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Looking for an internship abroad? Here are 6 important things to keep in mind

Employers are looking for something beyond grades. They are looking to hire interns who have some real-life work experience which cannot be brought by classroom knowledge and grades.

education Updated: Mar 19, 2018 17:07 IST
Youth is an important phase in your life when you have more time and energy to explore the world.
Youth is an important phase in your life when you have more time and energy to explore the world.(HT file)

Employers do not look for students who have a good bookish knowledge or good grades as they only end up in portraying them as robots. This disappointment has become a worldwide epidemic and is not only limited to graduates from just one country or continent.

Employers are looking for something beyond grades. They are looking to hire interns who have some real-life work experience which cannot be brought by classroom knowledge and grades. This is where projects, volunteering and internships can make you stand ahead of the crowd. It is very important for students to know how to pull good internships for a valuable work experience.

The following tips might help you make up your mind to go for a foreign internship:

Travel the world as a student

Youth is an important phase in your life when you have more time and energy to explore the world. Once you get a job, are married or buy a house, you will get entangled in a lot of responsibilities and find it difficult to travel very often. But, as a student, you have the liberty to pack a bag with a set of clothes and leave for anywhere. Travelling during student life has already become very common among students from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. Anybody who gets to be a part of a foreign internship must consider him/herself lucky to get the same experience, as the students from Western Countries.

Feed your inner wanderlust

Travelling the world and seeing what it offers is easy when you are young. Once you travel abroad, they will want to continue travelling and explore what other countries offer them. For instance, if a student ends up interning in Paris, he/she might want to find a Masters program in Europe the next year and then maybe a Doctorate in Australia after that and finally a job in the United States. Besides, as a student, you get amazing student discounts wherever you go.

Build your global network

By interning internationally you will get an exposure to people from different countries and organizations. You can easily network with the kind of people with whom you won’t get a chance to meet in their home country. A foreign stint will also place you in good stead when you plan for a career abroad. The prospective employers would know that the student already has a good understanding of their culture, and can integrate with them.

Enhance your interpersonal skills

If you interns abroad, that might broaden your perspective, introduce you to people from different cultures as well as backgrounds and help you in breaking down cultural barriers to achieve a common goal. This will help you in developing the talents which will allow you to blend socially in whichever country you work. You will pick up a totally new culture which will develop your social skills. You will also become familiar with people from different cultural backgrounds and adapt in ways which wouldn’t ever face in your hometown.

Improve your language

Adapting a new language strengthens and alters the functioning of the brain. While you can learn various languages back home, there is none better way to pick up and become proficient in a language than by practising it in everyday life. This type of “immersion therapy” will help you to pick up cultural nuances that a textbook can’t. Tu or voi? Tu or vous? Tu or Usted? If one gets it wrong, they might end up offending the people in a particular country.

Discover yourself

When you are at home, you will tend to take a lot of things about others and about yourself for granted. However, getting out of the comfort zone will help you to discover what you are good at, and overall, in becoming a better person professionally and personally. Employers easily spot sure-footed self-esteem. Praise from strangers is a real ego boost.

You must always strive to get a foreign internship since that will take you farther in your global career. You can also intern with the local Pizza Hut in their neighbourhood baking fresh pizzas or can intern with Imperial College in London working for the Infinity Red-Bull Formula-One Racing Team. Working with a foreign company is any day a better option of the two.

(Singh is the author of Intern Abroad This Summer. Views expressed here are personal.)