Top Programs Offering Internships Abroad
Participating in a international internship offers a travel experience like no other. On the weekends, you can be a traveler and a foreigner, but throughout the week you live the life of a local, day in and day out. Internships are key tools for students and recent graduates to gain experience in their respective fields and to earn credibility with future employers. Participating in an international internship almost guarantees that you will stand out among stacks of resumes and in interviews due to your ability to overcome the challenges of living and working in a different culture. Fortunately, for those wishing to combine their travel dreams with their educational obligation to gain career experience, a number of organizations offer thousands of internships abroad for students and recent graduates of all academic backgrounds.
AIESEC is an international non-profit, student-run organization present in more than 100 countries. Each local chapter focuses on creating internship opportunities for foreign students and assists incoming interns in cultural integration and finding housing. AIESEC offers thousands of volunteer and paid internship opportunities at any given moment.
The program was started after World War II to promote peace and cultural understanding and is designed for college students and recent graduates under the age of 30. Some of AIESEC’s top partners include Sony Ericson, Microsoft, Electrolux, ING, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Artemisia, and Facebook.
Intrax has offices in 14 countries, with operations in more than 100. It provides international internships for students from the US, Canada and the EU in South America, Europe and Asia. Internship programs are offered in public relations, engineering, NGO management, marketing and finance, among others. Intrax has opportunities with Fortune 500 companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Microsoft, yet also with small to medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations.
With its slogan, "Working Adventures Worldwide," BUNAC is dedicated to just that: getting you abroad to work in Britain, Australia, New Zealand or Ireland. They are dedicated to offering an affordable and enriching alternative to what they refer to as package tourism. You can work in the country of your choice for up to six months or a year, and BUNAC even offers some special travel bargains to their participants.
What is unique about BUNAC is that you are responsible for finding your own job upon arrival, and they are the ones that help you get there. You can work any any type of position from a restaurant waitress to a computer programmer, depending upon how determined you are in landing a career-oriented job.
An international non-profit organization, IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) has offices in more than 80 countries. If you are a student or recent graduate with a technical degree in fields like engineering, science or applied arts, IAESTE works to provide you with paid training opportunities that will help you jump start your career in a technical field.
iHipo is more of a job board than an agency offering international internship opportunities. However, thousands of postings made by employers on the site are specifically for companies looking for international individuals to fill internships and job positions. Although iHipo offers less hand-holding through the placement process than other agencies, it does have informational sections on CV/resume and cover letter writing, interview tips, and internship resources for advice on matching yourself with the best opportunity possible.
This organization has been around for 20 years and sends 10,000 people overseas to complete volunteer projects and internships every year. Each Projects Abroad location has a full-time professional staff that offers participants support in every aspect of international living. Participants can choose from programs in 28 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, North America and South America. The website has online chat support to answer your questions, and Projects Abroad offers a guarantee on things like decent accommodation, flexibility, variety, safety, and fulfilling work.
World Endeavors offers customized programs for individual and group travel in 23 different countries. In addition to offering study and volunteer abroad programs, World Endeavors offers internships in 36 different fields. Participants must be at least 18 years old, but there is no maximum age set on the program. Those wishing to gain more career experience can choose from international business internships to internships involving social work, performing arts, interior design, fashion, wine, event management, accounting, journalism, urban planning, youth development, and everything in between.
Word Endeavors began in 2002 with only one volunteer program in Nepal, but has quickly grown to offer all the opportunities it does today, and adds new programs every single year.
An organization which offers paid and unpaid internships in countries such as Russia, Nepal, Argentina Philippines, China, Liberia and India. No matter what your field of study was or your future career goals, you can find something that will fit your plans. For example, you can work in business development, travel agencies, solar energy, green plastics, marketing, real estate, computer programming, law, banking, art, project management and medicine. Programs Abroad clearly labels the paid internship opportunities, so you know which ones to go for if you are on a budget.
Primarily a study abroad company, CISabroad also offers internship opportunities overseas for one to 12 months in every continent besides Antarctica. Furthermore, CISabroad promises to customize your internship to your own individual personal and professional goals, allowing you to work in any capacity from tropical rain forests to museums to the fashion industry.
This site claims to offer the easiest way to go abroad. The staff offers participants visa and accommodation support, special-made proposals for internships, a 24/7 contact person in the host city, car rentals, and help with planning leisure activities outside the office. When deciding the type of work you want to do and in what location, StudentsGoAbroad.com offers volunteer positions in seven countries and paid internships in 18.
Established in 2004 to allow all university-aged students, no matter their nationality, to gain professional experience in another country, International Internships now offers programs in 15 countries accommodating most fields of study. In addition to securing housing for participants and providing cultural orientation and customized placements, International Internships offers academic credit for completed internships through Truman State University. Depending on your internship and your university’s flexibility, you can earn up to 15 credit hours during your semester overseas.
Most universities have connections with schools or programs in other countries. Talk to your academic advisor to find out what your university has to offer, and how well they fit your education and career goals.
Chelsea Baldwin is a freelance writer and world traveler. She completed two internships abroad: one in community development and another in web content development. She currently works as a freelance writer looking forward to starting her life as an expatriate. Connect with her on her website, CarolinaFreelanceWriter.com.