This blog was written by Sierra Schrieber, a guest blogger from the University of Missouri- Columbia.
We’ve all fantasized about taking an internship abroad. Working at a big company while wearing fashionable clothes and traveling to many different countries sounds like a dream, but are you really ready for such a big commitment?
I’ve recently decided to take on this abroad internship challenge. I will be studying abroad and taking an internship in London this spring. Everyone who decides to intern abroad is going to go through a similar crazy decision making process. Let me break down this process for you.
STEP 1: TALK TO YOUR ADVISOR. Make sure you qualify for the study abroad internship program at your university. Most colleges at least have a minimum GPA requirement. Also, you’ll want to find out what credits you will earn while studying abroad and if they set up the internship for you. You may also want to ask about financial plans and scholarships to help you pay for your abroad experience. Most importantly, find out the application deadlines! You usually have to apply to study abroad at least one semester ahead so be sure to start early.
STEP 2: GET PERMISSION FROM YOUR PARENTS. This was definitely the hardest part for me. Be sure to have all of the information on hand for when your parents ask a million questions. You’ll want to know the application deadlines, travel dates, costs, financial aid, course credit, and living situation. The main concern for my parents is my safety. So, I looked into the crime rate for the areas I would be living in. I gave my parents a lot of crime statistics and told them how I planned to stay safe. This is probably a good idea for everyone to do just to give your parents some peace of mind.
STEP 3: GO THROUGH THE APPLICATION PROCESS. Now that you know you’re eligible, it’s time to apply for the internship and study abroad program. No university will have the same process, but they’ll all have a few key things everyone must go through to apply. The first is a basic application form detailing your background and academic information. You may also be asked to provide references. I recommend getting one from a professor and one from an employer. You’ll also need to provide a resume for your internship and an academic transcript. Many programs require you to write an essay explaining your desire to study abroad and take an internship. Lastly, some universities even require an interview process.
Once you’ve finished these three steps you should be on your way to interning abroad in no time! Good luck and bon voyage!