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!

How To Get In The Right Mindset Before Your Overseas Internship

 

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How to Get in the Right Mindset Before Your Overseas Internship

A little bit of preparation can go a long way. Getting in the right mindset before embarking on an overseas internship is crucial in terms of maximizing the benefits of what will surely be an experience of a lifetime. Here are some tips on how to do this, based on our experience:

1. Curb Your Internship Expectations – Of course you want to make a huge impact in the organization you intern with… but the truth is, not all companies (domestic or international) will entrust you to carry out essential tasks right out of the gate. Don’t let that discourage you.

What to do instead: Take it in stride. Show up on time, observe, ask, learn from everything and all those around you as much as you can to take away something meaningful.

2. Get Ready to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone – It’s not easy, but be prepared to try things your normal self typically wouldn’t. You’re already undertaking something most people wouldn’t by doing an international internship. Why not go all out and make the best of it all? A common theme from travelers is being really glad they experienced things that they wouldn’t necessarily try under normal circumstances; don’t be afraid to take a page out of their book and be adventurous!

3. Living Arrangements: Be Respectful of Others! – This one may sound funny or even common sense, but take it from us… you don’t want to turn your living arrangements into a nightmare. The people you live with can either be your best friends or your worst enemies; same goes for your temporary landlord. An easy way to make sure the latter doesn’t happen is to be respectful and considerate of others’ space, privacy, and property. This may be the simplest of our suggestions, but trust us… it can go a long way.

4. If There Are Things You Want To Do/See, Make A Few Plans! – It’s unbelievable how fast time flies by in general, let alone when you’re overseas. Set aside some time and maybe a few plans to do all the things you know you definitely want to do. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have all the time in the world then next thing you know, you’re getting ready to come back home without having the chance to experience all that you wanted.

5. Say No To English (If You’re In A Spanish Speaking Country)! – You’ll have plenty of opportunities to speak English when you return (or whatever your native tongue is if you don’t reside in an English speaking country). One of the key components of our programs is language acquisition. Resist the urge to speak English, even if your housemates or locals decide to converse in English to you. Practice your Spanish as much as possible! Only by doing this will you maximize your acquisition of Spanish speaking skills.

Intern IFEMA

If you’re willing to do all of these things, we’re willing to be you’ll have nothing but a positive experience!

Unique Internships Abroad: May ’15 Edition

(pic via melondistrict.com)

Unique Internships: Part I

This blog will be the first of many featuring one-of-a-kind internships we offer.

What many people don’t know is that we offer a wide range of internship opportunities across varying fields and sectors. Here are 5 internship placements you probably didn’t think you could do abroad.

1. Sports

(Intern in Barcelona, Madrid)

For individuals looking to get into the highly competitive sports industry, an internship like this can help you achieve exactly that. Placements can be with an actual team, typically first or second division futbol or basketball, or with companies in sports marketing or community relations!

 2. Graphic Design

(Intern in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Vina del Mar/Valparaiso, Oaxaca, Montevideo, San Jose)

Graphic design is one of our internship fields with plenty of options, but for some reason people don’t think they can do this kind of work in Spanish or South American countries. We’re here to tell you that you can! Between family run businesses to international corporations, there is always a need for individuals with graphic design talent.

3. Spanish Equestrian

(Intern in Montevideo)

In this unique placement, interns will have a variety of duties working with equestrian life. Among them include building endurance, preparing the foals, and other training tasks. Candidates will also live on-site in their on studio apartment, where they will be close by to work the ranch and stables.

4. Human Resources

(Volunteer in Oaxaca, Intern in Vina del Mar/Valparaiso)

This is another field we offer internship placements that may surprise some. However, this is an opportunity to work in the Human Resources (HR) departments of various corporate companies as well as non-profits and government offices. Candidates will be responsible for a wide arrange of HR duties such as wage calculation, employee insurance issues, assisting with employee turnover, and more.

5. Culinary

(Intern in Barcelona, Madrid, Oaxaca)

We feel it’s a must for prospective chefs and culinary professionals to add an aspect of international flavor to their repertoire. It’s a good thing we offer placements in a variety of different environments such prospective professionals can hone their skills; internships can be in renowned hotels, historic restaurants, or “alternative” vegetarian and vegan cafes. By the way, Oaxaca is one of the world’s most well-known culinary hot spots, so take advantage of these placements!

Candidate Update: Christina C. (Intern in Barcelona)

 

We recently caught up with one of our current candidates who is abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Here is was Christina C. has had to say about her experience so far:

“Things are going fantastically here! I have had the opportunity to go on a couple different excursions with my university’s study abroad program with students studying here (including my two best friends!) so that has been fantastic! We have gone to Parc Guell, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, casa Batllo, and more.  I highly suggest any student that may know a school who is doing a study abroad program in their city try to get in contact!

So far I have only traveled a little outside the city, once to see my host family from when I studied here in high school who live in the mountains, and few other trips to the coast. I will however be traveling to Montserrat and Croatia these next two weeks. I also had the opportunity to attend a music festival about two weeks ago called Abroadfest that hosts numerous music artists  such as Cedric Gervais and Madeon and lights shows throughout a weekend every spring in Barcelona. There are a huge number of music festivals and concerts here in the spring and early summer so I suggest students look into those!”

 

~ Christina C., Northeastern University

 

Summer 2015: Our Top 5 Program Destinations

Summer is the time to be abroad. We offer some amazing programs that will get you overseas and boost your resume or CV… Here are our top 5 Summer programs in pictures!


SevilleTop5

 

 

Top5Madrid

 

 

CR news

 

Top5Oaxaca

 

top5scotland

 

 

Click on any of the pictures below to view their respective programs.