If you’re anything like me, you love to travel and explore new places. You also understand the value of gaining internship experience during college. But, have you ever considered doing both at the same time? Over the summer, I interned at a public relations agency in London, England. It was one of the coolest and most rewarding experiences of my life! Here are four reasons I think everyone should intern abroad:
1. You gain cultural awareness.
Chances are, especially if you are a public relations
professional, that eventually you will have to work with
clients or coworkers that come from cultural backgrounds different than your own. Successfully communicating with people from diverse backgrounds is an excellent skill in life and in the workplace. Globalization and technology have made it much easier to communicate and do business with people from all over the world. It is essential to understand that every culture is different and learn how to adapt depending on who you are communicating with.
2. You build an international network.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of networking a million times since you started college. Not only is the amount of connections you make important, but also how far these connections reach. Networking with people from other countries opens up more opportunities for your future career. If you ever hope to move to and work in a new country, these connections will make it a lot easier and a lot less scary. I used to think I would never move outside of the United States, but I enjoyed my internship in London so much that I definitely might utilize my connections to help me obtain a job there one day.
3. You gain independence, adaptability, and confidence.
Independence, adaptability, and confidence are all skills that will appeal to future employers and help you succeed in the work place. Nothing says independence like having to learn how to get around by yourself in an unfamiliar country. In certain countries, you may have to adapt to a new language. In my case, everyone in England spoke English but they still use a lot of different words and phrases than we do here in the United States. After successfully living and interning in a foreign country for eight weeks, I gained confidence that I will be able to accomplish anything I set my mind to.
4. You get to travel and explore in your free time.
Nothing is more fun than coming home from work after a long day, knowing there are so many new sights to see and places to explore. I highly recommend taking advantage of any free time you have during your internship, since you will only be in the area temporarily. Travel on the weekends as often as you can. I took a few three day weekends during my internship in London and used that time to travel to France, Germany, and Iceland. In my opinion, interning abroad is much more exciting than interning in a place you have lived your entire life. So what are you waiting for? Participating in a global internship is a once in a lifetime opportunity as well as an experience you will never forget!
Elisabeth Mach is a third year at Ohio State double majoring in marketing and strategic communication. She enjoys traveling, writing, spending time with friends and family, and watching a good show on Netflix.