2017 Best Internships Abroad: Medical Care, Marine Biology & More
Internships are among the best ways you can gain experience in your degree or preferred career before entering the job market full-time. Not only will you learn what day-to-day work might look like for professionals in your field, but you’ll also develop valuable connections with people who can teach you new skills, mentor you as a young professional, and build your network for the job hunt later.
While most students opt for a local internship, international internships can be an amazing way to build your skills, add to your resume, immerse yourself in a different culture, and directly contribute to work being done on a global level.
You won’t just be making copies or taking coffee orders on an international internship. The programs outlined below are much more immersive, and in many cases, you may be taking on a higher level of work that can be expected of full-time staffers. A few internships you can pursue abroad include:
Shadowing medical professionals at a hospital or clinic, and even assisting with basic services
Providing administrative assistance for a law firm or an NGO dedicated to human rights
Developing lesson plans and teaching in a classroom at a private school
Researching and collecting data to protect marine animal populations and coral reefs
Helping with reporting, editing, graphic design, and distribution of a magazine
All of the organizations featured in this article offer assistance to work with your college or university to arrange academic credit upon successful completion of your internship. Most of the internships listed here last four weeks or longer, and can be a perfect opportunity to spend your summer or a semester abroad. Through these internships, you will have guidance from intern coordinators and project staff, scheduled check-ins to ensure you’re gaining the most you can from your program, and even a final project to show what you’ve learned and highlight what you’ve accomplished.
An Affordable Way to Travel
If you have wanderlust but you’re on a shoestring budget, an internship abroad can be an amazing way both to explore the world and to gain hands-on experience in your future career. In my case, studying abroad was far too expensive, so I opted instead to pursue a summer marine research internship in Costa Rica. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel outside of the US for the first time in my life, live at a research station on the beach with conservationists and scientists, learn about environmental protection, and work alongside volunteers from all over the world, all for about $100 per week for training, food, and lodging.
Ready to jump into an internship abroad? Check out these programs to learn more and get started!
One excellent organization you should check out if you want to intern abroad is Global Vision International (GVI). In addition to internships, GVI offers volunteer programs and under-18s placements for younger travelers. So far, more than 24,000 travelers have signed up with GVI since its founding in 1997, on programs ranging from environmental conservation, to teaching, to healthcare, and much more.
GVI currently offers internships in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Australasia, with a focus on developing teamwork and leadership skills while giving real-world experience on degree-related programs. Through GVI’s intern abroad programs, you’ll receive an exclusive leadership training course, all necessary field training and equipment, weekly one-on-one staff mentorship sessions, a professional recommendation on completion of your internship, and even the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organizations. You also may be able to receive academic credit for your internship.
If you’re interested in marine biology, conservation, or being part of the diving industry, an internship with GVI is a great place to gain experience and get a head-start on your career. Right now, GVI has marine conservation internships available at research bases in Mexico, Seychelles, Fiji, and Thailand, where you can collect data to establish marine protected areas, conduct surveys on coral and fish species, and perform recovery research. GVI also provides Professional Dive Training on their Divemaster Internships, Instructor Development Course (IDC) and Master Scuba Diver Trainer course (MSDT), with placements at local dive centers to help expand your knowledge of marine conservation and diving.
GVI also offers a community development internship for students who’d like to gain experience in education, healthcare, women’s empowerment, and sustainable environmental practices. A few community development internships you can sign up for right now include mentoring children in India and Nepal, teaching in Laos, Fiji, South Africa or Costa Rica, or helping local community organizations in a variety of countries with sustainable programs to benefit their environment.
Another internship you can sign up for right now with GVI focuses on construction - whether you’re interested in building, construction, or community work, this is a great way to gain practical experience in a developing country. GVI is currently offering construction internships in India, Nepal, Costa Rica, and Fiji, where you can renovate buildings, assist with community building programs, and help with outreach about sustainable living and improved sanitation.
Learn more about internships abroad with GVI at: www.gviusa.com/internships-abroad
Founded in 2003, Maximo Nivel offers a variety of impactful programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru for travelers who want to volunteer, intern, teach, study, or even learn Spanish. So far, 25,000 travelers have signed up with Maximo Nivel, which offers very affordable placements starting from just $1,525 for a four-week internship, depending on where you’d like to travel.
Maximo Nivel’s internship programs help you develop professional skills in several different fields - they’re also a great way to learn Spanish, which can help set you apart in the job market. Internships are personalized for each participant, ensuring that you can gain the most from your experience abroad. Right now, Maximo Nivel offers four- and eight-week (or longer) internships, which include daily practical work, private Spanish lessons, final project, internship advisor to guide you through your program, letter of recommendation, and much more.
