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Carpe Diem, Study Abroad

That's One Heck Of A Resume

Simone Johnson, Columnist

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Want an internship in Chicago or California? What about gaining experience in China or England? The Queen would have a lot of advice for students, that is, the Intern Queen. In 2009 at the age of twenty-four, Lauren Berger launched InternQueen.com. Her experience in successfully completing fifteen internships during her college career strongly influenced the creation of this platform, which helps college students navigate the terrain of finding, applying for and participating in internships around the country and globally.

“Internships are a chance to learn about the industries you want to go into” she said during an interview on digital platform MAKERS.

With internships come mistakes, lessons learned, insight and clarity, opportunities, mentorship, friendship, cultural awareness, the chance to gain soft and hard skills, and one remarkable resume.

When applying for a job, however, global experience changes the game, and here are five reasons why students should intern abroad:

1. Earn Academic Credit

Join the experience economy and become wealthy! Even though many internships are unpaid, the trade-off is gaining transferable credit overseas and earning awesome experience currency. This type of wealth takes you to new places, people, ideas, ways of living and builds a useful skill toolbox.

2. Your Resume Will Stand Out

In a TIME article “Global Internships: The New Key to Getting a Job”, David Lloyd, founder of Intern Group, which helps young adults find internships in countries around the world, said “the kids who will be successful today are those that take themselves out of their comfort zone and develop a global mindset.” He continued to explain how students with experience abroad are highly sought after by employers.

“This means going beyond simple study abroad programs to employment in a foreign country that will build a young person’s contacts and context.”

If a student is interested in interning abroad, but it’s not quite feasible during his or her time in college, interning abroad after graduation is an option.

3. Global Networking

Building and maintaining personal and professional networks, both professional and personal is important in general. Benefits of this include getting advice from different perspectives, support, referrals and leads to many different opportunities. Imagine that on a global scale.

4. Practice Language Skills

Don’t fret! The foreign language courses students are taking in college are not in vain. Employers are looking to hire people who can speak more than one language. Being bilingual in English and Spanish is in high demand as Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2011 American Community Survey, “37.6 million people age five and older speak Spanish at home”. Following Spanish, the Center reports “Chinese, Hindi, Urdu and other Indic Languages, French or French Creole and Tagalog”.

Check out the Critical Language Scholarship, a U.S. Department of State study abroad program that provides funding for students to travel to other countries and learn critical need languages.

5. Improve Problem Solving and Social Skills

Many students face personal and academic challenges. According to Greek philosopher Epictetus “it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” Getting out of your comfort zone and into a new environment with different cultures, languages and customs can be intimidating. However, the experience can give students the chance to evaluate and improve their adaptability to change, decision-making, and problem solving skills, in addition to being confident in expressing themselves, articulating well and communicating well with others.

Visit pace.abroadoffice.net, the study abroad and financial aid offices to learn more about interning abroad. In addition, students can research opportunities by checking out Global Links Abroad at http://www.globalinksabroad.org/ or Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), two programs partnered with Pace.

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