Via Educations : The Ultimate Guide to Internships Abroad
Internships are valuable opportunities to gain experience, professional insight, and practical skills for the workplace. Many students do not realize they can apply for internships abroad, but as long as you have the time to spare with your courses, there’s no reason not to!
What will you get from an international internship?
- Practical, hands-on experience
- Enhanced resume or CV
- Networking opportunities
- Experienced mentors in your field
- University credit or stipend (in some cases)
Oftentimes, internships can also directly lead to employment opportunities that you may not have known existed before. If the internship provider doesn’t have an open position for you, they can usually point you in the right direction and provide you with a great recommendation. Otherwise, with an international internship on your resume, employers around the world impressed and eager to book you for an interview.
Aside from the professional opportunities, an internship abroad can provide valuable insight into the workplace culture and customs of the country in which you are living and studying. For example, there is a huge difference between a workplace in Sweden compared to the United States, and you’ll only be able to experience them firsthand if you join the workforce yourself! After your internship is complete, you will then have a much better sense of the values and work ethic expected of employees in your host country.
Are you excited to start an internship abroad yet? First, there’s still some things to consider! Read on to get a better understanding of all the internships available to you as an international student studying abroad and how they work.
Types of internships Abroad
There are many different types of internships available for you to choose from depending on your area of study or personal interests.
INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS FOR CREDIT
Universities and colleges work collaboratively with companies to offer students internships for academic credits. These credits provide you with hands-on experience while fulfilling your academic requirements. Internships for credits are a great way to accomplish two goals at once.
Academic internships can be arranged through your academic adviser and may last 1-2 semesters in duration. To receive credit, students may be asked to keep a journal, write an essay, or make a presentation about the experience.
SUMMER INTERNSHIPS ABROAD
Summer internship programs are normally shorter in duration and can last from a few weeks to an entire summer. These internships provide academic credits or experience in your field.
Most commonly, summer internships are arranged with your school, but independent internship opportunities can be found in fields such as tourism and hospitality.
There are many types of summer internships offered to students. You may choose from paid summer internship programs, high school summer internships, or internships based on location.
Non-profit internships are normally for organizations such as charities, schools, government agencies, religious organizations, or hospitals. The aim of non-profit internships is to provide a public service for the community. Internships at non-profit organizations are typically unpaid but look impressive on a resume or CV.
With this unique type of internship, you work for an organized community organization such as a library, a shelter, or a community center. Service learning programs are structured in a three-step process which require participants to:
- Define the objectives and goals of the project
- Perform the service work
- Present their experiences in a presentation or a paper
Examples of service learning projects could be taking part in a reading assistance program at a library, working with veterinarians at an animal shelter, or designing a playground at a community center. Through service learning, you receive transferable skills while benefiting the community.
Job shadowing is also known as an “externship” and is similar to an internship but shorter, only lasting from a few days to several weeks. Job shadowing is used as an activity for high school or university students to explore different career options.
Students taking part in job shadowing will spend time observing their mentor while working together with other professionals. Job shadowing is a great way to gain insight and experience while helping you decide the direction of your career.
Whichever type of internship you choose, you’ll have the chance to transfer your academic knowledge to real life experience.
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships Abroad
Depending on the company or the organization, compensation may be offered. Internships without financial benefits still offer many rewards to candidates.
PAID INTERNSHIPS ABROAD
Paid internships provide you with the opportunity to gain experience while getting paid to work! Companies offering paid internships are usually in the private sector.
Paid internships are offered in specific fields such as engineering, law, or IT internships. Therefore, a great way to gain the practical experience you need to find a job in your industry after you graduate is to find an internship within your chosen field. That way you get the most out of your international internship!
For obvious reasons, paid internships are the most sought after and companies often use them to recruit new employees. Compensation paid during these internships is not comparable to a full-time salary but is similar to a stipend to cover basic living or traveling expenses. This also means that getting accepted for the internship is more competitive.
Therefore, it’s important to demonstrate to the company that you’re the best candidate for the position. Highlight the fact that you are studying abroad and carry with you valuable critical thinking, problem solving, and cross-cultural communication skills. In today’s globalized world, language skills are in a particularly high demand, so don’t forget to mention any language you speak as well!
