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5 Reasons to Do an Internship Abroad

5 Reasons to Do an Internship Abroad main image

By Saffron Shergill

If you’re considering applying for internships, looking for positions abroad might not be something you immediately think of. Of course, leaving the comforts of your home and moving to a foreign place isn’t an easy choice, but the rewards can help to make the decision much simpler.

Immersing yourself in the culture, language and traditions of a city abroad will not only boost your career prospects, but will also open your eyes to a new international lifestyle, giving you a new perspective on life and your career prospects. Here’s what you can expect from doing an internship abroad.

You’ll gain skills which will truly impress employers

When your CV and cover letter land on the desk of a recruiter, it is important to have something about your application that stands out. Since a large majority of students now complete internships during their degrees, having experience working abroad will help to set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Interning in another country gives you skills in a foreign job market and this is something employers find highly impressive. Showing you can handle working with international colleagues and a language change is therefore a very handy addition to your CV.

Your soft skills will develop far more rapidly

Often overlooked in their importance, soft skills are crucial to having a successful transition into the workplace. These abilities are harder for universities to focus on and include cultural training, communication skills and language proficiency. By taking part in an internship abroad, you have the opportunity to improve your awareness of the world and your ability to interact confidently with colleagues on a day-to-day basis.

Employers often remark that new graduates are missing key social skills. Young professionals have knowledge and theory transferred to them through university but need to work on their ability to integrate into a working environment. For this reason, there is arguably no better solution than interning in an international office where your communication skills can grow to exceed those expected of a new graduate.

You’ll be able to network on an international scale

Working in a country abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to develop a global network of colleagues and mentors. The benefit of having international peers is you have the chance to learn an abundance of knowledge and information from your surrounding network. Since different cultures have new and exciting ways of dealing with problems and situations, your skill set will improve drastically as you begin to handle things from an international perspective.

The other significant benefit of having such a global network is the friends you will gain. Working with people from around the world significantly opens up your opportunities to travel and discover new countries. With friends in Paris, Sydney and Berlin, you will have reasons to explore the globe and the chance to see these great cities.

You might learn a new language

Living abroad, for no matter how long, is the perfect opportunity to improve your language skills. You will be totally immersed in the local culture, giving you the best opportunity to kickstart your speaking abilities. To add to this, you’ll have colleagues you can practice with during your working hours.

Believe it or not, there are also often free language courses in big cities. Since you will have spare time in the evenings and weekends, this gives you a chance to be fully immersed in the language and take part in these voluntary classes. Taking a language course is also a great way to make new friends outside of your working environment which is handy for interns on longer term placements since you can build a network to keep you company when you’re not in the office.

Oh yeah, and you get to see the world

There’s no greater chance to travel than while living abroad. With the number of cheap flights available, there are a plethora of opportunities to travel to different cities and countries on your weekends. For example if you’re interning in Berlin, a bus journey to Amsterdam can cost you as little as €29.

If you’re slightly further afield than this, there can be even greater opportunities for movement. Singapore has become an increasingly popular “year abroad” destination and not only is it a fantastic country to live in, it also has a number of must-see spots within hand's reach.

So, with the chance to learn a new language, travel the globe and make endless international friends, the perks of an internship abroad cannot be stressed enough. The best part of all? Once you start travelling, you’ll never stop…

Saffron Shergill is a writer for StudentJobUK. StudentJob UK is a job portal specialising in part time jobs, internships and summer jobs for students. Sign up for free on their site to begin your job search.

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