Many people dream of traveling, studying, or even working abroad. But then, only a few brave souls made the cut. One reason is that many people let their fear stop them from reaching their goals. It is not enough that you know what you want. Internships abroad are unlike internships in your home country. You need to have the drive, courage, and commitment to make it work.
Internships abroad like in London offers many benefits. You can experience the rich and diverse culture there and experience traveling in exquisite locations. There are lots of opportunities available to local and foreign students and professionals seeking international internships.
The cost of living may be more expensive, but there are affordable accommodations if you know where to look. There are affordable hostels, with some internship providers even offering cheaper packages for their interns. These usually include travel costs, program fees, and other amenities.
If you already made up your mind about taking an internship abroad, there are many things you need to prepare and plan for. The last thing you need is to go to your battleground unprepared. To make the most out of your international internship, here are a few mistakes you don’t want to commit.
Failure to Fully Understand Your Learning Contract
If you are going on an internship, you are expected to sign a learning contract. This will highlight everything you need to know regarding your internship. Failure to read this through and not understanding all points mentioned can put you in a risky situation in the future.
Your learning contract will site important details like the objectives, your projects you are likely to participate in, the roles you will take, what tasks will be, what you will be learning, needs to complete, etc. It is not enough that you read the contract. It also becomes a must that you fully understand everything stated.
Note that you can negotiate the learning contract with a faculty sponsor. So, take this opportunity to evaluate your goals, what you plan on learning and achieving, and how you will be evaluated. Most of the time, you are the one responsible for developing the learning agreement.
Skipping the Opportunity to Network
One of the best ways to get ahead of others in your career is by growing your network. The more people you know and have good relationships with, the better your outcomes will be. This is especially true if you want to experience great success abroad.
The right connection made at the right time can open many doors for you. Now is not the time to stay inside your bubble. Learn how to introduce yourself and expand your professional network.
Instead of focusing on yourself, ask appropriate questions and show your genuine interest in what others do. Get to know people inside and out of your office. After all, you’re there for a reason, and that is to learn.
Dressing Too Comfortably
Some interns love to dress up fashionably while others have a more laidback style. You may still be a student. But that is not enough reason to dress like one especially since you are also working at an office.
You are interning to learn and gain experience. But there is no reason to dress up in a way that will make it look like you are really the youngest and inexperienced in the office. Get to know the dress code at work, and try to incorporate this into your style.
You can still show off your fashion sense and personality while respecting the dress code. Remember that how you dress up can influence how others treat you and view you. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from your superiors if this can also boost your confidence at work.
Not Knowing When to Say No
Most interns here and abroad are afraid to speak their minds, say no to a task they are not comfortable doing, and expressing their concerns. You may have so much to learn and experience. But that does not take away your ability and right to say no when appropriate.
Note that there is a big difference between mastering your duties and taking on more than you can chew. You need to ask enough questions and share your doubts instead of trying to do your tasks when you still don’t know how to do this. Be patient, be responsible, and learn how to recognize the time when saying no is appropriate.
These are but some don’ts you can avoid on your future internship abroad. The earlier you prepare yourself for the once-in-a-lifetime chance, the better. This can be your best opportunity to learn, improve, and boost your career and your future. So, make the most out of the experience and don’t make the same mistakes listed above.