Pros and Cons of Intern Abroad

Jenny Oslund
pros and cons of intern abroad

We understand that an intern abroad can be a huge step in a new direction for you.  It’s a big decision to move to a foreign country let alone begin a new job! So we’ve put together a list of pros and cons (with solutions!) while you consider or prepare for an intern abroad.



1. Boost your resume with career-centered experience.

We guarantee that an intern abroad will 100% change your life at a level unmatched by a domestic internship alone. Adelante Abroad takes your professional goals and experience to find the best-fit internship placement abroad. International experience will make you stand out from your peers and add a WOW factor to your resume that is actually relevant to your future career…Game changer!

2. Gain professional expertise compared to study abroad.

If you’re feeling unsure about choosing an Adelante internship abroad or a study abroad, let’s break it down to one major difference. With an internship abroad, you gain professional experience and expertise from leaders in your career field. How many people can say they took the chance to shadow a doctor in Chile, Uruguay, or Spain? Not many. Unlike a study abroad, an intern abroad will expose you to not only a new country, a foreign language, and a different lifestyle, but also career-related skillsets, international networking, and a fresh, outside perspective.

3. Immersion with local, native Speakers.

There’s nothing like learning a language through interacting on a day-to-day basis with the local people. An internship abroad will get you double the exposure to the local language since you’ll also be working with coworkers and bosses that expect you to speak their language. Even better, you’ll acquire foreign language skills in your career field, such as technical vocabulary. This can be a unique addition to your resume!

4. Interactions with a diverse group of people.

You’ll find yourself becoming more adaptable, open, flexible, and curious even within the first few weeks of your internship abroad. Being constantly surrounded by people that are maybe very different from you – in terms of cultural, social, and ethical backgrounds – you’ll form a stronger perception of how to deal and interact with a diverse group of people. This is another strong point to add to your resume after completing an Adelante Abroad Internship.

Pros and cons of interning abroad
2021 Graphic Design Intern in Seville, Spain

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1. You have to learn to be independent.

Unlike a study abroad program, where you are around peers and campus life with planned activities and outings, an intern abroad is structured in a way that forces you to be independent more than anything. While this may not seem like a con, many interns don’t realize this until they arrive abroad. There will be a few excursions that the language school provides during your two weeks of Spanish classes to get you acquainted with other students. But keep in mind that Adelante does not arrange any additional, concrete excursions. We can, however, point you in the direction of resources at your disposal. For example, the local Adelante directors are more than happy to share travel advice or help you to arrange plans.

Solution: It may be shocking at first for first-time solo travelers, but you’ll soon get the hang of so much independence and freedom. By the end of the trip, you’ll be amazed that you were in total control of your experience abroad.

2. Everyone experiences homesickness differently.

Being in a foreign country will make you compare everything about that country and your own. Small things like not having your favorite brand of cereal or adapting to a different time schedule will surely throw you off guard at first. Such things lead to an increased feeling of homesickness and can make you feel lonely and isolated from familiarity and a sense of belonging. You’ll want to call your friends or family from home, instead of exploring your new city; or feel too stubborn to adjust to a different lifestyle and surroundings. These are all natural examples of “culture shock” but feeling homesick won’t last forever. However, everyone experiences it differently than others. Some may feel homesick for longer or shorter periods, or sporadically throughout their trip.

Solution: Fortunately, it’s so easy to pick up your phone and send a text message or start a video chat with a loved one from home. And don’t feel guilty about indulging in a hometown dish or at your favorite fast-food restaurant once in a while.

3. Reverse culture shock is real.

Reverse culture shock happens when you’ve returned to your hometown and are adjusting back to your original routines, mannerisms, and lifestyle. You may start to feel disoriented, uninterested, and constantly missing being abroad. Overcoming reverse culture shock will be a challenge in itself, but there will be a recovery period and a positive outcome (See figure below, “Reverse Culture Shock“). Many people return home from long-term trips abroad and make it their goal to go abroad soon. Some even go as far as making traveling or living abroad a career or their second home.

Solution: So even though you’ll likely feel bummed out upon returning home initially, it’s completely natural and okay to feel this way. While you’re riding through the different stages of reverse culture shock, take the time to reflect on your intern abroad and to think about how you want to move forward from it. We assure you that you will have changed and grown for the better!

reverse culture shock stages of intern abroad
Pros and Cons of intern abroad – Stages

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