No more funny business, only international business! Starting to search for internships puts the capital O-verwhelming in CEO—Even for the most organized and efficient future moguls! It shouldn’t be so hard to learn to run a Fortune 500 company and figure out how you want to work your way up the corporate ladder. How do you even begin to compete with the rest of the world trying to make their mark (and a lot of cash) along the way? If you’re trying to make a big splash in the business world, you have to have international experience to spruce up your resume. It sets you apart from every other Zuckerberg, Buffet, and Gates. But where oh where to intern abroad in business? How do you start to narrow down ~196 countries to find the right fit?
This handy dandy infographic—just a quick scroll away—will help you do just that. We’ve cherry-picked our top five countries for business placements abroad and outlined all the most important factors you should take into consideration when choosing an internship. That way all you have to worry is whether or not you have a nice top for your Skype interview.
Practice a firm, but not overpowering (or sweaty) handshake, master your elevator pitch, shine up your loafers and get ready for the five best countries for business internships abroad.
KEY: What factors should you consider when deciding where to intern abroad in business?
As with any international program, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each individual experience and what programs do and don’t include. Some might tick every box, but others you might need to make tough choices between. Labor laws will vary country to country and that impacts things like whether or not your internship is paid, and what your visa situation looks like.
If you have questions what programs specifically include, always reach out to program advisors and coordinators. They know their international business internships back to front and will have the most up-to-date knowledge visa info.
- Will you receive a stipend? This depends greatly on the individual company or internship placement, as well as on your host country’s labor laws. To be perfectly honest, finding paid business internships abroad isn’t as difficult as finding paid internships in other field, but will definitely take a little extra legwork. Most international internships are unpaid, but you might find a couple with a modest living stipend included.
- Is room & board included? No matter where you intern abroad in business, most programs will include room and board in their program fee—at the very least they’ll offer housing assistance. A great way to mitigate some of the cost of room and board is to opt into a homestay and live with a local family. We highly recommend this for interns really looking to fully immerse during their international business internships. You’ll get up close and personal with the local culture, be guaranteed at least one or two free home-cooked meals, and if there’s a foreign language factor you’ll get in a ton of good practice before heading off to the office every day.
- Can you earn academic credit? Sometimes this is a tradeoff between getting paid/a stipend and you’ll probably need to choose one or the other. It can impact what kind of visa you end up getting, so be sure to ask your program advisor it. For current college students, this is a great way to beef up your resume with international work experience without falling behind in your credits for graduation.
- Is there structured professional development? Professional development during business internships abroad is basically a given, right? Just your day-to-day will offer plenty of opportunity for you to learn new skills and become better prepared to join the workforce full-time—maybe even with your current placement. BUT, there is value in having specific, structured professional development sessions and opportunities. Not just the day-to-day, but we’re talking opportunities for one-on-one mentorship, resume workshops, knowledge sharing, and presentations specific aspects of your job, company, or field.
- What networking opportunities will you have? Again, networking at the office is a given, but will there be events for interns to attend that allows you to make s outside of your internship cohort, department, company, or field? These experiences are incredibly valuable. Not only are they a great opportunity to brush up on your elevator pitch and general networking skills, but the more s you make abroad the better—that future job abroad is just that much closer.
Our top 5 picks for international business internships abroad
These countries are some of the best places to look for business internships abroad. Budding Jeff Bezos’ and Sheryl Sandberg’s will certainly benefit from work experience in any of the following countries, so lean on in, baby!
You might not think of the Czech Republic immediately when you think of internships abroad, but you should because honestly, international business internships in the Czech Republic just add up to good business sense. Not only is there a huge market for international internships, but the low cost of living in-country makes it ideal for unpaid interns. No matter your focus in the great ol’ business world, you’ll have no Praguelems finding a great internship placement.
- Popular cities: Prague, Brno
- Recommended internship: Intern in Czech Republic with World Endeavors
- More info: All business placements abroad in the Czech Republic
Once you get a hang of British slang, business internships abroad in England are brilliant. As a hub for international finance internships, international marketing internships, and general international business internships, England is the perfect place for future moguls to get work experience. But, it will cost you a few quid. England isn’t the most affordable location, but you’re much more likely to get a nice stipend or room and board as compensation.
- Popular cities: London, Manchester, York
- Recommended internship: London Summer Internship with IES Internships
- More info: All business placements abroad in England
You don’t think you’ve got what it takes to intern abroad in business, but we think Japan. Horrifying puns aside, international business internships in Japan are delicious and worthwhile—like slurping a hot bowl of ramen. As a major player in global tech and manufacturing, business internships in Japan will enable interns to connect with large scale businesses and understand how unique cultural elements play into day-to-day Japanese business. Unfortunately, Japan isn’t as budget friendly as the Czech Republic, but the potential for stipends and the networking opportunities alone might be enough for us to trade in European bread rolls for Japanese sushi rolls...
- Popular cities: Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto
- Recommended internship: International Internships in Tokyo with The Intern Group
- More info: All business placements abroad in Japan
As the unofficial global capital of efficiency and streamlining, and home to one of the big financial centers of the European Union, international business internships in Germany are an obvious pair. Like curry and wurst, soft pretzels and beer, or even noodles and schnitzel. You’ll find cost of living varies between major cities. Munich and Frankfurt tend to be on the more expensive side—as bigger business and financial centers—but Berlin is a little more affordable in comparison. Sitting snugly in the heart of the European continent and economy, it’s a no brainer that this is where to intern abroad in business.
- Popular cities: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt
- Recommended internship: Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX)
- More info: All business placements abroad in Germany
5. South Korea
For interns who love to go, go, go, international business internships in South Korea are the perfect mix of sweet, sour, and spicy. Kind of like kimchi! Along with Japan, South Korea is a huge tech and business hub, so hustlers looking to compete (or work with) Apple, Samsung, or any number of big tech companies, should look no further than South Korea. If you’re wanting to experience a strong work culture and build meaningful connections with colleagues and network your little booty off, your heart and Seoul will be at peace interning in South Korea.
- Popular cities: Seoul, Busan
- Recommended internship: Internship in Korea with Asia Internship Program
- More info: All business placements abroad in South Korea
More resources to help you have successful business placements abroad
Since you have a better idea of where to intern abroad in business, it’s time to start planning your internship abroad experience. These articles and resources will make it a cinch!
- Compare business internships abroad side-by-side with MyGoAbroad
- First time intern abroad? You definitely need to read this Ebook
- 9 tips for turning an international internship into a job or career
- International internship costs & knowing what program fees include
- What to pack for interning abroad
Now you’re a pro at international business internships abroad and you haven’t even packed yet! Look at you go! Someone’s gonna climb right up that corporate ladder in no time. Don’t forget us when you’re a big-shot business-person abroad.
Business internships abroad await—don’t be late!
You’ll have the experience of a lifetime in any one of these five locations. Start working through your program must-haves and negotiables—Europe or Asia, paid or unpaid, group housing or homestays, etc.
Now that you know where to intern abroad in business you can find your perfect program, sign up, pack your bags, and get excited for your first day of work, you eager beaver! Take advantage of every opportunity to integrate into your new host culture and company, work hard, network, and take part in professional development. You’re ready to take the business world by storm! Double check that you set your morning alarm. You wouldn’t want to be late your first day. First impressions are everything in business, after all.