An internship abroad, is one of the best ways for a student or recent graduate to get real-world, hands-on work experience, that paves the way for amazing job opportunities. Surprisingly though, it isn’t the first choice of most students who prefer looking for internship opportunities closer to home.
Sure, an internship abroad can seem daunting at first, for various reasons, but soon, it becomes clear that all potential fears are born out of lack of awareness.
It’s about time that we cleared the air about some of these fears and spoke about reality. Here are 6 common fears about an internship abroad and how you can get over them:
1. I can’t afford an internship abroad / an internship abroad is too expensive
Understandably, this is one of the main concerns for most students. However, just like how internships back home are both paid and unpaid, internships abroad consist of both kinds.
Depending on your financial state, you can decide what kind of internship you’re going to apply for. More importantly, there are a lot of scholarships that encourage international internships and provide stipends that pay well.
2. I’m worried about my safety / other countries may not be as safe as mine
While this is a common notion that most students have, it is something that is usually untrue and holds no water. A quick look at statistics of crime will tell you that you’re no more safe back home than in most other developed and developing nations.
However, as somebody travelling to a new place, there are certain precautions you must take regardless of which country you’re heading to or even if it’s a new place in your own country. It wouldn’t matter if you’re going there on vacation or for an internship, taking certain precautions is recommended.
3. I won’t be able to adjust to their culture
One of the biggest worries students often have, is the possibly stark difference in their own culture and that of the country in which they do the internship.
There are various stereotypes that are continuously propagated, however, more often than not, these opinions are false and are propagated by unhappy parties.
For example, despite what the word on the street is, today, a lot of developed and developing nations are accepting of the LGBTQ community and also working towards improving legislation on the same. They are making leaps and bounds in women’s rights and are certainly not lacking in human rights as they are made out to be.
Sure, every country has its own customs and traditions that will vastly differ from yours, but understanding this difference and learning to accept them gives you a perspective like no other. As a global citizen, which is what an international internship helps you become, you develop both personally and professionally.
4. I’m going to get homesick
Who doesn’t miss the comfort and warmth of their homes? You will be away from your family and friends for quite a while, but you will eventually head back after the summer.
Sure, you might get the occasional pang of homesickness when you spend long periods of time away, but that is certainly no reason to deprive yourself of the experience of a lifetime.
After all, you’re going to make new friends, see new places and have fun, while gaining a differentiated work experience. By the middle of your internship, you will have made at least a few new friends who will help you get over the occasional homesickness.
5. I’m not sure they are better than an internship back home
Let us stop you right there. Internships abroad, particularly those in emerging markets and the fast growing economies of today, offer incredible hands-on experience that you simply won’t get back home.
You get to see things progress from the ground up and are often treated as an employee more than an intern. That means you get greater responsibilities to take care of and at the end of the day more experience to leverage during your professional career later on.
They definitely give a competitive edge over your peers as employers look to hire candidates with international experience.
6. I don’t want to learn a foreign language / learning a foreign language is difficult
While we would recommend you use the opportunity of an international internship to learn a new language, you absolutely don’t need to if you don’t want to.
Most international internships are in developing nations where English is the medium of communication professionally if not officially too.
They may not be native speakers and may not be as proficient as you, which again is only true in rare cases, but that will certainly not get in the way of your internship.
So go right ahead and don’t worry about having to speak in sign language – it just won’t happen.
If after reading this article you still have doubts about an internship abroad, connect with us here.
We’ll be happy to address any apprehensions you might have. An internship abroad is one of the best experiences you will get, and we definitely wouldn’t want you to miss out on it.