Intern Straight After High School - The Benefits

Intern Straight After High School - The Benefits

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Congratulations on finishing high school! You’re finally an adult, and you can enjoy your freedom without the looming threat of exams or tests hanging over you (at least until University begins). However, in those months after finishing high school- probably the first time that you can remember without any structure to your life- it’s easy to feel quite lost, particularly if you choose not to go to University or to take a gap year. Most high school graduates also aren’t entirely sure as to what they want to study, and how are you supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at the age of eighteen or nineteen? You may have worked part time jobs in local cafes or shops during school, but now you have to suddenly think about your future in the long term, and that can be scary, especially in such a fast moving and volatile global climate. At the same time, you want to use your newfound freedom to explore the world and make unforgettable memories.

Luckily, there is an easy way around all of these difficult questions- intern abroad! Not only can you explore a completely different country, culture and way of life, but you can also find a major which suits you, jump out of your comfort zone and gain some valuable experience that will boost your resume! Why not totally turn your life upside down straight after school and go abroad for your internship? 5 good reasons to do so are below!

Benefit #1: Independence!

We all crave independence whilst still at school—no parents banging on your door to wake you up or demanding that you stay at home and work instead of seeing your friends. So why not take the plunge, step out of your comfortable life at home, and experience living independently for the first time? Living abroad is the ultimate opposite to what you had at home: having nobody there to tell you what to do sounds like a dream, but you first have to get used to organizing your day on your own – at work as well as back in your apartment! This will mean that the transition to University will be much easier. Furthermore, if you live with other people doing the same program as you in shared apartments you will settle in quickly with people to show you around.

Benefit #2: Develop new skills

In school it’s all about, well, school. Of course there are people who are better with science and people that are better with languages, but in school you cannot really explore all your talents within the strictly defined curriculum. By doing an internship, you can figure out what you really enjoy doing at work and you can develop skills that are useful for your later life. An internship abroad will mean that you can learn new skills and get advice from creative international colleagues, as well as build up your network internationally. Not only that, but international work experience will make your CV stand out in a competitive and highly globalized world. With Asia becoming more and more crucial to the global economy, having experience working in Asia and learning about how businesses operate there will be highly attractive to employers. It also shows that you’re willing to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone, demonstrating your resilience and drive to potential employers. Even better, you can learn a new language as well!

Benefit #3: ‘Working life’

Of course we all know how it works: you go to the office in the morning, work and go back home again, and somewhere in between is a lunch and coffee break. Although you can imagine how working in an office is, you have never really experienced it- and every office is different. During your internship you can find your place in a company and see for yourself. Of course, internships differ slightly from full time work, but it’s important to experience the structure of a company and its culture, as well as the daily routine of working life. Furthermore, you will find that Asian professional culture differs to that in the West in some ways, and this will give you a broader experience than if you were to intern back home.

Benefit #4: Choose a career

It would be great if we all could just go to school forever and not think about full time work or the future. But sooner or later, every one of us has to find something to make money. As the saying goes- do something you love and never work a day in your life. An internship will give you a taster of different career options, and help you decide what you want (and what you don’t). If you’re stuck on what major to study, an internship can also help you decide this—perhaps you do an engineering internship, but end up preferring the economics and finance side of it!  If you liked what you did at the internship, it is quite easy: just try to find a study program that teaches you what the job requires! Even not enjoying your internship is valuable in the sense that you learn what you don’t want to do, and by process of elimination are closer to working out what it is that you want. Do not get disheartened if this is the case, it happens to almost everyone. If you plan to turn your hobby into work (like considering being a chef or running a restaurant when you love cooking) it helps to try it first! It is possible that the hobby stops being fun and you don’t enjoy it any longer – an internship is a good way to understand how it can work out.

Benefit #5: The best of both worlds

Applying for an internship abroad is a great idea if you don’t feel like studying yet. After high school, especially when considering a ‘gap year’ before University, many people think of either full time work or just going abroad to explore new countries, but only few consider combining both with an internship abroad! An internship is the perfect way to combine all of your options and experience the best of both working and traveling. By living in another culture you experience the traditions and habits of a country a lot more than you would by only traveling as well as making long term friendships; and when doing an internship you have a high chance of doing something you really enjoy and gaining valuable experience to boost your CV. Last but not least, you will still have weekends and holidays that you can use for trips and tours, and evenings to go out and explore your new city!

In conclusion…

An internship abroad is a unique opportunity to combine the best of both work and traveling, whilst immersing yourself in a completely different culture. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to intern immediately after high school rather than putting it off until the time comes that you have less flexibility (such as in the middle of your studies). When you finished university and then find out that the career you chose is not the best one, it will be too late.

But for now, there is nothing to lose; you can only gain experience, so apply now.

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