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What Are the Different Types of Study Abroad Internships?

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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2014
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Study abroad internships allow students to immerse themselves in new cultures while simultaneously catering to their college careers. Most study abroad internships work on an exchange basis, allowing a student who is currently enrolled in a college to gain credits in another institution that offers equivalent courses. Some internships offer cultural immersion programs, allowing the students to learn the spoken language of the visited country while gaining credits for their degrees. There are also internship opportunities that will require the interns to work on a volunteer project that will benefit the local community.

Student exchange programs allow students from one institution to switch places with another student from a foreign school. These programs will usually correlate with the student’s major, allowing him or her to gain valuable skills while in a new cultural setting. Student exchange programs not only allow for comprehensive learning while being enrolled in another university, but will also allow the student to be an independent thinker and give him or her the unique chance of connecting with other cultures, a valuable asset in most job forces.

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Some colleges offer cultural immersion programs for their students. These types of study abroad internships will sometimes have the college cover the cost of travel and accommodations. The immersion program allows the student to usually work in an academic setting as a teacher’s assistant (TA), with some interns teaching if they have the appropriate credentials. Language immersion programs tend to be very beneficial for those who are studying linguistics or are aspiring teachers.

Internships that work on a volunteer basis can help individuals who want to improve their job outlook. A person who dedicates himself or herself to a cause via international travel will generally be looked upon handsomely by future employers and educators. Most of these internships are open to everyone, regardless of their educational level, but will require funds for travel and accommodations.

Some study abroad internships allow students to work directly in their career area. An example is a program that allows students the chance to work closely with medical personnel in countries where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is severe. NOt only will this allow the student to stay abreast of current HIV prevention methods, but it also benefits the at-risk communities by having additional knowledgeable personal available to help. Most of these internships are highly-specialized, however, requiring students to become adept at skills of the trade, such as withdrawing blood or offering psychological assistance in the case of the medical internships.

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