Interning abroad offers immeasurable value in the modern world. With an increasingly connected world, the job market is now as competitive as ever. Going to a top university or graduating top of your class might not be enough to land your dream job. An internship abroad can be a key competitive advantage for students, graduates and young professionals.
Matthew Barfield, Director & Founder of Intern Colombia highlights some of the key benefits.
Make your CV standout
Gaining professional experience in another country clearly distinguishes you from the rest in an increasingly competitive global labour market. Employers really want hands-on experience and to see how potential new hires have challenged themselves. Only a small number of students and graduates are opting to undertake an internship abroad. It demonstrates confidence, initiative, and interpersonal skills. These are all important attributes any potential future employer will be looking for in any career field.
Improve foreign language skills
Whether you become fluent or are just able to pick up the basics, your newly improved language skills will make you more marketable to future employers. Interning abroad and full cultural immersion is the best way to become fluent in a second language.You will be able to involve yourself with the local community and ingrain yourself with local people that live in your host country, resulting in a unique and authentic experience as a citizen rather than a visitor. Doing an internship with a company or organization in another country, gives you little choice but to speak, practice and master daily the language of your host country, and to fully immerse yourself in a foreign office.
Personal, academic, and professional growth
Jumping into a new culture is not easy, but a challenge well-worth undertaking. Great things happen outside of comfort zones. You will push the boundaries of what you’re capable of and grow in independence, giving you confidence to take on even bigger challenges in the future. These inter-cultural learning experiences lead to personal, academic, and professional development.
Expand your global network
An international internship will provide you with the opportunity to build a global network. This can introduce you to an entirely new network, and influential industry experts. You will also meet like-minded individuals from all over the world, who will be undertaking the same experience as you, which can lead to friendships that will last a lifetime, something which is invaluable for your future. More importantly, you will become a master at networking and sparking up friendships with people from all walks of life – a priceless asset to have.
A perfect way to experience and experiment a career field without making a serious commitment is through an internship abroad. You can gain insight into what it would be like to work in an industry and personally evaluate yourself to see if you’re a great fit. Even if you decide that the career field or industry is not right for you, you will learn a whole range of transferable skills that will leave a great impression on any potential future employer, and you will have a clearer idea about where you see yourself in the future.
Become a Global Citizen
Living an experience abroad will also expand your cross-cultural understanding and increase your global awareness and understanding the impact of global trends on local economies and local communities, this will enable you to better understand your cultural values and beliefs in a new context and also understand and respect others.
Earn academic credit & fulfill academic goals
Most universities will accept an internship abroad to support your academic credit and it can also form part of your university thesis. So, if you’re still at university you can connect an international internship experience to your academic life and goals.
To conclude, an international internship clearly demonstrates drive, passion and a willingness to step outside of comfort zones, all qualities that will take anybody far in the global job market. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop your personal and professional skills and will most certainly make you more marketable to future employers when looking