Many students prefer an internship abroad to a semester abroad for three reasons:
- Less organisation and planning
- Shorter period
- Professional experiences in an international context while earning money
Most companies prefer longer internships, but this also has advantages for you. You can get to know the different departments and work flows better, you are more likely to work on projects from beginning to end and during your internship, you will get more responsibility.
Obligatory internships during your studies
At university, you have to do an internship? This makes planning much easier because the university usually helps you finding a suitable internship. Most of the times, universities work with partnering companies who hire students for internships abroad. The company as well as the student agree to complement their theoretical knowledge with practical work. Therefore, the application process is sometimes skipped entirely. However, there are two different times of internships:
- Obligatory internship without employment contract: The internship’s main focus is on education and studying, not on working for the company. Therefore, you don’t get a normal salary. If and how much pocket money you get from the company is the company’s decision.
- Obligatory internship with employment contract: You sign an employment contract for interns. You get the usual salary and have insurance.
We recommend that you sign an internship agreement and keep everything well documented.
STUWO Tip: Living abroad
If an organisation or company organises your internship, they often also get you a place to live. Many companies work with student accommodations, have a flat or shared flat for international interns. But it’s best to ask them!
Start looking in time
If you have to look for an accommodation yourself, start looking in time. If you can’t find a place to stay, it’s best to arrive a few weeks early and get yourself a room in a cheap hotel. You won’t have the time to look for a flat or shared flat during your internship. Worst case, try it via social media. Using the contacts you have abroad can be smart, but be careful.
How much does an internship abroad cost?
All the wonderful experiences are going to be great for you, but don’t forget that you also have to pay for your time abroad. So, think about how you are going to finance your internship abroad in time. Cost of living varies from region to region, organisation costs vary from company to company and travel costs depend on your destination. Here’s a list of aspects you have to keep in mind:
- Paying for the organisation
- Cost of living: rent, daily expenses, leisure time, public transport
- Travel costs
An internship abroad offers you so much: more depth for your studies, additional qualifications for future jobs and unique experiences during your studies.