What to Know About Interning Abroad

By Brittany Loeffler on April 9, 2018

The semester is coming to an end and you’re getting excited about interning abroad. After months of applying to positions, video and phone interviews, you’re finally packing up your things to move to another country for a few months. It’s all exciting and scary, especially if you are going to a country you’ve never been to before.

There are a few things that you should know before interning abroad. You’ll have to wrap up some things at home, do your research, secure housing, and be the best that you can be. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

interning abroad, world, globe

via Pixabay

Research the Country and Its Culture

Before you leave, make sure to do your research about the country where you’ll be interning abroad. Become familiar with their customs, food, and culture. You don’t want to arrive not knowing anything! That leaves you with the chance of doing something embarrassing or offending someone.

Learn some common phrases in their language. This will be important for asking directions, ordering food, or even asking if someone speaks English. If you know a few words in their language, it will be much easier to get around. The locals will also appreciate that you took the time to learn their language.

Wrap Things Up at Home

There are a few things that you’ll have to take care of at home before interning abroad. If you currently rent an apartment, you’ll have to find someone to take over your lease. You’ll also have to pack up your things and find a place to store them while you’re gone.

Make sure to call your bank and let them know that you will be out of the country. This will save you a lot of trouble! Nobody wants to be stuck in a foreign country with deactivated credit and debit cards.

Lastly, make sure to say goodbye to your friends and family. You’ll be gone for a few months and you’ll most likely miss them at some points. Get together for coffee or dinner or throw a party before you leave. Your loved ones will appreciate it.

Secure Housing Arrangements

One of the most important aspects of living abroad, is well, living. You’ll need to find a place to live while interning abroad. This can be tricky because you aren’t familiar with the area. Ask your internship supervisor if they have any suggestions or arrangements available for their interns.

You may even find a nice host family who will let you stay with them. You can always look into renting through Airbnb or finding an apartment online. It’s important to make sure it’s in a good location and close to your internship, so don’t hesitate to ask someone for help!

dream job, internship, interning abroad

via Pixabay

Sign Up for Travel Insurance

You never know what will happen while you’re interning abroad. It’s always a safe bet to sign up for travel insurance. This covers many things such as canceled trips, lost luggage, emergency evacuations, and most importantly, medical expenses.

Depending on where you are interning abroad, you may experience some food sickness or other illnesses where you have to see a doctor. Your American medical insurance rarely covers these expenses abroad. So, save yourself the chance of paying for medical bills out of pocket and sign up for a travel insurance policy.

Treat the Internship Like It’s Your Dream Job

There are too many stories of college students slacking off during their internships because they aren’t getting paid or don’t care about the position. While interning abroad, you’ll want to make an impactful impression on your coworkers. Do your best work and exceed expectations.

After the internship is over, ask for recommendations from supervisors and coworkers. This will go a long way!

Network, Network, Network

It’s important to network with people while interning abroad. It’s as easy as getting coffee with someone and talking about your experiences and dreams for your careers. Networking with an international community opens the doors extra wide to the people you could potentially be connected with.

You never know who you will meet and who they may know. You could land your next job through networking!

interning abroad, money, euros

via Pixabay

Keep an Eye on Your Finances

It’s important to keep an eye on your bank account while interning abroad. You may have a paid internship, which is great, or you may be interning for college credit. Either way, living abroad can get expensive. You’re tempted to eat out at restaurants and experience new food or go on weekend trips, which can all add up.

It’s important to have fun while living abroad, but you just have to do it responsibly.

Most Important – Have Fun!

The most important thing to know about interning abroad is to have fun. The experience of living in another country and even working in another country is more beneficial than anything you know! You’re growing both personally and professionally and making memories that you will have forever.

So, start packing!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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