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Why do an internship abroad?

Recent studies have shown employers want the new-grad to have experiences from internships or co-op programs. If you have completed internships, you will clearly have an edge over your classmates who haven’t. And many, if not most, colleges provide credit for eligible internships. You can, of course, look for an internship in your home country, but here are 8 amazing reasons to do an internship abroad.

Reasons for doing an internship abroad

1. Become more globally aware

Employers are always on the lookout for candidates with a sense of global awareness. This has become especially true as globalization continues to diminish international boundaries, paving the way for companies to take on more international partners and clients. A study by the University of California, Merced found that students with an experience abroad are twice as likely to find employment within one year of graduating. When a company has the opportunity to hire someone with immense international exposure and greater global awareness, they will not hesitate to take advantage of it.

2. Take your career plan for a test drive

You might discover by interning in your planned career field that it’s not what you thought it would be like. Or one niche of your field is a better fit for you than another. Let’s say you’re a marketing major, and you complete an internship in marketing research. You discover you hate it. Before giving up on marketing, you do an internship in public relations and find it’s a perfect fit for you. Isn’t it better to figure all this out before you graduate and are stuck in a field that’s not for you?

You can also test out career paths outside your major. Let’s say you’ve decided on a major but always had a lingering interest in a completely different field. You could do an internship in the other field to decide how strong your interest really is and whether you want to beef up your studies in that field. Doing an international internship might also give you a taste of whether or not you indeed want to pursue an international career or not.

Imagine doing your internship in South Africa!

3. Advance your skillset and knowledge

Maybe you already have the great interpersonal skills employers seek. But in an internship, you sharpen them by interacting with people on a professional level, along with actually putting your knowledge into practice. That’s something you never have the opportunity for in the classroom. The results of NACE’s 2018 Student Survey highlight the benefit of applying your academic knowledge in the real-world. The study found that three-quarters of students felt their internship had a significantly positive impact on their communications and teamwork skills and four-fifths of respondents said their professionalism and work ethic were drastically improved by the experience. These skills, combined with the international exposure that internships abroad inevitably provide, help employers feel confident that you will be able to succeed and bring a unique perspective to the table. No matter how talented you are, working in a single location will expose you to a limited set of processes and thought paradigms. When you decide to go abroad, you are exposed to exponentially more trends and practices than you could have possibly imagined. With international internship experience on your CV, you are more likely to have gained valuable skills along the way. Companies know that.

4. Gain confidence in yourself

If you’re afraid of facing the work world when you graduate, an internship will teach you that you can do it. When potential employers see international internship experience on your resume, they will perceive you in a new light. They will assume you are confident in your abilities, able to work independently. and adaptable to new circumstances. These assumptions will become the determining factors in their decision of whom to employ. Almost any employer will seek out candidates that demonstrate the ability to think and problem-solve independently. In the same respect, to be successful in a new position, confidence is key.


5. Adopt healthy and rewarding work habits

All that freedom you gained when you left home for college may have caused your motivation and work ethic to slip. You might be skipping a few classes, missing assignments, or building a class schedule that doesn’t require you to get up early. There’s nothing like an internship — where you can’t slack off if you want to succeed — to instill in you the workplace characteristics you’ll need after you graduate.

International internships show potential employers your honest ambition. After all, not everyone takes risks, like moving out of their comfort zone and working with people from different cultures on the other side of the world. This is exactly what many employers are after, candidates who are willing to take risks to succeed and grow. International internships prove that you have the ability to make it on your own in a new environment, as well as the desire to do so. You can illustrate your ability and willingness to take risks by simply adding an international internship to your resume.

Here are 4 reasons why to seriously consider an NGO Internship

6. Meet like-minded people and build your network 

Business growth depends on international connections. If you can illustrate clear international associates in your field of work, it will reflect positively on you in the eyes of potential employers. You are able to bring new and creative ideas to the organization. International connections are also a great way for companies to expand the reach of their products, services, and brand awareness. Applicants with the capacity to build new connections will be a great asset to any organization.

7. Add to your resume

Any kind of experience on your resume is helpful, but a career-relevant internship experience will make a better impression on employers than your serving job. Having an international internship on your CV can help your credentials stand out. After all not everybody has the opportunity to intern abroad. Businesses desire exceptional candidates that are able to set themselves apart from their peers. With more students obtaining the same business degrees, organizations are looking for those bringing a little more to the boardroom.

8. Get the chance to explore new opportunities 

With an international internship, you build your CV, increase your skills, build confidence and your network. But above all, it gives you the opportunity to get to experience a different culture. When you travel you meet people and cultures, but to actually live in another place for a few months is different. You really gain more insight into the local customs, local slang. You’ll discover not only the touristic highlights of that country but also have time to go ‘off the beaten track’. Finally, it can be eye-opening. All of a sudden you understand what others always say about your culture because you now understand better ‘where they are coming from’.

So yes, it’s definitely worth considering doing an international internship. And if you indeed decide to look for valuable international working experience, why not make an impact at the same time? We work with non-profits and social enterprises with ethical and sustainable practices. They are looking for people keen to use their skills in different areas of expertise.

Have a look at our internships, and become inspired to make an impact!

Source: Livecareer and GoAbroad

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