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After I graduated I had hopes of being able to take on an internship abroad. Who doesn’t want to travel and discover the world? But my anxiety got the better of me and I didn’t even apply to any hiring organisations. While it’s been a regret of mine in the past, I realise that I’m a creature of habit. I like my own home comforts. But I still can’t help dreaming about what could have been.
If you’ve just graduated or you’re currently studying, an internship abroad can be an amazing way to broaden your horizons. You’ll meet new people, experience amazing sights and, who knows, you might even find the love of your life. You’ve spent hours dedicated to your chosen degree, and an internship is one of the boldest ways to take that field by storm! Whether it’s a fashion internships Seoul or engineering in Dubai, there’s something for everyone if you’re willing to spread your wings!
7 Reasons you should do an internship abroad.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn a new language.
When you live abroad, for no matter how long, it’s impossible not to improve your language skills. It’s one thing to learn the fundamentals of language in the classroom, but it’s completely different when you’re learning in the field. Having dove headfirst into a whole new culture, most of which will be entirely in that language, it’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself! Not to mention that the majority of your colleagues and new friends will also speak that language. Giving you the perfect opportunity to practice during work and even social hours.
If you’d like to give yourself an extra boost, most cities offer fairly cheap language courses. There have even been instances of some companies putting their employees through said classes.
As someone who has tried to learn many different languages, those that stuck with me the most were learned on the job. By that I mean I conversed with locals constantly while on vacation, even when I knew my accent was wrong. Most locals, no matter where you go, are more than willing to help you when it comes to learning their language.
You’ll experience a whole new culture.
We live in a world where business transpires borders. That is, we’re dealing with international customers and businesses all the time. And they all come from their own countries with their own cultures. Taking on an internship abroad will broaden your horizons outside that of your own comfort zone. You’ll learn new things about the people you work with, the cultures they immerse themselves in and all of this will help heighten your global awareness.
You’ll be working with local employees, some of which may or may not speak your language. It’ll be a great opportunity to learn about different means of communication, how other cultures handle business, work styles, and even ethics. While you may be able to experience some of these in your home country, others will be exclusive to an international internship.
The opportunity to expand your network goes international!
Networking is so important when you’re trying to heighten your career. Just look at LinkedIn! It’s full of networking, matching you with the perfect clients and even colleagues. Working on an internship abroad is an amazing way to expand your network across several borders! Not only will international peers give you an insight into culture and language, but you’ll also gain knowledge and information far beyond what you would have had if you stayed at home.
Not to mention the friends you’ll gain! You’ll most likely be working with people from all walks of life. This greatly expands your opportunities to discover new communities and even opens you to further travel destinations.
Improve your soft skills in ways you would never have imagined!
Just what are soft skills? Soft skills are things such as our emotional intelligence, ability to communicate, flexibility, critical thinking, etc. Some might call common sense a soft skill. These are all things that, while you can experience, you can’t learn in university. When you write a CV, you don’t add a separate section titled soft skills. But they are arguably as important as a relevant degree.
It looks great on your CV.
Of course, not everything is about your CV, but an internship abroad will really set you out from the crowd. Having worked internationally shows employers that you’re not afraid of change or a challenge. Taking on an internship abroad is a big thing. It will put you out of your comfort zone and put you in situations you’ve never been in before. It shows real resilience. While most employers might not initially be looking for this, it’s an important trait.
Who isn’t itching for some travel after all we’ve been through? And what better way to do it than through an internship? You can walk the streets of your new city, explore all the must-see locations, look for a new favourite coffee shop, and even country hop! Interning in central Europe? Now’s your chance to take a weekend trip to Madrid or Krakow! With a quick train, plane or boat there are plenty of new places you can explore in your free time.
If you’ve made friends with the locals you should always ask them to take you to any ‘must-see attractions.’ The best way to see the true colours of a town, city, or country is to live like a local. Of course, you should see all of the main tourist attractions. But the real culture is in the small, back street cafes, the local clothing stores, and the 100-year-old taverns.
An internship abroad is an excellent way to expand your career. There are endless opportunities that you might not get in your current location. One example is the arts and dance movement or fashion, both of which are seldom found in my home country. But traveling to take on an internship abroad opens so many different doors! You might even find the dream job you never knew existed.