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Tuesday 22 July 2014

Things to Avoid During An Internship Abroad

Abroad or not, an internship is your chance to to gain valuable work experience. There are many people across the web that have advice for things that an intern should do, but what about the things you shouldn’t do? Go Overseas is aware of a few of the pitfalls that should be actively avoided while interning and studying abroad, from 8 Common Mistakes While Interning Abroad to 10 Mistakes American Study Abroad Students Make in Europe. We pulled out a few things we think are essential to avoid from these lists.
  • Clinging to other Americans. 
  • Assuming everyone speaks English. 
  • Spending too much time on social media, looking at life back home. 
  • Traveling too much. 
  • Not setting goals. 
Don’t cheat yourself out of having an amazing experience immersed completely in your host country’s culture. Even if you get homesick, try to focus on being present where you are. Upload your own pictures or update your travel blog, then hit the local hangouts.

A problem at the opposite end of the spectrum is traveling too much. If you try to cram a visit to 4 different countries in one weekend, you’re not really seeing and experiencing Europe as much as you are Europe’s transportation. Pick and choose your trips with care, and make sure to spend some time exploring your host country - the point of living in your host country is to experience it as well.

Alison Green gives job and management advice on her Ask a Manager blog. She gives a list of things you should avoid at any internship, no matter where you are in the world in her article Don’t Make These 10 Internship Mistakes. Here are a few of our favorite points in the article:
  • Ignoring office culture. 
  • Talking more than listening. 
  • Neglecting to thank people who help you. 
  • Being too casual. 
No matter how long you will be with an organization, you want to conform to company culture as much as possible to get the best experience. You are also at that company to learn, so make sure you ask strategic questions, and listen to everything that happens in the office. Even if it does not directly pertain to your responsibilities, pay attention!