Don't Let These Things Hold You Back From Going Abroad

Your dream internship is waiting.

Being young, just in or out of college, is the ideal time to take a leap of faith, pack up and go abroad. This isn’t the time to hold back. Right now, your commitments and responsibilities are lower than they will ever be again.

You have no restrictions. 

Okay, so you’re almost convinced, but there is still that voice in your head holding you back. Maybe your desire to go is equally matched by the fears making you want to stay. That is totally normal.

Let’s be honest, the idea of interning abroad is as intimidating as it is inspiring. The entire process (from figuring out your schedule and finances to stepping into an office on the other side of the world) may seem like it’s too much to handle. It’s overwhelming at first, but it is 100% achievable. More importantly, it’s worth-while.

If you’re in this position, I encourage you to take a deep breath and look at this list of fears and myths that hold so many people back from an incredible experience and may be keeping you back as well.

Reason No. 1: Going Abroad is Too Expensive, Never Mind Interning Too!

Yes, travel is expensive. However, if you’re still in school, chances are paying for your tuition, rent, and other fees at your home university is around the same amount (or in some cases may be more expensive) than going abroad. Because of dollar exchange rates, scholarships, and education prices in other countries, students that go abroad while in school often find that they spend the same amount of money whether they are at home or across the world.

For those who are interning after college, yes, you’re paying additional money to go abroad. However, if you were to just travel after graduation, you’d be spending the same amount of money without gaining resume experience. Don’t let this hold you back.

Additional tip: If there are no scholarships available for you, look at booking your ticket during the off-season, or choose a budget-friendly country!

World Internships has incredible resources for those worrying about finances. From payment plans to scholarships, they can make it happen for you.

Reason No. 2: Interning Abroad Will Delay My Graduation

If you are still in college and are worried about how going abroad will affect your graduation, there are several solutions. First, make sure that you’ve done your research and planned properly. Interning abroad in the summer should not hold back your graduation. Some universities will allow your internship to count for credit, so you may be able to partake during the semester, too! In addition, most majors require an internship to graduate, so why not do one abroad?

Another option, if you really cannot manage a summer internship or arrange your classes to take a semester off, think about going on an internship after your walk at graduation. There are several students that I interned with that walked in graduation, but we’re completing their internship abroad as the last part of their requirements. They graduated on-time just like everyone else, the only difference is their degree came in the mail when they returned from their internship abroad. Always ask your university how you can make this work. There are options!

Reason No. 3: I Will Miss My Family and Friends

Yes, life will continue on at home while you are away, and of course your friends and family will miss you as much as you miss them. Try to keep in mind that you are only going away for a short time in the grand scheme of things.

In addition, technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected. If you’re really worried about missing people, make a weekly Skype date and stay in touch through Snapchat or quick messages using WhatsApp, Skype, or Facebook Messenger. World Internships has a few different options regarding the length of stay, so communicate your fears with your advisor and work out a plan together.

Make it a point right away to get involved in your temporary home. Find some type of community that can help you when you start to feel lonely. It could be a new group of friends, a church, volunteering, community gym class, or any of the many other opportunities your new host country will provide.

In addition, World Internships can provide a homestay. This way, you’ll be around family, even if it isn’t yours.

Reason No. 4: The Application Process is too Complicated

The application process might be tricky, but so was applying to college at one point.

It’s a good idea to break down the process into separate tasks. This way it seems more manageable and allows you to focus on what needs to get done and when. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to the World Internship advisors. They are experts in their field, so use them!

And, let’s be honest: if you take a few hours away from social media, watching Netflix, or playing video games, you can get this done. Decide that this experience is something you want and don’t let the application process hold you back.

Reason No. 5: Employers Don’t Care that I Interned Abroad

THIS IS A MYTH. International experience is going to bulk up your resume and help you stand out. In fact, listing that you’ve spent time abroad shows employers that you are flexible, take risks, work with others from various backgrounds and cultures, and are independent.

Reason No. 6: Making Friends While Abroad Will Be Too Hard

This thought scares many people and holds them back from exploring somewhere far from their hometown. For some, making friends abroad will not be an issue whatsoever. Personally, it wasn’t difficult to make friends abroad because I have no problem walking up to a stranger, introducing myself, and striking up a conversation.

For others, I know that it can seem daunting. Luckily, World Internships hosts an orientation, allowing you to meet other interns, schedule trips, and bond with the people around you. This gives you a group of people to start adventuring with, and who knows who you’ll meet from there! Before you know it, you will be making weekend plans with new acquaintances and creating life-long international friendships.