Internships abroad: some useful tips

The aim of an internship abroad or PCTO Internship programme is to gain experience and technical, professional and language skills which together can help the trainee better position him/herself on the labour market and more easily obtain the job he/she aspires to.

For those who are unclear about their professional future, especially for young people who have multiple possibilities and are faced with a choice, an internship abroad is an experience that allows them to put their ideas in order and orientate themselves to a choice.

However, organising yourself for a work experience abroad, sometimes unpaid, and making the best of it can be difficult. That’s why, if you are preparing for your internship abroad, we believe you will appreciate these tips.

Your attitude counts

Of all the feelings one gets when organising to leave for an internship abroad, enthusiasm is the one that is definitely not lacking.

That’s fine, enthusiasm should be a key component of your attitude towards this type of experience, but be careful to keep your feet on the ground and first of all ask yourself if you feel up to settling in a country that is different from yours in terms of language, lifestyle, culture, climate, food, etc.

The answer is not so obvious, depending on the destination.

Next, ask yourself whether you have all the necessary tools to organise your life with full autonomy: for many, the first work experience abroad is also the first experience away from family and friends.

Finally, assess your ability to adapt to a working reality that is totally different to any you may have imagined up to that point.

Only then, and only when you feel up to it, can you start looking for the right opportunity.

Pay attention to the language

Do you want to improve your knowledge of a foreign language through your work experience? That’s good.

Do you want to learn a new language from scratch through your internship? Not so good.

An internship abroad is a very useful experience for improving one’s knowledge of a language, as it allows real possibilities for interaction with colleagues and customers and also allows you to learn the technical language of a given profession in another language, which is very important in view of your career.

Nonetheless, it is necessary to start with a basic knowledge of the language you will be speaking in the host country, otherwise, you will not be able to receive any internship offers or you risk turning a dream experience into a nightmare.

Make the most of your internship abroad

Many of the young people we host here in London, Barcelona and Dublin Ain our various internship programmes abroad describe their experience as unique, enriching them like few others.

This is because during such an experience they learn to be on their own and find harmony within themselves. For the first time, they rely only on their abilities and their spirit of adaptation, and this makes them aware of their own potential, making them more confident.

This, if it is also true for you (and it will be), should be valued.

Include it in your CV, describing the challenges you encountered and overcame during your experience and using the keywords that recruiters look for on the CVs of the candidates they review: you might have the right skills, you just have to make it clear.

Likewise, your experience should also be described in a resumé or in a cover letter, which is becoming increasingly important: writing a proper CV is a starting point, but presenting yourself properly is an important competitive advantage.

Enhancing your Prospects with PCTO Internships

PCTO internships have been crafted to cater specifically to the needs of young individuals seeking to sharpen their professional skills. By placing trainees in a work environment that fosters an international perspective, PCTO internships promote the development of technical, professional, and language skills in a uniquely global context.

PCTO internships offer a structured and immersive approach towards understanding a chosen field of work. These internships can provide valuable insights into the industry’s global practices, strategies, and standards, thereby enhancing your professional competencies. Additionally, by offering a chance to interact and collaborate with international professionals, PCTO internships can significantly boost your network, which could prove beneficial in your future career pursuits.

The Dynamics of a PCTO Internship Abroad

Embarking on a PCTO internship abroad can be an exhilarating experience. The opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in a foreign setting comes with its share of exhilaration and anxiety. Enthusiasm indeed plays a crucial role in how one navigates this journey. It’s a driving force that propels you towards new learnings and experiences.

However, being part of this programme abroad requires more than just enthusiasm. It demands adaptability and a genuine interest in understanding diverse cultures, traditions, and work environments. The ability to swiftly acclimatise to different social and professional norms is a crucial asset during a PCTO internship.

Language Proficiency in a PCTO Internship

Language skills hold a pivotal role in a PCTO internship abroad. The desire to refine one’s foreign language skills through work experience is highly encouraged. However, initiating the process of learning a new language from the ground up during your PCTO programme abroad might not be ideal.

Having a basic understanding of the language spoken in your host country prior to beginning your PCTO internship is crucial. It not only enhances your communication with colleagues and clients but also aids in comprehending the technical language of your chosen profession in a foreign language. Remember, your programme abroad is a golden opportunity to consolidate your language skills, transforming it into a career advantage.

Optimising Your PCTO Internship Abroad

The PCTO internships we offer in various locations, including London, Barcelona and Dublin have been heralded as enriching experiences by many young participants, you can see it on our Google Reviews. These internships are created to foster independence and self-reliance, helping you discover your potential and build confidence.

It’s crucial to capture the essence of your PCTO internship in your CV. Mention your learnings, the challenges you tackled, and the growth you achieved during your internship. Adding these elements to your resume or cover letter can offer potential employers a glimpse into your skills and adaptability, giving you an edge over other candidates.

Commencing Your Internship and PCTO Journey

As you prepare for your Internship and PCTO internship abroad, remember it’s not just about professional growth. It’s an opportunity to explore new cultures, make new friends, and experience life from a different perspective. So, set off on your journey abroad and make the most of this opportunity. If you’ve already had a Internship or PCTO abroad experience, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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