Change Career Post-Diagnosis: Are Internships Abroad For You?

Internships grid paper with word intership written on it and a checklist

Last Updated on

April 15th, 2024 11:52 am

It’s no secret that late diagnosis of neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and Autism are higher than ever thanks to many factors. Many adults are learning more about themselves than ever, whether it’s the recent pandemic or better screening processes in our children’s own diagnosis.

If you’ve gone through a late diagnosis, you’re also entering that midlife crisis stage and wondering where life will take you next. Whatever your background and reasons for a career change, internships abroad may be the next hands-on experience you need in your life.

Let’s take a closer look at this opportunity of a lifetime to study in another country, from Costa Rica to Cape Town, and see how you can work on bringing your talents to life and experiencing everything the world has to offer through travel.

young traveler portrait in front of airport

Taking an internship abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

What’s Involved in an International Internship Program?

An internship pays you to learn through a hands-on international experience working with experienced professionals in your field in one of many host countries. This could be anything from teaching English in Japan to being a tour guide in France. You may even find yourself doing some research or writing.

The internship experience typically lasts months rather than years. One example of such is a Summer internship. But they can vary depending on what you want to do and offer immense prospects in a range of career fields. Potential employers that offer a full-time internship or part-time internship offer a flexibility you may need if you have commitments elsewhere, whilst working within their firm.

If you want to begin a specific future career journey, like medicine or law, you may need to spend less time abroad. Yet, if you’re looking for a general overview of a certain industry or networking opportunities when taking an internship abroad these can be several months.

mature student reading in a library

The vast majority of mature students take internships to change career

It’s also a common misconception that to get an internship placement, only university students, in particular undergraduate students, can apply. But that’s simply not the case. It’s true many have academic requirements, but it can be a great chance for you to change career even without these; your experience gives you a competitive edge in the job market for the internship provider.

Paid internships aren’t as common as unpaid internships, but there are. For example, you can earn money by tutoring students and doing admin work. Paid internships by program providers are often niche and specific, so can demand previous professional experience in that field.

Yet, if you’re changing career path there’s a good chance your experience in a related field is equally valid with transferrable skills to hand.

What Are the Benefits of an Internship Abroad?

An internship abroad can provide many benefits. For one thing, it gives students and young professionals the opportunity to gain real-world career experience and obtain leadership skills through self-development.

Before the internet, many wouldn’t have felt so comfortable taking an internship in an international setting. But with video chat, it’s much easier to keep in touch with loved ones from afar.

Not only that, you can develop relationships with peers from around the world. And the accreditation and credentials that come with an internship abroad can give you the kick-start you need in your new career!

Also, these programs give international students a chance to live alongside and within other cultures and bring that influence into their own work. That’s most prevalent in the creative industries. Fashion internships in Seoul, a beautiful city in South Korea, are thriving, and many bring that Korean vibrancy back with them.

seoul city skyline at sunset

Seoul is one of the fashion and technological capitals of the world, making it great for an internship abroad!

How do I apply for International Internships Abroad?

To determine if internships are right for you, think about why you want an internship abroad and when you’re available. Are you interested in what the world has to offer? Or are you hoping to expand your professional network?

It is important to note that not everyone has career goals when pursuing internships. Some people only want to travel and visit a foreign country; others want to use their newfound foreign language skills to avoid language barriers with professionals in their career field. Regardless of your reasons, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve.

Once you’ve determined what you’re after, it is time to look for internship opportunities. There are two main ways to find them. One option is to contact companies directly. Don’t be afraid to be different in your approach. Try approaching on social media if getting noticed is your thing!

Another method is checking online job boards, such as Here, you’ll find listings for both domestic and international companies. In some cases you can ask your career development office for support, especially if you’re still in existing education.

Do note that each organization has different requirements. So it’s important to read through the descriptions with care before applying.

internships abroad 2022

Taking an internship abroad can give you a new perspective on life

What Requirements Do I Need for Living Abroad?

If you plan to apply for internships abroad, the time is now, so you should know certain prerequisites. Most of all, you must be eligible to work in the country where you wish to study. To ensure that you meet this requirement, you will need to submit proof of citizenship or residency before the application deadline.

Depending on the type of visa you hold, you may also need to show evidence of financial aid or stability. In addition, you will likely need to pass a criminal background check and obtain a visa sponsorship or a 3-month tourist visa. The exact details of this process will vary depending on the country where you are applying, so it’s definitely worth researching before applying.

In most cases you’ll be able to source your own accommodation or live on-campus. But in some cases host families, often elders whose own children have moved away from home, volunteer to look after you and take you in as one of your own!

european visa approved with 100 euro note

Visa requirements may delay the application process and incur extra costs.

Is Becoming an Intern Right For Me?

A career change can be scary, especially if you have been working for years at your current job. You may feel that you need to prove yourself repeatedly or even start from scratch. However, there are some things you can do to make the transition easier.

First, it is important to understand what you want out of this new position to know how much time and effort you will need to put into the search process. If you don’t know where you would like to go, it is best to take some time off before making any decisions about your future. You won’t be too stressed when you finally decide on a path.

When looking for work, try to find something that matches your skill-set as close as possible. It is also helpful to network with people who might be able to help you get started in your next career move.

Finally, remember that a range of internship positions are available, including house interships which are paid. These positions offer more flexibility than traditional jobs. That means they are often ideal for those starting out in their careers.

For most people, internships abroad will require paying a program fee, and in some cases paying for your own accommodation. That means you’ll have to reign in your spending habits, but the end result is the opportunity of a lifetime that money can’t buy.

Man in white tshirt looking out at the sea

Taking an internship abroad is a fantastic opportunity to focus on yourself

Quitting Your Job is the Hardest Part

It sounds bizarre, but quitting your job for an internship abroad is the hardest part. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a college student or nearing retirement. If you want an opportunity to pursue the career of your dreams, then consider taking advantage of the perfect internship experience in another country!

Even if you hate your job, having the confidence to walk away from stability is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. By taking an internship abroad is an incredible opportunity, and one that will change your life.

Now you’re inspired to succeed, check out more of our articles and see what you can find!

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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