“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself!”
An international internship is a once in a lifetime experience! Combining travel, valuable field experience, and unique cultural immersion opportunities, an internship abroad truly is something you don’t want to miss out on.
An international internship will likely have a lasting positive impact on your life. From a career perspective, it’s an excellent way to build your resume, add to your list network connections, and gain or refine important industry-related skills. On a personal level, living and working in another culture will challenge you to expand your horizons and see things in new ways.
If you’ve got an international internship coming up, here are a few tips for making the most of your time abroad!
- Seek Out A Mentor
The primary purpose of an internship is to learn and grow your career-related skills. One of the best ways to do this by working with a mentor who can provide wisdom and insight as you refine your skills and navigate the company. Many internship programs have mentorship opportunities established. Others may require you to seek out your own personal mentor. Either way, you won’t regret the time you spend working with a mentor.
2. Work Hard
Internships are a great work to learn and refine your craft and an excellent opportunity for networking. However, neither of these objectives can be accomplished without hard work. As you are learning and working in your internship position, seek out opportunities for new projects, ask questions, try new things, and most importantly, put your full effort into all that you do. The truly stand-out interns are not necessarily those with the most raw talent, but those with the work ethic and persistence to achieve success!
3. Learn The Language
If you are planning to intern in a country where the language spoken is different from your own, it can be helpful to learn the language–especially if you plan to be there for an extended period of time. Not only will this make your day to day life in another country simpler, but it will show a vested interest in the local culture and will make it easier for you to form important relationships.
4. Check Out Local Favorites
A huge benefit to choosing an international internship is the opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture. A good way to truly “live the life” of the locals is to check out their local hotspots. Ask your friends and coworkers for recommendations for sites you should see and restaurants you should try. Their insights will likely give you a far more authentic picture of the culture and lead you to some truly incredible places, than Google searching “restaurants nearby” would.
5. Travel on The Weekends
If you’ve chosen an international internship, chances are you love to travel! Weekends are a great time for that. Plan some exciting mini-trips or long-weekends that includes a variety of sites and experiences. Ask the locals for suggestions on must-see places. If you are blessed with the opportunity to live in another country, take advantage of the chance to see as much of that country (or perhaps continent) as possible.
6. Keep A Journal
You time working abroad will be filled with memorable experiences. From incredible sight-seeing adventures to invaluable work opportunities, you don’t want to forget the details of this experience. Take a journal with you and use it to record the details of your adventures or the wisdom and advice you receive from your mentors. It will serve as both a record of your trip and an incredible souvenir.
7. Stay In Touch
As stated above, one of the major benefits of an internship is the invaluable opportunity for networking. The contacts you make could be used in the future as professional references, landing you the job of your dreams. Take care to nurture these relationships will working abroad, but also to stay in touch with your mentors and network connections after you go home.
As you prepare for your upcoming internship abroad, use these 7 tips to make the most of this truly life-changing experience!