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