Internships vs. Study Abroad

To succeed at an international internship you need to make critical transitions: from U.S. culture into another culture, and from being a student to being a full time professional member of a team.

If you are weighing whether to do a study abroad or an internship, it is important to contemplate the following differences:

An IE3 Global Internship generally:

  • requires greater self-motivation
  • provides a more independent experience
  • is full immersion among host nationals

A study abroad may:

  • have other Americans or international students in a similar situation
  • offer a structured campus social life and social outings
  • defined expectations (ie. a curriculum)
  • provide pre-arranged housing, courses, and activities with your peers

It is important to realize that if you do not perform well in an internship, it is not just your grade that suffers, but the entire organization may suffer. The challenges of understanding cultural differences, therefore, take on a new importance.