Interning Abroad Offers Critical Real World Experience and More


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suggests that in the increasingly competitive job market, one of the best ways to prepare for a career is simply a bit of real world experience.

"[Internships] are extremely invaluable," Kevin Nall, associate director of Career Services at Baylor, told the Lariat. "As a college student, there is nothing better that you can do. People get job offers sooner, and typically more job offers, especially if the internship is with a nationally recognized company. They also typically get higher salaries."

However, the Lariat also noted that with smaller companies and organizations, students could play a more significant role than at a larger company. This can provide invaluable exposure to the kinds of tasks people might be responsible for in their future careers.

While internships in themselves are an important resource, the Iowa State Daily also notes that students can gain even more by taking this experience farther afield. Many students have taken the opportunity to study abroad or intern outside their home countries. In turn, they have enjoyed benefits not typical of the average internship.

"Programs are often a maturing experience for students because they must learn to live in another country and integrate into another culture where English is not the primary language," said Erin French, international programs coordinator for the College of Design at ISU. "Students learn to be more adaptable, handle stressful situations better and develop leadership skills."

International internships aren't limited to U.S. students who want to go abroad. Many young people from outside the U.S. are also recognizing the need for global experience and are working with cultural exchange organizations to find opportunities to work in the U.S. in a plethora of different fields. In all cases, participants gain important exposure to an unfamiliar culture, which is becoming increasingly important to many businesses.

"Many organizations are looking for employees that can work in a global market," said Michael Misra in an article in the Iowa State Daily. Misra has participated in multiple internship and study abroad programs over the past three years, "In addition, you gain valuable skills such as patience and the ability to not worry about the small stuff."

Ani Kington Ani Kington

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.

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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