This is a guest post from StudyAbroad.com – the Internet’s leading source of information for students seeking a study abroad program. Find your study abroad program at StudyAbroad.com, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
By Valeri Boyle
Did you know, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report article, that over 37 percent of students in the U.S. participate in an internship during their undergraduate years? That’s over one third of all students! If you thought simply having an internship on your resume was going to make you stand out to employers, think again. The job market is extremely competitive and employers are only looking to hire the best of the best. It is important to make sure you stand out from the crowd; why not take it to the next level with an internship abroad?
Interning abroad gives you the best of both worlds – you get real life work experience while also getting a lesson in culture. There are countless reasons why interning abroad is a fantastic option, below highlights just a few.
Stand out from the crowd.
First and foremost, interning abroad allows you to differentiate yourself from the rest of your peers when searching for a post-graduation career. Just think, how many of your friends have done an internship? A lot, right? Now how many of those friends interned abroad? Not quite as many. In a time where the job market is extremely competitive, it is essential that your resume stands out.
Interning abroad gives you the opportunity to learn more than you might just sitting in a classroom. Having an abroad internship on your resume shows employers that you are well rounded and cultured. It demonstrates your ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations and easily navigate change. Interning abroad exemplifies your independence. Traveling to a foreign country, speaking a new language, making new friends and working at a new job all require you to be fiercely independent.
Interning abroad prepares you to handle globalization. Globalization refers to the increasing global relation of people, culture and economies. We live in an ever-changing world and globalization plays an integral role in the job market. Luke interned in London in the office of Justine Greening and says “More than the daily work was the experience of working side-by-side with the parliamentary staff and breaking down cultural barriers to achieve common goals. Often after work we would have a pint of lager at the local pub and talk about many things – including the unique differences and similarities in American and British societies.” Interning abroad gives you hands-on experience with working in another country and culture – learning about the similarities and differences between cultures is an important piece to the globalization puzzle.
Knock ‘em dead in an interview.
In order to get a job once you graduate you will likely have to first knock your future employer’s socks off in an interview. And let’s face it, interviews can be daunting. But they don’t have to be – especially if you have something to talk about. You can easily draw on your international internship experience to answer interview questions with poise. The interviewer will love to hear about your experiences while interning abroad and how you plan to use the skills you gained in a position with their company.
Build your professional network.
Finally, interning abroad could open new doors when looking for a career. While you are interning abroad you can network with employers you may not typically meet in the states. They will appreciate the fact that you have a solid understanding of their culture and language as well as understanding the American perspective. Knowing the intricacies of doing business in a foreign culture is a challenge and the fact that you can come into a company with that knowledge makes you very marketable.
There are countless reasons to intern abroad. The experiences you have while living in another country combined with techniques you learn while interning will easily make you an asset to any company. It is important that you take the time to research different programs and countries to find one that suites your needs.
Take your internship to the next level. Find an international internship.