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Why Do an Unpaid Internship?

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unpaid internship

Nobody likes to work for free – so why would you ever want to do an unpaid internship? Especially when you’ve just graduated, it seems like a waste of time (and money!) to work without salary. Still unpaid internships are not only common, butalso quite popular, especially when going abroad! So, what is it that makes them so useful?

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It’s still work

Sometimes, the salary does not matter. As soon as you begin your internship, you will have new responsibilities and tasks. These tasks can teach you and give you the chance to put your education and skills to good use! 

While some internships might benefit your skillset and your portfolio, others may also help you realize what career path you do notwant to take. If you are unsure about working in a certain industry or position, an internship can help you realize what a certain career path might look like. The first-hand experience helps you more than any article or book ever can!

Most internships are also a great way to spice up your resume. When a future employer sees that you have already worked in similar positions, or at least have some work experience, they might realize that you can offer more than ‘just’ the know-how you got from your education. Depending on your performance in your past internships, you might also score with a past reference letter. 

Networking, networking, networking

There are numerous ways to meet new people as an intern. Obviously, you will connect with your boss and your colleagues. This will already expand your network in beneficial ways. Depending on your ambition, you might find networking opportunities with customers and suppliers, other interns and, of course, with other professionals at networking events.Your internship is a steppingstone for your personal network.

Some studies say that 80% of all jobs today are never officially advertised – and that is already a persuasive argument to keep your networking skills sharp. An internship might also directly (or indirectly) lead to full-time employment. For that to happen though, you need to build up your professional network.

Personal growth personal growth internship

Internships can always benefit you in your professional life – but how about personally? If you find a challenging internship for yourself, you will learn how to tackle challenges and difficult situations. You might also learn how to adapt to and cope with different personalities. There are a lot of skills you cannot learn from a textbook but can easily learn from real-life experiences.

Of course, if you happen to find a paid internship, you can learn those skills as well. However, it’s usually easier to find an unpaid internship. And if you can afford to complete one abroad, it’s a memorable way to see different places of the world.


If you find an opportunity to complete an internship abroad, you will surely find lots of ways to have fun while exploring a different country’s culture. Your internship will be a memorable experience in multiple ways – and being an unpaid internship shouldn’t deter you from it! Of course, if you can land a paid internship that’s a nice perk, but it should not be your ultimate criteria while looking for one. Check out the many different locations around the world where InternAsia can help find your next internship!

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