We recently asked IES Internships Ambassadors, who volunteer to answer questions about their internship, about how their international work experience has helped them since they've returned from abroad. Whether they experienced positive changes personally, socially, academically, or professionally, our IES Internships Ambassadors were eager to share their thoughts and advice with future interns.
How has your internship abroad affected you professionally?
"Working in an Exchange and Study Abroad office abroad finalized my passion for my future career in international education. I was able to receive a glowing recommendation letter from my supervisor. In addition, it has led me to pursue practicum opportunities with the Exchange and Study Abroad office at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where I will be pursuing my master's of science in College Student Personnel with a graduate teaching assistantship in the Arts and Sciences Advising office."
- Alex S., pictured at right (Sydney Summer Internship ǀ Indiana University)
"Earlier this year in March, I visited Cape Town again and volunteered in a township named DuNoon. I assisted preschool teachers in implementing a structured curriculum and teaching English to the youngsters. It was an incredible experience and I am definitely planning to visit again. In regards to my career, I plan to mentor and counsel young, at-risk girls in coping with mental illness. Although I'm seeking to get directly involved in my local community, I would someday like to take my pursuits international."
- Lakeisha G. (Cape Town Summer Internship ǀ University of Louisville)
How has your IES Internship had an impact on your academics?
"When I was abroad, I worked in a lab in the center of the city. Using the techniques I learned in the lab, I was able to complete my tasks much faster during my developmental biology lab."
- Kat D., pictured at left (Berlin Summer Internship ǀ University of Pittsburgh)
"My experience has affected me academically in many ways. I have felt that I am better prepared to speak in front of people and feel more confident in my academic abilities. I was able to go abroad and learn how to take classes and adapt to a different lifestyle in the classroom and for that I am very proud of myself."
- Emily L. (Barcelona Summer Internship ǀ Indiana University)
How have you changed personally after living and interning abroad?
"My experience has made me more comfortable with ambiguity and change. Moving and working in another country is a huge change, and the few months I was there allowed me to practice adapting to my surroundings."
- Stephen G. (Dublin Summer Internship ǀ Indiana University)
"Personally, the experience allowed me to grow in multiple ways and it made me more independent. I appreciated the time I was alone and away from everyone I knew because I became better aware of myself and my needs."
- Alex S.
Have you changed socially after having an IES Internship?
"I was able to meet new friends who turned into what felt like family. Whether it be my roommates or fellow classmates that were in my program, we all became very close. I was able to expand my social circle to places across the country, internationally, and even at my home school. Not only are these people friends, but also additions to my professional network, which can be very beneficial to my future."
- Emily L., pictured at right
What other areas of your have life have been positively affected by interning abroad?
"I think that the internship experience opened my mind about the opportunities that are available outside of Indiana and the Midwest. I now realize that I would like to move far away from home to live in places that previously I did not think would be possible. In addition, it made me mature and take responsibility."
- Alex S.
"I was able to meet new friends, experience a different atmosphere, and travel all around Europe to places I have always dreamed about going. I am forever thankful and grateful for the opportunities I have been given." - Emily L.
"This experience has just made me a better more open person overall. I was able to see a different way of doing things and this has made me mindful of the importance for a diverse world and keeping an open mind to everything."
- Stephen G.
What advice would you give to future international interns?
"My advice to incoming IES interns is to be open minded throughout their stay. Do your research on the country but remain open to experiences and cultures that may vary from what you find. Find beauty in the mundane!"
- Lakeisha G., pictured at left
Do you have questions for an IES Internships Ambassador? Contact a past intern to get your questions answered, straight from those who've experienced it.