Through Maximo Nivel’s medical internship, you can travel to Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru for four weeks or longer while gaining real-world experience and learning about medical practices. You’ll be placed in a hospital, clinic, private practice, or an assisted living facility, and will work with a local medical professional to learn about their day-to-day activities. Depending on what’s needed at your internship site, your tasks may include consultations, health education, and administrative assistance. Internships focusing on dental care and physical therapy are available on a limited basis. To sign up, you must have intermediate Spanish language background and you must be enrolled in a college or university program in the medical, healthcare, or dental field, or be a licensed medical professional.
If you’re passionate about human rights, Maximo Nivel may have the perfect internship for you: this internship allows you to work with a community organization, government agency, or an NGO to promote change through social justice and empowerment. As an intern, you will focus on community outreach, education, research, and fundraising, and will have the opportunity to learn about politics, religion, gender, and ethnicity in Latin America. To sign up, you must be enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program in social work, international development, or a related field, and you also must have intermediate Spanish language ability.
Maximo Nivel also offers an excellent education internship in each of its three locations in Central and South America, where you’ll have the opportunity to gain classroom experience and teach a variety of subjects to students of all ages. You’ll be placed in an English-speaking classroom at a private school, where you will work alongside local teachers to develop lesson plans and teach the students. You’ll also receive valuable feedback to help improve your skills as a teacher, and you’ll have the chance to learn about school curricula and standards, family and community challenges, and methods of measuring students’ educational development. This internship lasts four weeks or longer, and is open to students in bachelor’s or master’s programs in education, secondary education, or a related field.
To learn more about internships abroad with Maximo Nivel, please click here: https://maximonivel.com/internships
Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) is another excellent organization that offers internships for students who want to learn and build their career opportunities abroad. Since 2007, Volunteering Solutions has placed nearly 12,000 travelers on 122 different volunteer and intern programs in 21 countries around the world.
VolSol also is extremely affordable to students on a budget: depending on where you travel, international internships with Volunteering Solutions start from just $460 for your first two weeks. Right now, Volunteering Solutions offers internships in India, Nepal, Peru, and Thailand for students interested in healthcare and medical care, dental electives, physiotherapy, veterinary care, and journalism and media.
If you’re studying journalism, marketing, graphic design, or a related field, Volunteering Solutions’ journalism internship in Chiang Mai, Thailand can be a great way to gain experience and start building your career. You’ll be able to work one month or longer with local and international staff at a magazine publishing house on several different projects such as editorial, multimedia design, print and design, and marketing. You can expect to work a full-time schedule each weekday, and will be able to directly contribute to the publication of this magazine.
Another internship you can take on with Volunteering Solutions is their dental elective in Peru. Perfect for students studying dentistry, this program invites you to shadow a local professional and assist with sterilization of supplies, as well as hands-on tasks such as cleanings, extractions, and more depending on your experience and comfort level. As an intern, you’ll also have the chance to visit public schools and kindergartens to teach about oral hygiene practices.
Volsol’s medical internship in Bangkok is open to pre-med and medical students interested in gaining hands-on experience in a hospital overseas. There are several different departments you will be able to work in, including psychiatry, pediatrics, outpatient, ophthalmology, emergency medicine, family medicine, and others. If you’re a pre-med student, you will shadow a local doctor or nurse, and if you’re a medical student in your third or fourth year, or if you’re a nursing student, you may be able to gain more direct experience with tasks such as suturing, giving vaccinations, measuring blood pressure, and more. You also will be able to help with routine check-ups, conducting hospital rounds with the doctors, maintaining files, and assisting with other day-to-day activities.
To learn more about internships abroad with Volunteering Solutions, please click here: www.volunteeringsolutions.com/intern-abroad
Love Volunteers is one of the fastest growing and most affordable volunteer and intern abroad organizations in the world, with more than 20,000 travelers placed worldwide since 2009. They currently host more than 120 projects in 34 countries around the world - in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas - and just in the past year, they sent more than 4,000 travelers abroad. Love Volunteers offers many different internships abroad, in areas such as journalism, medical and healthcare, dental care, and more.
If you’re studying journalism or media, you’re invited to apply for Love Volunteers’ journalism internship in Morocco. Through this internship, you’ll have the chance to work at a news agency such as Skye News and Morocco World News, with focus areas depending on your background experience. You also will work with an internship mentor, who will guide you through work in content editing, writing articles, operating social media pages, editing videos and images, marketing strategy, and much more. You must be able to stay at least four weeks or longer, and you can choose to stay with a host family or in a volunteer house.
Love Volunteers also offers a wonderful internship opportunity in Costa Rica for students interested in entering medical or healthcare fields. Through this internship, you will visit the northern highlands and work in a rural clinic or hospital. This program is best for third-year medical students, or doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and dentists interested in gaining experience abroad. While you provide medical support for a community in need, you’ll also gain hands-on medical experience and learn about practices you can bring back to your home country.
