International Internship Questions to Consider
When Arranging an independent international, here are some questions to consider
Before You Go
- Decide whether you will have a program assist in your internship placement or if you will find a placement independently.
- Research options. View websites and request information from each organization in which you are interested.
- Determine what information you need to provide on your resume/CV and your cover letter. Many countries will require information that is not included on a US resume. Use GoingGlobal for assistance.
- Provide organizations of interest with your contact information.
- Be clear and specific about what your expectations are and what skills or knowledge you have that could benefit the organization.
- Be cautious in using the word "internship" when arranging an independent internship abroad. Internships as we define them often do not exist in other cultures.
- Clearly communicate your expectations in terms of pay and support, such as assistance when you arrive (e.g., help finding housing).
- Clarify before you arrive to whom you will report, what your work schedule will be, and any time off you may need.
- Request the agreed-upon terms of the internship in writing (including evaluations).
Once You Arrive
- Set goals for the experience with your supervisor, including what skills and knowledge you hope to acquire.
- Keep a journal of your activities and reflections, particularly any professional or cultural insights you gain.
- Be open-minded and willing to revise your goals if necessary. Your experiences could lead you in a direction you did not plan and still provide new opportunities.
- Make an effort to learn about the culture and get to know your coworkers.
- Keep your supervisor informed of your activities, even if this does not seem required.
- Ask questions, do not make assumptions.
Preparing for Reentry
- Request a meeting or an "exit interview" with your supervisor. Discuss your initial goals, accomplishments, and the experience as a whole.
- Ask for letters of recommendation, as your supervisors may be difficult for future employers to contact.
- Formally thank people for your experience.
- If appropriate, provide feedback that might be helpful in the preparation and supervision of future interns.
- Revise your resume and document your experience immediately while fresh in your mind.
-Adapted from University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center