Internship abroad or study abroad

Internship Abroad vs Study Abroad: Which is better for university students?

[:ja]山崎[:][:en]Tatsuo[:] [:ja]達夫[:][:en]Yamazaki[:]

by Tatsuo Yamazaki

Hello, it’s Tatsuo of CONPATH writer.

I think that there are many university students who want to have work experiences abroad now in order to work abroad energetically after graduation. Study abroad as a means of going abroad among university students was mainstream so far, but there are also new options, “Internship Abroad”. However, it is difficult to experience both in terms of time and cost, and there are many students who are wondering which way to go.

For such a student, I interviewed five people who experienced internship abroad or study abroad at school days and introduce their experiences in this article.

See the interview of their experiences from the link below.

Which is better, internship abroad or study abroad? Advantages and disadvantages talked by five experienced people

In this column, for students who are wondering which is suitable for themselves, internship abroad and study abroad, I summarized each advantage and disadvantage of an internship abroad and study abroad based on their experiences.

7 indicators to find out the advantage and disadvantage of internship abroad and study abroad

  1. About the timing of participation
  2. About cost
  3. About security and life
  4. About language and communication
  5. Impact on job hunting
  6. Impact on after graduation
  7. Insights and lernings

Those who are thinking about internship abroad or study abroad please refer it. There are programs to do an internship abroad and study abroad in the short term and programs to do in the long term, but in this article, I focus on a long-term internship abroad and study abroad longer than 4 months.

Internship abroad is output oriented, Study abroad is input oriended

As you may know, firstly I will explain internship abroad and study abroad briefly. Study abroad is “to go to a foreign country for a certain period, to receive education, or to engage in research”.* There are two types in that form, there are student exchange program to study at the university’s affiliated school, and self-supporting study abroad to apply for study abroad by searching for a university by yourself.

On the other hand, an internship is “a word meaning originally ‘live-in’, as an educational term, a practical duty for a certain period of time, or its employer”.* When you participate in an internship abroad, you go abroad not work domestic. There are various options, you can do an internship at companies, NGOs / NPOs, the United Nations etc. Your salary is depending on the organization you engage in

For study abroad, you just have to satisfy yourself and you have time to spare, so you can try various things by studying and traveling about the fields that you are newly interested in.

On the other hand, for an internship abroad, unlike study abroad, you are required to make outputs. Therefore, short-term programs also exist, but it is difficult for people who have never had internship experience before to achieve results in the short term, so in many cases, they are required to stay for a long time.
*From Britannica International Encyclopedia

1. The term of study abroad is fixed, you can decide the term of internship abroad yourself

Study abroad's schedule is fixed. Internship abroad's schedule is flexible.

The time of start and end of study abroad is basically influenced by the term of study abroad. So, if you study abroad for a year, that period will be between 8 months and 12 months.

The actual period of the student who studied abroad

Experienced person The period of Study abroad
UK, University of Manchester: Yukiko Ohkubo Septemper 2012 – June 2013
US University of Georgia: Mana Kawasaki August 2014 – May 2015
UK, University of Manchester (Master course): Yuichiro Kai September 2011 to June 2012 (Originally his plan to return home in August but he returned 2 months earlier in order to do job hunting in his mother country)

However, depending on the university and professor, it may be flexible about the period of study abroad.

At the same time, the period of an internship abroad depends on the company you will engage in. Unlike study abroad, for an internship abroad, there is not a semester system but a year-round recruitment. So you can apply by deciding your internship period yourself.
There are some short-term programs that you can join during summer break, but I recommend you to join an internship abroad for more than 6 months in order to achieve goals and grow yourselves.

If you do an internship abroad for 6 months, it may seem that leave of absence is essential, but by using a period before graduating after job hunting, there are some people who participate in an internship abroad for a long term without taking a leave of absence. And it depends on your department’s curriculum, such as the presence of compulsory courses, if you finish earning enough credits for graduation earlier, you can join an internship abroad for a long term without taking a leave of absence.

Those who have an issue that the cost of taking a leave of absence is too expensive to see your major’s curriculum and make sure you can graduate without acquiring credits for one semester.

