The Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend is committed to providing the highest quality education possible to its students. We encourage students to experience the world outside of the university and beyond our national borders so that they can gain a global perspective and develop an international network, as they get insight into their future career field and improve their soft skills to ready themselves for future employment. An international internship is an opportunity to experience the business world in a global culture. It is an experience that is highly valued by employers and that will set you apart from other job applicants after graduation.
- Why Look for an International Internship?
- Getting Started
- Searching for an International Internship
- Planning a Budget
- Contact Information
Working as an intern overseas will increase and improve skills employers want to see—from communication and world language proficiency to teamwork, analytical, and problem-solving skills. More than 50 percent of the graduates receiving job offers before graduation had held internships.
Interning abroad can help you:
- Gain a global perspective
- Improve language skills
- Develop an international network
- Get insight into your future career field
- Improve your soft skills
Looking for an international internship is a long process. The following timeline will help you manage your time as you are looking for an internship opportunity.
|August||Reflect on career goals||Work on résumé, cover letter, and plan budget|
|September||Start internship search||Work on résumé, cover letter, and plan budget|
|September through October||Contact companies||Look for funding and scholarships|
|November||Phone interviews and internship offers||Apply for scholarships|
|December||Receive contract||Sign contract|
|Spring||Research company||Apply for passport or visa (if applicable) and research host country and culture|
|May through August||Complete internship||Complete internship|
Determining your Career Goals
Before you start looking for an internship, think about your career goals. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Why do you want to find an internship?
- What skills do you have to offer an international company?
- What are your world language skills? How will they impact your work?
- What responsibilities are you ready to take on?
- Where would you like to go? Which country? Which area of the country?
- Why do you want to go there?
Tailoring your Résumé and Cover Letter to an International Audience
Basic Résumé and Cover Letter
Start by writing a basic résumé and cover letter. Career Services provides résumé and cover letter samples on their website.
You may also make an appointment with an adviser to go over your documents.
Tailoring your Document
Both your résumé and your cover letter will need to be tailored not only to the company where you are interested in interning but also the country where you would like to apply.
- Be clear about your nationality, visa status, and language abilities.
- Write in the target language unless otherwise specified, but be honest about your language skills.
- Write in a culturally-appropriate way.
- Make connections and get to the point.
- Only include meaningful and culturally-appropriate experiences (e.g., summer job in a bar may not be culturally appropriate in some countries).
- Sell your cross-cultural skills (e.g., projects you worked on with a multicultural team, volunteering in a multi-cultural environment such as an international student organization).
Looking for an internship in another country can be very time-consuming. Make sure to limit yourself to one country, think about your career goals, and select the type companies for which you would like to work. Browsing the following websites should help.
Search by Country
- United Kingdom
International Companies Offering Internships
Here are some examples of international companies that offer internships.
- Abbott (Ireland)
- BMW (UK, China)
- BP (UK, Singapore, Australia)
- Colgate (Latin America)
- GE (Worldwide)
- Goldman Sachs (Asia)
- Goldman Sachs (Europe)
- H&M (Sweden)
- JPMorgan (UK, Hong Kong, Singapore)
- Kone (Worldwide)
- KPMG (Worldwide)
- L'Oreal (Europe, Asia)
- Novartis (Europe, China, Latin America)
The following sample budget is based on a three-month summer internship and excludes visa fees, personal expenses, and recreation expenses. Costs may vary depending on the location of the internship within the country.
When planning for a three-month international internship, your budget will have to take into account:
- Passport and Visa
- International Transportation
- Lodging and Food
- Local Transportation
Costs will very from country to country, but also depending on the location of the internship within the country (e.g., big city vs. countryside). Plan ahead and research the country to plan the budget. Plan for a budget between $3,000 and $6,000 for an unpaid internship.
For more information regarding international internships, please contact: