“There is nothing like home”. I am sure that you have heard this sentence and also used it with your friends and family after a short trip abroad. That is why a lot of young people don’t take the initiative to apply for an internship abroad. They have their family, friends, their job, favourite places to go out for a drink and they are afraid to step out of this circle, because they think that they have everything. The only window to the outside world is the World Wide Web or as we call it, the Internet. I was thinking also the same until the moment that I was awarded with a fellowship at Deutsche Welle (Bonn, Germany) in 2011. That experience lasted for almost four years and changed my personal and professional life. As a young ‘veteran’ here are my tips why you must apply for an Internship abroad:
Better chances in the job market
As I already mentioned a lot of young people don’t want to leave their comfort zone and an international internship will distinguish you from other young professional competing with you in the job market. More and more international companies are opening their branches in the Balkans and they need people with international experience. An Internship in the German companies doesn’t mean only sitting behind a computer and traveling, you will be treated equal to other colleagues, so you will be highly qualified at the end of the internship.
Experience new countries
It is another thing to read about Oktoberfest, Berlin, Rhine valley, Hamburg, German culture of work, etc. and another thing to experience them. You will get to know better the country and the people. But not only Germany. With Mitfahrglegenheit (car sharing) and low cost airlines you can visit many other countries without spending much money. I was living some hours away from Paris, two hours and 3o minutes from Brussels and two hours and forty minutes away from Amsterdam.
We are living in the time of globalization, so an internship abroad will give you the opportunity to make international contacts. Something that is not possible through a domestic internship experience. Thanks to my internship at Deutsche Welle I have contacts with colleagues from 30 different countries of the world. These contacts can be very important for future job networking.
‘Practice makes perfect’
We learn English, German, French or other languages in our countries. We understand the movies, songs, when we write our statuses on Facebook and when we read articles on Internet. But when it comes to writing a report in foreign language we have to be very careful and by being so you will see that in the end of the Internship your foreign language will be much better. You can learn also new languages. When I first went to Germany I got to know only ‘Guten Morgen’ and ‘Bier’, now I speak fluently German.
Due to economical situation most of the young people in the Balkans live with their parents until they get married. Mama is cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, papa is paying the bills, and the youngsters will be always kids even though they are between 20-30 years old. By undertaking an internship abroad, you will have to make everything on your own, from A to Z. This also shows to the future employers that you can take initiatives, and this is one of the most important attributes for employment.
Amarildo, Generation 2011