Building a successful career is hard. There are so many decisions to make. Countless opportunities. Endless questions to ask. One of the biggest ones that many Golden Key members consider is: should I do an international internship? While it’s not the right choice for everyone, doing an internship abroad can be a life-changing experience that will help set you on your path to future success.
Want to know more? Our partners The Intern Group have put together this fantastic list of 9 things you’ll gain from an internship overseas:
1. An international network
As a young professional, there is nothing better than having connections in your industry. Whether you’re a current student or a recent graduate, the people you meet during your internship will be key contacts for you in your career. If you hope to move abroad in the future, they become even more essential.
2. A new language
Being bilingual is an extremely desirable skill. As more and more companies begin to operate internationally, young professionals with foreign language skills will be at the forefront. An international internship is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself, whether you’re a complete beginner or have taken classes before.
3. Understanding of a new business culture
When you leave your home country, you’ll be constantly exposed to customs and practices that are different from what you’re used to. Regardless of how many internships or jobs you’ve had at home, there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to navigate a new business culture. Business etiquette differs from country to country, and successful global professionals will be familiar with the ins and outs.
4. The chance to travel
This is one of the most obvious benefits of internships abroad. If you love traveling and exploring new places, an internship abroad is a perfect excuse to see more of the world. You’ll not only get to live and be immersed in a new city, you’ll have the opportunity to travel and explore in your free time!
5. Skill development
In addition to soft skills like communication, leadership, and organization, you’ll also be looking to sharpen your industry-specific skills. The best place to apply what you’ve learned in your courses is in the office. After completing an internship, you’ll be able to show future employers that you not only understand theory, but that you have the technical skills to back it up.
6. Communication skills
Interpersonal skills are essential to forming good relationships, both in the office and outside of it. One of the top benefits of internships abroad is that they enable you to develop your communication skills in a diverse, cross-cultural setting. The ability to communicate effectively with people from different cultures is one that will serve you well throughout your career.
7. Excellent references
When you begin searching for a full-time position, most employers will ask for references. They want to know that someone else vouches for your abilities and would recommend you. Developing references is a crucial part of any internship. Get to know your supervisors and coworkers, and even look for a professional mentor.Keep in mind that every professional experience is an opportunity for a great recommendation in the future!
8. Lifelong friendships
As an intern abroad, you’ll be surrounded by young professionals who are just as passionate and driven as you. From living together in a new city, to overcoming language barriers together and exploring your host country, these are the types of experiences that bring people together.
9. A foot in the door
In today’s competitive job market, many young professionals face a tough paradox. You need to have experience in order to get experience. An internship allows you to get your foot in the door and make the job search much easier and more rewarding.
This article was first published by Golden Key partner The Intern Group.
The Intern Group is an award-winning, social enterprise that takes top applicants and significantly improves their skills and employability via their international internship programs. Their global team understands deeply how important international professional experience is in today’s job market. They are a global leader in the international internship area: one of the fastest growing segments of the international education industry.
About Golden Key
Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.