The actual period of the student who participated in internship abroad

Experienced person The period of Internship abroad
Internship in Singapore: Kenshi Suzuki 2012 Spring – Autumn
Internship in Cambodia: Yuichiro Kai *He joined after job hunting October 2012 – March 2013
Internship in India: Shinnosuke Yoshida February 2014 – February 2015

2. Internship abroad in Asian region is cheaper than study abroad in the US and Europe by 70%

Everyone is worry about the cost when they live abroad for a long time. In study abroad, in the case of self-supporting study abroad, the tuition fee will be charged and in the case of an internship abroad, the participant fee will be charged in addition to travel expenses and living expenses. I listed the expenses of 5 people I interviewed below.

Experienced person The cost of internship abroad and study abroad (Calculated at the exchange rate at the time)
Foreign exchange in the UK (10 months): Yukiko Ohkubo About 25,000 USD (About 2,500 USD/month)
Foreign exchange in the US (10 months): Mana Kawasaki About 17,500 USD (About 1,750 USD/month)
Self-supporting study abroad at graduate school in the UK (10 months): Yuichiro Kai
*Including the tuition fee at the private tutoring school “beo” for the graduate school
About 50,800 USD (About 5,080 USD/month)
*Including 16,500 USD for the tuition fee at the private tutoring school “beo” for the graduate school
Internship in Singapore: Kenshi Suzuki About 5,000 USD (About 850 USD/month)
Internship in Cambodia (6 months): Yuichiro Kai About 2,750 USD (About 450 USD/month)
Internship in India (1 year): Shinnosuke Yoshida About 9,300 USD (About 770 USD/month)

As there are differences in prices between the European countries and the Asian countries, the internship abroad expenses are cheaper than the study abroad expenses by 70% per month. However, in the case of study abroad, you will bear the cost of your study abroad if you apply for a scholarship. In the case of an internship abroad, it depends on the companies you engage in, the companies cover your travel expenses and provide your house and salary. Please note that students who attend a private university will be required to pay the fee for taking a leave of absence when they take a leave of absence to go study abroad or do an internship abroad.

If you are worried about the absent cost, please check this article.


3. Be careful with security and safety for both of internship abroad and study abroad

When you live abroad, you will be worried about security and safety in both an internship abroad and study abroad. I think that you’ve heard that your friends encountered snatchers abroad or got an upset stomach in abroad. Your family will also be worried. In study abroad, most of you go to the Western countries. In the case of study abroad in European countries, you should concern about the security more than the food safety. You should not stop by dangerous areas. Mana studied abroad at the University of Georgia in the US lived in a university dormitory, but there seems to be a case in which a gunfire occurred in the neighborhood and a casualty came out.

When you travel to the Asian region, in addition to security concerns such as pickpockets and snatchers, you also need to pay attention to the food safety. People who are unfamiliar with living abroad need special attention. When I asked Kai who did an internship in Cambodia and Shinnosuke who did an internship in India about security aspects, both of them had a lot of abroad experiences before their internship, so they had never encountered pickpockets and snatchers.

If you go abroad to go study abroad or participate in an internship abroad is the first time of your abroad experience, there are also ways to get used to living abroad in a short period such as a week or a month before.

This is an article on security and safety in Phnom Penh, but I think that it will be helpful for people who wish to study abroad or do an internship abroad in other countries and cities.

The 6 Points to live safely in Phnom Penh

4. If you want to improve your English skills from now on, Study abroad is better option

It’s not too much to say that the real pleasure of study abroad and internship abroad is speaking the local language. In the case of foreign exchange, you must obtain and submit the English test scores such as TOEFL and IELTS. Also, when you study in a country where English is native, it is hard to keep up with the class because young people have unique words and speak with the local accent. In such a scene, you need to speak English forcibly, so it is expected that the language skill will be expected to grow accordingly. Mana who studied in the US for the purpose of improving her English skills looked back on her own improvement in English ability.

“I believe that my vocabulary was increased, my grammar was improved, and the ease of communicating in English was improved as well. The other is a matter of feeling, but when I did not have confidence in the content or expression I couldn’t express my opinions aggressively so far. Although through I heard other students’ opinions in classes, I realized the importance of expressing opinions even the contents expression of opinions were not perfect. Then I became to express my opinions easily.

