The Blog and Pony Show

Schifino Lee - 3:53 pm July 6, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Being an International Intern

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Christine Jorgensen provides this entry about her experience as an international intern at Schifino Lee.

It takes a lot of time to prepare everything you need before your departure to a new country – 6 months to be exact. Obtaining your visa is the hardest part of all. I could not get a working visa without paying an organization to help me; and it’s not cheap. There are many costs on top if the visa that you must be able to pay including flights, living arrangements, transportation, insurance, etc. If you happen to find a paid internship, you are lucky. If not, you must be able to pay at least $750 per month in addition to the above costs, money many people do not have.

Another challenge is the difference in language and culture. You need to be able to understand and communicate the most basic and important things in the other language. You may even need to learn the specific words and phrases that are used in whatever industry your company does business in. Do not be disappointed if you don’t understand everything people say to you, because it will happen. Despite how uncomfortable you may feel in this new culture, just be outgoing and open-minded and you will soon feel at home with the culture and people. In the United States, and especially at Schifino Lee, everyone is very nice and pleasant. They understand that you are an international intern and work to help you as much as possible.

This experience also has its benefits. You meet so many new people and learn about a new culture. You also get the opportunity to expand your language skills, discover new talents and become more self-confident and open-minded. These incredible experiences will stay with you for a lifetime and help you in the future, in your personal and professional life. This is all included in your resume, which is great when looking for a job since people with experience abroad are in high demand.

All in all, I have to say that working as an international student is worth every single dollar (or euro) spent. There is no experience like it, and I would definitely recommend it to anybody considering it.

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