“Did you love your study abroad experience? Of course you did; studying abroad is awesome.”
You got to spend an entire semester exploring iconic sites, eating unique foods, and meeting new people. Once you’ve returned from studying abroad, gotten your fill your favorite food from home, you’re probably ready to go back abroad. The travel bug is as real as it is infectious. The best antidote for someone inflicted with the travel bug and has studied abroad is to consider an internship abroad.
An international internship is a fantastic way to gain the professional work experience you need for your resume and continue traveling. Below are just five reasons why you do an internship abroad after you’ve completed a study abroad program.
1. Gain international professional experience
The number of university students who study abroad has steadily increased over the past years. Though a study abroad experience looks great on a resume, employers want to see relevant work experience. According to this Psychology Today article, 82% of hiring managers want to see a completed formal internship. Getting work experience in an international setting shows that you not accept new challenges, but you have a developed a global perspective for your industry.
2. Sharpen soft skills
As your study abroad experience proved, living in a foreign environment quickly teaches you a lot about yourself and how you handle new situations. An internship is hard work, and as you tackle the daily challenges of an internship and the nuances of living in a new country, your level of independent and confidence will increase. It’ll amaze you what you are capable of doing. Those soft skills, like confidence, and adaptability, will be invaluable when interviewing for jobs.
3. Create an international network
You love travel so wouldn’t it make sense for you network with professionals in your industry across the globe? During your internship abroad, you’ll not only make a connection with your host employer, but you’ll be able to network with other people in your industry from across the globe.
4. Intercultural Competence
If you were not surrounded by natives during your study abroad experience you most likely didn’t get to adapt to the customs of your host country. During an internship abroad, you’ll be forced to quickly learn how to communicate verbally and non-verbally with your colleagues and supervisors. Those who do an internship in non-English speaking country will also drastically improve foreign language skills because they’ll be required to use that language inside and outside of the internship.
One of the best reasons to do an internship abroad is because you get to keep traveling! Of course you’ll be living in a new country for a summer or semester, but you can use your weekends outside of internship to visit new cities and countries.
Your international education doesn’t have to end with study abroad. Check out international internship providers to get started on your next adventure abroad that will be so much more than a vacation.
Meghan Tankersley completed an internship in Dublin, Ireland during her junior year at University of South Carolina. She is currently the Inbound Marketer for Global Experiences. Global Experiences provides comprehensive international internships for young professionals in nine cities across the globe. You can find her blogging for the Global Experiences Compass Blog or tweet to her at @internabroad.
Photo Credit: GlobalExperiences.com