UNPAID INTERNSHIPS ABROAD
Unpaid internships are a great way for students who do not have permission to work in their host country to still gain the work experience necessary to successfully find a job after graduation. Before moving abroad, students should consult with the government agency who approved their visa to see which work opportunities they can take part in while living and studying abroad.
Although you are not compensated financially for your time, you can reap many other benefits, such as the experience you can put on a resume. Experience aside, you can also expect to make a lot of friends and professional contacts that you will have long after your study abroad experience is over. This is especially important considering many students begin their studies knowing no one.
Although your time is unpaid, it also means your schedule is often more flexible. This is a great for students studying abroad because it gives you the flexibility to gain experience at their international internship, attend lectures, and still enjoy their new city with all of their new friends they’ve met.
WORK PLACEMENTS ABROAD
Work placements are normally shorter than internships. These types of placements are offered to those still enrolled in school. Work placements are usually part of your program or can be completed in place of a course.
In comparison, internships normally are longer, typically lasting up to a year. Internships are not only completed by students but are also for recent graduates and those looking to change careers.
Overall, paid internship, unpaid internships, and work placements allow you to apply your academic knowledge in the workplace. This experience undoubtedly gives you an advantage when entering the job market and building your resume.
Applying for an Internship Abroad
Applying for internships requires some time and patience, but you can increase your chance of finding the right internship abroad faster if you know what to expect. Preparation is key, so make sure you have everything you need to make a great first impression. It starts with a professional CV or resume and a well-written cover letter. Then once you score the interview, it’s just up to you to impress employers with all the skills, knowledge, and experience you can bring to the internship.
Start with the following checklist to put yourself on track to finding your ideal international internship:
- Perfect your resume. Make it clear and avoid errors in formatting, grammar, and typos.
- Use your network–find internships by asking professors, friends, and family for professional contacts.
- Gather documentation for internship applications, including transcripts and possibly letters of recommendation.
- Ask your professional contacts if you can put them down as a reference. Or, ask professors for recommendations.
- Have someone you trust go over all your documentation to check for mistakes and give feedback.
Don’t forget, the earlier you begin searching for internships, the better!
When applying for an internship, take time to clean up your resume or CV. Avoid lengthy resumes and try to make it easy to read. Ask a mentor or teacher to read over it for suggestions and to double check for errors.
You can start by making sure your resume is organized in clear, logical sections so that employers can quickly and easily see your education and experience. Don’t forget to make sure all the information is up-to-date as well. Be sure to include your most recent job experience and which program you are attending at university. It doesn’t hurt to quickly check to see that all your contact information is accurate too.
Since you’re studying abroad, it’s great to highlight the skills and knowledge that studying abroad teaches you to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates. These are skills that can’t be taught in the classroom, only through first-hand experience, making them valuable to succeeding at your international internship. However, it’s easy for this particular type of experience to get looked over if it’s not done properly on the resume.
To increase your chance of scoring the interview to do an internship abroad, consider the following tips when putting study abroad on your resume:
- Highlight any languages you have learned during your experience.
- Include any international social organizations you joined or ran
- Demonstrate the skills you learned in and outside the classroom while studying abroad
You can also put study abroad on a resume or CV for making your study experience speak for itself!
COVER LETTERS FOR INTERNSHIPS
Cover letters for internships are a one page document which introduce yourself and highlights why you are the best candidate for the position. Just like a job application, internships require a cover letter attached with your application.
The 3 common types of cover letters are:
- Standard cover letter
- Referral cover letter
- Letter of interest
A standard cover letter demonstrates your ability to effectively communicate why you are qualified for the position. You should mention the position you are applying for and how your skill set will benefit the company.
The second type of cover letter is known as a referral letter. This type of cover letter is used when someone has referred you to the position. When writing a referral letter, you should mention the person who referred you to the company right away. Referral letters are a great introduction to the company, and may help improve your chances of being noticed in the application process.
