Friday, April 29, 2016


In today’s competitive job market, it’s becoming even harder to make yourself stand out from thousands of applicants with similar qualifications. Catching an employer’s eye is all about having something unique and yet relevant to their company on your CV. Whether you’re struggling to find a graduate scheme, it’s an integral part of your degree, or you just want to make the most out of your three month summer break: completing an internship abroad will not only give you an advantage when it comes to applying for certain jobs, but it also gives you valuable life skills and an experience that you’ll never forget.

How to find an internship abroad
Make use of the careers office at your university. They will advertise any openings, or put you in touch with other students who have had placements abroad in the past. Don’t just leave it there though - they are there to help, so use them! Give them your application to look over and they may give you some useful tips.
Another way to find opportunities is on career pages of well-known international companies. Amazon, Google and L’Oreal are just some examples of businesses that regularly look for interns to work across the globe.

But why should I consider an internship abroad?
Being young is all about travelling, gaining experience and having fun. But when you need to find a way to improve your CV, panic strikes and it’s easy to settle for the simplest option and find something close to you. Take a step back. Breathe. And discover what an internship abroad will arm you with:

  • A global perspective on business
No matter what your degree focuses on, whether it’s law or chemical engineering - globalisation means that nowadays many companies have branches all over the world. With experience working in a foreign country, you will get an insight into how overseas companies work - a great thing to show prospective employers.

  • Language skills
You don’t need to be fluent in the local language to find international internships as many companies are English-speaking these days. But if you’re heading out to a new country, picking up basic words and phrases is easy, and if you want to learn more then you’re in the best place to improve! The ability to speak more than one language is also a great skill to have on your CV.

  • The ability to rise up to a challenge
It’s not easy to live abroad - it’s definitely a challenge, but a fun one nevertheless. Not only does it build your character, but it also proves your dedication and hard work. It shows that you are competent working anywhere in the world, and also outside your comfort zone. This could lead to higher and better paid jobs in your future career.

  • International contacts
Networking is important throughout university, especially if you’re looking to get a foot in the door in a competitive career path. The bigger your network, the better, and if they’re international you may well get more future opportunities than you would in your home country alone!

  • Experience of a different culture
No two countries are the same. Travelling through won’t give you an insight into the way of life. Living there, however, will. The opportunity to explore and learn about a new culture will not only broaden your knowledge of the world, but is also exciting and fun. You’ll make lifelong friends and go home with a new perspective on your own country.  

  • Adventures
An international internship is a great way to travel, while not leaving a gap in your CV. Weekends/holiday and public bank holidays give you an excellent opportunity to see more of the country you work in, and its neighbours. Slightly more fun than staying in a place you know all too well at home.

  • Pay
Probably the best thing: many international internships are actually paid. While in the UK it can be hard to find a well paid internship, there are many that will pay you overseas. Don’t expect to be earning a lot, but many will give you at least enough to cover rent. Don’t be scared to ask if they will fund transport too - after all, if you get the internship, they want you to be there! There are also many scholarships available from universities and local councils. Do some research online and you’ll realise that you don’t have to be rich to survive an international internship.

The prospect of completing an internship abroad can be daunting, but with so much to offer they can be a valuable experience to take with you into your future career. So why not try something a bit different and go international - it might just be the start of your next big adventure!


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