Pursuing international opportunities can be very rewarding. Your international experience will stand out for many reasons, including the following:
Numerous studies confirm the value that employers place upon applicants who have international experience. But what employers are specifically looking for are candidates who have articulated the lessons that were learned and the intercultural and interpersonal skills that were strengthened as a result of studying abroad.
For example, in a widely cited study conducted by the RAND Corporation in 2003, there were five characteristics shown to make a successful career professional in an international corporation:
It is important for you to keep in mind ways in which you can continue to build career connections throughout your time abroad. It is your opportunity to practice and improve your communication (and language) skills; learn the value of professional networking; gain a better understanding about the global job market by investigating conditions in the country, community, and region; gain knowledge about different ways of solving problems; and cultivate innovations (ex: in technology, engineering, art) that could be shared with the rest of the world.
- Adapted from the “AIFS Student Guide to Study Abroad & Career Development” (2011) by Martin Tillman
There are hundreds of opportunities for internships abroad. Internships provide a great experience without any commitment beyond the initial agreed-upon time. They are also a great way to connect with an international career in many different locations and industries.
· Some are connected directly to study abroad programs which require you to enroll and pay tuition and fees.
· The work is either paid or "voluntary".
· Most fall within the academic calendar: either one or two semesters or a summer.
· Evaluate each opportunity carefully.
· You can also try to set up your own internship without using a program.
o Research and collect as much info as possible, most companies and organizations have a database on their website for vacancies.
o Remember that terms like "internship" may not mean the same in other countries.
o Do you expect to be paid or not?
o Will you need support such as assistance with finding a place to live?o Get the terms of the internship in writing if possible
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