Interning Abroad: 5 Tips for Success
By Ibby Peterson, Social Media Coordinator
Studying abroad has become really popular and in some schools it seems almost a given. However, traveling to new areas around the world and working in new environments can be intimidating. Interning while abroad is a great opportunity to learn about the industry you are interested in, working in other parts of the world and yourself.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of interning abroad:
Research the city in which you are interning and the workplace culture
Cultures vary city-to-city even within the same country. It is important to have an understanding of the city you are in so that you can adjust quickly. Read up on what is happening in the country; what are some major events, how do people interact in the workplace, how do work life and personal life interact? In England, drinks at the pub with coworkers are common and helps develop camaraderie and friendship which is big in the workplace culture. Attend these and get to know your coworkers!
Give yourself plenty of time to make the commute
Depending on the city you are in or where you are living, you may have a long commute that includes different modes of transportation or line changes. Practice the commute before your first day and give yourself extra time every day to get to work. There may be unexpected delays on any given day. Find out what transportation app works best in your city and use it. Many apps like City Mapper give you directions, let you know how crowded public transportation is, and estimate commute time.
This seems like a given but there is so much you can learn during your internship. If you do not know exactly how to do something, ask. If you have an idea of how the company can improve or there is something you want to work on, ask! A lot of companies are looking for fresh eyes that can bring a new perspective and they want to hear from you.
Keep track of what you work on and what you learn as you go
You will learn a lot during your internship, whether it is about a specific industry, working at a small company or if it is just about what you like and do not like about your position. Write everything you do, think and learn down. In the moment, it may seem obvious but with some time and distance these feelings and memories will fade. Interning abroad is a special experience and you do not want to forget a thing! This will also help you later in interviews.
Connect with your coworkers and stay in touch
Over the course of your internship, you will get to know your coworkers. Be sure to connect with them on Linkedin and keep in contact. Not only is it nice to stay in touch with those you got to know and hear about what they are up to, but you can also reach out if you are ever looking to move to the city or if you need a reference.
While these tips are especially important while interning abroad, they are applicable to any internship you might have in an area you are familiar with. These five tips will help prepare you and enhance your internship experience!