Why Do an Internship in the USA?


5 minutes

How Did I Find My Internship?

I must be one of those lucky ones because it has been particularly fast, and I still don’t believe it actually! Early September, while my project of doing an internship abroad, especially in the USA was more and more singing in my head, I suddenly decided to jump into this adventure, without much hope. With one of my American friends’ help, I wrote my cover letter, and my English resume was already settled for a while. I then simply made some research on Google to find some creative agencies [in] California, first focusing in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It took me to put aside my fears, my lack of confidence and have some nerve to send simple emails of spontaneous applications. Finally I was almost taken by surprise when in the night, the fourth agency on my mailing list had already recontact me for an interview! Despite I was out of voice and very nervous for my very first English Skype interview, I got the internship and so I was now launched into the adventure and the numerous administrative procedures.

How Is My Internship Going So Far?

It’s going very well! The office is actually based in Malibu and I live in Santa Monica. I can’t dream better places for live and work! I have the chance to be driven by my advisor every mornings and evenings. She is always very kind with me, as each of my coworkers! I have a lot of various tasks, it’s very interesting and fulfilling. The first difference with my previous internships in France I could notice, is that there is no [designated] lunch break. I work from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Thursday and from 8am to 2pm on Friday. Each one can so have lunch any time he wants, anywhere he wants but what I can see it’s most of the time really quick and often at their desk. I have to be honest and say I sometimes really need to take a real break far from my computer and enjoy the sun and the beautiful view of the Canyon of Malibu for my lunch break!

What Am I Doing During My Free Time?

During the week I sometimes go having dinners with some friends, discovering each time a new place (I can’t forget the best cookies I have ever eaten thanks to Ashlee!). As I leave work early on Friday, I like to go to the beach to enjoy the sun and the fresh air. I also use this time to do the tasks I haven’t the time to do during the week (groceries, laundry, etc). On Saturday I try to discover a new place I haven’t been yet. Thanks to InterExchange, before I left I have been in contact with Ashlee, an American girl who lives in LA. She helps me to discover these new places, new food, we exchange on our cultures and experiences, we speak English of course but also some French. She is even like my confidante sometimes. It’s a very great exchange! On Sunday mornings, I love going for a walk on Santa Monica Pier, the Promenade and the beach, from Santa Monica to Venice. Early in the morning is the best! My upcoming sorties? Getty Center, LACMA, Griffith Observatory, San Diego, San Francisco, go to a baseball game… I am also thinking of using my grace period after my internship to meet a French friend in NYC and meet an American friend in Florida. I have so much to do before I leave!

Do I Encourage You to Do the Same?

Obviously! Provided that it is something you would really want to do because it’s a personal investment. If so, you shouldn’t underestimate you. Do not tell yourself it would be too complicated and that living alone on the other side of the world is so scary. It is a unique experience and trust me, we always end to go through every difficulties we come across. Naturally very nervous for every unknown situation, leave alone, almost suddenly at 9,500 km from home was for me something I couldn’t think about. I meet little challenges every day, but that’s what makes you feel alive and make you grow up! I am certain that everyone can be surprise by oneself. So it is well worth a little patience and administrative headache for getting your visa and discover new things!

My Advice

If it’s something you really want to do, just go for it! Don’t ask you to much. Before leaving, get the most information you can need about the procedures, the area of your internship, try to get familiar with where you’re going to live, create some “to do list”. If English is not your mother tongue, I think it’s also important to exchange with English spoken people (with the Internet and social networks, it’s quite easy), watch some movies and TV shows in English. You can also find a lot of blogs from students who has already moved abroad, it’s a great source of information. It also exists Facebook groups of your country fellow all over the U.S., we can get very helpful tips from them! Finally you’ll need a bunch of motivation, patience and some savings (life is a bit expensive in LA for example). Your project should be well prepared in advance.

What’s Next?

I still have one more year of studies to get my Master’s. I am not yet back to France I still want to leave again… Either for my last 4-month internship, either for living one or two years abroad. Actually it’s still a bit blurred in my mind, but I am sure about something: living this amazing experience, I want even more to live new ones…

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U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation