Virtual internships are quickly becoming a sought-after option for young people looking for professional international experiences. Since Covid-19 boosted the popularity of online programs, the number of service providers offering such opportunities has increased exponentially. Both students and facilitators alike have started to embrace the huge potential of online experiences – and it looks like they’re here to stay!
Nowadays, the world is online – and remote jobs are becoming more and more common. By completing a virtual international internship, you’re not only building your global network and international skills, you’re also proving that you’re effective in the online workplace, which future employers are bound to appreciate!
- Make the most of high-value, low-cost internships: Virtual internships tend to range from $600 - $3,000. This is significantly less than the average $10,000 for an in-person internship abroad, making virtual options far more accessible compared to almost any other international program.
- Enjoy a flexible schedule: When working online across time zones, you’ll be in charge of managing your workdays. This makes it easier to take courses, work part-time, pursue hobbies or manage childcare while interning.
- Dive into cross-cultural possibilities: When pursuing an international internship from home, it’s your responsibility to boost the cross-cultural value of the experience. Luckily, there are countless ways to do this! Cook recipes, read the news and listen to radio from your host country. Practice your second language with a Skype buddy. Study cross-cultural workplace skills. With a little creativity, you can turn your home into a hub of cross-cultural learning!
- Build a home office: Don’t slouch on the sofa with your laptop on your knees – every virtual intern should create a clean, dedicated workspace that’s ready for success! This, along with having a professional wardrobe and a clearly scheduled workday (coffee breaks and all!) will help your experience run smoothly.
- Master online meetings & cross-cultural teamwork: Even though you’re working from home, you’re still a member of a cross-cultural team. Boost your international career skills by listening, observing and adapting to your host culture. Also, keep in mind that you’ll only be able to demonstrate your skills and workplace personality via online communication platforms. Get comfortable presenting an upbeat, engaged and professional persona in online meetings.
- Be prepared for challenges: Although virtual internship experiences have recently become extremely popular, service providers and employers are still learning how best to manage and support interns remotely. Be patient, helpful and forgiving if your employer is still figuring things out.
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