Alexandra Béni | Jan 18, 2019 | 0
7 questions I learned to ask before accepting an unpaid internship abroad
Entering an unpaid internship abroad provides young people with numerous opportunities. First, it is a perfect chance to obtain priceless experience, which is a great way to boost your career.
Future sportsmen enter sport scholarships, while future lawyers join large agencies for training to differentiate themselves from potential competitors on the job market. When employers consider recent students for job applications, they prioritize candidates with professional background. Second, youngsters venture upon this step because they look for opportunities to push back the limits. Indeed, you cannot remain the same after getting an experience of this kind. At the same time, you need to be sure that a chosen internship fits your expectations before you start. Read a list of questions to ask before accepting an internship abroad and make sure to take them up with your employers. This guide will help you make your work more successful.
How will it help my career?
A few companies can guarantee that you will receive a job offer after completing an internship. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t accept an offer like this. First of all, your main aim is to get knowledge, valuable experience, and an attractive line in your future CV. However, you cannot afford missing your time doing something that doesn’t correspond to your college or university education and career plans. Ask the employers if the proposed internship is connected with your sphere of interest. If it is, you can request their guarantee, which can be easily confirmed by their track record.
Could I balance my internship and work?
You should ask yourself and your employers about the work schedule you will have from the very beginning. Is it a part-time job or a full-time employment? Are you expected to visit the workplace every day? This is especially important if you need to balance your current work or studying with internship. It is better to ask these questions now than to suffer from burning deadlines and stress or asking, “Can I pay someone to write a research paper?” later. It is very important to demonstrate good work habits during your internship, because your reputation depends on it heavily. You should manage your time with great attention to avoid missing internship and paralleled activities you already have.
What benefits you offer to your interns?
Unpaid internship makes it really tough to make both ends meet. You need to take care about regular spending like food, rent, and fares to go on cross-town lines. This is not an easy task, when you have to work for free all day long. At the same time, most companies offer some benefits that will surely improve your experience and ease the financial pressure you feel. Ask about the benefits during the interview, otherwise you risk to miss some of the amazing opportunities. What is more, a list of benefits can help you decide which internship to opt for. Ask your employer if they have lectures, workshops, trainings, scholarships, etc. Talking about the benefits, focus on the career-oriented ones and don’t forget about neat features like gym and flexible schedule.
Do you offer hostels for your students?
Student hostel or campus provided by a company you apply to is advantageous for both employers and interns, because this ensures better communication between colleagues. The best internship programs offer boarding for students, since when newcomers have any problems during their internship period, they can reach senior colleagues for help faster and easier. You should ask if a company of your choice does, because this way you will have an access to your colleagues’ assistance and avoid a necessity to pay for rent saving some money for yourself.
What visa do I need?
You will surely need a visa when going abroad, but its type will depend on your country and nationality. Also, the location of your chosen internship can also influence on the type of visa you will need. Ask what kind of a document you should get beforehand, because getting one might be a long process (4-12 weeks). Most internships assist learners with visas, so you should ask for detailed instructions and help from your consultant or employer.
What resources can you share with me to help me get to know the city/country better before I arrive?
Usually, internships and student career organizations provide advice on the location you are going to. You should ask for a guidance like this to ensure that you will orient yourself in an unfamiliar place. A reliable internship abroad wants to make sure that foreign students are feeling comfortable, so don’t forget to request some resources and materials about the locations, hospitals or flat share. When you have enough information, you don’t have to waste your time to deal with organizational issues and can focus on your work entirely.
Where can I hear from past program participants?
It is important to learn about the experience of the previous interns, who worked in a company before you. Obviously, asking them personally is better than checking a track record of the company you apply for. If possible, ask past participants how the company members treated them, where these interns are now, and how long their internship lasted. You can also ask if they are using the materials created during the internship in their current work (this is especially important for those, who have creative professions).
As you can understand, it is crucial to plan every point of internship before you accept it. Learn as much as you can about the organization, your future work conditions, schedule, and all organizational moments like boarding and city guidance. When you are informed, the risk of frustration, confusions, wrong choices and other problems decreases significantly. The more conscious your approach is, the wiser internship choice you will make. As a result, your chances to have a great experience and career start will increase in many ways. So use these tips for an interview with employers and good luck with your internship!
Source: by Nicole Lewis