HOW TO FIND A WORK IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
Without a doubt, going to another country and living there is the best way to learn a language. However, travel is expensive and your time in another country may be limited by your funds. Doing an exchange with MyHostpitality can help cut down on big costs like accommodation, however, costs for things like food, travel and going out can quickly add up. One solution is to find work while you live there. You could probably find work in a bar or a store, but would that really contribute to your life after your time abroad? If you are considering working while you live abroad, perhaps an internship is the best choice for you.
Why should you do an internship?
There are many benefits to doing an internship, but perhaps the most important is the professional experience you can gain in your chosen career. Working as a waiter might make you more money, but working in an internship will help you in the long run. When you return to your country, your international work experience will help you stand out from the rest of the job-seeking crowd. This is on top of the fact that your language skills will have improved immensely, always a plus for employers.
How to find an internship
Before you start your search, there are some things you must consider about your potential internship. Most importantly, you need to identify which field will benefit you the most. Don’t apply for a marketing internship if your interest is in accounting! However, another important point to consider is what you enjoy doing. Maybe you majored in languages, but your great passion is in marketing. If so, then go for it! You lose nothing by applying.
If you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry. Eurasmus can help you find internships all over Europe. Another useful resource is EURES, which helps people aged 18-30 find work all over Europe. It’s better to start searching for a job before you leave. Many companies are fine with doing Skype interviews, and you can be more flexible about where you can go. As well, you can rest assured that everything is taken care of before you arrive. Also, if you apply in advance, it can give you time to apply for grants and prepare all the paperwork you may need for your new job.
How to take advantage of your internship
It is not enough just to get the internship. You also need to take advantage of your time there. Sure, the job will look good on your CV regardless, but you also want to make sure you leave with a wealth of new knowledge. Ask lots of questions to colleagues and boss, volunteer to do extra work, and do research on your own time. As well, you will probably be working in a multicultural office, so try and speak in your target language, be it English, Spanish, French or anything else. You should be looking for opportunities to speak the native language wherever you are.
What to do at the end of your internship
When your internship ends, it is important to take advantage of all the new connections you have made. Add your colleagues and boss on LinkedIn, and write recommendations for them, they might return the favour. Ask your boss if you can use him as a reference and make sure to ask for a reference letter. If you have properly taken advantage of your internship, your boss will probably be happy with your work and be more than willing to write you a glowing review. Also make sure you update your resume and cover letter right away, when the experience is still fresh in your mind and you can accurately describe your duties and achievements. Make sure you are specific and define exactly what you did and how it helped the company.
Travelling abroad and learning a new language can be an exciting opportunity. Take advantage of it further by also adding professional work experience to your CV. An internship is one of the best ways to get experience and maybe make a bit of cash. Even if you get an unpaid internship, you can still apply for grants and bursaries through your country or the EU, which can help take care of some living costs. If you’re a student or a recent graduate, perhaps doing an internship while you learn a foreign language is the right step for you.