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Benefits of International Internships

Aisha has just concluded the most exhausting yet exhilarating year of her life; she just completed a one-year internship with Samsung Electronics in Suwon, South Korea as one of 20 successful students from Canada selected after a thorough examination process in a global-scale internship initiative to attract the brightest minds in universities and colleges. Born in Canada of Moroccan descent, Aisha has always yearned for the chance to travel and explore other cultures of the world, so when the Samsung chance come around, she jumped at it! Although adjusting to the different culture was unsurprisingly daunting, she and her fellow interns from other countries were able to acclimatize with the help of her welcoming co-workers and courteous locals. Aisha says her eyes have been opened to understand more of how the world than she previously knew. Also, along with her mastery of French, Arabic, and English, she can now add a sufficient proficiency in Korean to her repertoire of language skills.  Here a few benefits Aisha got, which are available to any student, from interning experience:

Global perspective, skills and sensitivity

Interning in a different country brings a living experience to your education that cannot be achieved by merely reading books or attending a class. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from the people you meet in the workplace who may have a vastly different mindset than you. As you can probably imagine, the manner in which employees work varies from country to country. Your internship will give you a unique perspective on diversity in the workplace which becomes your competitive edge, making you a more attractive prospective to employers who have a global consumer outlook. Also, adapting to a new office environment shows flexibility on your part and a willingness to learn. In our present day, almost every job posting, regardless of industry, highlights cross-cultural skills and sensitivity is a key requirement.

Improve your language skills

Due to a global economy, many companies are either already doing international business or are seeking to expand overseas. One of the most import global skills employers are seeking is foreign language ability. Learning a new language can be a fun but challenging process, and not one at which everyone is particularly adept. Interns in other countries usually get employed in positions that support their prominent language; mostly English, but you can always try to pick up the native tongue; a visit to a foreign country is invaluably enriched by the ability to understand the subtlety and nuance of the spoken word. Aisha’s multi-language skills inevitably makes her more marketable to future employers.

Networking

International internships offer the chance to network with employers, contacts, and friends you may not typically meet in your home country. The people you develop relationships with could help you secure a lead on a job in your field or host country, or perhaps even a job offer at the end of your internship. Time spent abroad can also be used for learning the challenging intricacies of doing business in a foreign context which makes you a valuable asset to most workforces today. Undoubtedly, an international internship is more impressive to employers than one taken at home and it’s a great way to kick start your career.

Earn academic credit

A lot of universities allow you to earn academic credit for your internship experience, and some even require international or domestic internships to fulfill graduation requirements. Interning abroad can be a way to earn credit and gain experience, all while having the weekends free to travel and experience the local culture. Make sure to confirm with your local university if this option is available for you.

Personal growth

What better way to broaden your horizons than to live and work in a totally new environment? Interning abroad causes you to undergo a process of self-development that will leave you a better and more open-minded person. As a member of the local community, a worker and a friend, you will see the world anew through the eyes of the locals. For many people, this proves to be an enlightening moment in their lives. Time spent abroad naturally lends itself to personal discovery by pushing you outside of your comfort zone, providing the opportunity to test a career path, give you interesting stories to share, and offer you the space and time to think about your values and unique characteristics that shape who you are. You will grow in your independence and self-reliance giving you confidence to take on greater challenges in your future career.

In summary, investigate foreign internship opportunities, seek counsel and choose somewhere both exciting and personally, academically and career-wise rewarding, and brave an adventure of the world far away and beyond.