Interning Abroad: How to Convince your Parents

Whether you’re in the beginning stages or the final stages of getting ready to intern abroad, at some point you’re going to want your parents support and input. Having done this for a while, we’re fully aware there are many different kinds of parents.

From the ones who filled your application out for you to the ones who don’t understand why you want to go abroad in the first place and everything in between. We’re here to help make your dreams a reality.

The Why

Tell them why. Be real. Why do you want to do the program? Sure, it would be cool to travel, especially while gaining professional experience, I know the spiel. Speak from your heart. If your dream is to do a Fashion Internship in Paris, tell them why! If you’re not sure, then this is obviously a good time for you to sit down and think about it. If it really is for professional growth then that’s great! If there are several things on your list then start one. My personal favorite is having a dry erase marker in the bathroom and every time an idea comes to my head write it down. Try that and you’ll be surprised how your list grows. No idea is too small!

These could be some good questions to start asking yourself:

  • Does your family have ancestors from the country you’re wanting to go to?
  • Do you want to practice a language?
  • Do you want to work abroad in the future?
  • Immerse yourself in a new culture- sure, but why?
  • How will this help you in your future?
  • Take what you’re learning in the classroom and apply it in real life (get credit!)

What is important to your parents?

Talking to Dad

Hopefully they want what is best for you and your future, but coming from a parent's perspective, there needs to be tangible benefits, especially if they’re going to help you pay for it. Are they more concerned the cultural impact or the professional impact?

For example, my dad is really into experiencing different cultures and learning about the world, but my mom wants to make sure it makes sense for my professional future and financially. Here are some talking points for each type of parent:

Culture: Do they know how obsessively you watched Game of Thrones? Did they watch/read it as well? Well, most of the filming was done in Ireland and you can visit it while interning abroad! Also, ABBA happens to be from Sweden, if you don’t know who they are (I’m judging you) your parents will.

Professional: Are you passionate about having a NGO Internship? Is helping people what you want to do for your life? You should mention that while Sweden used to have mandatory military training, they have since stopped that but voluntary training comes with many benefits and is still quite popular.

How will this benefit you?

Calculator and Laptop

Very similar to the talking points above, but a little more statistically heavy. The previous talks about why. Speaking from the heart, why you want to do this. This is the tangible benefits you’ll receive from participating in our program. Sales might have been my least favorite class in college, but I remember “Features tell, benefits sell.

Obviously there are many more than this, but here’s a good statistical start:

  • You can earn credit through our accreditation program OR through your home institution. It can count towards the required internship credit for your school, or generic credits needed to graduate.
  • You’ll be interning full time in a real company in the industry and gaining real-life professional working experience
  • 97% of students who go abroad during college secure a full-time job within 1 year vs those that didn’t (49%)
  • 85% of alum say the skills they learned abroad help them in the job market
  • 1% of college graduates have international working experience on a resume
    Growth and development of soft skills that employers desire and feel recent college graduates do not possess

What are soft skills?

Alright, let’s back up. What actually are soft skills? Soft skills are skills that you can (generally) only learn through life experiences. They are a combination of communication skills, people skills, and social skills that display your emotional intelligence and contribute to your success in the workplace.

They include: critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving, adaptability, conflict resolution, etc.

Many articles, such as this one, have come out recently in light of the unemployment rate of millennial college grads stating hiring managers feel recent graduates are lacking in soft skills and therefore unqualified for positions.

New Learning Experience

Since we can remember we’ve sat in a classroom and learned. We’ve taken notes, used overhead projectors, moved on to powerpoint presentations (prezi if you’re fancy), participated in group projects, speeches, etc. Teachers and professors try to get creative and break up the monotony of learning (sometimes) but there are only so many ways to be creative about learning.

Part of critical thinking is being able to learn and adapt to new situations. This article by Times agrees that "Studying or Working Abroad Makes you Smarter." In addition, here are some of the new things you’ll be learning while interning abroad:

Professional Experience

Intern at Desk

Take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. See how that knowledge has prepared you for the real world and how you can use this experience to continue learning once you’re back in school or in a full time job.

How to overcome the challenges of daily life living in a foreign country

Adaptability is HUGE here. It’s also been proven that those who live abroad are better problem solvers, more creative, and have a better chance of getting promoted in their career. You’ll be adapting to every kind of thing.

From something small like learning what a local phrase means to using public transportation from the first time. Not only is this amazing for personal growth but it shows an employer you can think on your feet, can adapt to an environment, and get along well in a new situation.


It’s amazing how much you don’t realize is easily provided for you during your University and living at home years. The transition from college to the real world is one of the hardest not only because you’ll be working every day but because you’ll be completely on your own! The only way to prepare is to practice.

