MInternships are an integral aspect of anyone’s initial career period. Interning is the key stepping stone from study to full time job and it plays a huge part in securing anyone a good start to their career. Whether they be paid or unpaid, having experience in an industry is crucial to being taken seriously when you go through the job search process. Regardless of how good your marks may have been at school or university, without practical experience demonstrating you can effectively apply what you have learnt in the classroom to your field of work, employers will almost always disregard your resume immediately.

The Benefits of an Overseas Internship

Overseas internships are incredible opportunities, which provide interns with a chance to gain completely new perspectives in their field. Often the theory we learn in Australia becomes so normalised that we adopt the attitude, our way is the only way. Through the subtle process of constantly reinforcing certain business strategies, approaches to design or perceptions of construction etc., we are narrowing our viewpoint to only that which we have seen before. However, by travelling to another country and gaining insight into foreign approaches, you can gain fresh perspectives and completely original ideas. Having experience with an overseas company will do wonders in advancing your resume from other candidates and setting you apart from any other workers in your industry.

How to Find an Overseas Internship

When it comes to finding and choosing internships, there are a number of ways to secure yourself the optimum opportunities. One of the best ways I have found in my experience is by going through your university. Each university usually has a plethora of services dedicated to supplying students with fantastic interning and job opportunities. Make the most of any of your university connections by utilising services such as a careers centre and being proactive by asking tutors or lecturers about any opportunities they know of is a key way to secure yourself an overseas internship. Most of your uni teachers would have been around the block and would be sure to have plenty of connections to help any keen students out. It is also a great idea to network with your fellow classmates and see if they have any connections or know of any overseas opportunities going around.

Connections is another one of the most important ways to find internships. Whether it be your parents primary school friend, your old neighbour’s cousin or your Aunty’s old teacher – make the most of your own connections and don’t be afraid to snoop around. People are almost always willing to help out keen upcoming professionals, and having access to promising students entering the industry could also help them out as well.

The internet is of course another great place to discover great internship opportunities. Whether you look at sites dedicated to jobs and internships or search more specifically for a particular opportunity in your country of choice a deep enough search into available internships out there is bound to produce some sort of result relevant to you. Keep in mind the advantages you would hold over any other applicant, such as speaking fluent English – perhaps look for English speaking jobs in non-English speaking countries to maximise your chance of success. There are a huge number of online services that help people volunteer or intern overseas. Utilise these companies to make the process much simpler and smoother.

overseas internshipOther ways to secure overseas internships are to try and get one through an existing internship you have done here in Australia (so moral of the story do lots of interns here to build your experience and your network base), or to do an overseas exchange and then try to find somewhere that could use your expertise.

Things to Remember

Working or interning in an overseas country is often radically different to simply travelling to a particular location. If you will work in a place with a culture quite different to your own, it is important to ensure you adhere to their customs and traditions – whether that be wearing certain clothes, performing certain actions in particular situations or being respectful to certain people or places. Make sure you are well aware of these differences before going, or acquaint yourself with the culture upon your arrival. Travellers will often be excused for their ignorance in a foreign country, however, locals will be less lenient with people working in that country.

Travel insurance is another requisite of interning overseas. Health insurance does often not extend to overseas trips, and working and living in a foreign location necessitates high levels of cover for whatever surprising situations you may encounter. There are many options for cheap travel insurance in Australia, which will make an unsuspected accident or mishap much less drastic – to your body, wallet or wellbeing. HIF has a range of options for travel insurance that will provide you with plenty of reassurance so you can focus on your internship rather than all the possible things that could go wrong.

One of the most important things to remember when interning overseas is to be proactive and make the most of the experience. Come up with ideas, make sure you are always being useful and productive and try to maintain long-lasting connections with your colleagues. A internship overseas can do wonders for your resume, or it could even secure you a job afterwards. So make the most of this incredible  experience.