Deciding to study or intern overseas is a big (and sometimes scary) decision. Getting outside your comfort zone is never easy, but don’t let common myths and misconceptions about internships abroad rob you of your chance to see the world and gain the professional experience you need.
Don’t fall for these myths about internships abroad:
Myth 1: Employers won’t care about your international internship.
Is an internship abroad worth it? Consider this – the majority of AIFS Abroad alumni have been asked about their time abroad during a job interview. An international internship will shape your future, create lifelong connections and help you establish a global network. Plus, it shows employers your desire to gain global competency and technical skills in your field.
Myth 2: You have to choose between studying abroad and interning abroad.
AIFS Abroad offers a range of Study + Internship programs around the world. These programs combine a traditional study abroad experience with a part-time internship. Working side by side with locals is a great way to enhance your study abroad experience and gain deeper insight into your host country’s culture.
Myth 3: You can’t intern abroad after graduating from college.
With an internship abroad, recent graduates can take what they learned in the classroom and put it into practice. While some countries may have visa age restrictions or may require you to be a currently enrolled university student, there are still lots of options available for graduates, young professionals and those taking a gap year.
Myth 4: An internship will throw you off track for graduation.
There are many ways to earn credit for an internship abroad! You can gain academic credit for your internship through your home institution or from Fairfield University, the AIFS Abroad School of Record. Short-term, full-time internship programs are also available during the summer, so you don’t even need to miss any time on your home campus.
Myth 5: Scholarships and grants can’t be used for internships abroad.
We are committed to providing financial assistance to as many students as possible in support of their goal to study or intern abroad. AIFS Abroad funding and other sources of financial support you may be eligible for can help make your international internship attainable. If you are earning credit for your internship abroad you may be able to use your existing financial aid package.
Myth 6: There are limited opportunities to intern abroad.
AIFS Abroad offers full-time and part-time internship programs in exciting locations across the globe. And no matter what your major or career field, it’s easy to find a program that meets your needs. Internships are tailored to students, and we start with getting to know your strengths and career goals. Whether you are shadowing medical professionals in an Argentine hospital or interning with a fashion company in Paris, we’ll help you find the right program for you.
Myth 7: You won’t have any time for independent travel.
Outside of your internship hours (and class time if you are on a Study + Internship Program), your nights and weekends belong to you. You can explore your host city, country and beyond, as you’d like. AIFS Abroad programs also include a range of social events and excursions to help you fully embrace all that your program location has to offer.
Myth 8: You need to pack your bags and board a plane to intern abroad.
You can gain global work experience from your laptop with a virtual international internship! Like our on-site internship programs, you have the option to earn academic credit for your remote internship. Welcome and exit orientations, virtual site visits, and check-ins with AIFS Abroad staff ensure that you receive high-quality guidance and support. All interns — whether virtual or on-site — take the CliftonStrengths assessment and receive customized coaching, one-on-one consultation calls, interview prep, cover letter and resume revision.
Myth 9: You need to be fluent in another language to intern abroad.
Don’t let this hold you back! We offer English-friendly internship placements in locations across the world. While specific businesses or industries can have language proficiency requirements, you don’t need to be fluent in a foreign language to intern abroad. We may even be able to enroll you in a language course to help give your communication skills an extra boost!
Get started on finding the perfect internship abroad for you!
Now that these myths are busted, are you ready to learn more about what international internships are really like? Internships with AIFS Abroad provide global experience, practical exposure to the demands of specific jobs, and professional and personal development.