The third type of letter is called a letter of interest. This is written when there is not a specific position advertised but you write to express your interest in the company.
Keep in mind that cover letters are the first thing an employer will read, so invest time in crafting the best letter possible!
A transcript is a record of your academic grades and achievements and is one of the most common components of applications for internships. There are two types of transcripts: official and unofficial.
Official transcripts are issued directly from the university and are sealed and delivered directly to the recipient. Official transcripts may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to arrive, so make sure to order them in advance so it has time to arrive. This type of transcript also usually requires a small fee for the copy.
Unofficial transcripts can usually be printed directly from your the university website. This type of transcript is not issued or sealed by the school and are not always accepted for applications.
Make sure you carefully read which type of transcripts are required for your application and plan enough time for delivery to meet the application deadline.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FOR INTERNS
Recommendation letters are written by a third person and highlight your skills or academic merits. The letter should address your professional strengths as well as your strengths in character. The best people to ask for recommendation letters are teachers, employers, or organizations you have been involved with.
Letters of recommendation for internships are an important aspect of the application process so give the writer plenty of time to prepare. We recommend asking at least 3-4 months in advance.
In conclusion, internship applications can require many types of documents. You should make sure you read each application’s guidelines very carefully and that you allow yourself adequate time to gather everything you need to apply.
Via Handshake : How to Get a Last-Minute Internship
Are you looking for an internship that starts in the next couple of months? Whether you’ve been searching and haven’t found a good fit yet, or are just starting to explore opportunities—we know finding an internship in a short period of time isn’t easy.
The good news is that once you’ve completed your Handshake profile, you already have an advantage. Here are some ways that you can fast-forward to accepting an offer.
Follow employers you want to work for
When you follow an employer on Handshake, you get important updates that can boost your internship search. Just click the “Follow” button on the upper right-hand corner of an employer’s Handshake page, and you’ll be the first to know when they post new jobs and internships. This will help you get a head start on applying to relevant opportunities and ensure you don’t miss application deadlines.
You’ll also be notified when the employers you follow are hosting an on-campus event or virtual event on Handshake, or will be at a career fair. So you can plan to attend these events and meet recruiters face-to-face or online—an invaluable way to stand out to employers.
Explore more employers and cities
There are employers of all sizes and in every industry on Handshake—so look for opportunities beyond the most notable names. Smaller companies and local businesses may still have open positions. The good news is that there are nearly 500,000 employers on Handshake, so the chances are good that you’ll find a match.
There are several Handshake resources to help you learn more about any employer, including those you’re unfamiliar with. When you click on an employer’s Handshake page, you can see reviews from other students and alumni who have worked there. Reviews are helpful for learning about the internship responsibilities, company culture, and more.
Additionally, if you’re able and open to living somewhere else during your internship, you can broaden your search by location. Go to the “Your Interests” section of your profile and add more places you’d like to work in. This will open up a bigger pool of employers and internships available to you, and will increase the chances of recruiters finding you during their searches.
Interested in remote location/”work from home” options? Head to the Job Search page on Handshake, and add the word “remote” to your job search. This will show you relevant job postings that have the option of remote work.
Enlist the help of other students and alumni
There are more than six million students and recent alumni actively using Handshake, so you don’t have to job search alone! When viewing a job or employer page, you can see students and alumni that have worked there and message them for advice about applications, interview questions, and more.
If there is an alum that’s a current employee of the company, send them a brief message introducing yourself, and ask if they’re open to chatting about their job and experience. Share why you’re interested in the company, and tell them you’d like to learn more—instead of mentioning an internship directly. Even if there isn’t a current opening for you, these conversations help build a network of contacts that may be able to help with future openings.
Consider alternate work options
If you don’t find an internship now, there are many other ways to gain useful experience. Explore part-time jobs on Handshake so you can start working without a lengthy application and interview process. You also can look for volunteer opportunities at a local non-profit organization, or take on a leadership role with a club on campus.
Employers like to see that you’ve had responsibilities outside of the classroom—it doesn’t have to be an internship. Be sure to add new work experience to your Handshake profile and highlight the skills developed in your role. Your unique background and skills help lead the way to that coveted internship and first full-time role.
