Interning and volunteering abroad fosters personal development, allows you to gain useful professional skills, and enables you to expand your horizons through cultural exchange and network building.
Whether you hope to work in finance, healthcare, education, environmental conservation, law, journalism, or another field, professional development travel can benefit you tremendously. It’s a rewarding personal and professional experience, and looks good to prospective employers.
As one intern that went through Intern Abroad HQ said about working in Bali:
“I feel that I have grown a lot personally in terms of being more independent, culturally aware and being more open to new ideas and proactive at everything I do. It was also an extremely eye-opening experience to me, as I was so close to the sustainability issues that are often discussed in lecture rooms but rarely experienced first-hand like I have in Bali.”
Read on to find out about the wonderful intern abroad opportunities across the world.
Requirements For Volunteering And Interning Abroad
For the majority of volunteer abroad programs and professional internships abroad, you must be at least 18 years old (some projects welcome high school students). Most of what you need to know is covered during orientation and initial training, though there may be stricter requirements for medical and legal internships, such as enrollment in at least a pre-med or pre-law program or some work experience.
Also, purchasing medical and travel insurance is generally required. Organizations may do a background check as well, especially if you’re going to be working with children. There may be visa requirements for certain destinations. Before applying to any intern or volunteer abroad program, be sure to review the requirements.
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For professional internships abroad in Latin America, Maximo Nivel is your go-to organization. They specialize in volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs in this region.
Maximo Nivel offers intern abroad programs in education, hospitality, human rights, medicine, micro-business, and special education. Destinations include:
- Costa Rica: With a solid economy and plenty of natural beauty, Costa Rica is an excellent place for professional development travel. Fees begin at $1,925 for four weeks.
- Antigua, Guatemala: Utilize your skills to help Guatemala’s economic, educational, and healthcare institutions develop and prosper. Fees begin at $1,495 for four weeks.
- Cusco, Peru: Head to the Cusco, once the political, economic, and cultural heart of the Inca Empire, and employ your expertise to help Peru create a better tomorrow. Fees begin at $1,525 for four weeks.
Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ is a trusted name in volunteering abroad. They’re known for their affordable, high-quality programs in exciting destinations, such as:
- Auckland, New Zealand: Intern on waterway conversation project, provide NGO support, or engage in environmental education. Fees begin at $885 for two weeks.
- Table View, South Africa: Volunteer on a special needs care project or in sports development. And enjoy the beach when you’re not interning. Fees begin at $265 for one week.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: Volunteer as a teacher or work in healthcare at a community-run charity clinic. Explore the bustling city during free time. Fees begin at $590 for two weeks.
When it comes professional development travel programs, Intern Abroad HQ is one of the most reputable organizations in the industry. From healthcare, engineering, and finance internships in Valencia, Spain (from $1,540 for two weeks) to business, media, and education internships in Tokyo, Japan (from $1,230 for four weeks), you’ll find all sorts of programs that align with your education, skills, and future goals.
For instance, if you plan to work in tourism and hospitality, look no further than Intern Abroad HQ’s internships in Dublin Ireland (from $1,298 for two weeks). Gain work experience in tourism operations while you have a great time seeing all the sites in the country.
An award-winning volunteer and intern abroad organization, Plan My Gap Year offers a variety of incredible opportunities, like all these projects in Thailand (includes an elephant conservation volunteer project that starts at $540 for one week). No matter what your interests are, you can find a program with PMGY.
For instance, if you’re interested in a career in childhood education, you could teach abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam (from $435 for two weeks). Or, you could work in childcare in Rabat, Morocco (from $225 for one week). Each program offers you the chance to boost your resume and gain experience, while getting to experience a historic city with lots of culture.
A UK-registered charity, Agape Volunteers features lots of high-quality intern, teaching and volunteer abroad programs in Africa. They have a great reputation in the volunteering industry thanks to their incredible commitment to making a real impact in Africa. Their programs are known for being quite affordable, too.
For instance, you could go to the bustling city of Nairobi, Kenya through one of Agape Volunteers’ programs. If you’re interested in professional medical internships abroad, the HIV prevention initiative and general medical volunteering project are solid choices. Or, if you want to teach abroad, Agape Volunteers offers sports coaching and teaching placementsin Nairobi as well. Prices for all programs begin at £590 pounds for one week.
Known for their incredible transparency and strong commitment to making a positive impact, Love Volunteers offers numerous intern and volunteer abroad experiences that can help develop your career. Choose among many great programs, including supporting Syrian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey (from $529 for one week) and volunteering in childcare development in Delhi, India (from $429 for one week).
Interested in a career in the sciences or environmental conservation? Head to New Zealandwith Love Volunteers and work to protect their amazing biodiversity (from $419 for one week).
Created by experienced volunteers to help fellow travelers contribute to the communities they visit, GoEco is a top-rated organization with plenty of great intern, volunteer, and teach abroad programs.
For example, if you’re looking to intern or volunteer abroad in Israel, GoEco has food donation projects ongoing in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (from $720 for one week). As a worker, you’ll prepare and distribute food baskets to families in need across Israel. During free time, experience historic Jerusalem or happening Tel Aviv.
GoEco also has an excellent project in South Africa, called the Cape Town Girl Empowerment program (from $1,530 for two weeks). The aim of the project is to improve the lives of young and adolescent girls by equipping them with the skills and confidence necessary to succeed and play a bigger role in South African society.
