This blog is written by Kim Pham, our NYU Campus Ambassador.
So you finally decided to take the dive – you’ll be spending the semester abroad! I myself am in this situation – I am writing this blog from my apartment in Prague! I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next four months frolicking about the Czech Republic, learning and living in Europe.
Like me, you may find that you have extra time on your hands, even with classes and
international exploring. Want to take on an internship? Follow these five steps:
1. Check online for opportunities.
It’s best to see what’s out there before you start sending out applications – what companies
are hiring? What do the city’s opportunities consist of? After doing a bit of research, compile
all of this information on a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, so that you can easily compare
2. Figure out the visa situation.
Some countries require foreign students to have work visas to be compensated legally, and
some internships don’t pay at all. Make sure you determine what is legally necessary for you
to be able to work – regardless, mentally prepare to work for free. This internship should
strictly be about the amazing international experience.
3. Perfect the cold email.
Now is the time to reach out to companies - keep this email short, sweet, and easy to read
(especially if English is not the primary language in the country you’re studying in). Try
to avoid unnecessary attachments – upload your resume as a Google Doc or bit.ly link if
possible. Even better, include the URL to your homepage (about.me is easy for those who
don’t have web development experience!). Your cover letter should be the body of the email
(individualized for each company, obviously), and should include details about the length of
your stay, location, reason for being abroad, etc.
4. Get educated on the industry in that respective country.
Looking for an internship in journalism in Australia? Finance in the UK? Social work in
Africa? Regardless of your desired field, it is important that you have an overview of it within
the context of that respective country. Map out the market, understand the key players, etc. –
this information will really help you when (not if!) you eventually get that interview :)
5. Plan out your semester schedule.
Make sure you get a feel for your schedule – will you be traveling locally on the weekends?
Longer excursions? Fall/spring break? Class time? Have an idea of your availability before
you start making promises about your time commitment to potential employers.