Is an International Internship Still Worth It?

An international internship is where you intern with a company or organization in a different country from your own which could range from a couple of weeks to several months. It can be done as part of the degree or after you graduate to live abroad and get the benefits of living abroad. International internships are completely complex compared to domestic ones which cannot be ignored. 

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We need to do more as the employment industry to create affordable and more financially sustainable international internships for everyone.

International internships are very expensive and it is imperative for you to do thorough research before you even consider applying. It is also advisable to contact program providers in your preferred country of internship to get you familiarized with the culture and the logistics part of the internship. 

The benefits of an internship for your career are immense and more so for an international internship and far out ways the costs.

Cultural awareness is the understanding of other ways that life is done outside of your own and growing your knowledge. It is now more than ever important to understand other people’s cultures due to the need for staying connected with technology. 

Cultural awareness helps you understand your target audience which might give you an advantage over your competitors.

Tip: An internship abroad is more impressive on your CV than studying abroad. 

There are more benefits that you can reap from an international internship which by far out ways the costs. Always look at the benefits, not the cost!

The cons of international internship

  • It is very expensive. An international internship costs several thousands of dollars to make it successful.
  • They’re often unpaid. This can often drown you and doesn’t make sense to spend so much on the cost and just end up unpaid.

Advice when looking to do international internships

  • Do your research to understand why the international internship is expensive– most of them are fixed costs.
  • Consider a longer internship than a short one- there’s a cost advantage to this.
  • Look into countries that allow paid internships because most of them do not allow it for international students.
  • Consider program providers to help you choose the best companies to apply to and the logistics part of it.
  • Ask relevant questions especially if you’re dealing with a third party– this ensures you’re making the right and informed decision for your career.

The pros of international internship

  • You experience multiple cultures and the benefits of working abroad. 
  • Look at interning abroad as part of your education or degree which will later have a greater impact on your career.
  • The travel part of an international internship is very exciting for travel enthusiasts.
  • You get to grow your network globally which is a valued skillset nowadays. 
  • Additional foreign language helps you stand out from the rest and might even lead to more pay

Episode Timeline:

  • [4:26] The major pros and cons of international internships.
  • [6:04] International internship defined.
  • [8:05] The cons of international internships. 
  • [11:54] Advice to students considering international internships. 
  • [15:17] The role and benefits of program providers in getting everything ready for your internship. 
  • [17:58] The process to follow when applying for an international internship.
  • [23:29] The pros of international internships.
  • [33:36] Understanding the meaning of cultural awareness. 
  • [38:12] The advantage of interning abroad versus studying abroad. 
  • [43:25] Why everyone has chances of benefiting from an international internship.
  • [45:38] What to do when choosing a paid internship in London and an unpaid one in New York.