The Internship Experience and Journey
Completing an internship in a different country will give a boost to your professional confidence and is perfect for developing essential skills like emotional intelligence, problem-solving, navigating ambiguity, self-advocacy, and adaptability. These skills are in high demand by employers so there are many benefits from intentionally developing them in an international context.
Having an internship as an undergraduate is commendable. Having an internship in a different country is exceptionally so. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re proving to future employers that you’re willing to take on new challenges and that you have learned how to be flexible and hardworking no matter the setting.
Internship Application Resources
Upon electing to participate in an internship (also called experiential learning), you are required to complete the internship section of your application. This portion of your application is designed to give the Internships team information about your experiences, interests, and aspirations, so they can more closely match you to an internship placement.
You should submit your internship application and supporting materials as soon as possible. The sooner the Internships team has your application and documents, the sooner they can begin to identify potential internship placements. Don't wait until the deadline to submit your materials!
While CAPA facilities the internship matching process, it is ultimately the potential internship site that will decide whether or not to interview, and eventually accept, a student for an internship. Therefore, it is crucial to make the strongest possible representation of yourself in all your materials.
Use the below guides to help you complete each component of your CAPA internship application:
Preparing For Your Internship
Once our team has identified a potential placement opportunity, you will receive an email from CAPA with an invitation to interview. It's important to know that the placement process is fluid! Not everyone will receive their invitation to interview at the same time.
This email can come at any time before you depart for your program, therefore, it is important to be prepared. Below are some resources to help you have a successful interview and positive communication with your future colleagues.
Your internship placement may be fully in-person, remote, or hybrid. Knowing how to be successful in these different environments is key in preparing for your placement abroad.
First Weeks at Your Internship
Starting at your internship site may be more challenging or not at all what you expected. In these moments, it's important to that you've just arrived and are going through the onboarding period at your site! You'll spend your first few weeks getting to know the systems, the people, and the organization. Your site supervisor and colleagues want to learn how you work, test your skills, see what you know, and what you may need to work on. Don't expect to be managing a project on day one, or even day twenty!
Start an open dialogue with your site supervisor, be willing and eager to take on tasks, and set goals for yourself. Your internship roles and responsibilities are fluid and will continue to evolve throughout your time abroad. What you do on your first day is likely not what you'll be doing halfway through the semester.
Your internship abroad is something you'll speak about in almost every interview over the next few years. It's crucial to recognize how your experience impacted you personally and professionally, what skills you've taken away, and how it's affected your career path.
You may have discovered you enjoyed most aspects of your work and want to continue to explore positions in that field. Or, you learned that what you thought you wanted to do, you disliked, and don't want to continue down that path. Both of these outcomes are successful. Regardless if you stay within the same career field or alter your trajectory completely, you can showcase your adaptability, intercultural communication skills, collaborative, global perspective, and more.
Stay connected with your colleagues on LinkedIn, update your resume, and reflect on the abroad experiences that you will take with you moving forward.