In my last post, I talked about why you should study abroad and shared my own experiences. Since I did my internship in Senegal right after my exchange period, I thought it would be a great moment to talk about my internship as well. I consider doing my internship in Senegal also one of the best things I have done. In this post, I want to list all the benefits of doing an internship or working in another country. Let’s get into working abroad!
internship abroad = international experience
If you decide to do your internship abroad, it means that you’ll obtain international experience. Not only that, but it will definitely add to your intercultural experiences and look good on your resume! Nowadays, company’s look for students and graduates with an international view on the world. For me, I wanted to do something that I had never done before which is actually live in Senegal for a long period of time. By doing my internship in Senegal, I got to really gain international experience and live in Senegal for a longer period.
When doing your internship abroad, you will definitely have the chance to experience local life. You’ll get an idea of what living in that country would actually be like, and most importantly: if you’d like it. For me, going to Senegal for my internship was a great way for me to experience daily life in Senegal. I left Senegal at a young age and I did not have any memories of it. Therefore, I thought if I’d do my internship there, I would at least have something memorable about Senegal. Before doing my internship in Senegal, I came maybe once a year to Senegal for a month. During that time, I got familiar with my family mostly. However, during my internship, I had to do more things on my own. Make friends, work and navigate through my interhsip.
If you are doing your internship in a country where they do not speak the language you grew up with, this is an amazing opportunity to improve or learn another language! I love languages, so when I have the opportunity to learn a new one: I’m in! In Senegal most people speak Wolof and French. The company I did my internship at, was French and English too. Because most people assumed I didn’t speak any French nor Wolof, I could navigate work in English and I could (undercover) pick up Wolof and improve my French. Of course, there were also employees that wanted me to help them improve their English. So in this case, it was a win-win situation where I could help others with English, pick up some words in Wolof and improve my French!
Depending on what kind of person you are, making friends might be easy or maybe being social is not really your thing. I used to be very social and it was so easy for me to make friends. Nowadays, I feel quite introverted. However, I am challenging myself to open up to new people and possible friendships. Your interhsip or job is a great place to make new friends. You could plan weekend trips together, explore events and places together as well. Because I did not grow up in Senegal and during the holidays I’d always be with my family, I never really had the time to make friends. Therefore, the internship was a great way to challenge myself to initiate friendships! And I made some great friends whom I consider family actually.
Just like, studying abroad, working abroad will give you inspiration. This too depends on what kind of person you are and how you see life. I think that anyone who decides to work in another country is open-minded enough to let that experience inspire them. So, you will find inspiration through your colleagues, new friends or the landscape of the country. I find inspiration in almost everything. In Senegal, I love the people, how people are really coming together to celebrate family members, marriages and newborns. Also, working abroad will give you an idea of what you’d like to do. There might be social causes that you’d like to be a part of or solutions that you might have to existing problems. It does not matter which one it is, doing your internship abroad will nevertheless give you an amazing experience!
I’m excited to that I could share this with you! If you want to share your personal experience or ask questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow me on IG: @senegalesetwisted and #sntwistedphoto for photography and video’s. Like my Facebook page @SenegaleseTwisted. See you in my next post :).