Taking on an internship in another country can be an excellent way to combine work experience with an international perspective.
Finding an international internship is more difficult than finding one in the United States, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some strategies for finding an international internship—and making it work for you.
Take on a volunteer position
Volunteer positions in other countries can offer just as much challenge and responsibility as an internship in the United States. Often, these types of opportunities are with nonprofit or governmental agencies. To locate such a position, explore volunteer programs or contact an organization directly.
Check the listings of internship programs
Some internship programs charge a fee for participation; others do not. Below are some helpful resources to get you started:
Boston College Office of International Programs Summer Internship Programs
Professional internships for BC students in Ireland, Madrid, and Paris
Global internship programs for college students
Global Edge International Internship Directory
A reference guide to match students with international internship opportunities
Excellent database of international internships
Professional Pathways Australia
Custom-designed professional internships in Australia
In order to be paid for an internship or other work abroad, you will need to procure a work permit for that country. Here’s how:
- If you are participating in a U.S.-based work exchange program, that organization will handle your work permit.
- Visit the consular website of the country you plan to visit.
- If you plan to work in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada, you can get a work permit for a fee from BUNAC.
- If you are headed for a country other than those listed above, a work permit may be difficult to obtain. In most countries, your prospective employer would have to apply to the government, saying it wasn’t possible to find a qualified applicant within the country. Very few companies are willing to go through this process, especially for a summer hire.