Finding a perfect summer internship takes lot of hard work and patience. You need to have sufficient time in hand to land on your dream internship. To save you from the headache of extensive research we have compiled a list of things to keep in mind while preparing to study abroad, some of these you haven’t thought about and some you many have heard thousands of times.
Ask yourself why you want to do an International internship?
Why would you want to intern abroad instead of at home? Is it to immerse yourself in a new culture? To expand your comfort zone? Or just to have a tag of international internship on your resume? Your reasons may be very general, or they may be very specific. No matter what, just know that you will have a unique experience. It will be different from interning in your home town. Your opportunities will be different; your hurdles will be different. There’s nothing worse than regretting missing out on opportunities.
Narrow your search to a handful of countries:
First, focus on the type of internship/field of work that you’re interested in. Then, choose the location based on your interest. If you already speak your host country’s language, it’ll be easier for you to adopt the culture of the organization. If you hope to intern while learning a new language, you may seek a more culturally immersive experience. Choose a location based on your ideal field of work, but be open to other options.
Review visa requirements:
Always see if you can enter a country before planning to intern in it. There are different kinds of visas you can travel with for an international internship. You may be travelling on a work visa, or a student visa. When preparing for your internship abroad, find out how much your employer will help you through the process and how much of the work you will do alone.
If you are going to be doing a paid internship, get in contact with the company before leaving to work out how you will be receiving the payment. Another thing to consider is the exchange rate for your spending money. If you plan on bringing money with you, but your country uses a different currency, it is probably best to exchange with a credit card at an ATM machine or at the airport.
If your internship isn’t supplying you with a place to stay during the course of your work with them, this will be one of the first things you will want to look into before you leave. It’s important to stay alert on the area you are planning to stay, and don’t pick the first place you see. Find a place that’s right for you and that you feel you will be safe in.
Familiarize yourself with the surroundings:
Most people choose to intern abroad and pick a location they aren’t familiar with. Before leaving home, be sure to research extensively on the location you have chosen. Know which areas to stay away from, where the closest grocery stores and hospitals are and even research some key spots you’ll want to visit during your free time. These are all important aspects of your surroundings that you should be at least somewhat familiar with before you leave.
Familiarize yourself with the company:
On this same note, it is also extremely important to familiarize yourself with the company you will be working for while abroad. Not only will you feel more comfortable working for them, but they will be thrilled you took the initiative to get to know the company a little bit better before even starting.
When packing for your internship, it’s important to know what you should be leaving behind and what you should be carrying along. The packing essentials vary based on the length of your internship as well as the accommodations you have chosen.
Go in with an open mind:
While you are working abroad, be open to the possibilities that present themselves to you. Don’t stay shut in your apartment during the down time you have: embrace everything your host country has to offer. While your main focus should be on the work at hand, don’t be afraid to go above and beyond. If the opportunity arises, explore your destination to the fullest: you will be more experienced not only in the work field, but also culturally.
So get ready to wipe the drool off your chin and sign up for an internship abroad. Summer 2017 doesn’t have to be full of average hangouts in your old haunts; it can be an incredible international adventure.
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