Why Intern Abroad?
Do you know what your education is worth?
I had a crisis midway through college, one I’m sure many of you have had. I realized my college education would mean nothing once I’m in the “real world.”
Now, hold on. College wasn’t a complete waste of time – it was a load of fun, first of all. I’m just saying a college education is useless by itself. In the end, it’s just a piece of paper saying I received a degree in history. And all that meant was that I took about 10 classes in the subject – hardly making me a “historian.”
The hard truth is no one is going to hire you as an events manager just because you received a 4.0 GPA and “planned events” for the culture club. An education has to be complemented with practical experience.
Two years into college, I realized I didn’t want to be a lawyer. Or a politician. Or go to grad school. Or do anything that history majors are usually pigeonholed to do.
What did I want to be?
I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But how do I do that?
Experience. The best way to achieve that goal is to gain experience. If I’m going to own a startup one day, I needed to learn the workings of a business.
It takes bravery to drop out of college to start own company. I chickened out on that, but I did the next best thing.
I started applying to internships.
Internships give you a taste of what it’s like to work in an actual professional environment. It’s an opportunity to trial run your dream job, make connections, gain practical skills, and apply the things you learned in school.
Maybe I was a bit harsh on higher education before but I just wanted to get my point across.
An internship is worthwhile and supplements your college degree. It shows potential employers you’re more than a good student; it proves you can be an asset to the company or organization immediately.
But why intern abroad, you ask?
Firstly, it is a chance to live in a completely different place. I chose to study abroad for that reason alone. I wanted to live somewhere on the opposite side of the globe, meet people who didn’t grow up reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to start off the day, and see sights that were foreign to this creature of the concrete jungle.
The opportunity to live overseas. That’s probably your top reason for wanting to go abroad and you’re absolutely right to pursue that dream.
I suppose some of you want a more practical reason for interning abroad (if only to justify the choice). Well, an experience abroad further separates yourself from others, career-wise…
But let’s be real. That’s a secondary benefit that’ll come out of taking full advantage of your experience and reflecting back on it afterwards.
What is most important is the journey, where you are encouraging self-growth by challenging yourself in an unfamiliar environment where you’re forced to adjust to new surroundings and establish a life in a short amount of time, putting in effort to make friends and immerse yourself in the local community, all while dealing with a full-time internship role.
Interning abroad exposes you to a million different situations that you might not have thought of, and once the experience is over, you’ll leave, a different person, a little bit wiser with new friends and memories that will stay with you forever.