Based in Delhi, this medical internship is a great way to gain experience and learn new techniques in medical care. As an intern, you will work in a large hospital in South Delhi, where you will be paired with a local doctor, nurse, or other medical professional who you will learn from through observation and basic assistance. A few departments where you can work include emergency, pharmacy, radiology, critical care, nursing, physiotherapy, and many others.
To learn more about international internships with Love Volunteers, please visit: www.lovevolunteers.org
Since 1994, i-to-i has offered TEFL certification, adventure trips, paid internships, and jobs for travelers who want to teach English abroad. So far, more than 175,000 graduates have completed i-to-i’s accredited TEFL courses, with certificates recognized by thousands of employers worldwide. i-to-i also has an impressive 90% approval rating from their past participants and students who have embarked on amazing journeys such as four- to five-month trips to China and Vietnam, and even shorter-term TEFL experience trips to Thailand, Cambodia, and several other countries. I-to-i offers paid internships for students who are interested in becoming TEFL certified, and gaining hands-on experience teaching in a classroom overseas.
One of i-to-i’s amazing English teaching internships invites you to China, where you will earn your TEFL certificate and teach in a classroom for five months. This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and gain valuable experience teaching abroad. To start, you will take i-to-i’s 120-hour online course, accompanied by 20 hours of classroom teaching over two days in China to receive your TEFL certification. After that, you will travel to one of i-to-i’s partner schools across China, where you’ll teach five days per week over the next five months. You’ll also receive accommodation, meals, and a living allowance of about $260 per month - plus a completion bonus of $320 at the end of your internship.
Another internship you can sign up for right now with i-to-i is their TEFL internship in Vietnam. As with i-to-i’s paid internship in China, you’ll begin with 120 hours of online training followed by 20 hours of classroom training in Vietnam, which will not only let you earn certification, but also help you teach confidently. After that, you’ll begin your teaching experience, where you can work with students aged 4 to 18. Each month, you’ll earn a living allowance of $700, plus housing with fellow interns.
To learn more about paid internships abroad with i-to-i, please visit: www.i-to-i.com/teach-and-travel-abroad/teaching-internships
Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad is one of the largest and longest-running volunteer and intern abroad organizations in the world. Each year, Projects Abroad places more than 10,000 travelers throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. As an intern with Projects Abroad, you’ll have the chance to build your resume, gain new skills, take on practical experience, and engage in cultural exchange within your host community. There currently are more than 30 different internships you can choose from, and you’re welcome to sign up any time of the year, and can even earn university credit through your work.
Through this internship, you will work at Sante Medical Center, a private clinic in Addis Ababa. During your stay, you’ll learn about different health conditions and treatments, particularly hemodialysis and HIV/AIDS. As an intern, you will shadow local doctors in different departments, including general medicine, nursing, and the laboratory - the exact types of work that you’ll take on will depend on your background experience and what’s needed at the clinic during your internship.
Based in the capital city of Phnom Penh, this internship gives you the chance to work with a humanitarian organization dedicated to human rights law. This is a perfect program for students who have completed at least three years of undergraduate work in a related area, or if you’re a recent graduate or have relevant work experience and would like to gain a broader perspective of human rights work. Through your internship, you will work alongside local staff who consult individuals about their rights in housing and land issues - the types of work that you’ll take on depend on the organization you’ll work with as well as your background experience.
Based in Manchester, this internship is open to students who have completed at least one year of related studies in an undergraduate program, such as geography, physical planning, international development, urban planning, disaster management, or environmental science. As an intern, your area of focus will be on addressing individual and community resilience to disasters - particularly among women, children, the elderly, and disabled - through education about disaster preparedness and response.
To learn more about internships overseas with Projects Abroad, please visit: www.projects-abroad.org
If you’re looking for an internship abroad that’s unique, exotic, and off the beaten path, check out Fronteering, which offers volunteer and internship projects in 14 different countries. This organization offers impactful programs for travelers who want to visit unspoiled locations and make a positive difference in environmental conservation, wildlife research, indigenous communities, and much more. Fronteering offers affordable and flexible internship placements abroad, with opportunities lasting up to six months.
If you’ve always wanted to visit the Amazon, Fronteering offers an internship where you can help with bush dog research and monitoring in the rainforest. A few of your tasks as an intern may include setting camera traps, collecting data, helping with community activities, performing research, and much more. This South American internship starts from one week at $695, and you’re invited to stay up to six weeks to help further research, get to know the community, and truly immerse yourself in the Amazon Rainforest.
