Questions To Ask Yourself (And Others) Before Interning Abroad
By Sarah Dilworth
Making the decision to intern or volunteer abroad is no small feat. It requires a lot of research, scheduling, and sometimes even a little soul searching. But it also requires you to be inquisitive. You want to be as prepared as you possibly can, and that means you need to ask questions. Lots of them. Questions to your professors, your advisors, your campus international education office, your internship provider and local coordinators, your program’s alumni, your host organization, and perhaps, most importantly, yourself!
What are my objectives and goals for my internship abroad?
Why do I want to intern in a certain country/city?
Will that location be beneficial for my field of study/career interests?
What skills do I hope to gain from interning abroad?
For how long do I want to live abroad?
What excites me about living abroad? What terrifies me about living abroad?
Are my expectations within reason?
What time of the academic year is best for me to go abroad? For how long should I intern abroad?
Is it possible to obtain academic credit for interning abroad?
What program providers have you worked with before?
Can I speak with other university students or alumni who have interned with the program I am interested in?
Even if my internship is not for academic credit, how can I best leverage this experience on my CV?
My Program Provider
Where can I hear from past program participants?
What visa do I need?
How should I pack? What is the weather like? What is the dress code for my internship? What activities do I need to be prepared for?
What resources can you share with me to help me get to know the city/country better before I arrive?
Does my program provide pickup from the airport? If so, do you have my correct arrival and flight information?
Will I be able to meet other participants on the program and make friends easily?
What resources do you have for networking and staying involved with your program and other alumni after my internship is over?
Working with your program provider and your university advisors to voice your concerns and questions will only make you more prepared and, therefore, allow you to have a more successful internship and living abroad experience. Share which questions you think are most important below.