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Study Abroad Blog

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6 Reasons Why You Should Do a Study Abroad Internship

March 13, 2014
by CEA CAPA Content Creator
I knew before I applied for my semester abroad that I wanted to experience life as an intern. While it is a bit daunting and a little intimidating, having an internship has taught me many things and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in gaining professional skills at an international level. With that said, here are some reasons why you should intern abroad.  
1)    Boost Your Résumé 
This is probably the most obvious reason to intern abroad, but there’s nothing wrong with that! In this day and age, getting an internship is critical for the development of any young professional, but an internship abroad demonstrates strong work ethic as well as versatility. It’s hard enough moving to a new country, let alone immersing yourself within its professional environment. I encourage you to take a step outside your comfort zone and find your place in an office abroad. If anything else, it will be a good conversation starter for your next interview!
 My Wonderful (pun intended) place of employment

2)    Gain Professional Experience
This one is fairly obvious: any place that gives you experience and transferable professional skills is worth considering. Working abroad sets you apart from other candidates-use this to your advantage and try learning a thing or two about your industry while abroad.
3)    Experience Working in a New Place
It’s a bit nerve-racking starting a new job anywhere, but abroad it can be extra challenging. I have found that through the experience of working in a new environment, I have not only learned about the industry of my internship, but I have learned a lot about myself as well. You’ll never know what type of job you want in life if you don’t go out and try!
4)    Make International Connections
In a world where networking can make or break your career, having a reference from a foreign boss can really boost your appeal. This is especially critical for those of you who would like to work internationally as a career.           
5)    Gain New Perspectives
One of my favorite things about interning abroad is learning about topics pertaining to my work through the perspective of a British employee. I guarantee that you will not get this experience back in the States.
6)    It Will All Pay Off
Interning abroad can be tough. I work between 15 to 20 hours per week, meaning that I have a lot less free time than my fellow study abroad peers. I also have more responsibility, which can be stressful when balancing school, travel, and social activities. Despite these setbacks, I wholeheartedly believe that the program is ultimately worth it. For every frustrating you have, there will be a moment of unadulterated accomplishment that validates any struggle. Having your boss praise your work or finding your place within the office will make missing out on half-off drinks worth it. Just be patient and I promise that an internship will be one of the most rewarding parts of your study abroad experience.
 Don't worry, you'll still have time for traveling..
 ..and macaroon tasting..
 ...and exploring the Scottish highlands...
 ...and eating ALL of the food...
 ...and finally, selfie-ing.

Interning abroad isn’t for everyone, but if you are serious about boosting your résumé and having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I highly recommend it!  
Karly Sandsmark is the Spring 2014 CEA MOJO in London, UK. She is a junior at Colorado State University

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