Hema's aim is to become a scientist and a foreign internship will open up the doors to an exciting career
An internship abroad is one of the best ways for students to get real, first-hand job experience that opens up doors of exciting career opportunities. However, most students or recent graduates choose to do their internship closer home for obvious reasons as travelling and staying abroad look like a pretty daunting task. But mostly, potential fears arise due to lack of awareness. Summer breaks are here, and trust us, it's a good time to consider the prospect of a foreign internship stint.
We know zeroing in on an internship that is pocket-friendly and at the same time enjoyable and fruitful is no easy task. Don't worry, we have someone to address all your concerns.
Chennai-based second year MSc Botany student Hema Lakshmi D, who has spent most of her free time scouting rewarding summer internship prospects in foreign universities through LinkedIn, has shared with T2 Online a few key points students must consider before applying for the pre-job training course abroad.
Why foreign internship?
One should be clear in his/her mind about why he wants to opt for an internship abroad. It can't be just because it sounds fancy and you get to see a new country. Like, I really want to learn what are the new advancements in my academic discipline and that's why I want to go abroad. Other students may have other reasons. Just ensure they are well thought out.
An internship should be funded
Some departments in foreign universities offer bursaries to help students with accommodation, travel and upkeep. For a middle-class student, that makes a lot of sense as we already have to spend a lot on Air Tickets.
Good lab facilities
For those it's applicable, make sure the lab is well equipped and has a helpful lab in charge. If you are a fellow Botany student, take note — besides the equipment, the lab should have a wide range of plants, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Since I want to become a professor/scientist, it would be great if I know more about the living organisms from the smallest bacteria to the largest living things — the giant sequoia trees.
Should be of less duration
We generally do an internship during our summer break, which is generally a month long. So, a short internship works better for us as our classes resume soon after the break. A 20-day programme is most preferable.
Get valuable references
One should be able to forge a strong teacher-student bond with the professor and lab instructor under whom one will be doing the internship. It will surely go a long way in one's future endeavours.