Spending time abroad can be rewarding and challenging. If you are interested in finding an internship or volunteer experience abroad, Career Services is here to help! Emerson’s Office of External Programs is a great resource for study abroad options, some which also offer an internship.
Finding an International Internship
To begin your search, some good questions to ask yourself are:
- What countries or areas of the world intrigue me?
- What kind of work would I be interested in doing?
- What skills can I bring to an employer?
- Am I comfortable being away from the US and possibly some modern conveniences?
RESEARCH: Start at least six to nine months before you would like to start working.
NETWORKING: Connect with individuals who can point you in the right direction for your internship search (family, friends, professors, alumni, etc). Let people know what you are looking for.
MOST STUDENTS FIND INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WAYS
- Internship Exchange/ Work Permit Programs: arrange paid and unpaid internships in a variety of countries and facilitate the process of obtaining work authorization in a select number of countries. There are often placement fees for these programs.
- Volunteer Programs: arrange volunteer experiences in a range of areas such as education, health, community development, environment and human rights. Some have placement fees.
- Internships set up directly with an Organization: these typically fall into three categories: government agencies (ie: U.S. Dept of State), non-governmental organizations (ie: World Bank or the UN), and international corporations.
If there is a specific organization you are interested in interning with, check their website to see if they have an internship program. Internships with governmental and non-governmental agencies are competitive and often unpaid. Application deadlines are typically in the fall for the following summer.
VISAS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
One of the biggest and most time-consuming challenges of interning abroad is completing the paperwork necessary for you to live and work in another country. Make sure you have an updated passport—it can take 6-8 weeks for a new passport and almost as long to renew an old one.
- Many countries allow entrance to American citizen visitors for a maximum of three months. However, if you wish to earn money during this time, or plan on staying longer than three months, a visa may be necessary. Getting the correct information about the paperwork you need to work abroad legally will require research. You can contact the company that has made you an offer. If you are going through an established program for your internship or volunteer placement, ask them for assistance. Finally, be sure to contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for information.
- When you contact local consulates, also ask about any travel warnings, or health requirements like immunization. The Health Center can be another source of information.
- The following will be useful for finding the information you'll need: http://www.collegegrants.org/traveling-abroad-tips/; http://www.embassy.org; http://www.travel.state.gov.
- If you are an international student, you will have to contact your nation's consulate to learn about any authorization paperwork you will need to travel in and out of the United States.
Comprehensive online programs
- GoingLobal: specific internship information as well as extensive cultural resources. Can be accessed by logging into eHire.
- Transitions Abroad: Detailed site with information on work, study, or travel abroad. Includes listings of programs offering opportunities as well as a classifieds section. (www.transitionsabroad.com)
- GoAbroad: Search for study abroad, internships, language schools, volunteer opportunities, teaching and other jobs abroad, and adventure trips. Also offers country-specific travel guides and information. (www.goabroad.com)
- SummerJobs.com: Database of teaching, tourist, and service sector jobs worldwide. (www.summerjobs.com)
- ResortJobs.com: Database of job listings at worldwide resorts, ski areas, camps, parks, cruise ships, and hotels. (www.resortjobs.com)
- Explorations in Travel: Volunteer work placements for students and adults from all over the world. Volunteers must pay fees and expenses, depending upon placement. (www.volunteertravel.com)
- Backdoorjobs.com: Directory of short-term job, volunteer, and internship experiences in many countries. Most programs do have placement fees associated with them. www.backdoorjobs.com)
Internship Exchange/Work Permit Programs:
- International Association of Students in Economics and Commerce (AIESEC): University-based, worldwide internship program for students interested in business & management. (www.aiesec.org)
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE): Outbound international education experiences for university students, faculty, and administrators. (www.ciee.org)
- BUNAC: BUNAC makes work/internship abroad programs possible in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. (www.bunac.org )
- InterExchange: Offers opportunities in several countries for childcare and teaching English, as well as volunteer and internship options. (www.interexchange.org)
- International Cooperative Education: Arranges paid work/internships in Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. (www.icemenlo.com)
- Cultural Vistas: Resources for jobs and internships abroad. (culturalvistas.org/programs-for-students-and-professionals)
- American Institute for Foreign Study: Study abroad programs in 19 countries and internship abroad programs in 5 countries. (www.aifsabroad.com/programs.asp)
- Internships in Francophone Europe: Offers semester-long academic internship program (no summer programs) to students and recent graduates of North American schools. (www.ifeparis.org)
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