Intern Abroad HQ works to provide extraordinary international internships that inspire personal and professional development. Read on to learn more or contact us to receive personal assistance from our team.

What are the requirements to join an internship program?

  • Participants must be proficient in English
  • You need to have graduated high school by the start date of your internship program
  • You must be at least 18 years old by the start date of the program
  • All interns must present a clean criminal background check
  • All participants are required to obtain travel insurance for the duration of their internship

Can I join an internship program even if I’m not currently a student?

You are encouraged to apply! Many non-academic factors are taken into consideration when placing interns and it’s common for participants to be motivated by the opportunity to gain international experience, enhance global networks, and fulfil personal development goals.

How can I earn course credit abroad?

Each academic institution has a unique policy (differing philosophical, educational, and administrative approaches) for granting internship credit, so you will be responsible for discussing academic credit options with your homeschool in advance. We recommend that you begin by reaching out to your academic advisor/department heads, since academic credits cannot usually be arranged retroactively. They will be in the best position to advise specifically regarding what credits can be earned. You would also be responsible for covering any associated tuition costs or fees that may be charged for the transfer of credits by your homeschool.

Will I be working with other interns?

Where possible, we try to place interns alongside each other. However, interns are also matched to placements depending on other important considerations such as language ability, any stated preferences, duration of stay, and level of experience and qualifications. Therefore, we do not guarantee that interns will always work alongside other interns.

Do I really need a criminal background check - and how do I get one?

It is absolutely a requirement to obtain a criminal background check, as you won’t be allowed to begin your internship program if you cannot produce this document. The guidelines for obtaining a criminal background check can vary depending on the country you live in. Usually there are two approaches - obtain one from an online provider or contact your local police department, so that they can guide you specifically on the process, turnaround time, and any associated costs. If you’re an international student, based outside of your home country, separate logistics could also apply.

How far in advance should I apply and register?

The registration deadline is no less than 4 weeks before your scheduled start date, therefore applications for the internship program of your choice should be submitted within 5 weeks of your desired start date. However, we strongly suggest that you secure your spot well in advance, to allow ample time to prepare and complete pre-departure tasks (i.e. obtaining a passport if you don’t already have one, securing a tourism visa if you need to do this prior to traveling, booking your flights and travel insurance, consulting a doctor regarding vaccinations, etc).

Will Intern Abroad HQ provide a reference once I’ve completed my program?

Absolutely - however, we’d also encourage you to obtain a reference from your host organization prior to departure, should you like further documentation. On the program itself, you will complete a “Wrap-Up Report”, which can serve as an effective future reference. You will also receive an Intern Abroad HQ certificate and professional compilation of your reflections, once you have successfully completed your internship program.

Will I need to obtain any vaccinations?

We always recommend that you discuss your specific travel plans with your doctor (or a specific travel doctor). Vaccinations are generally a personal choice but may be legally required depending on where you wish to travel to or through (e.g. the Yellow Fever vaccination can often be legally required). It’s important to consider all of the destinations you plan to visit for tourism purposes, not just the area where you plan on being based for your internship program. It’s wise to see your doctor at least 6 weeks before international travel. In addition to discussing vaccinations, your doctor may also be able to assist with providing first aid kit essentials, such as prescriptions for electrolyte, antiseptic cream, antihistamine, antidiarrheal medicines, etc.

Do I have to speak the native language when I’m abroad?

Some projects may require that you speak Spanish at an intermediate level, however we have options that are perfect for sole speakers of English. Each project description outlines the requirements, so we recommend that you review the further details on our Destinations page to ascertain what internship program will be the best match for you. Keep in mind that interns have the opportunity to take language lessons during their programs, which we highly recommend. They are fun and will enhance your experience!

Will I have time to do any tourism activities while I’m interning?

Absolutely! The programs allow free time over weekends and we hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to explore the attractions within and around the area. The hosts in-country are always happy to provide guidance on fun things to see and do.

Where will I be working?

Matching each intern to a specific placement (e.g. the specific clinic or hospital) within the scope of the project they have chosen (e.g. “Medical”) requires our local team members to take into consideration a number of factors:

  • The available options and needs of the community, at the time the intern is present
  • The unique skills, interests, qualifications and preferences of the intern
  • The number of interns on the program/projects at any given time
  • The duration of time that the intern will be participating for

Intern Abroad HQ does not decide the specific internship placement for each individual. Interns are assigned their placement by our local host organizations, who are in the best position to determine these details.

What does the critical reflection aspect of the internship program involve?

In order to successfully complete your internship, you must submit a journal entry for every week of your program duration. We will email you your reflection topic at the beginning of every week, so be sure to continue checking your email during your program. All of the reflection content is designed to stimulate your thinking, but you’re not limited to journal only in response to the questions that are posed by each topic. There is no “right or wrong” when recording personal reflections. We’ll provide a professional compilation of your reflections for you once you’ve completed the program.

Is the internship paid?

No - our internships include a reflection program that focuses on professional competency building. This component of the program is completed in conjunction with international experiential and service learning.

Will this experience have a positive impact on my career?

We cannot guarantee that you will immediately transition into paid employment following an internship program – but we can help you to gain skills that will sharpen and enhance your employability. The acquisition of relevant experience, in addition to emotional and cultural intelligence, can set you apart within a competitive workforce and compliment any degree or generic educational skills. The desirable characteristics of employability, which you will have the opportunity to pro-actively practice during your internship program abroad, include:

  • Being able to get along with other people from diverse backgrounds
  • To feel comfortable within cultures that are different from your own
  • Adaptability when processes, technologies and methodologies change or differ from your norm
  • Taking a flexible, open-minded and amiable approach to problem solving and teamwork
  • Ability to be a positive, cooperative and encouraging influence to others
  • Information literacy, including oral and written communication skills
  • Take responsibility for self-management, organization, showing initiative and time-planning
  • Further exploration of a career field, gaining confidence, direction and determination
  • Development of healthy work habits, positive attitude, ethics and personal values

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How to intern

An overview of the user-friendly process

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