Interning abroad is one of the most rewarding investments you can make. Not only does it allow you to travel to new, exotic destinations, but it gives you the added advantage of a unique bullet on your resume. Employers are more likely to consider candidates with overseas experience because it shows that an individual isn’t scared to try new things, is flexible and adaptable, and has probably gained skills and perceptions that others who haven’t traveled, can’t.
But I guess I’m preaching to the choir. All you travel bugs out there reading this already know the benefits of being overseas, and what you’re most concerned about is the funds to make it happen! I get it. But interning abroad doesn’t have to drive a hole in your budget. Here are some tips to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to an international internship.
Do Your Research
Thanks to the internet and social media, you’ve never had more access to the many internship programs available all over the world–the opportunities are endless! But not all programs were created equal. Doing your research ensures that you choose the perfect program for you.
First, you must determine which country you’re interested in completing your internship in, and then make sure that your country of choice offers the best opportunity for you to really develop the skills that’ll contribute to your future success. Next, research the currency exchange, and the average cost of living to ensure you’ll stay within your budget. Once you’ve narrowed it down, start researching flights, and decide which season would be most affordable to fly. You’ll need to coordinate this with your program curriculum so make sure to start early!
Some internship programs offer full-service, but rarely do you get the flexibility of dates, programs, flights, or accommodations. Instead, you are forced to choose a bundled package which can cost thousands of dollars more than if you were to customize various aspects yourself. So do yourself a favor and go at it like the college student you are, and pinch those pennies!
Get Credit for Your Work
University isn’t free. So why not substitute a course or two for an internship abroad? Instead of spending your hard earned money on another semester on campus, ask about the opportunity to spend the semester roaming the tiny back streets of Cusco, Peru, or the beautiful Antigua, Guatemala.
Depending on the internship programs, participants can receive credits for business courses, hospitality, accounting, marketing, human and social services, political science, anthropology, and more. When you choose your internship with Maximo Nivel in Latin America, you will also get language credits!!
Depending on the program you choose, you can obtain full-time credits for your semester abroad in Latin America. Of course, there is a process to get all of this approved by your college or university so, make sure you book your internship with enough time so that you can get all the paperwork ready!
Scholarships and Fellowships
Scholarships to intern abroad are not unusual. Many interchange interning abroad with studying abroad because of the academic component attached to the experience.
Some fellowships can cover some of your program costs, including flights, accommodations, and even meals! Fellowships might be privately-funded or government-funded, but because of all the perks, they’re usually quite competitive. It’s good to know the qualifications ahead of time so you can thoroughly prepare to become the optimal candidate.
Fellowships are often open to graduates and even entry-level professionals, so you can gain a host of experience before you set out to make you a standout applicant.
Make sure to check in with your study abroad and career offices on campus as they might have university specific scholarships and fellowships. Some might include a combination study abroad/intern abroad program which not only allows you the chance to gain the hands on work experience, but also a semester of in-class learning! You’ll get to work and go to school in a new exciting country, all while developing your professional skill set and adding academic credits to your transcript.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Interning abroad with Maximo Nivel not only expands your professional skill-set, but also your professional network. While in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru you’ll meet entrepreneurs, young professionals, and students from all walks of life, participating in one of the programs granting you more opportunities to work and travel in the future.
When applying for employment opportunities or a higher level of learning, international experience is a desirable quality. Take notes, and ask all your questions now, because we expect to see you on the other side of the border for the semester of a lifetime.