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Student Blogger: Interning Internationally

January 13, 2011

Ryan Winn

Our generation has been called many things: Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Millennials, or Generation Next.  My personal favorite comes from political pollster John Zogby; he chose to refer to people born between 1983 and the early 2000s as “First Globals.'

What the heck is a “First Global”?  Zogby asserts that our generation is going to be tasked with renewing the American promise abroad and learning to thrive in a truly globalized world. So what’s that mean for you?  Get comfortable working with a variety of people and develop international literacy early. Interning abroad is one of the best ways to develop international experience as well as make incredible memories.

I spent last spring in the United Kingdom working in the House of Commons and left with a new understanding of parliamentary democracy, and a new appreciation for our own system. In every job interview I have had since returning from my time in London, the first question I am asked inevitably relates to Parliament.  Jumping outside of my comfort zone, adapting to a new environment, and demonstrating that I can thrive when challenged are skills that employers in every field respond to. Plus it makes for a great story and a unique skill on your resume!

So if you’re looking to beef up your resume and learn a lot about yourself in the process—keep these 3 tips in mind while searching for your dream internship abroad.

  1. Talk with your campus study abroad office to make sure the program you are participating in is legitimate if it’s not run through your university.
  2. Make sure you apply for your visa at least 6 weeks prior to your expected departure date.
  3. Talk with your classmates who are headed abroad and ask about staying with them when you travel.  This not only saves money on hostels but experiencing a city with the people who know it is always better than flying blind.

What about you?  If you could intern anywhere for a semester, where would it be?

Ryan is one of our student bloggers and wouldn’t be caught dead without his Chuck Taylors.  Read more about Ryan and the rest of our student bloggers here.

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