Why Should You Intern Abroad?
Internships for the Independent Traveler
Why should you intern abroad? It’s going to get uncomfortable. However, we know this is where most learning happens. We have in-country English speaking staff who provide support along with the Adelante Headquarters in California. Still, you will be moving around independently by design. Your airport pick up, classes, internship, and accommodations are all set up for you, but the rest is up to you. Will you stay in your room and surf the web continuously, or will you step out into the unknown and live, learn, and experience life abroad? We provide a very well set up “open door.” Nonetheless, it is up to you to walk through it.
Our programs include much more than a professional internship in your desired career field. You are also provided with centralized housing, social & cultural events, professional career training, and full-time local support. All aspects of the program are designed to enhance your professional and personal development and to allow you to experience diverse cultures in a new way.
PUBLISHED FINDINGS, STUDIES & SURVEYS ARE DEMONSTRATING WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that 21.6% of U.S. undergraduate students are undecided about their college major. This percentage of undecided students is the largest among students, surpassing the percentage of students who have declared other academic majors (e.g. education, business). Supporting this finding, Gordon (2007) found that 75% of college students change their undergraduate major at least once, indicating that some college students experience difficulty declaring an academic major.
Academic indecision is an important consideration in higher education because there are many negative outcomes of academic indecision. From The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, (April 2016) the results revealed that a study abroad and intern abroad experience significantly impacts college students’ self-knowledge such as interests, values, and skills, and the capacity to relate self-knowledge to career options.
Findings also suggest that following a study abroad experience, students possess a more positive outlook on their career options and report having a clearer picture of career goals, interests, and talents, or vocational identity. These results are consistent with previous findings, which indicate that study abroad shapes personal and career development among college students (Chapman, 2011; Dwyer & Peters, 2004; Orahood, Kruze & Pearson, 2004; Orahood, Woolf, & Kruze, 2008). Futhermore, McMillan and Opem (2002) found that 70% of survey respondents who completed an internship abroad reported that their study abroad experience ignited an interest in a career direction.
Benefits of studying abroad and interning abroad have included increased self-confidence (Black & Duhon, 2006; Chapman, 2011; Dwyer & Peters, 2004), independence (Black & Duhon, 2006), global competency (Dwyer & Chapman, 2004), open-mindedness and independence (Hadis, 2005), as well as general personal development and well-being (Kuh & Kauffmann, 1984). Studying abroad is also associated with gains in intellectual development, particularly among students with limited or no international experience prior to studying abroad (McKeown, 2009). “Knowing how to be sensitive to other cultures, and to learn from others, is essential.” (The PIE News)
When you come home, you are more skilled and prepared for the real world.
Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills & Career Prospects was released at the IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad in Washington, DC and is based upon a survey of more than 4,500 individuals who participated in short-term mobility since the 1999-2000 academic year.
IIE identified 15 soft and hard skills rated as most desired by 21st century employers. The top five skills, with more than 70% of respondents saying their study abroad or intern abroad experience contributed to a significant degree of improvement, were intercultural skills, curiosity, flexibility/adaptability, confidence, and self-awareness. STEM graduates gained significant soft skills outside of their subject during study abroad, and it had a positive effect on their career. Among science majors that went on a program outside of the sciences, 47% reported their study abroad contributed to a job offer. Transferable skills such as “adaptability, emotional intelligence, the ability to listen, and language skills gained through study abroad” are integral to the future of the global workforce.
We encourage students to list on their RESUMES and when speaking with parents, other students and certainly job prospect specific skills and competencies they acquired or improved while abroad, including:
- foreign language proficiency
- enhanced cultural awareness and sensitivity to customs and cultural differences
- ability to work in cross-cultural teams and function in ambiguous environments
- increased confidence, initiative, and independence
- greater flexibility and adaptability
- ability to maintain an open mind and be tolerant of others
- problem-solving and crisis management skills
The Institute of International Education Summit further released statistical findings that studying abroad has an overall positive long-term impact on career progression and promotion. More than half of survey respondents believe that studying abroad helped them get a job, and longer-term study abroad experiences had a higher impact on subsequent job offers (The PIE News). WOW! What are you waiting for?