Finally, remember that it’s never too early to start looking for a future internship! Employers will begin posting internships for next semester a few months in advance.
Via The HR Digest : Internship Interview Questions You’re Likely To Be Asked
Have an interview for the internship of your dreams? Its time you prepare and are aware of the potential questions to be asked in an internship interview.
An employer always expects an intern to be a productive and creative member of the team. As an intern, you would be engaged in projects and tasks. You will also get an excellent learning environment where you would learn the nuances of the field and the profession. In an interview for the internship, the employer would mostly ask the necessary questions to know more about the candidate, the experience, and how the candidate handles different work situations. Some of the questions and internship interview tips include the following:
Why are you interested in this Internship/ Company/ Industry?
This question is asked to evaluate the expectations of the candidate and career goals and see whether they align with the company.
What Skills or Experiences do you hope to Gain?
This internship interview question is asked to evaluate the skills and knowledge base of the candidate. The employer looks forward to knowing the experience, passions as well as values of the candidate.
What’s the Best Team you’ve been a Part of, and what is your Ideal Team?
A team can be of any size and shape. The interviewer wishes to know the size and activities of the team and the role the candidate played in it. The interviewer would evaluate the way the candidate works with others so that they can assign you to a proper team in the company.
Tell us a Situation where you took Initiative or a Leadership Role
This internship question for the interview lets the employer know if the candidate is a person with a drive and what motivates the person.
Tell us an Assignment or Project you were a Part of
The interviewer, through this question, wants to know how the candidate does a task. The question is not about the result, and it is about the methods and techniques applied to complete the assignment. The interviewer would want to understand the process of how the candidate tackles tasks.
What’s one Challenge you’ve faced, and how did you Overcome it?
The question lets the interviewer know if the candidate is adaptable and how they deal with challenges, mistakes, and failures on the work. This question would make the interviewer know about the attributes of the candidate.
Tell us a Time you had to learn something completely new
The internship interview question is an important one and lets the interviewer understand whether the candidate is a learner and is open to learning and knowing new things on the job. A closed-minded candidate is hard to work with; they are not open to learning new things and techniques of the work, which hinders progress in the job. An open-minded eager to learn candidate is a favorite of every employer. Employers also look forward to someone willing to develop a new skill or accept a new assignment for the good of the team.
Can you tell us a Project or Accomplishment you’re Proud of, and Why?
This question is to know about the accomplishments of the candidate. It gives the candidate to showcase the achievements of the person and laurels attained in previous work and studies.
Do you have any Questions for us?
This internship question for interview is asked at the end. The interviewer wants to analyze the participation of the candidate in the conversation. It also gives the chance to know and enquire about the company they have applied to. It also provides an opportunity for employer to see if the candidate has researched before coming for the interview.
Via Columbia Spectator : What you should know when applying to internships
If you’ve ever applied for an internship, you know how long and frustrating the application process can be. After countless resume workshops, networking sessions, and practice interviews, getting rejected from an internship you spent months preparing for can be quite devastating.
If you’re applying for internships for the first time, you should know what you’re getting yourself into in order to prepare yourself emotionally. To give you a much-needed reality check, Spectrum has asked Columbia students what they think everyone should know about the internship application process. Here is a summary of what they thought were the most important points.
It’s going to be a long and slow process, so build connections with your professors and plan out the steps you’re going to take accordingly.
The internship process starts, indirectly, as soon as you start your first semester at Columbia. Take the right classes to build the necessary skill set to prepare for the field you’re interested in. Join clubs and go to as many panels and networking sessions as you can in order to get references. Building connections with professors is also important, so make sure to go to office hours and actively participate in class if you want a strong letter of recommendation.
Companies might not put up internship opportunities on Handshake or LionSHARE.
Some companies will only put up internships on their websites, so don’t rely exclusively on Handshake or LionSHARE. If you’re interested in one company specifically, make sure to check their website. You can also find a list of other platforms that post job listings here.
Make sure to check deadlines for every position you’re interested in, or it’ll be too late.
