office of international programs
International internships provide students with an opportunity to gain invaluable professional and intercultural skills that prepare them to excel academically and professionally in our increasingly globalized world. By living and working abroad, students learn to navigate cultural difference in social and professional settings through full immersion in the culture of their host city and gain a global perspective. In addition, participation in international internships affords students increased confidence, tolerance for ambiguity, and strengthened communication skills.
Applications for eight-week summer internships in Dublin, Hong Kong, Madrid, Paris, and Prague are due February 5. Please note that an advising meeting with the Summer & Internships Program Manager is mandatory for all internship applicants prior to submission of the completed application.
In a word: challenge. A summer internship abroad is a busy, full-time professional experience. International internships are incredibly enriching, but a successful experience requires students to be self-motivated, flexible, and open-minded.
In addition to the challenge of adjusting to a full-time work schedule, students also grapple with immersion into a new culture, a new living situation, and (in select programs) a new language. A positive attitude, consideration of personal goals prior to departure, and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone are crucial to ensuring that the experience is both personally and professionally rewarding.
Some students choose to intern abroad in lieu of a traditional study abroad experience during the academic year, while others opt to extend their time abroad through a summer internship. In either situation, an internship abroad affords students ample opportunity to develop skills that are highly valued in careers in both the public and private sectors, including:
Enhanced cultural awareness, sensitivity to customs, and cultural differences
Global perspective and awareness of political, economic, and cultural issues
Foreign language proficiency
Adaptability, ability to step out of one’s comfort zone
Problem-solving skills, crisis management
Communication skills: ability to listen, observe, and interact with others
Increased confidence and initiative
Clarification of goals and improved self-awareness
Take time to prepare for your abroad experience by updating your professional documents, meeting with an advisor at the Career Center, and setting aside time for reflection on how this experience fits into your larger academic and professional goals.
Identify skills to develop when you go abroad by conducting a skills audit. What are your strengths/weaknesses? Which skills do you want to develop? What other professional development and networking opportunities can you pursue while abroad?
Update your professional documents to reflect your abroad experience, network in your host city by connecting with BC alumni, identify transferable skills you are developing, and take time to reflect by keeping a journal or blogging.
Identify the skills you gained during your time abroad through self-reflection on experiences that were particularly meaningful. Practice articulating your experience to potential employers through mock interviews and in your professional documents:
Shape your abroad narrative: What were the most memorable aspects of your time abroad? What were the most challenging aspects? How do these experiences illustrate personal and professional growth that you can articulate in an interview, cover letter, or personal statement?
Conduct a skills audit: what new skills did you acquire or further develop as a result of your abroad experience?
Update your resume, cover letter(s), and LinkedIn profile to highlight how your abroad experience fits into your larger academic and professional goals
Schedule an advising meeting with the Summer & Internships Program Manager or Career Center staff for additional feedback and support