Published on: 14 March 2023
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How to Find an Internship Abroad?
During your higher education, you may be asked to complete an overseas professional experience in the form of an international internship, a university exchange with the ERASMUS program, or an international business volunteering experience (VIE).
If this is your case, you may already be dreaming of your next destination with enthusiasm and have already started looking for an internship, but how can you find a reliable employer who is willing to hire you as an intern from France? Where can you find international internships in your field and how do you apply? What steps should you take to travel and find work in another country? How do you prepare to live far away from home and finance this experience?
Studapart will enlighten you on the subject.
Internship Abroad: In Which Country Should You Move?
Depending on your field of study, the possibilities are vast when it comes to choosing a destination for your international internship. To do so, you must take into account several criteria. It would be interesting to ask yourself in which country your field of study is promising. Where could you gain skills as a young student? How can you make the most of your studies, even settle and build a career outside France in the future? This way, your search will be more targeted and easy.
Before applying, you should also ask yourself about the cost of your trip, your setup and life on site. Do immigration procedures need to be done, take a plane, is it expensive to stay, eat? These are elements not to be neglected.
Your language skills are also a very important factor to consider before expatriating and finding work. You will need a good level in a foreign language if you wish to submit your application in a foreign country where they do not speak your language. Here are some ideas for destinations depending on the languages spoken:
Canada (outside Quebec)
Of course, there are many other possibilities if you speak another language like German, Chinese, Portuguese, etc.
Finally, keep in mind that in order to travel and work outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and more broadly Europe, you will need to do some administrative procedures to obtain a specific visa according to your situation in order to be able to reside and work in the country for the duration of your internship. Similarly, if you want to stay and work in your destination country, you will definitely have to get a working holiday visa.
How to Finance an Internship Abroad?
Financing an internship abroad can be a challenge for a student. Indeed, according to the laws of each country, interns are not always paid and when they are, the remuneration is generally not sufficient to live on. Similarly, the rules are not the same as in France, it is possible that you cannot have a job in addition to your internship depending on your residence permit. So think about finding out what you are allowed to do under your internship visa if it applies.
Therefore, you must choose your destination accordingly to your budget or think about other sources of income that will allow you to meet your needs (accommodation, food, daily life) during your internship. Some students choose to devote part of their student loan or scholarship to their experience abroad. It is possible to include this expense in the budget of your loan or assistance; others make sure they have a student job and save before they leave, or choose a destination where they can work in addition to their internship. There are also public or private European and international mobility grants, be sure to look into them. Your budget is key in this experience, so it's important to calculate it in advance.
Where to look for an internship abroad?
To find an internship abroad, start by thinking of your contacts. Do you have any close relatives or do you know any expatriates or foreigners?
That's a great start to begin your search. You should reach out to them and talk about your project; they may give you advice or even contacts for finding an internship abroad. Likewise, keep mentioning it around you, with your close ones, and other students or graduates of your institution, who could help you through their past experiences as interns.
Most schools and universities have a dedicated internship service. You will often find advice and job offers abroad there, you can also consult the archives of companies that have hosted students from your institution in the past. It is an interesting source.
Finally, you will find many internship offers abroad on the internet. The Indeed job site for example is available in many countries. You just have to target your search to access job offers in the countries you are targeting.
The professional network LinkedIn is also full of job offers abroad. Check the job tab and target your search by country or city to access it. You can also contact members of the companies you covet abroad through the same means.
Think also to consult the foreign job sites such as Indeed Europe (modify the country of research), CVLibrary (UK), Careerbuilder.com (USA), OpcionEmpleo (Spain), etcThere are even sites specialized in offers of internships abroad.
You could also join groups relaying offers of internships abroad on Facebook or other social networks.
Finally, Pôle Emploi offers a bank of jobs accessible to all, on which you could find offers of internships abroad.
How to Prepare for an Interview for an Overseas Internship?
First of all, as for any interview, you should research the company's activities thoroughly and be able to discuss them with your interlocutor. You can also ask for advice from other students who have already experienced an internship abroad.
If you have applied for an internship, the job description could give you some clues about what aspects of your profile to highlight according to the tasks described and the skills required for the position. This could also give you an idea of potential questions that could be asked. If this is not the case and you have spontaneously applied to companies that caught your attention, think about why you chose them, what role would you like to play? And what could you bring to the position that you are looking for? Take some notes that will help you not to forget any points that you consider important to develop, but do not appear like reading your notes and remain as natural as possible.
If you are applying in a foreign language, make sure you can communicate correctly with your interlocutor. Do not worry, an accent will not be disturbing, international mobility is often very much appreciated by companies. Since it is an internship abroad, it is likely that your interview will take place via videoconference. So you have to make sure you are able to participate in it and that your computer equipment works properly so as not to be disturbed during the exchange.
Also take care to present yourself as for a regular interview: in an appropriate attire and space where you will not be disturbed.