Balancing time abroad with an internship, so you can get the most out of both!

By Hanna Anderson

A semester abroad with classes and an internship may initially sound overwhelming. Balancing the time to get in sightseeing and travel, course work and hours in the internship office is surely not a walk in the park; however, it is completely possible to do both and get the absolute most out of each!

First thing’s, first. You must familiarize yourself with a planner. Writing down how your days will be spent is essential so you can figure out when you will be working and doing homework vs. when you will be exploring.

Secondly, it is very important to immerse yourself fully into your internship experience. Working alongside individuals native to the area can teach you more about the culture than simply taking photos with its famous landmarks.

Perhaps most importantly, learning to prioritize can help you to choose what is best for your study abroad experience. A work party on the same Saturday you wanted to take the train into Paris? In a case like this, you would have to decide which opportunity could be of more value to your overall experience abroad. If the party is optional, and you will be surrounded by the same people you are everyday at the job, they will likely understand, if you have to take a rain check. However, if you feel like you see potential in additional networking with your colleagues, you may consider the party a priority for your future.

At the end of the day, decisions will have to be made to get the most out of both your internship and your time abroad. Remember, dive head first into every opportunity handed to you. Meeting local inhabitants in your host country can actually improve your overall abroad experience because it is a unique way to learn more about it. Organizing your schedule to find an equilibrium can make for a less stressful time and be more beneficial for you, your employers, and your study abroad friends.

Intern Abroad!

Living and studying abroad is an experience that many students pursue at least once during their time at Elon. But are you aware you can also intern while you are abroad?

In some cases, like the Elon in London program, students are automatically given the opportunity to register for internship credit and placed with a career-related organization for the semester.

In other cases, students have found ways to get a meaningful internship abroad by working with our office. Internships abroad offer a number of advantages to students. Adding international experience to your resume adds a unique element and potential employers will be impressed by your adaptability to a workplace in a different culture. In a society that is increasingly global, international experience will make you a more attractive applicant. By working closely with our office to gain an internship, you will be well on your way.

There are a few key factors to keep in mind as you begin the process to apply abroad. Simply working at any organization is not going to be as helpful as finding a reputable location, where you will gain valuable knowledge pertaining to your career goals and discipline of study. Also, we have a number of alumni who work for international organizations or live abroad who can become a great connection and resource.

Keep in mind that depending on when or how you are travelling, you will need to balance time with your internship course, other classes, travel and simply experiencing the country where you are living. Getting an internship is great, but we want to ensure it enhances your experience abroad.

Finally, contact the Isabella Cannon International Centre, even if you’re going to your native country to complete the study abroad application.There may also be different visa applications and safety concerns so your destination must first be approved.  Then, be prepared to work closely with the School of Communications Internship Office about meeting our internship requirements. Together, we will help you to create a unique study-abroad internship experience.

To get started visit the Isabella Cannon International Centre’s Intern Abroad Resources website and make an appointment with the internship office.