On this internship, you will travel to Ghana to work in a local hospital, which is understaffed and in need of assistance. For four to eight weeks, you’ll intern as a medical or healthcare assistant, with tasks including taking vital signs, performing abdominal scans, setting trays for different procedures, assisting in labor and delivery, and helping with administration of medications, depending on your background experience. Also included in this trip is a two-day visit to the tropical rainforests of Kakum National Park.
To learn more about internships abroad with Fronteering, please visit: http://fronteering.com
A Broader View is another impactful organization you should definitely check out if you want to gain experience through an internship abroad. Since 2007, A Broader View has placed travelers in more than 20 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with placements customized to interns’ and volunteers’ interests and background experience. This nonprofit organization partners with NGOs, private institutions, and community organizations to provide the most meaningful and sustainable placements possible for their participants. You can choose from a wide variety of internships with A Broader View, spanning from medical care, to conservation, to special needs support, and beyond.
If you’re passionate about environmental conservation and wildlife protection, consider this sea turtle internship in Costa Rica. On this program, you will help volunteers with their work on an ongoing conservation project, learn about data collection practices and basic biology of sea turtles, participate in data collection and monitoring at the beach, help with release of baby sea turtles from hatcheries, record and review information, and much more. This internship lasts 12 weeks with start dates available year-round.
This internship is excellent for students and professionals who want to gain medical and nursing experience abroad. Based in Quito, you will work in a hospital that cares for impoverished patients - a few tasks you’ll learn how to do include taking vital signs, blood sampling, suturing wounds, and more. Departments you may work with include internal medicine, hospitalization, pediatrics, gynecology, physiotherapy, pathology, dentistry, and others. At the completion of your internship, you will receive a certificate issued by the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador. This internship lasts two to 12 weeks, with start dates available year-round.
To learn more about international internships with A Broader View, please visit: www.abroaderview.org
Founded in 1989, Frontier invites international interns and other travelers to work with researchers and local communities in the areas of capacity building, ecosystem protection, community development, economic growth, and development of civil society. This nonprofit scientific research organization got its start with a marine park in Tanzania, and more than 25 years later hosts more than 400 projects in 72 countries worldwide. Frontier’s internships abroad start from just $845 for your first six weeks abroad, depending on where you travel, and can focus on journalism and media, hospitality, medicine, veterinary care, and much more.
If you’re interested in media and journalism, check out Frontier’s NGO internship in Costa Rica - through this program, you’ll work as a field journalist, recording day-to-day activities and recording and documenting work and social activities of volunteers at your host organization. A few areas you can focus on, depending on your skills and experience, include article production, photography, videography, and blogging or vlogging. This internship lasts two months or longer, and is a great way to break into travel journalism in particular.
On this internship, you will travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where you’ll work with a program dedicated to helping children build better futures for themselves and break the cycle of poverty. As an intern, you will work with an NGO to teach children who cannot afford an education. You’ll help educate them in a variety of subjects, including English, and you’ll have the chance to be creative and inspiring with your lesson plans, homework assignments, and extracurricular activities. To apply for this two-month placement, you must have relevant academic and teaching qualifications to at least a degree level, as well as some experience working in a school. This is an excellent way to earn TEFL certification so you can find paid work teaching English abroad later.
To learn more about international internships with Frontier, please visit: https://frontiergap.com
Global Nomadic offers affordable, impactful volunteer and intern abroad placements for travelers who want to expand their education and get a head start on their career while also doing good for communities in need. As an intern with Global Nomadic, you’ll work in partnership with local NGOs on projects relating to your degree or career goals, with placement costs as minimal as possible in keeping with a student, gap year, or career breaker budget--covering your support before, during, and after your program abroad. Right now, Global Nomadic offers internships in wildlife rehabilitation, environmental conservation, marine conservation, veterinary care, healthcare, media and journalism, human rights and law, business, NGO assistance, and hospitality.
If you’re pursuing a degree in marine biology or related research, Global Nomadic is offering the opportunity to work with endangered sea turtles in Guatemala. As an intern, you will work alongside scientists and biologists in the areas of sea turtle conservation and research, caiman and iguana breeding, environmental education, and community initiatives such as water treatment, ecotourism, school construction, and lots more. This internship lasts one week or longer, and is open for application any time throughout the year.
Another excellent internship to check out with Global Nomadic invites you to Thailand, where you can study and work in photography and journalism. For three months, you will work as an intern with a PR company in Bangkok to prepare photo material for PR and marketing campaigns. A few of your tasks may include finding and editing images, selecting subjects and equipment, writing articles, and other work in collaboration with the sales team. Thai language classes are offered as part of this internship - a very helpful skill for interacting with customers and attending networking events.
For more information about internships abroad with Global Nomadic, please visit: https://globalnomadic.com
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