Do you want to gain an international network and get yourself out of your comfort zone? Then an internship overseas may be just the opportunity you’re looking for.
Over the summer of 2018-19 I interned in London for two months. It was an amazing experience that I would recommend everyone to look into doing!
The process of finding such an opportunity came from the realisation that I wouldn’t be able to go on exchange during my degree yet I still wanted to have some sort of productive international experience whilst I was studying.
So if you’re in a similar situation to what I was in or just want to get some experience under your belt, here is how you can do it.
Step 1: Find a program that suits your needs
For short term opportunities, UTS provides BUILD programs that cater to international internships as well as summer/winter schools at partner universities and experiential learning programs.
Though these programs sounded great, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to find a program through a service independent of UTS. The program I landed on was The Intern Group which offered me a large variety of cities that I could intern in.
The Intern Group offer a wide range of career fields that relate to business students in which you can apply for, including:
- Accounting & Finance
- Human Resources
- IT & Computer Science
- PR & Marketing
The program also offers career fields unrelated to business if you’re interested in doing something completely new.
Step 2: Apply for the program
The application process for The Intern Group was pretty simple, they ask for a copy of your CV and you book in to have a 20 minute interview with the admissions team.
The interview was a little nerve wracking but they provide you with a general understanding of what’s going to be asked before it, so as long as you’re semi prepared you should be fine.
Step 3: Raising funds for the program
If you’ve had a look at the Intern Group’s website, you may have come across how much your program will total to, if not, check out the program costs here. Unfortunately, it’s not a small sum.
When I went on my trip the major costs came from having to pay for the program itself and the flights. I was fortunate enough to have an EU passport so did not have to get a visa but overall be prepared to fork out a lot of your savings.
I didn’t receive any help from my parents (but if your parents are willing, milk it while you can!), I had to pay for the trip on my own dime. This not only tested my savings skills but also whether or not I should do it. When it’s your own money you’re putting on the line, it’s a lot more daunting; you question yourself as to whether or not it’s a good idea, if it’s worth all this money.
In the end, though I was apprehensive before I went away, I cannot tell you how fulfilling it felt to be sitting on the plane ride home knowing I just spent two months overseas and had paid for the entire trip myself. You really start to feel like an adult (well at least I did).
Now getting to the gory details of saving, I’m going to be honest I didn’t go through a strict budgeting plan in order to pay for the trip. I just did the following:
- Part-time job: Worked as many shifts as I could at my casual job, especially weekends. I may of had to give up some social time but it got me there.
- Use occasions to your advantage: For my birthday I just asked my friends and family to get me things they’ll think I need for my trip (i.e. beanie, gloves) or money. It either saved me on having to buy the item or I got more cash in the bank, win win.
- Side hustle: Picked up a side hustle; I got paid as a freelance writer for three months leading up to the trip and though it wasn’t an exorbitant amount of money, it added up.
- Savings awareness: I made sure I transferred 80% of my pay-check into my savings account so I wasn’t tempted to spend the money; and when I did need to dip into it, I tried to replace it when transferring into my savings during my next pay cycle.
As you can see it wasn’t anything crazy, I didn’t work all day everyday, I just did what had worked in the past and stuck with it. If you’re interested in pursuing an international internship go for it! It may take some time and a lot of effort, but it’ll be worth it!
If you have any questions about the program or just want a more broad picture, email firstname.lastname@example.org