How To Find Internships Abroad In 2021

Interning outside the shores of your home country is a one-of-a-kind experience. The experience gives you some crucial life lessons and also improves the value of your CV. How to find internships abroad can sometimes be tricky though. Despite this, an internship abroad is a great way to meet locals, understand a new culture, and it might even be all you need to start working in a new country. You will have that unique chance to meet with people in their home country and contribute to their community. 

The benefits of interning abroad are endless. You could learn a new language, acquire a new skill. Plus, you will be learning how to navigate office culture in an entirely new environment. Amidst the endless possibilities that come with interning abroad, learning how to find internships abroad can be challenging. 

First, you need to find an internship that you qualify for. More importantly, you need an internship that pays because staying outside your country can be expensive. You do not want to increase the burdens of your student loans. This article will show you how to find internships abroad in 2021 in different easy ways.  In this article, we will explore the following areas:

  • Where can you find paid internships abroad in 2021?
  • Top tips on how to find internships abroad 
  • Unpaid internships 

How To Find Internships Abroad: Where do you start?

There are several ways you can find paid internships today. Thanks to the internet, the majority of these approaches to finding internships abroad are easy. All you need is to find an approach that you are comfortable with and follow through with it. That said, the following are some ways you can find paid internships today. 

Internship placement providers

The first option and probably the easiest is to use the service of an internship placement provider. These are professionals, also called program providers, who specialize in helping people find internship programs anywhere in the world. 

The efficiency of the company primarily depends on their experience over the years. A good company will typically assist you with all areas of the process of interning abroad. That is, they will help you with visa applications, housing, social networking, and many more. 

Some of these companies might offer you internships along with a study abroad program. In some cases, you could get coursework alongside your work experience. In some programs, you will get an internship for some time in which you only work on the internship. Getting this sort of program can be competitive, which is why they are usually expensive. However, most of them guarantee you a placement after they accept you. Even then, some still go further to ensure that you get the needed academic credit from the internship. 

Your university’s study abroad office

If you are looking to figure out how to find internships abroad, you might want to consider speaking with teachers and advisers in your current program. In most cases, teachers and advisers usually have a strong network with people in different countries. Some of them might have worked in some of these countries in the past, while others may have taught international students from these countries. 

When you reach out to them, they might have helpful information about the local organizations in those places and how you can go about interning there. Some of them might even have contacts that you might reach out to to help you with the process. 

Most times, these programs have relationships with organizations in different communities across the world. You would be doing yourself a lot of good by tapping into this extensive network of people. To do this, you can speak with people in your university. Or, in the alternative, you can speak with as many people as you can. The more people you speak with about your internship, the more people that will likely send help your way in the future.   

Join a local AIESEC chapter

One of the best methods available to you to find internships abroad is via a non-profit organization called AIESEC. AIESEC is a global platform where young people can develop and explore their leadership potentials.  

AIESEC is a global organization designed for college students and run by college students. The organization organizes international internships for members and non-members. In most cases, you will find a chapter of AIESEC in your university, and they will be willing to help you study abroad. 

Seeking an internship using AIESEC is more like using a placement provider. With AIESEC, you would be paying only a small sum of money for organizational costs. The organizational cost is to help you secure an apartment and assign you a mentor in the city where you are going. Your mentor will help you get your visa, pick you at the airport and get you settled in your apartment. Your mentor’s job is to see that you get to work early on your first day and get you into a network of friends in your new city. 

The beautiful part is, almost all internships that you get from AIESEC are usually paid internships. There are lots of major Fortune 500 companies that work with AIESEC to offer diverse internship opportunities. Many of these companies also seek long-term employees. Depending on your level of education, you should be able to get a paid internship. And if you are lucky, you could get a job after you complete your internship.  

International internship through multinational companies

Some multinational companies usually have internship positions available in their offices around the world. Many of these companies prefer to have local and foreign employees in their major branch offices to maintain the international work environment. 

International companies like L’Oreal, H&M, and Goldman Sachs typically have these international internships. Also, look for companies in the US that have headquarters outside the US. 

Depending on what you are into, you might find opportunities with organizations that have international operations. To get in, you will have to make a list of all companies that match your taste. Be sure to apply with the companies so that your information stays in their database. The problem with this method is, it is very competitive. 

Therefore, you must start your application as early as possible. To get an internship in such companies, you should apply at least three months before the said date of the internship. That way, you can beat the traffic of people like you looking for an internship. As soon as there is a spot, the company’s recruitment manager should reach out to you. 

Also, try to reach out to as many companies as you can. So, if one company fails, you can still fall back to the other options. The good news is that the application is free, so you can apply in as many places as you want. 

Find the international internship yourself.

The final option is to look for an international internship by yourself. No doubt, this is the most challenging of all the methods. If you are going to find the internship yourself, you must be ready to put in a great deal of work. The good thing is, when you are done, it comes with an amazing feeling. 

You must have a lot of patience and perseverance because there are no guarantees. You will need to send as many emails as you can to as many companies as possible. In some cases, you will get responses. But then, if you are lucky, there should be one or two positive responses from those messages.  If you are going to do it yourself, there are a few things you need to consider. 

Top of that list is the question about which company you should send your emails to. Except if you are a very exceptional student, you might not want to waste your time with big companies. The thing with big companies is that there are usually too many people trying to get into the few spots available. Therefore, most times, all they do is select from the best people in their pool. 

You should also consider your passions and interests and look for a company that matches that. Also, you should consider what these companies need. Almost all international internships want to work with interns who can speak English and at least one international language. Usually, the more languages you can speak, the better your chances. Also, companies these days want candidates that are young and IT savvy. 

If you meet all these above criteria, you should be able to get a wonderful paid internship. That is if you are ready to do all the work. 

Top tips on how to find internships abroad 

From the above, you will see that there’s always lots of competition for paid international internships. And the reasons for the vast competition are apparent. To help you and make things easy, here are some steps to land your dream international internship.  

  • The length of the internship will determine if you’ll get paid. In most cases, short-term internships do not come with compensation. So if you want to get paid, look for internships that last between 4 months and one year. 
  • Not all industries offer paid internships. Some industries are more likely to provide compensation than others. Therefore, you need to decide which is more important to you at the moment. Are you looking for relevant work experience, or do you just want to make money working in another industry? Keep in mind that you still get international experience either way.  
  • When you get the internship, ensure your employer understands your expectations from the start. Let them know that you are not willing to work for free. If you are good, there is a good chance you might change their minds into giving you stipends.

Unpaid international internships

Paid internships are not the only options you have for interning abroad. If you are looking for how to find internships abroad, you might want to check unpaid internships. However, you need to ask yourself if the unpaid internship is worth your time. 

First, you need to know why the company is not paying you for the role. In some cases, the reason is that the company has not tested your skillset just yet. Therefore, in a situation like that, they give out internships hoping that you impress them. If you can impress the company, you could be on your way to starting an impressive career with them. Sometimes, to get from these companies, one has to give first. But then again, it boils down to what you want. Is money the priority for you, or is it a quality experience that you want? Will the company offer that to you? 


Whatever your decision is, ensure that you think about the future. Look out for internships that can build your career and teach you something worthwhile. 

Make it a priority to look for internships that add value to your CV. At the same time, look for places where there are opportunities for full-time employment. 

It’s a good thing to look for an all-expense-paid internship. However, the reality is you might not find one. You can at least settle with one that covers your living cost and gives you a career boost. Ensure that you do thorough research to know what your options are.  

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