you. Concerned parents are willing to pay well per hour for their kid’s tutor. If your GPA, academic achievement and university is prestigious, they may offer you more than usual rates as well. Some parents will give you a bonus if their child shows improvement in their school performance.
- Freelancer: if you are an expert in something, use that skill. You can work as a translator, programmer, artist or gym trainer for starters. If you are passionate about something, use your imagination to see how you can translate that into money.
If you’re interested in part-time work, it’s a good idea to search within your neighborhood and ask for job opportunities with the manager directly.
A good first impression will always increase the chance of getting a job.
But make sure that your part-time schedule will not affect your internship.
If you don’t want to have a normal part-time job, you can try working from home to generate your income during your internship period.
Upwork is a creative online platform that connects businesses with freelance professionals all over the world.
Working as a freelancer online opens up new possibilities for people who have less conventional hours or free time.
You can find many types of freelance jobs in Upwork, such as translator, consultant, designer.
The list of jobs available basically include “anything that can be done on a computer”. Isn’t that cool?
Working online can enhance your skill set and create connections with new people online who may have future opportunities for you around the world.
Invest In Your Future
Doing an internship can be expensive, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Just think about what you will receive in return.
A great experience, a chance to live abroad and better opportunities for your future.
Have you ever heard the quote “Where there is a will, there is a way”? We are sure you’ll find a way to fund your internship after reading this article.
Right now you are ready to start your journey, so why don’t you let us help you find a placement? 😉
Article edited and updated by Dennis Scharpf and Mariya Gainsford.