We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Ever wondered what it’d be like to work in theater in the center of London? Maybe you dream of hands-on shoe design in Milan, or maybe you’re looking for fast-paced business experience in Shanghai.
When you intern abroad, these imaginings can become more than a dream — they can be your reality for the summer, semester or year. Still on the fence? Here are seven reasons to pursue an internship while you study abroad.
1. Expand Your Cultural Knowledge
When we stay in the same place for so long, we get accustomed to our own cultural habits — and forget that daily life and the workplace look drastically different in other countries. Expanding your cultural scope can be beneficial both for personal development and work experience.
There’s an endless array of cultures with their own unique customs, practices, methodologies and beliefs. You might find that you fit better into a foreign culture, or you might use that experience to build your career expertise down the line. And who knows when you might tap into your expanded knowledge in the future?
2. Learn a Different Language
Listening is key to learning a new language successfully, and one of the best ways to delve into a foreign language is to visit its country of origin.
Cultural immersion — especially in the workplace — will give you a day-to-day way to develop your language skills and practice real-life conversation. When you intern abroad, you’ll have a distinct learning advantage and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to become fluent in your language of choice.
3. Strengthen Your Adaptability
Voyaging to a new country for the first time may seem scary, but it helps you rapidly learn skills that make you a more adaptable person. Your versatility is a quality that will help you in all facets of life — especially when entering the workforce. You’ll likely have a chance to exercise the lessons you learn in other places — like Mexico or Germany — down the road when you get your first real job.
4. Impress Prospective Employers
An astonishing 97% of students who studied or interned abroad found a job within 12 months of graduation. When you make the effort to engage in work in another country, it tells employers you’re versatile, ambitious and willing to try new things.
An internship abroad is an impressive feat that sets you apart from other candidates. In fact, it might end up being the deciding factor that earns you that job you’re aiming for. It can even help you score a position as an international employee in the future, if you’re interested in continuing to work abroad.
5. Network With Other Professionals
Your opportunities after graduation are seemingly endless. Not everyone wants to work in the country they’re currently studying in — and that’s perfectly okay. Fortunately, you can work anywhere you want, and completing a foreign internship will help you make industry connections.
When you choose to study abroad, it’s easier to connect with the people you’ll need to know to get a job in another country — or back home.
6. Develop Your Independence
The majority of people spend their adolescence in the same home. Going off to college is often the first step toward true independence. If you want to gain an even greater sense of independence, however, interning abroad can be the key to experiencing adult life for the first time.
When you go to another country, you’re less likely to rely on others. You’re far more likely to gain a sense of confidence in yourself as you navigate a foreign country — and a new job — on your own.
7. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
When you visit an unfamiliar place, you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. You’re pushing yourself to try new activities while seeing new places. Think about all of the memories you’ll make while exploring a new and exciting place.
Interning abroad lets you build upon that experience by exposing you to brand new professional opportunities, as well. You may just discover a new interest or love you weren’t aware of before.
Take the Next Step
Interning abroad is a great way to expand your skillset — but it’s much more than a practical way to get a job or gain experience. Your foreign internship will allow you to explore the world — and learn so much more about yourself.