If landing an internship in your own city, let alone a different city in the US is tricky– international internships take the cake. There are passports, visas, currency conversions, language differences, work permits, the list goes on. The hardest part, however, is actually securing the internship.
When you Google “international internship” you get 254,000,000 results which is immediately overwhelming. There are tons of resources out there for students and recent grads to get an internship abroad. But where do you start? How do you narrow down almost 254 million Internet hits to 3-4 real possibilities? How do you know they’re not scams?
These are the four sites we found to be the most consistent, reliable, and not seedy (plus I am always scrolling through them in my downtime).
Idealist is the biggest source for jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities around the world. While there lots of listings for the US, searching for specific countries or even just “Europe” helps you find international postings.
Idealist posts mostly for the social sector i.e. nonprofit, government and volunteer jobs. You can make a profile for yourself to let companies find you, but it’s not necessary to apply for jobs. Job posting can range from having minimal information to specific degrees and languages you need to speak. Most postings just ask you to email your resume and cover letter to the company.
Just Better Jobs brands themselves as the “most compelling job board, offering vacancies with good businesses like ethical fashion labels, organic cosmetic brands, organic food producers, green and ethical online retailers, eco-tourism firms and more.”
Besides that Just Better Jobs has criteria that each job posting and company must pass before posting, so you know it’s good. Most of the jobs are based in United Kingdom or the Netherlands, which is beneficial for those who don’t speak a foreign language well.
There are many entry-level jobs, ranging from hospitality to marketing. Again, you don’t need to sign up to apply. Most just require you to email the company directly.
Moving Worlds is a different kind of job site. Actually, it’s all volunteer work. Don’t let that put you off– many of the jobs cover accommodation, food, and sometimes travel. Additionally, there are several that do offer compensation.
Moving Worlds is very universal with many jobs in Asia, Africa,and South America. To apply for the jobs, you have to make a profile and specify your skills and areas of interest. Browsing the opportunities is free, but to actually be matched, you must purchase a membership plan.
While I am never a fan of paying for a work experience, Moving Worlds is the one I see as most reasonable. Purchasing a plan means you are guaranteed a match or your money back. Plans range from $99 to $799 (woah, right?) a year and they include travel discounts and unlimited introductions to Moving World’s opportunities around the world. You’ll also get their “Opportunity of the Week” emails.
Escape the City is my favorite resource for international jobs.
First off, they are cool. They are their own little culture, dedicated to helping people “escape” their corporate desk jobs and jump into a completely new job across the globe. They have tons of testimonials from escapees and one of my favorite weekly email newsletters, “Top 10 Escape Opportunities”.
You do have to sign up and create a profile, but there is no charge. Once you’re signed up you can start applying for jobs. Escape the City is based in London, so the majority of the jobs are located around there. However, they always have lots of international jobs.
Most of the jobs are startup types, there are some bigger companies listed additionally. Escape also works to match you to certain jobs, depending on how well you fill out your profile.