Internships during study-abroad programs
You’re excited about your study abroad program, which could include a great internship opportunity, too. As an upperclassman, you may have already experienced internships and are well prepared to take on another one. More and more students are combining internships with study abroad trips, blending academic learning with cultural immersion. It’s the perfect way to improve your foreign language skills and to meet people that you would not find on campus.
You may want to wait until you get to your location and settle in with your new courses before you explore your internship options. The staff on site will be able to direct you to available internships and advise you on the protocol in obtaining one. If you want to create your own internship at a company that interests you, the career center on site can help you accomplish that more easily than your home university career center.
To save money on housing, some students want to do their internships while they are living at the university. Since study abroad academic programs are often structured differently, depending on the country, than American college programs, you might have to schedule an internship around other activities. Do make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the enrichment programs or travel opportunities offered at your overseas university.
If possible, many students in study abroad programs prefer to take an internship after their course of study is over. Then, their language skills have improved, and they are free to dedicate themselves full-time to their internship program, ensuring a more intensive experience. If your study abroad program is in the spring, you could spend your summer in an internship, living in the community and absorbing the native culture. An important part of an overseas internship is learning how other people live, the history of an area, and the political and social environment. And you can do lots of networking on a global scale for future internships.