Why Internships Abroad Are More Valuable Than Study Exchange
Why an internship abroad might be more valuable than a study exchange
It is no secret that more and more students want to spend some time abroad during their studies. Not only is it a memorable personal experience; the whole set of soft skills and knowledge that come with it are also valued by recruiters. But should you do an internship or a study exchange in this new country? Having done both - three internships abroad and one year of studies outside of France - I will try to analyse the pros and cons of those two experience.
Studies abroad are very attractive for a few reasons. They represent what anyone could like about University time: meeting very different and inspiring people, partying, attending unordinary events, you name it. This context is ideal to integrate and bond with locals fast. In a word, studies abroad represent a very precious experience that you migh remember for the rest of your life. However, the lack of a purpose can make you feel stuck in the same place for a long period of time. Credits abroad are sometimes not counted in your home University. Try to focus on learning the new language! The progress you will make from the start to the end will help you feel evolution.
Internships abroad represent something different. Now you work and people around you expect results. You are there to learn, but you should feel responsible for what you do. An internship is in this way more demanding than a period of studies abroad, but also more rewarding, because your actions will matter. You will have a sense of purpose and you will become knowledgeable after a few weeks. This is an experience for ambitious people. Even if you choose to work for another company after your internship, you will have developed an international professional network that will help you in the future. This is the best way to launch an international career - the only kind available in the 21st century.
You shouldn't choose any experience over the other. If you can, try doing both! I wouldn't trade my study exchange year in Japan for anything. The two internships in Germany I had, or my internship in Indonesia all made me very self-aware and increasingly ambitious. While considering both options, ask yourself what you really want. Are you at the beginning of your studies, still unclear with what you really want to do with your life ? Or are you already ambitious and willing to accomplish a lot, fast? The decision is yours, but we can guide you. Find your experience in Asia.