There are lots of reasons to choose an international internship program: traveling opportunities, building your industry skills, experiencing another culture…just to name a few. If you’ve got the time and a desire for new experiences, taking an international internship position should seem like a no brainer!
Unfortunately, for many individuals, there is one significant roadblock standing in the way of the international internship experience of a lifetime: finances. That’s right, for many individuals, money (or lack thereof) is the primary reason they don’t pursue opportunities to intern abroad.
Although some internships include a stipend or salary for their participants, there are still costs associated with working abroad that make it difficult to truly profit from an international internship. In fact, most people spend money interning abroad, rather than make money.
First of all, the concept of traveling internationally for an internship implies travel expenses. From plane tickets to accommodation fees, the costs can start to add up quickly. This doesn’t include any additional weekend traveling you might want to do…after all, when you’re working in another country, why not explore a bit?
So what’s a person to do? If you are anything like most intern applicants, you probably aren’t loaded with extra cash to float your lifestyle while you intern abroad.
If you hoping to work as an intern abroad, but you’re looking for a way to fund your internship, here are a few ideas:
Did you know there are a multitude of scholarships available for students who want to intern abroad? Since internships are becoming highly sought after credentials in a job candidate, more and more companies and organizations are willing to invest funds in scholarship programs to help make international internships more accessible.Here are a few internship scholarships that could make your internship dreams a reality:
- Global Nomadic Scholarship
- Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
- Internship Abroad Scholarship Guide
2. Part-Time Job
It might not sound glamorous, but if you need some extra cash to cover living expenses during your internship, a part-time job could do the trick. Taking a part-time job working at a local coffee shop or restaurant will give you a unique cultural perspective. This job could serve as a means for meeting new people, brushing up on your language skills, and truly experiencing the local culture.
3. University Financial Aid
Having a significant percentage of their student population participating in internship programs is a point of pride for more colleges and universities. As a result, many schools offer financial aid to their students who need some assistance covering the cost of their internship. If you are currently enrolled in a college or university, contact your financial aid department and see if you qualify for institutional aid.
4. Take Out A Loan
What’s the traditional way to cover costs for something when you lack the on-hand cash? A good ol’ fashioned loan. If you’ve exhausted your other options, traditional bank loans and, in some cases, educational Stafford loans can be used to cover the expense of interning abroad.
Crowdsourcing is a fundraising method that is growing in popularity! It is based on the assumption that there are more than likely people you already know (friends, family, colleagues etc.) that believe in the importance of your internship opportunity and would be happy to support you financially if given the chance. Crowdsourcing platforms such as GoFundMe, FundMyTravel, and Kickstarter, make it easy to share your story with others and start collecting funds for your program.
Last but not least, if you know you want to participate in an international internship, start saving money. This may require taking a look at your current expenses and cutting back on non-essential expenditures. For example, instead of going for that $5 latte today or spending a small fortune on this year’s winter wardrobe, put that money towards your internship costs instead.
Interning abroad comes with expenses, there’s no way around that. However, the costs associated with an international internship shouldn’t deter you from participating in this life-changing and career-altering experience. Check out the list above and use these tips to fund your internship program today!