Unfortunately, for some summer internships, the deadline to apply might already have passed. This is why it is crucial for you to start early and stay on top of your deadlines.
Some companies have specific policies about applying for different positions, so make sure to double-check.
For example, if you get an offer from Google, you cannot look for more projects or positions with Google. Finding the right fit, whether it has to do with team or location, even within a company, is important.
Some people will face more obstacles than others…
International students who are here on a student visa have to get their Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorized and approved before starting an internship. Low-income students may also have to worry more about travel and food costs. The internship process isn’t easy for everyone, and there may be details to take into consideration you might not know about.
…while others won’t.
Some people have many advantages like family connections or wealth in general, and there is nothing you can do about it.
You’ll get rejected many, many times…
Internships, especially in New York, can be very competitive. You might apply for 20 internship positions and not get any offers. The number of rejections you’ll get is arbitrary; you might apply to one internship and get the position or apply to 40 and get none. Many factors come into play: whether it’s a rolling application, whether you have a reference, your interview, etc.
…but it’s okay and you should remember that.
Getting rejected from an internship doesn’t mean you weren’t experienced enough or that you messed up your interview. Rejection doesn’t say anything about your capabilities and skills; sometimes rejection can be better than accepting an offer where you’ll be forcing yourself to fit in at the wrong place.
Your interview is an essential part of the process.
Don’t lie or exaggerate about your skill set or experience, but make sure to highlight the skills you do have and avoid underselling yourself. Do your research and show you’re interested in the vision and future of the company or employer. When they ask if you have questions, make sure you have some ready to cement your interest in the company.
If you do eventually get an internship, make sure you ask and check if they can offer stipends to cover any costs you’ll have to pay throughout the internship.
If you’re in need of a travel or lunch stipend, especially for an unpaid internship, don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask for it.
Via College News : Land Your Dream Internship with These Tips
Is it time for you to be looking out for an internship? College News has some tips on how to land the internship of your dreams.
The best way to increase your chances for an internship, or really any, interview is to know someone at your desired employer with some pull. If you, like most of us, don’t have a rolodex of contacts as a 20-year-old student, start by making a list of the companies and organisations you’d like to work for, then ask everyone you can if they know someone. We mean everyone: your parents, their friends, your friends, your friend’s parents, your professors, alumni, etc.
Send cold-emails, schedule informational interviews, go to talks and conferences. Right now is the time to be making as many connections as you can. Early in the application process is when you should be casting your net for contacts far and wide. This gives you time to find and build relationships before the application deadline.
Boost skills your internship may want
If you’re looking at an application that requires their ideal candidate to be a whiz at Excel or Adobe InDesign, don’t automatically write yourself off for missing them. Now is the time to brush up on any skills that could boost your application.
Take an extra course at school, enroll in an online course, check our books from the library—use any resources at your disposal to build an ideal skill set. That way, your application will be difficult to ignore.
Brush up your resumé and cover letter
Most college campuses have career centers or other resources dedicated to helping students be as prepared as they can be for jobs and internship opportunities. Bring your resumé and cover letter to someone there, and ask them any questions you have including if someone at your school has a relationship with your desired employer, and if so, can you contact them?
While you’re at it, share your resumé and cover letter with a friend in the same field who can help you think about the language you use to describe your experience. Ask them to keep an eye out for grammatical and formatting errors while they’re at it.
Practice interviewing for you internship
The best way to get better at job interviews is to practice, but you might not be in a position to arrange a bunch of practice interviews with different companies. If that’s the case, ask friends and family members to practice interviewing with you. It will feel awkward and tedious, but the preparation will help you feel more confident when the time comes.
Make sure you have a chance to fine tune your answers to broad questions that can be difficult to answer like “tell me about yourself?” or “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Being able to stay calm, collected and coherent when answering inquiries like that will make you stand out to a potential employer.
Start your internship applications now
The most important part of internship applications is just that—the application. Internships are highly competitive, and you will likely have to apply for more than you anticipate. With deadlines not for another month at least, it might seem early. But start in on it now, and you’ll be well on your way.