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How to Make Student Internships Abroad Productive and Meaningful

If you want to take part in student internships abroad, you are likely to find yourself embarking on the experience of a lifetime. Many students fall in love with the country in which they complete their internship, embracing the culture and the experience. Indeed, it is not unheard of for people to hope that their internship actually becomes a full time job, allowing them to stay even longer. This is not always the case, however, but what is a set given is that it is important to make your internship as productive and meaningful as possible.

How to Get the Most out of Student Internships Abroad

Internships are similar regardless of where you complete them. Whether or not they are open to promotion to full time employees depends not on the country but rather on the company. Hence, regardless of who and where you want to work as an intern for, there are a number of characteristics companies will look for, and a couple of things you can expect.

Firstly, interns tend to only complete very basic tasks. They often take on clerical positions and their remuneration, if they get one at all, is very small. Hence, you shouldn’t have high expectations in terms of the financial benefits you will receive, nor really about the extent of the work experience. An internship is about introducing you to the workplace in the industry you have chosen, and less about actually learning to perform your eventual job.

If you do want to be considered for a full time position within the company after your internship, and actually start to work according to your skills, you have to make sure that you set yourself apart as a suitable candidate. Hence:

  • Make sure you start work on time every day.
  • Make sure you complete all the tasks that needed to be done each day.
  • Stay behind when needed instead of having a 9 to 5 mentality.
  • Try to build relationships with the movers and shakers within the organization. Avoid the gossipers and those who don’t really want to be there.
  • Make sure you don’t take excessively long breaks.

Although you may feel like you are “just an intern”, you can guarantee that your employer is watching you and seeing what you can do. Hence, you need to show them that you are good at what you do, willing to learn, and a true asset to have. Even if you don’t want to end up having a full time job with the internship company, this is still important because it will go in your eventual assessment.

You should see an internship as a probationary period within an organization. It is your chance to find out whether your chosen industry – and your chosen country – is right for you, but it is equally your chance to show a prospective employer what you are made of. Think outside of the box and go above and beyond the call of duty, and you may just find yourself landing a job in the country of your dreams, for the company of your dreams.

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