Global Experiences has been providing international internships to young professionals for over a decade, and we’ve learned that no two interns are alike. As you plan for your internship abroad, you are most likely feeling a whirlwind of emotions like stress about packing, excitement about traveling, and nervous about the internship.
All of those overwhelming emotions are completely normal, but to help ease some of your nerves we asked Global Experiences alumni what advice they would give to future interns to help them make the most out of their international internship.
1. Just go
“Just go for it. It’s scary-scarier than anything you’ve ever done. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know and make the most of it.” –Christina, Paris intern
Taking the leap to do an internship overseas is the hardest part of the entire process. Once you’ve enrolled in the program you know you are in experienced hands and we’ll help you plan everything else from visa paperwork to packing suggestions.
2. Work hard
“No matter what it is, you have to apply yourself. You have to do it and embrace it. If you don't try, you won't get anything out of it. Spread yourself thin and do everything." -Josef, Paris intern
An internship abroad is fun, but it also a lot of work. Keep in mind what you want to get out of your internship and that you will only have a few weeks to really impress your employer. Work hard and work smart to accomplish your internship and career goals.
3 .Learn the language
“If you're going to go (to a non-English location) get a little background in the foreign language before you go. The classes won't be helpful unless you know a little something, especially to make those bonds with the employees and supervisors.” –Andrew, Florence intern
We offer many English-friendly internship opportunities in Italy, Paris, and Barcelona, but knowing the language prior to your internship will be a major factor in how well you’ll be able to communicate within your internship. To have the best possible experience, begin learning the language of your host country as soon as possible. We recommend using a platform like Rosetta Stone, but you use books or even audio lessons as well.
4. Budget and plan
“Plan travel as soon as you can. Everything seems really cheap until you convert it dollars. Book flights in advance. Don't be afraid to go anywhere alone, but be cognitive of your surroundings.” –Siddhi, London intern
Once you’ve officially decided to intern abroad, why not start planning trips and things you’d like to do on weekends? Make a budget for yourself using your host country’s conversion and make a list of trips, attractions and events you’d like to go to while there. You can even plan trips with other interns that will be going on the program with you through our Facebook page.
5. Keep an open mind
“Biggest thing is to keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to put yourself in uncomfortable situations because they will open doors for you in the future. Opening the mind to how other people live their lives and it's huge part of being part of that experience.” –Stephanie, Dublin intern
No matter how prepared you may be for the internship experience, there will always be some challenges that you will face while traveling. The best, and only antidote, to reality and the unmet expectations that it brings is keeping an open mind. Try not to get bogged down the negatives of being outside of your comfort zone, but instead embrace the novelty of living in a new country.
An international internship is going to give you an edge in your career and you will have an amazing time seeing the world, eating new foods, and making lasting friendships. Just remember to keep your head up, work hard, and never be afraid to seek the unknown.