Why Should You Do an Internship in the U.S.?
By Elizabeth Cummings
5 minute read
An internship or training program in the United States will:
- make you a better student and employee
- cultivate your entrepreneurial and innovative spirit
- foster skills that are highly prized by employers across the globe
A study by Erasmus discovered that people who pursue internships or study abroad are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as those who don’t. Erasmus also found that 92% of employers surveyed were looking for the transversal skills - such as problem solving, curiosity, and confidence - that participants gain through these programs.
So what are some specific benefits to living and interning in the U.S.?
#1 Advanced Skills in Your Industry
The United States is an entrepreneurial powerhouse, which means that the trends for many industries are set here. If you want to learn the newest, most cutting edge techniques and work with professionals at the top of their game, the U.S. is the best place to do that. You can have professional experiences here you can’t have anywhere else!
“I improved my knowledge on front-end and back-end frameworks such as Backbone.js, Marionette.js, and Node.js, Ruby, Rails, Go, PHP, and Zend. I also learned about the concept of client-side rendering, which will be invaluable with technology going forward.”
— Milos Ivanovic from New Zealand
“One of the valuable skills which I have gained is building a more efficient and robust financial model. I have also learnt the analyses methods used in the private equity space.”
— Syariza Ghazali from Malaysia
“Learning how to think visually for television, when a story is newsworthy, how to produce stories, how to find the right people, and learning about American politics and society.”
— Ciska Schippers from the Netherlands
#2 American Business Culture
One of the reasons why the U.S. is a trendsetter in many industries is because of the unique business culture that encourages innovation. Interns often comment on the inspirational environment that encourages the sharing of ideas, and they tell us they intend to continue using these techniques as they progress in their careers.
“I was working very closely with the directors and also the CEO, which enabled me get the best guidance from experienced employees and to get valuable insights into various fields. Reporting to employees who run the business did not only force me to fulfill tasks in a very professional manner, but also to develop a sense on how to justify and explain how and why I executed a task the way I did. Furthermore, I was supported with trainings and training material to learn and extend my knowledge in web design, which adds value to my profession in digital marketing for the future.”
— Denise Hanft from Germany
“I learnt to be nice to people, encouraging, empowering. My host employer was a perfect example of how I would want to run my practice, so there was a lot to learn from him, especially work ethics.”
— Surabhi Khanderia from India
“I learnt a lot about Hollywood and the entertainment industry and how it functions and what defines it. I also feel like I understand a lot more about how technology is used and far ahead of other places in the world. I have a better understanding of the future and how the internet will play such a large part in it. I also see that entertainment is a rapidly changing form and that one must keep up to date with technology and the internet world.”
— Kristine Schofmann from Germany
#3 English Language and Intercultural Communication
Working in an English-language environment is an important aspect of your internship program, as English is the global language of many industries. However, the language itself is not enough. Learning widepsread American standards and American cultural skills will make you stand out and truly ready to engage in the global sphere.
“I think my English is better now. Sometimes I had to find a way to explain an idea, so I learn to find a way to do it. I learned a lot of perfumes vocabulary and this is very important for my career. I also learned to have a global view on the U.S. market.”
— Juliette Thomas from France
“The most valuable skill that I gained certainly is the language. My English improved 200%. I also learned American AND Brazilian regulations that can be handy when I go back to Brazil. And some manufacturing processes that are really interesting.”
— Laia Matias Rodriguez from Spain
“I think the most valuable skill is a ability to work as part of the culturally diverse team where everyone has different background and skills set. I became more confident about my own work and learned how to present project proposals to convince the team to focus on a certain idea.”
— Malgorzata Blachnicka from Poland
#4 Personal Growth
Some of the most important skills you’ll learn won’t be the ones you list on your CV. Living abroad and navigating a new culture gives you the tools to make the most of your life no matter where your career path takes you. Our alumni report that they are more confident, know what they want to do, and are able to take any situation in their stride.
“Traveling from Asia and coming to the U.S. for an internship program has definitely taught me flexibility and adaptability - not only in daily life, but in understanding and dealing with different businesses and people as well. I have learned how to quickly adjust depending on what the situation/scenario requires.”
— Ma Consuelo Camacho from the Philippines
“I grew both from both a business and a human standpoint; I put in practice most of what I have studied for five years, allowing me to understand what I can be good at and what I would like to do in my future career. Moreover it was a great experience even for my personal growth: I lived in an environment with a different culture and lifestyle that I appreciate, and I learned how to integrate in it.”
— Martina Fattorini from Italy
“One of the most valuable skills I have gained from this experience is communication. Prior to this trip, I have always been more of an introvert and if I were to run into troubles, I will try my best to troubleshoot it myself. It made me realize how important it is to learn and cooperate and work with others in the company. Especially when I run into troubles that I cannot deal with myself, that I must seek help from others.”
— Audrey Huen Lam Chow from Canada
Are you ready to boost your skills? Sign up for our program!
Liz got the travel bug as a teenager when she volunteered in Mexico. After extensive travel, interning and studying abroad, she is excited to help others fulfill their dreams of experiencing another culture through InterExchange’s Career Training USA program.
Learn about life abroad
Read about the adventures others have had and get excited for yours.