Doing an internship in a foreign country is a really valuable experience, because it allows the intern to experience a new culture and sets him apart from the crowd.
So here are some tips to make the most of your internship abroad and to avoid home sickness.
1. Have a positive attitude
»The student is used to have his work being done a certain way, so it's easy to get frustrated if the host country's work ethic is completely different. The business culture may feel too rigid or too relaxed. At the end of the day, it is always important to be patient and keep a positive attitude. And last but not least the student will gain invaluable experience by working within and learning from a different type of corporate culture.
»The student may think that since he is faraway it is not important to develop and maintain close networks with his colleagues. When will he see them again, anyways? Wrong!
»The opportunity to network with co-workers, his boss, and others in the country is quite probably one of the most valuable aspects of working abroad. With the ever increasing rate of globalization and international expansion in the world today, it is entirely feasible that the future employer may open new offices in the student country, or will someday expand internationally. We can never predict when the international connections will come in handy, so he does not have to be afraid to get his network on!
3. Make friends with coworkers and hang out with them outside work.
»This suggestion has less to do with the professional life and more with the personal one, but it is still just as essential and important as the rest - especially if the student is in a country with a different native language. We all know the benefits of being friends with coworkers, but in the international case, these people are the lifeline to the place where the student lives, as they will take him out, show him around, and give him the locals' lowdown on how to get around wherever he is. Similarly, make friends with people outside the workplace by joining a club for example, in order to diversify the friend group.
4. Be curious and ask questions
»In both the personal and professional life abroad, the student does not have to be afraid to ask questions. While it may be uncomfortable to display the misunderstanding or ignorance on a subject, quietly clarifying things with a colleague or friend he trust may help him avoid embarrassing himself in the meeting with the CEO tomorrow morning, or heading to that part of town that not even locals dare enter. Of course, exercise discretion appropriately.