All you need to know about internships while studying

So, you know which country you will be studying in, have sorted your visa and have accommodation options lined up – awesome! That’s everything you need, right? Maybe not. Have you thought about doing an internship in your chosen country of study?

Studying in a foreign country can be a great experience. And working as an intern while studying won’t just add to your experience, it will benefit you and your career for years to come.

On top of the obvious benefits of learning new work skills and practices, there are lots of other advantages like:

  • Gaining experience overseas that’ll help you find similar work back home
  • Helping you improve your language skills
  • Adding to your education through course credits
  • Helping you sort out a network of professional contacts, which could be useful for future references
  • Improving your confidence in a work setting.

However hard you study, employers will generally value your work experience as much as – if not more than – your qualifications. Therefore, having valuable internship experience makes you much more attractive to employers when you’re trying to get your “foot in the door”.

Many employers won’t give you a second glance if you don’t have an internship on your resume. And that’s not what you want when you start looking for a job.

Do I need a special visa to do an internship?

There are a variety of student and work visas on offer depending on which country you study in, and these can give you a guide on how many days or weeks you’re able to intern for, as well as whether you are allowed to earn money. This can vary depending on the business you work for, but it’s worth finding out more about visas at your chosen country’s website regarding types of visas.

There’s also a chance that your college or university may offer internship programs, so be sure to look at the options. There are externally run private internship placement firms, but these services can cost between A$1,500 to $2,000+, depending on how long your placement is and which country you’re studying in. If you do decide to go down this path, make sure you do your research and investigate the costs involved.

Which internship is right for me?

There could be unique internship opportunities tailored specifically for students from your home country. Whether you can speak Mandarin, Korean, Japanese or Arabic – there’s a heap of opportunities out there for bilingual students. If you are a native speaker of one of these languages, these internship opportunities could give you a competitive edge.

Some good employment sites to look at for international students studying in Australia include Indeed, which lists paid internships for international students; SEEK, SimplyHired, and Idealist are also excellent sites.

What if I don’t like it?

There’s no harm in trying a new thing, and the bonus of doing an internship is that you get to choose which industry is right for you. If it turns out that working in your chosen field is not what you imagined, it’s better to know early on, while you’re still able to change it.

What other benefits will an internship provide me with?

Completing an internship is an awesome opportunity. It’ll help build your confidence at work and get you speaking to a huge variety of people you might’ve never encountered before. You’ll likely learn a new skill set, and grow your resume; making it more appealing to future bosses. It’s a perfect chance to put yourself out there, challenge yourself and set yourself up for the future.

Are you an international student studying in Australia looking for an internship?

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Author: Cohort Go

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