Things to Consider Before Applying for an International Internship

Things to Consider Before Applying for an International Internship

Being an intern abroad is going to boost your chances of landing the best job once you come back. Why? Because, as an international intern, you will get a chance to learn from the best people in their field, acquire new skills and languages, and gain irreplaceable experience. And, on top of all this, you will enrich your life. Just think about it—when working, studying, and just living in a different place, you will have an opportunity to meet diverse people and cultures, see mesmerizing things, try unusual food, breathe different air, and most importantly, travel the world. Yes, all of this sounds amazing. But, there are some things to consider before applying for an international internship. These things can make or break your decision whether to go on this trip or not. Thus, keep on reading to prepare yourself.


Some people see an interesting international internship and just apply for it. Yes, if you get accepted, that can be a great adventure. Moreover, it can be a thing that will boost your resume and push your career forward. But, at the same time, that can also be a thing that can break both you and your career. Thus, before even applying for a certain international internship, look at its content. That is, look at what you will be doing during your internship. Is that going to be something that will improve your private and business life or not? Is that something relevant to you and your job?

Don't be afraid to ask questions when applying for something as important as an internship abroad. That is the only way to ensure that your chosen internship is full of content that suits you and your needs. For instance, if you are applying for a medical internship somewhere in Africa, you should ensure that that hospital deals with areas you specialize in and that that city is actually a place where you can live comfortably.


Speaking of the city—it is also one of the things to consider before applying for an international internship. It is of key importance to know where you are going to be placed before you actually start packing your bags. Thus, before accepting the internship, check your future location. Check how long you will need to travel there, how long the commute is, and if the location is safe. Also, check where your house abroad will be, if some of your friends and family members will be there or if you will be all alone, etc. These are just some of the questions you should answer before going. 

Moreover, if you decide to accept the internship in the big, wide world, it is important to have your documents ready. Depending on where you plan on going, you might need a passport or a visa. Of course, we, Elective Africa will walk with you through this journey or preplan your departure. We make sure to share with you a checklist of prerequisites for your trip (depending on your destination of choice).


Another very crucial thing to consider before applying for an international internship is its longevity. That is, you have to consider how long this particular internship will last and whether you have the time necessary to complete it. Our premed internships and medical electives last from 2 to 12 weeks. 

Some internships last for six months, some for a year, and some even more. This all, of course, depends on the nature of your internship. If you happen to have a similar program and you are taking a lot of stuff with you, you might need to consider hiring international movers as well. These are the people who will take care of everything from folding and packing clothes without wrinkling them, making sure you have everything neat and tidy, to heavy lifting, transporting, and shipping. 


Nothing in life comes free. And although some international internships are paid for either by your company or by the company you will intern for, some of them are not. Don't neglect the unpaid internships - some have contents that are just perfect for you. It is important to ask the company you plan on interning for what they will cover before you go. It is true—some will not cover any of your expenses. But, some will offer some kind of help. Each company is different, and thus, each company will have different financial terms. 

Emotional Preparedness  

One of the most important things to consider before applying for an international internship is your emotional state. Ask yourself whether you are emotionally ready for this big life event! Being an intern abroad means leaving everybody and everything you are familiar with and going to an entirely new place. It means living alone somewhere far away and speaking a different language. And it means leaving your comfort zone and experiencing a culture shock. Are you ready for all of that? 

 As you have seen, there are many things to consider before applying for an international internship. We mentioned just some of them, but it is up to you to keep thinking. Don't leave anything to chance when it comes to something as important as this. Thus, before going, do your research, ask questions, think about the answers, save money, and above all, prepare yourself emotionally. 

Take the next step!

 Reach out and apply for the upcoming break start dates. Do you want to speak with us? Click here to inquire about our programs and start your journey to a fulfilling experience overseas.

by Elective Africa

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