Going on an internship in another country? For the one it's a dream and a lot of fun, the other is excited but also scared about the new thing in that country. 1,5 year ago I have been on an internship to the South of France and now am I looking for another one in France and I actually got something in sight. In this blog I will share my tips and tricks for finding an internship in a foreign country!
Going on an internship to another country is a huge adventure if you ask me. In my experience you learn a lot about the culture, the country, the people and how things are done there. There can be many differences, but.. Those differences help you learn. It also learns you a lot about yourself, at least I did.
Finding an internship cannot be the easiest though.. My first internship went very easy, I had it ready 6 months in front of my actual internship and I found this amazing company because of someone I photographed.. This coming internship though.. It was a lot harder to find.
1. Make sure your CV and motivation letter are according to the standards of the country where you are applying for your internship.
For example in France they would like to see a profile picture in your CV but in the USA it is the opposite. Next to that if your motivation letter has to be formal, informal in between. Be careful this also can differ for the type of company!
2. Look at what the popular vacancy websites are in that typical country
- Hosto.com --> tourism
3. Search for a specific type of job in an area where you would like to do your internship
For example if you would like to do a marketing internship in Marseille you would type in Marketing at search and Marseille at location, but if you would like to do a Marketing internship at a Tourism company in Marseille you would type in the search Marketing Tourisme.
4. Before contacting the company make sure you have checked their website and social media so you know who they are and what they do, also try only to apply on jobs you really want.
5. If your motivation letter is written in a language that you do not own natively, it can come in handy to let it be checked by someone who speaks and writes that language natively or professionally well.
6. If the company contacts you back, possibly with questions, make sure you make an active impression.
For example, ask the company questions too, this shows you are interested and eager to find out if that is the right company for you.
- Did you already have non-....(people of that country e.g. non-francophone) interns?
- If yes how did that go?
If you cannot find it on there website questions could also be
- Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
- What is your company's mission and vision? * Be careful with this one, interviewers might ask you what you think that would be so make sure you have done enough research of the company up front
7. It can be a plus point if you talk the language of the country where you would want to do your placement, if not, see if it is needed or maybe look for an international company.
My French was not that well when I went for my placement at the stud farm when I was 18, however, the owner was American so things I did not understand I could ask her in English, next to that if you are open-minded, solution directed and creative you can always find a way. For example, we had a rider on the farm who did not speak English, I didn't know how to explain her something so I drew it on a whiteboard and afterwards she added the French names. Nothing is impossible!
Too be continued with a more personal story soon!
"She turned her cant's into cans and her dreams into plans"