Anyone interested in setting off on a trip about international internships will want to make sure they actually start planning their internship early. There is much documentation required for something as exciting and rewarding as an international work experience and because of this one should put start the planning and organizing of their internship at least 6 months before they intend to begin working in a foreign country.
Flights are of course the most costly consideration when planning for an international internship. Some companies will not only plan your flight for you but pay for your flight as well. This flight can either be factored into the person’s pay or factored in as a condition of the employment contract. Details about flight cancellation or possible flight changes should be researched. There is always a possibility a person’s international experience will have to be cut short or extended and an accommodating airline should therefore be the airline of choice.
It is because of this that the internship can sometimes not end up paying that much once the cost of international tuition is factored in. Financial aid is sometimes offered and it is worthwhile for a potential international intern to research financial aid offers.
Tuition-based study abroad internships
Many universities offer tuition-based study abroad internships. In most cases, these internships provide the student with academic credit towards their degree or area of study. The main drawback with tuition based internships is that they can be rather expensive. In some cases however, the student may be eligible for financial aid to help with the tuition costs.
There are also volunteer international internships available. These non-academic internships are often good fits for people studying foreign languages, people studying foreign countries, people studying international development, or people studying international business. A volunteer placement such as these can give individuals valuable work experience directly relating to their field as well as help build self confidence in regards to a person’s ability to speak and write about the state of the international landscape.
In most western countries, the governments offer international internship opportunities. The U.S. State Department, for instance, offers grads and undergrads unpaid internships. Your local or state government may also offer internship opportunities. The U.S. Peace Corps is another option for those interested in doing grassroots development work overseas. The only drawback with the Peace Corps is that they require a two year commitment, but they do cover most of the expenses and they’ll even provide you with a $6000 “resettlement allowance” at the end of your service.
Government organized internships are a great way to not only get the internship but gain valuable experience working and dealing with government. These types of internships can be arranged through the person’s home country or through the embassy of the county a person desires to intern in.
Organizations such as the United Nations or the World Bank offer excellent internship opportunities for the right candidate. In most cases, these are unpaid internships. Private industry is another avenue that should not be ignored, if you are serious about securing an international internships. Most major companies have offices throughout the world, and it’s rare that they will turn away a keen individual interested in working for free.