Updated for 2020
Internships are among the best ways you can gain work 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. And in the case of paid internships abroad, you will be able to earn money in the process.
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 of the best 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 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 internship abroad studying marine research 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!