Interning Abroad- Czech it out!
I’ll be the first to admit that it is pretty easy to pass off STUDY ABROAD as just BEING ABROAD. My experience thus far studying at NYU Prague has been that classes are more lax, professors are more lenient and schedules are generally more forgiving. That’s not to say that studying doesn’t occur… it just occurs less often.
After “living the life” my first few weeks in Prague, I attended an NYU sponsored internship fair. NYU Prague has a great internship program, which has established relationships with many of the city’s biggest business and important firms. I know similar programs exist at other sites, and I recommend checking out the opportunities online before deciding on a site.
At the event I met Rachel, my current boss. Rachel is an ex-pat from America who has lived in Czech Republic for eight years. She has worked with several big name magazines, but in the past year has decided to open up her own Public Relations agency, Clout. Since she is growing her business, I have been lucky in that I am given a good amount of responsibility and am allowed to pursue my own initiatives. After working in a larger PR firm this past fall, it has been exciting to see how “traditional” PR works and I’ve loved being able to see our growth so far. The cultural exchanges that go along with doing PR in a different country, much less a Central European country, have been great to experience too.
If you plan to go abroad and are debating whether or not you want to intern, these are the main concerns I’d think about:
- Travel: If you plan to travel every weekend, it may be difficult to fit an internship into your schedule. Although bosses seem to be understanding, you want to make sure you devote enough time to your job.
- Free Time: Much of being abroad is about immersing yourself into the culture, daily life of the locals. If you rather be out exploring neighborhoods while you’re not in class, interning probably wont be worth it.
- Burning Out: Many use study abroad as break from interning. If you’ve had an internship the previous semester, and plan to have one when you return from abroad it may be nice to take a semester off while you can.
Why I would recommend it:
- Balance: Daily life abroad is so much different than life in New York, that having an internship to schedule life around can help balance all of the crazy that is going on around you.
- Opportunities: The internships available abroad are usually well connected back to the states, expanding and enhancing your network for when you return to the city.
- Immersion: Being able to do business with and interact with locals on a daily/weekly basis offers an immersion experience that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.