If you’re a college student, recent graduate, or young professional, an international internship presents an amazing opportunity to gain the skills and experience you’ll need to kickstart your dream career. This type of program isn’t just about professional growth though — it’s a chance to connect with people from diverse backgrounds, immerse yourself in different cultures, gain fresh insights into other ways of life, and go through personal development. On top of all of that, you can also potentially turn your internship into a job offer!
Hear from a few internship program alumni who were profoundly impacted by their experience and were asked to stay on board with their host companies abroad.
1. Alyssa L. | Marine Biology Intern | Sydney, Australia
Alyssa had a clear vision of Australia as her ultimate internship destination. Upon completing her Marine Biology internship there, she stayed on board with her host company as a volunteer to help finish up some critical projects. Her dedication paid off when her supervisor asked her to take on a role as a research assistant, fulfilling her goal of building a life in Australia.
“Hard work and commitment to the projects that you start during your internship is key to show that you stand out. Make sure that you give your internship everything you have because your supervisors will notice! Also, take as many opportunities as you can to knock on some doors and meet some new people within the company. Networking is the best asset anyone can have, and it can provide you with so many unimaginable and unbelievable opportunities.”Alyssa L., Marine Biology intern in Sydney, Australia
As she put it, “I am forever grateful for the opportunities I was given after the internship.” Because she followed her dream and took a leap to intern abroad, Alyssa was able to turn her internship into a job offer so she could live her best life in Australia.
2. Angela H. | Non-Profit Intern | Barcelona, Spain
Angela always had an itch to explore life beyond the United States, and her international internship gave her the ticket to do just that. She set her sights on Barcelona, one of Spain’s largest and most metropolitan cities, where she could dive headfirst into the vibrant Spanish culture she’d been fascinated with. With her heart set on making a difference and a knack for non-profit work, Angela landed the perfect internship with an NGO in Barcelona — a dream come true!
During her internship, Angela worked on a number of different types of tasks, but she said that her favorite project was teaching English to children at a local summer camp in the city, sharing, “It was really fun teaching and interacting with kids from an entirely different culture.”
It wasn’t a huge surprise when she was asked by her host employer to stay on a bit longer — a testament to the working relationship she’d built with her supervisor and the organization on the whole.
“I was asked to keep working for my company because I got along so well with my supervisor! She had mentioned while I was there that she wished I could stay and continue to work on her projects with her, so it wasn’t a total surprise.”Angela H., Non-Profit intern in Barcelona, Spain
3. Julie Q. | Human Resources Intern | Barcelona, Spain
Before Julie even thought about diving into an internship in Barcelona, she had a burning wanderlust. The world was calling her name, but she didn’t feel right about hitting pause on her studies in order to go on international adventures. It was fate that she found the opportunity of a lifetime: mix travel, course credit, and professional growth with an international internship program.
Julie’s internship placement with a recruitment company was perfect a great match for her career goals — and little did she know that her journey would take an unexpected twist: her internship would turn into a job offer! During the last two weeks of her program, her host company let her know they wanted to keep her on board, and she was thrilled. She eventually returned to the United States and continued working for that same company remotely.
“Advice I’d give to someone who wants to turn their internship into a full-time role would be to never stop working hard and showcasing your talents to your employers. If you are excited about the work you do, make it clear! And never be afraid to ask questions. Opportunities are always just around the corner and never out of reach.”Julie Q., Human Resources intern in Barcelona, Spain
4. Ciara C. | Art Museum Intern | London, England
Ciara said “see you later!” to New York’s Bard College to explore London’s vibrant art scene for an international internship. It was a goal of hers to experience a new culture and artistic influences, and interning in London was a perfect way to accomplish that. Trying to make connections and expanding your professional network in a new place can feel a little daunting, but Ciara found her way more easily because of her international internship. She was honored when the art museum she was interning for offered her a position.
“Interning at the Foundling was such an incredible experience. The people who work there are so kind and lovely and if you work hard and they like you can get some great opportunities from it. I now teach art with two nurseries in the museum’s education program, I work events there (even meeting amazing artists who show for temporary exhibitions, helped run a protest choir, and still work front of the house on occasion).”Ciara C., Art Museum intern in London, England
5. Giiovanna A. | Architecture Intern | Florence, Italy
Exploring new cultures and gaining a fresh perspective on her career path were the driving forces behind Giovanna’s decision to do an international internship in beautiful Florence, Italy. Giovanna was placed with a prestigious architecture and design firm, known for its global clientele. Her tasks were primarily centered around crafting 3D perspectives of various scenarios, delving deep into the intricate details of spaces, such as colors, materials, and furniture. Her internship experience was profoundly rewarding, and as she prepared to say “arrivederci” to Florence, her host company extended the opportunity to continue their collaboration with a job offer. Once home, Giiovanna kept working with her host employer remotely. She found that she could continue doing the same work at a distance!
“First of all, be sure that you feel comfortable working with [your employer], and then show your enthusiasm for being there, so they will realize that you are enjoying your time there and that their time teaching you has been worth it. At the end it is all about that, what you give is what you get in return. And be always grateful for that.”Giiovanna A., Architecture intern in Florence, Italy
Ready to find a career you love?
There’s no guarantee your internship program will turn into a job offer, but we’re committed to ensuring you have all the tools you need to navigate your professional journey. By choosing an AIFS Abroad international internship program, you’ll receive comprehensive support every step of the way, including professional development, career coaching, and ongoing advice from start to finish.