Intern Life: Traveling, What Does it Really Mean?

The following is blog from a current intern, Charlie I., who is doing an International Business internship program in Barcelona. 

Traveling

The modern economies of many states today rely on tourism as cash cows in their portfolios. Globalization and technological innovation allow for the free-flow of human capital and ideas across cultural borders. Theorists suggest this will reduce the threat of violence and create gains from trade. Meanwhile, global unemployment and inequality continue to be problems. The internet has condensed the information contained in libraries into the pocket of every smartphone user. Social media has turned the foundations of personal relationship building and maintaining on its head. Many problems of the past will be easily solvable for institutions because of advancements in computing power, while it also has the power to render entire labor markets obsolete. This places compensating differentials on human talents. The 21st century brings along with it cultural wars, global warming, and economic fragility. The time to ponder the tough questions is now, and traveling allows it to happen freely. Nobody wants to live a life of delusion. That is why traveling can be a necessary disruption in the banality of knowing only one culture.

“What do you want to do in life?” is a common question college students face. A typical answer is, “Travel the world”. What does this mean? Going on a family vacation to Disneyworld is not the same thing as natural disaster relief work; yet, both are defined as travel. Knowing what you want to get out of a trip will help narrow down the available possibilities. For college students, options include studying abroad, backpacking, Woofing, Gap Years, work programs, internships, Teaching ESL, volunteering, and plenty more. A few months abroad will help students who know they like travelling to figure out what it is about travelling that they like. For people who don’t like to travel, spending time overseas can do one of two things: help solidify the pre-existing notion that getting out of the comfort zone is a nightmare, or form new opinions about the possibilities of other cultures having things to enjoy.

Budgets will need to be made, saved for, and spent, but in the end, it’s better to die with experience than money. There are significant differences in what each program offers. Schooling abroad is a default choice, but actually doing homework and focusing on grades can be painstakingly strenuous. We would all like to spend our holiday lounging by the pool in a luxury hotel, but that’s easier said than paid for. It is important to consider learning valuable skills for strategic resume building(a new language). A job or volunteer position abroad can be an interesting stand-out item for the CV. Some people prefer a homestay, where life will be simplistic with home cooked meals, compared to living in an apartment or shared flat where independence is abundant. Isolation and immersion can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Introverts can learn to come out of their shell, and extroverts can learn to thrive in solitude. It would be foolish to not completely assess the risks as well. Talking directly with the people whose job it is to send students abroad will provide the detailed questions and answers.

Graduation can be a slap-in-the-face realization for people. The pressure is on. It’s time to select a career and then maybe a spouse. It’s not a good time to have an emotional breakdown. Don’t avoid thinking hard about the core of your character, as it will affect the types of relationships, personal and professional, fostered throughout life. These things will undoubtedly impact life’s happiness like a meteor.

Living in a foreign country for  at least a three months allows a fresh kind of freedom to arise. The conscious boat will be rocked, so to speak. It is true that the food, wine, books, adventure, relationships, and beaches are “the fruits of life”, and experiencing them in new ways can shape your life’s definition of success. A global network of associates never hurt anyone’s chances of success, either. Having a great, safe travel experience will depend on awareness and action. Going independently means that other people’s preferences will never be the trump card in deciding what happens. Focus is heightened. The consequences are real. It erases the controlling environment of home, and forces unabridged intrapersonal and oft repressed realities into conscious clarity. The familiar people in life shape our thoughts, styles, sayings, preferences, and tangibly speaking, our brains. None of these familiar vectors will be present once the plane takes off, and that moment will be the freest you have ever felt.

– Charlie I.

 

5 Unique Internships to do Abroad

 

(Art project in Oaxaca)

In May, we wrote our first installment of one-of-a-kind internships you probably didn’t know you could do abroad… many people don’t know we offer a wide range of internship opportunities across varying fields and sectors. Here are 5 unique internships to do abroad that fly under the radar.

1. Pharmacy

One of the big selling points of any  pharmacy/medical internship abroad is that you will be exposed/be able to do way more in an international medical setting than in any medical internship stateside. For example, one of our recent medical interns was entrusted to suture a patient! In pharmacy, you’ll be able to dispense medicine and assist medical practitioners. Another key point is experiencing first-hand how pharmacy practices differ in Europe in comparison to the United States.

(Intern in Madrid)

2. Information Technology

IT is a rapidly growing industry and one way you can set yourself up for future success is by doing an international internship in the field. Internships in IT include programming, software design, IT user support, system maintenance, web development and testing, and more! We guarantee an internship, especially one overseas, will make you a more marketable IT professional.

(Intern in Madrid, BarcelonaSeville, Viña del Mar/Valparaiso)

3. Journalism & Media

Did you know you could intern at Dow Jones (*Barcelona only) or perhaps Spanish TV game shows? Our journalism and media internships are among the most diverse in terms of the placements we offer. You could find yourself at an online publication, lifestyle magazine, or a local TV/radio station. No matter where you are placed, you’ll be in a fast-paced environment. Completing a journalism/media internship is remarkable enough, completing one overseas while speaking Spanish is even more impressive.

(Intern in Madrid, BarcelonaSeville, Viña del Mar/Valparaiso)

4. Art

One of the fundamental beauties of art is being able to appreciate the different mediums of how people express themselves, particularly with how artistic expression differs around the world. In these placements, you will have the opportunity to assist sculptors, photographers, or painters in their studios. You can also teach art to under-served populations or even create your own masterpiece painting murals with at-risk youth. Depending on your artistic medium of choice, we’re confident we will be able to find a placement for you.

(Intern in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Oaxaca, Viña del Mar/Valparaiso)

5. Archaeology

Prospective archaeologists look no further. Archaeology is one of our more rare internships that we place in, but rest assured, we’ve placed in this field before. As an example, in Oaxaca, interns will work on the preservation, restoration, and organization of archaeological sites and museums around Oaxaca. Here, government entities are more common to work in (as opposed to private sector entities) as there is much reconstruction and renovation in demand. If you have specific interests in this field, we’d be happy to hear them and look into finding the right placement for you!

(Intern in BarcelonaSevilleOaxaca, Costa RicaViña del Mar/Valparaiso)

**** NOTE: clicking on each destination below the field/sector will take you to the respective program page in that location. Scroll down that page to view your field of interest and read more information about our program in that field.

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What do you think about these 5 unique internships to do abroad? Would participate in such a program? If there are any other unique placements you’ve heard of or want to see in this list, let us know in the comments below!