An overseas internship can be the experience of a lifetime. However, finding the right internship can be a daunting task. Consider two primary search strategies below and seek additional advice from your career advisor.
If you plan on using a fee-based program for doing an international internship, we highly recommend contacting AU Abroad. AU Abroad offers study abroad programs in cities around the world – academic programs that break the overseas study mold. Importantly, AU Abroad organizes all the details of your semester so that you have a safe, challenging, and meaningful overseas academic adventure.
In addition, you should check with your academic advisor as to whether your specific school operates its own programs, or may recommend other fee-based programs.
There are many other organizations that advertise themselves as providing you with an overseas internship, managing all the logistics of your trip. These organizations can vary greatly in terms of reliability and quality, so careful research and checking is strongly advised before contracting with them and making an initial deposit. The advantage of this approach is that you have an organization do all the leg work – from contacting and securing the internship site to helping you with travel and immigration arrangements.
Some students prefer to find their internship independent of any placement organization. While the upside of this approach is that it is usually less expensive, the downside is that it is much more time consuming and you must solve your own problems if your logistics do not go as planned – i.e. your return flight is canceled, your visa application is denied, the internship site no longer exists when you arrive, etc.
In addition, while it is possible for students to find international internships independently, students who do so may decide to arrive in a foreign country on a tourist visa, which could mean that it would be illegal to work at an internship – and could result in expulsion from that country. Moreover, students thinking about setting up an independent internship in a developing country should consider that arriving in a strange place alone or with a few companions could be dangerous in terms of personal security.