International internships, placements & work experience: Expert career advice and an insight into work experience abroad

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It’s important to stand out from the crowd when applying for a placement or internship.

One of the best ways to ensure you do is to have international work experience. This could be gained at an overseas branch of a multinational organisation, like a bank, or by doing voluntary work.

It goes without saying that there are numerous benefits to gaining real-world work experience in any professional company, because this provides scope for your continued growth and development. Becoming involved in experience with a business in another country can be even more valuable, as it plucks you right out of your comfort zone and exposes you to different ways of working and cultures.

Not only will you get the benefit of working on real projects that make a difference to the company’s continued success – automatically helping you develop skills that will make you employable in the future – but you’ll also face the challenge of adapting to a foreign work culture at the same time. Whether it’s a performing arts internship in Italy, wildlife conservation internship in South Africa, finance & accounting work internship in China or even snowboard training in Japan, there really is something for everyone, no matter who you are or what your passions are.

Global work experience schemes

Gaining work experience in emerging markets, including China and India, will offer you firsthand insight into what makes those countries successful and let you immerse yourself in their culture.

There are no limits to your ambition as it’s possible to find experience in any region of the world, from South America to Asia.

KPMG offers a global internship program that is designed to equip you with experience of working with some of the company’s biggest clients, anywhere from Japan to India to the US.

Companies like BUNAC focus on organising work experience adventures and placement schemes in far-flung destinations. On one of these you could spend six months in Fiji carrying out marine research, or teach in Colombia for four weeks.

Each amazing experience offers an unrivalled opportunity to delve into a foreign culture and develop as a person, as well as giving you skills and qualifications that can set you apart from other graduates in this competitive job market.

Read our blog to find out the benefits of moving abroad for placement.

One of the best – whereby you can travel to all four corners while making a difference to diverse, international societies – is by becoming involved in global conservation efforts. It’s one of best ways to have an impact on important worldwide projects, hone key skills, learn life lessons and develop as a person is by volunteering abroad and joining one of the many many sustainability projects.

What are the different types of conservation project?

While not a comprehensive list of the kind of initiatives you can get involved in, examples of global conservation projects and volunteering opportunities include:

  • Teaching English abroad in foreign education centres
  • Providing language coaching to groups or individuals
  • Becoming involved in the day-to-day life of a community
  • Surveying wildlife on location to help communities protect animals
  • Working with other international volunteers to safeguard certain endangered animal species
  • Helping out local social groups by providing healthcare assistance
  • Lending a hand with construction and infrastructure development tasks

The locations may be exotic and like nothing you've ever seen before, but remember, when you volunteer abroad you aren't just packing your bags for a holiday!

Why is international conservation work important?

What is it about global conservation work that makes it vital? Well, from a personal point of view it can help you learn and develop key skills that can give you the foundation you need to thrive in your future career.

From an ecological and environmental standpoint you can take an active role in many important projects that benefit not only local communities, but also in many ways the global ecosystem – like limiting the impact of deforestation, helping societies access clean water supplies and protecting vulnerable rainforests.