To evaluate my English skills, 55 points before study abroad and 85 points after study abroad. The score of the TOEFL was 81 before and 860 points in TOEIC before study abroad. After the study abroad TOEFL went up to 93, TOEIC went up to 980. I thought that I was right about going to study abroad.”

On the other hand, in the case of an internship abroad, there are internships which require English proficiency to work in English, but some internship doesn’t require your English skills. Kenshi who worked as an intern in Singapore recalled that he could make values without using English in his internship.

“I did not prepare at all for languages. When I decided to join an internship, I only had one month to actually go to Singapore, haha​​. Originally the most difficult subject for me was English and I never took TOEIC and TOEFL tests. So I did not have English ability when I went to Singapore. During the internship, my main role was to teach Football for Japanese children so I did not use English much. I think that my internship was a job that could bring value even if I could not use English. Nevertheless, it is better to be able to speak English, people who want to do an internship abroad should learn English.”

If you work as an intern at a company or organization using English as an official language, you are required to have business communication in English at the time of participation. Therefore, it can be said that study abroad is better than internship abroad for those who want to improve language skills from now on. For those who studied English already and want to do something with English or want to be able to create values, I recommend internship abroad more than study abroad.

The internal language depends on the company you will engage in. So you should check before applying.

5. Study abroad is disadvantageous for job hunting and Internship abroad is advantageous for job hunting?

Both of study abroad and internship abroad affect job hunting. The main influences are two points, the schedule of job hunting and company selection.

1. Study abroad from Autumn will not make it in
time for hub hunting

If you go to study abroad from the Autumn semester of the third year, you will stay in the field until April to June. As a result, you can’t apply the companies starting hiring early, and you will fall behind in other students. This is a disadvantage to those who want to start job hunting early. However, some companies recruit international students, so there is also a means to apply the offer from the country where you study and return home in time with the interview.

Kai who studied at the Manchester graduate school in the UK returned home two months earlier than original. And he applied the offer for international students.

Field Trip to Uganda

“Companies started their recruitment activity since February and the company I wanted to join also started recruiting, so I was worried. My two friends studied with me in the UK returned to apply an offer once. But I thought it was a waste to go home while studying abroad, then I decided to go home two months earlier than usual. I already chose companies which I wanted to work. The company started recruiting since April but they had a plan to recruit in Summer again. To make it in time, I wrote CV in the UK before returning home and after I went back to Japan, I had a schedule ”

“Since the briefing began in February, my hometown became full-scale in April, so I was worried that recruitment activities had started and I was worried that my friends around me have two new graduates and their children They came home once in April and received JICA but I thought that I wanted to return home because I was in graduate school so I decided to go home early in June for my 2 month return. The company which wanted was narrowed down and the company started recruitment activities from April but was also adopting the summer season for international students from June.If you wish to make it in time, write the entry sheet to some extent in May before returning home.”

People who do not like to overlap the schedule of study abroad and job hunting. There is an option that you go study abroad in the second year.

Meanwhile, in an internship abroad you can decide the time to join and leave, so you can return home in time for job hunting. So basically it will not be a disadvantage in terms of schedule. In addition, you may think that taking a leave of absence is disadvantageous at the time of job hunting, the students who experienced study abroad or internship abroad didn’t feel any disadvantages for job hunting.

2. In internship abroad, you can find out what you want to do is suitable for you

On the contrary, actually working in a company or NPO / NGO leads to cultivating eyes for company selection. You can check with your skin feeling through working, such as whether you are living abroad or what you want to do for yourself. This is an obvious benefit not found in study abroad.

Shinnosuke who worked as an intern at a travel agency and educational system NGO in India recalled that he could find out what kind of work was suitable for him and reaffirm that he wanted to work in the education industry where he was originally interested in.

Internship abroad in India

“I think I find out what kind of work I can do for myself through my internship in India. For example in emerging countries, there is no private tutoring school for the entrance exam. Sometimes I couldn’t find the common things in Japan, so I discovered the opportunities to export Japanese business. I think that it is also interesting to export saturated ones from Japan and localize it. In that respect, I thought that I wanted to do education before I did my internship but I realized that I could think of that education from various directions. I want to go abroad and work while touching the life of local people.”

Considering 1 and 2 above, it seems that the advantageous for job hunting of internship abroad is bigger than that of study abroad.

