3 Reasons Students Should Intern Abroad

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Internships are an upgrade from studying abroad when individuals are in college. Participating in an internship offers a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in cultures in different countries, skill development, and self reflection/ discovery. This blog will dive into why college students should explore the opportunity of interning abroad.

1. Cultural Immersion

Cultural immersion is one of the biggest takeaways from interning abroad. Life in different countries allows college students to understand diverse cultures, customs, and perspectives. By working in another country, individuals are forced to think in new ways and problem solve which is incredibly valuable in today’s society.

By immersing oneself in new cultures, students are put in the perfect environment to build cultural sensitivity and empathy because of their differing backgrounds. This transformative experience helps students embrace diversity because they participate in cultural festivities, try new foods, and learn new languages.

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2. Professional Development

One of the main reasons that college students will intern abroad is because of professional development. In other countries, there are different work cultures and industries that may not be available in the student’s home country. 

When returning home, employers value applicants who have work experience in a different country because these internships place candidates in situations where they need to be able to adapt, show resilience, and develop cross-cultural communication skills. All of these traits will help students stand out by companies especially in a competitive job market. These students build a network of contacts, allowing them more opportunities in the future when looking for jobs.

Just like any job, internships will put individuals in positions to participate in projects for the benefit of the company. They become part of the team and develop new skills which can be taken back home when applying for jobs. Whether it is becoming part of the team, perfecting language skills, or gaining experience, the professional development when interning abroad is drastic.

3. Personal Growth and Self-Discovery

Out of the three reasons college students should study abroad, this might be the most important. Outside of professional development, students will also grow personally and evolve for the better. Starting out, exploring an unknown place can be out of one’s comfort zone but the challenge can be extremely rewarding. Unlike studying abroad, interning in another country requires the participant to live on their own which means cooking and cleaning for themselves. Additionally, problem solving skills are heightened as living in another country may bring forth language barriers. If a situation arises, you will be forced to handle it on your own. All of these attributes will ultimately build confidence and mental toughness.

Self-reflection and introspection are at the height of participating in an internship abroad. These help individuals navigate the complexities of cross-cultural communication. Internships abroad help challenge stereotypes and how individuals may perceive other countries. Students will get a better understanding of the world as a whole and where they fit in it. Once students return, they have a newfound sense of independence, maturity, and global perspective.

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All in all, interning in another country while in college will include opportunities such as cultural immersion, professional growth and personal growth. Students who venture beyond their comfort zone will expand their horizons, enhance their skills, and understand the connection between our countries and the world. Whether it’s through exploring new cultures, gaining valuable work experience, or embarking on a journey of self-discovery, internships abroad have the power to shape students’ lives in profound and meaningful ways.

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