As exciting as it can be to go abroad for an internship as horrid is it to learn that your internship does not fulfil your expectations. Here’s what you DON’T want to experience abroad:
1.The internship placement does not exist You arrive in your destination to learn that there is actually no internship placement. Perhaps you have paid a fee, flights, visa, etc., but when you call your local contact, there is no answer. Unfortunately, it is not unusual to hear about such scams where students/interns have found a relatively cheap internship option abroad only to learn that it does not exist and that they have lost their money.
Our advice: Do your research. Read reviews, use your network, and do everything to validate your internship placement. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you don’t have the time to do the research yourself, you can consider traveling with an organization. This is typically a bit more expensive, but you usually get what you pay for.
2.Horrid conditions in the placement or your accommodation Your internship placement does not meet your expectations. You don’t have any work or the tasks are not relevant for your studies, so you don’t earn university credit. Your accommodation is terrible, filthy and noisy, so you don’t get enough sleep.
Our advice: Reconsider the internship. Ask yourself if there is anything at all you can do to make the most of it. If the answer is no, then change your plans rather than spend time, energy and money on continuing a pointless internship.
3.No safety net You fall ill or get hurt while you are abroad and you need medical care in a hospital. Our advice: Travel insurance! This is the one thing you do not want to be cheap about! If all goes well, you will not need anything. If everything goes wrong, you will be forever grateful you bought it.
4.No social life People tend to underestimate the importance of a social life, especially when they are abroad. Don’t be too focused on the actual internship – you will not be working 24-7 anyway. Culture shocks and homesickness are extremely common, and a social life can help you make it through the toughest days.
Our advice: Do your research! If you love to drink a cold beer after work, you might want to avoid very religious societies where alcohol consumption is frowned upon. Check out Facebook groups or expat societies online before you go, and if you find that the local community is more fun, then you have a win-win situation. What you don’t want is to be lonely in a foreign country.
Intern Abroad only works with reliable and trustworthy partners. Contact us for free advise regarding your medical, law or business internship abroad.