As the world’s largest international volunteering and internship provider, Projects Abroad is a go-to organization for professional internships abroad. They’ve been running since the early 1990s and now have lots of exceptional intern projects, like:
- Business internship in Guadalajara, Mexico: Work at a consultancy firm and help private companies, NGOs, and government agencies improve their operations. Fees start at $3,555 for four weeks.
- Law and human rights internship in Cape Town, South Africa: Learn about the South African legal system as you help provide legal services to disadvantaged people. Fees start at $3,365 for two weeks.
- Medicine internship in Shanghai, China: See how Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine work together to treat patients. Experience the vibrant city of Shanghai when you’re not busy. Fees start at $3,365 for two weeks.
As their name suggests, The Intern Group is specifically focused on professional internships abroad. They have award-winning programs across the world and have been featured in major publications, such as Bloomberg, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal.
You can apply for positions with The Intern Group here. Listed below are top cities for internships offered by The Intern Group (prices in local currencies):
Internships in London, England
Gain vital work experience in one of the world’s most important cities. Choose among many industries, such as engineering, financial services, or law. Program fees begin at £3,690 pounds for six weeks (£4,070 during the summer).
Internships in Barcelona, Spain
Enjoy the wonderful arts, historic sites, and tasty cuisine of Barcelona as your work in your field of choice. The Intern Group partners with a variety of local companies to ensure you can find a suitable program. Fees begin at €3,990 euros for six weeks.
Internships in New York City, USA
Looking for a fast-paced international internship? Whether you’re an expert in fashion, international business, journalism, or IT, you can find something in The City That Never Sleeps. Prices begin at $6,910 US dollars (shared room) and $8,290 (private room) for eight weeks.
Internships in Tokyo, Japan
A hub of commerce, finance, communications, engineering, and innovation, Tokyo is a great destination for professional internships abroad. You also have the opportunity to study Japanese during the program. Prices begin at ¥530,000 yen for six weeks.
Internships in Hong Kong, China
An economic powerhouse, Hong Kong offers those looking to intern abroad a range of opportunities, especially in fields like international finance, logistics, tourism, and real estate. The city is also top-notch when it comes to cuisine and entertainment. Fees begin at $38,600 Hong Kong dollars ($39,655 during summer).
Without a doubt, Frontier is one of the most well-regarded names in volunteering. Launched in 1989, they’ve placed more than 100,000 people in their travel, intern, volunteer, and teach abroad programs.
If you want your internship to be a true adventure, Frontier is a great choice. Notable professional internships abroad include:
- Marketing and advertising internship in Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong, where East meets West, is one of the most prominent financial centers in the world and a great place to fuse travel fun with business. This project places you in a local agency and allows you to hone your skills as you work on marketing and ad campaigns. Prices start from $6,795 for eight weeks.
- Sports coaching in Nairobi, Kenya: If you’re looking for a teach abroad program in a dynamic city, this program in Nairobi is a great choice. The city is the cosmopolitan hub of East Africa. Through this program, you can coach the youth of Nairobi a wonderful game and teach them in the classroom. Use your skills to empower them to a bright future. Prices start from $1,045 for two weeks.
Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) is a leader in travel and volunteer abroad programs for teens and high school students. Their programs aim to empower you to serve, learn and explore, and are thoughtfully designed to provide you with an amazing time.
Some noteworthy experiences are:
- Spain: Spanish Service in Action™ in Toledo: Head to the ancient city of Toledo, where you can learn Spanish through hands-on cultural learning activities. You’ll also do some community service while there. Tuition is $4,399 for the 14-day program ($6,299 for 21 days).
- Cuba: Land of Discovery™ in Havana: Participate in community initiatives as you discover authentic Cuba. From helping out with art projects that support families in need to learning Latin dance moves, this travel adventure will provide you with one-of-a-kind experiences. Tuition is $4,899 for 14 days.
Global Vision International (GVI) has become a leading volunteer and intern abroad organization since opening their doors in 1998. They aim to help you boost your career while making a positive impact on the world.
GVI specifically has some great intern abroad programs in South Africa, including a:
- Business management internship in Cape Town (from $4,345 for four weeks): Partner with South African entrepreneurs and help them become successful businesspeople. Gain real-world experience and intercultural competency during the program. Check out Cape Town during free time by hiking Table Mountain, touring Robben Island, and more.
- Wildlife conservation internship in Limpopo Province (from $5,345 for six weeks): Work on a private Big 5 reserve and assist with efforts to create long-term, sustainable conservation strategies. You can literally wake up to the sound of roaring lions!
Choosing The Right Volunteer Or Internship Abroad Program
Volunteering or interning abroad can be a truly magnificent experience. To get the most out of professional development travel, consider your skills, goals, budget, interests, and where your expertise has the greatest use. Whether it’s career training in London or teaching in Kenya, you can discover the perfect program if you do your research.
Ready to plan a volunteer or internship trip? Sign up on Volunteer Forever for an account. You can start fundraising to reduce expenses for traveling abroad. And you can be packing your bags in no time!
Nick Callos · Writer
With a BA in English Literature & Writing from Boston College, Nick researches and writes about volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs worldwide. He has studied abroad and taught English in Chengdu, China, and aims to help fellow travelers make a lasting impact on the communities they visit.