Cultural Immersion

London UK

Get a true understanding of day to day life and cultural nuances that you might not observe when in tourist mode.

Small things for example:

In London, when standing on an escalator on your morning commute, you stand on the left, and walk on the right. DO NOT stand in the middle.

Major things, for example: In Spain, they take siestas. In your Barcelona Internship, expect your office and the city to shut down for 2 hours while everyone goes home to relax. Come back to work after 2 hours and work later until around 7.

Step outside your comfort zone

You’re not going to live your whole life within that comfort zone. It’s important to understand how to deal with being uncomfortable now while you have support rather than later when more is at stake.

Example: You’re in Italy. Your Italian isn’t great (no offense), you miss the bus in the morning, later get off at the wrong stop. On your walk home it starts raining and naturally you don’t have an umbrella. It sounds silly, but in a foreign country you’re unfamiliar with, how do you react:

  1. Do you let it get you down and ruin your summer?
  2. Do you get annoyed, but realize it’s funny once you’re home and dry and tell everyone you see?
  3. Do you problem solve and find a cute cafe to wait out the rain?

These are the life skills, the soft skills, the elements that make up your personality and the very core of who you are that you’ll discover abroad.

Practice a new language

Show a future employer that you put yourself in a new situation in a foreign country without speaking the language to gain professional experience, such as in a Hospitality Internship. They’re either going to think you’re crazy and want to hire you or they’ll admire you and want to hire you. It shows off your work ethic and your personality. You’re willing to take chances, to learn new things, be open to new ideas, all desirable qualities.

International working experience!

Work Office

Duh. You might be tired of hearing it but globalization is bringing nations closer together in a multitude of ways. The chances of you working for a company that operates or has relationships abroad is significant! From a Photography Internship in Australia to a Theatre Internship in London,  having worked with people from other cultures before gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to deciding who should lead a project with an international client or even who should go abroad to assist in opening a new office. The chances of working with a person from another culture is equally as high and this experience is proof that you can get along with and thrive.

The Logistics


Price : Our tuition ranges  from $7,000-$11,000 USD. Check out the full list of our dates and tuition.


  • Housing (usually student apartments)
  • Travel / Medical Insurance.
  • 24/7 Emergency Contact/Full time staff in all locations
  • Internship Check Ins
    • Our staff visit the interns at their work site to make sure they are comfortable with their role and the employer is pleased with their performance.
    • We also meet with everyone individually after a couple weeks to make sure the interns are settling in well
  • Office Hours - Set and determined by the Location Coordinator
  • Social Events
    • Welcome Orientation, Cultural Event, 2 Day Trips, Exit Orientation
  • Networking Event
    • We arrange a networking event to put your newfound skills to use
  • CV/Cover Letter Assistance/Strengths Coach
    • You’ll take a strengths assessment, meet with a coach, talk about your strengths and how they will manifest themselves in your career. The coach will also give you CV/Cover Letter tips to ensure your resume is ready to present to employers
  • Pre-Departure Support
    • Setting you up on interviews, visa assistance if needed, online portal access, documents/information that is needed prior to arrival
  • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Everything is covered except pre-existing conditions
    • Maximum $3,000,000 coverage
    • $0 Deductible
    • Emergency Room - Covered
    • Outpatient - Covered
    • Hospital Room & Board - Covered
  • Safety Policy
    • We have an extensive safety and health policy designed in collaboration with Arizona State that outlines all procedures and actions for every type of emergency situation. We take steps to ensure all students are present and accounted for and we are aware when they are traveling outside of their host city.
  • Guaranteed Internship

Everyone accepted into the program is guaranteed an internship. We feel 100% confident in our interns and our ability to find an internship in the interns’ desired career field based on their experience and future goals. We take into consideration the responsibilities and tasks of the internship and match the student with the best possible internship for them. 

You (we) got this!

Talking to Parents

At the end of the day your parents just want to make sure you’re taken care of, as do we! Our goal at Global Experiences is to provide you with a life changing experience that will benefit you indefinitely, both personally and professionally.

We provide you with the resources to grow as an adult while interning abroad and to continue to do so. Your parents most likely want the same for you, in addition to making sure that you’re safe, that we’re a reputable (real) organization, and are supported in your new international role. Just see this open letter to a parent from a Dublin Intern!

From one international traveler to another, at the end of the day it’s about you and your future. There are so many reasons to intern abroad. How are you going to make this happen and how will this benefit you for the rest of your life? Once your mind is made up, everyone will get on board.

Find a career you will love


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