We’ve said it before and you can bet we’ll say it again: studying abroad has countless benefits to you academically, personally and professionally.
And so does undertaking an internship. So, it makes sense to do an internship abroad, right? If you’re already an international student, this gives you the chance to explore a whole new culture all over again, instilling even more valuable skills to benefit your career and future self.
You can expand your global network even further, sharpen already learned skills and pick up new ones, as well as gaining priceless experience to help you excel in your chosen career after graduation.
It’s no doubt you’re set on pursuing an internship abroad and you probably already know the sort you’d like to undertake. The problem now, of course, is deciding where to go.
You’ll need to consider the demand for international interns, the particular industry you want to go into, your language skills and where and what you think you’ll actually enjoy.
Seems kind of overwhelming, huh? Luckily, GoOverseas calculated the top 10 countries to find an internship abroad in 2018 to get you started.
1. Paris, France
If it’s fashion, art or commerce you’re interested in, Paris is the one for you.
Picture dreamy 19th century architecture, fabulous boutique fashion houses, and heavenly cafes and boulangeries (mmm bread). Art, culture, nightlife – the lot!
Since the 17th century, Paris has been famed for its fashion and art scenes – as well as being renowned for science. According to GoOverseas, scientific endeavors still makes up 31 percent of the nation’s GDP.
Explore your creative side and fall in love (with the city, yourself or a new found friend) – with a population of 12.2 million you’re unlikely to run out of people to meet!
2. London, England
Home to 8.8 million people, London is a thriving business centre. If you want to get an internship in finance, retail, media, tourism or transport (both air and rail) then London’s your best bet.
London is bursting with history, yet stands as a powerhouse for a huge number of industries and not just the ones listed above. London boasts the best of the best in hundreds of different markets.
It is one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet with GoOverseas even claiming an estimated 300 languages are spoken on its city streets. Expect to find people from all number backgrounds and all over the world feeding off the buzz London gives off.
3. Madrid, Spain
Want to work in government, research, finance or education? Spain’s beautiful city of Madrid is calling your name!
With a smaller population than Paris and London, Madrid is home to just 3.2 million. But what it may lack in numbers, it makes up for in experience. Madrid is one of the finance and education centres of Europe and home to 30 research centres and 17 universities within the city alone. It truly earns the title of an education and finance hub.
Be sure to brush up on your Español and get ready for an adventure!
4. Shanghai, China
Dreaming of working in commodities, manufacturing or finance? Head to Shanghai, China’s largest city and arguably one of the fastest developing cities in the world.
With a huge population of 24.15 million people, Shanghai is a thriving financial powerhouse. The Shanghai Stock Exchange is the third best in the world for trading volume and sixth for capitalisation; not to mention its rich culture and global standing as a financial hub.
Although, it’s worth bearing in mind that Shanghai is the most expensive city in mainland China.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Want an immersive experience in a hugely diverse city? Interested in design, manufacturing or tourism? Pack your bags and get yourself to one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Africa: Cape Town.
South Africa sports an impressive 11 official languages (Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, SiSwati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu – if you’re interested) and a population of 3.75 million.
It’s safe to say Cape Town is pretty diverse. Oh, and did we mention its regularly hailed as the design capital of the world?
Not only that, but Cape Town is a major player in African tourism, bringing visitors from all over the globe.
6. Hong Kong
Your heart lies in trading, shipping or finance? Check out Hong Kong.
The city has one of the highest number of corporate headquarters in the region and many of these boast exciting internship opportunities. Donned a global centre for finance and trade, Hong Kong is not to be sniffed at.
The city alone is the seventh-largest trading port in the world – for exports and imports. Not to mention its links to the Asia-Pacific region making it an invaluable city for building connections and travelling.
Hong Kong has two official languages; Chinese and English so if you speak both you’ll thrive! But don’t stress if you just speak the one.
7. Bangkok, Thailand
If you want to work in energy or healthcare, you would be foolish not to consider Bangkok.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, Bangkok could also hold the answers you’re looking for in that perfect internship.
Hundreds of regional and multinational corporations have chosen Bangkok for their headquarters. The manufacturing sector in Bangkok is thriving and ready for you to delve into. The city is also a key centre for healthcare, energy and tourism.
Thailand itself is a key player in the tourism industry, so whether or not you want to work in tourism you can definitely find yourself exploring more of what the beautiful country has to offer in your time as an intern.
While the official language is Thai, this city is full of friendly English speakers.
8. Tokyo, Japan
Bright lights, busy streets, 24/7 lifestyle: welcome to Tokyo. You might struggle to catch your breath as you immerse yourself in the crazy, hectic life Tokyo offers but you’ll find your groove in no time.
Tokyo has it all. If you’re interested in electronics, automobiles, manufacturing or robotics, the electric buzz of Tokyo will keep you on your toes.
Japan is internationally recognised as being one of the most important economic forces in the world but especially for technology, manufacturing and, of course, cars.
While you may be able to secure an English-speaking internship, knowing Japanese is a surefire way to get your application noticed. The majority of internships will be in the local language.
9. Toronto, Canada
The fourth-largest city in North America, Toronto is a diverse, multicultural city which has a truly global outlook. If you want to work in manufacturing or finance in a smaller, more welcoming environment than some of the world’s hectic finance hubs, Toronto could be your perfect match.
More importantly, the energy industry in Toronto is key to the city’s success. Toronto boasts a booming hydroelectric industry and Canada itself is a key player in the renewable energy and mining sectors.
Greater Toronto produces more than half of the entire country’s manufactured goods as well as playing a significant part for the finance industry in Canada.
Plus, locals speak both English and French, so you might even pick up some new language skills without the pressure to be fluent en Français.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is all too often dismissed. With a population of just 495,360, Edinburgh is dripping in history and boasts proud and friendly locals.
If you want to escape the big city life while still gaining valuable and impressive experience in finance, technology, retail or tourism, Edinburgh is for you.
It offers not just its magical city (trust us – most of the Harry Potter books were written here!) but also a fantastic opportunity to gain access to the European market through one of the most significant contributors to the UK’s thriving economy.
GoOverseas assessed the number of internship programmes available in these cities, plus the number of good reviews received, and commonly searched cities on Google. They also looked at the size of cities based on the assumption larger cities tend to be “more diverse, friendlier to visitors, and more economically productive.”