6. Both of internship abroad and study abroad are useful for work

What is common to many people who wish to study abroad or internship abroad is to have the goal of working abroad after graduating from university. In fact, all five interviewees had the same goal. I asked all five people what experience during internship abroad and study abroad were useful for their current work. Two of three who experienced study abroad answered their experiences were useful for work in English.

Yukiko who experienced study abroad has been assigned a job requires English skills because of her experience.

Start what I can do and gain trust from classmates

“At a current company and the former company, I have assigned a job requires English skills. In concrete terms, all the usual e-mails are in English and all documents are in English. In-house communication is usually in Japanese but when I have a meeting with my client, it will be in English and the presentation is also in English.”

People who experienced internship abroad had a variety of responses, but Kai who worked in Cambodia recalled that his internship experience influenced his current job

Cambodia is my second home

“I am now working as a Vietnamese chief. Because I had the opportunity to speak that I did an internship in Cambodia on a daily basis, everyone including my boss knows that I lived in Cambodia for a half of year. I got an in-house brand that Kai had an experience of living in Cambodia with Khmer language and I am confident that I can localize myself. In my company, people did an internship in developing countries for about half a year is rare. I wanted to involve in the Vietnamese project so I was assigned to the project.”

The influence to work of all five interviewees is below.

Experienced person What useful for work
Foreign exchange in the UK: Yukiko Ohkubo She is assigned to the job requires English skills because of her study abroad experience
Foreign exchange in the US: Mana Kawasaki Currently, she uses English in email and call.
Self-supporting study abroad at graduate school in the UK: Yuichiro Kai Became to be able to express his opinion at a meeting aggressively and to do facilitation well through the experiences of expressing opinions and making a presentation in English
Internship in Singapore: Kenshi Suzuki 1. Could achieve goals from day one because Kenshi joined the company he worked as an intern
2. Became to put importance on the relationship with people because he understood it made business opportunities in his internship
Internship in Cambodia: Yuichiro Kai 1. Got the art of getting things done in time
2. Got an in-house brand, “Southeast Asia = Kai”
Internship in India: Shinnosuke Yoshida Can keep his motivation to work abroad in the future high because of his internship experience

7. Insights and learnings of five persons experienced internship abroad and study abroad

Finally, I summarized the insights and learnings they gained through their study abroad and internship abroad.

Learning and awareness of Internship abroad and Study abroad

Experienced person Insights and learnings
Foreign exchange in the UK: Yukiko Ohkubo Understanding the difference in how to communicate between the Western countries and her home country
Foreign exchange in the US: Mana Kawasaki 1. Understanding she had biased perspectives
2. Got open mind and activeness
Self-supporting study abroad at graduate school in the UK: Yuichiro Kai 1. Gained confidence through the experience of completing his master two months earlier than usual while attending classes
Internship in Singapore: Kenshi Suzuki 1. Relationship with peoople made business opportunities and his achievement
2. Acting not too much thinking
Internship in Cambodia: Yuichiro Kai Difficulty of achieving goals in the internship abroad during a short term like 6 months
Internship in India: Shinnosuke Yoshida 1. Gained his motivation to work abroad receiving inspiration from local students, internship students, Japanese expats
2. Understood ommunicate when working with Indians

Which one is suitable for you, internship abroad and study

I compared internship abroad and study abroad at seven incisions, how did you feel?

To wrap up, those who want to improve English skills from now on and those who want to try various things are suitable for study abroad. In study abroad, you will be required for the results of the exams and reports, but since you only have to be satisfied by yourself, there is not much pressure from outside. You will have plenty of time in study abroad as well so I recommend study abroad to those who want to do various things. On the other hand, in internship abroad you are required to produce results. If you have never experienced an internship in your country, it will take time to be able to produce results, and unlike study abroad you wouldn’t have time to take a trip. However, in internship abroad, you can thoroughly understand what you are interested in. Those who are interested in something and who want to decide whether they want to proceed to that way even after graduation are said to be suitable for an internship abroad.

The university’s 4 years will pass quickly. In order to effectively utilize the valuable time, those who wish to study abroad or internship abroad should find out what you are really looking for and act quickly.

CONPATH provides consulting of an internship abroad for free. If you are interested in an internship abroad by reading this article and you want to do an internship abroad, please apply from the button below.

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