Are you ready to take 2020 by the horns? On the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2020 is the year of the rat and symbolises a strong vitality. With this in mind, we encourage everyone to grow and flourish in whatever way best suits you. If you’re a student or graduate looking to push your boundaries and grow your perspective, then you may want to consider an international internship. But not just any internship. Pick from the best internship destinations abroad!
We’ve put together a few of the best internship destinations for 2020, and explored the various opportunities available in each destination.
Why intern abroad?
Before we dive into the best destinations to intern in 2020, we want to highlight some of the invaluable benefits of an international internship.
Experience a new culture
There’s nothing quite like experiencing a new culture and discovering a new environment to stimulate your growth. If you can travel and explore while fulfilling a purpose – then it’s a win-win.
There’s nothing quite like licking your fingers after a spicy meal in New Delhi. Or photographing the spectacular views from Table Mountain in Cape Town. By travelling abroad, you are taking the opportunity to immerse yourself in something completely different from anything you’ve ever experienced.
Build a global network
An international internship gives you an opportunity to expand and build your global network. This can do wonders for your career in later years. Rather than circulating in your existing network at home, an international internship allows you to meet influential industry experts and nonprofit organisations on a global scale.
These experiences and people that you meet are priceless assets and ones that you can’t easily replace. Once you open up your network’s boundaries, you’ll be surprised by how much you can connect with people from different cultures.
Expand your horizons
Choosing to intern abroad will expand your horizons in ways that you can’t possibly imagine. It will bring you face-to-face with new cultures, traditions, beliefs and experiences. For example, the Diwali Festival in New Delhi will leave you wide-eyed with wonder and fill you with respect for a different culture.
By expanding your horizons, you’re encouraging sensitivity across cultures and breaking out of the western culture bubble.
Easier transition to the working world
Finding your feet in a new country is a great way to work on your independence and adaptability. These are two valuable skills to have when adjusting to the working world. These skills are also huge assets to have when applying for jobs after college.
Grow your character
What better way to stand out in a crowd than by pushing your boundaries in an authentic and inspiring way? A meaningful internship is a great way to highlight your name on a list of potential candidates.
There’s a lot more to fulfilling job requirements than tangible skills. Character growth and development are important assets to have and contribute to the dynamic of a company.
Best internship destinations for 2020
Now that you understand the basics of how and why an international internship can be of great value to you, let’s take a look at some of the best internship destinations for 2020.
Considered the ‘Mother City’ in South Africa, Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city that beautifully blends a variety of cultures, natural wonders and internship opportunities. It’s the first of the best internship destinations for 2020.
South Africa currently ranks 116 on the human development index ranking of 188 countries. The youth experience a 50% unemployment rate, and at least 16.6% of South Africans live below the income poverty line.
While these statistics are heartbreaking, it’s encouraging to know that there are amazing nonprofits that work tirelessly towards improving these conditions. Social and economic inequality is a harsh reality for many South Africans. However, there are a myriad of opportunities to help make a difference.
There are countless organisations that work to empower youth, rebuild communities and empower women. There are also opportunities in the environmental sector that highlights the role that education plays in protecting our planet. You can even intern with our parent social enterprise, Development Works Changemakers.
Choosing an internship in Cape Town will present you with a wide variety of different industries and sectors that need help. Even better, an internship in Cape Town will connect you with the extensive network of nonprofits, foundations, funders, government stakeholders, and social enterprises that are already making an impact.
If the opportunities are not enough to win you over, then perhaps the culture will. South Africa has 11 official languages! This fact alone highlights the diversity of cultures within the country. From the beautiful, colourful houses in the Bo-Kaap to the forested areas of Hout Bay and the vibrant township of Gugulethu – South Africa is constantly buzzing with activity.
The tasty food, incredible natural wonders and wealth of fun activities will keep you both entertained and amazed. Regardless of what your preferences are – whether you’re a beach lover, or an avid mountain climber, foodie or live music junkie – there’s a variety of experiences to enjoy.
Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Not only that, but it is an affordable destination to live, enjoy and intern. There’s the opportunity to learn a local language, indulge in a lively melting pot of cultures, and explore the great outdoors – all without breaking the bank.
In addition to the wonderful extracurricular activities, there’s also the opportunity to make a real impact. Cape Town is one of the top destinations to travel with purpose.
If you want to add some spice to your next meaningful travel experience, then New Delhi is the destination for you.
A shocking 69.3% of Indians aged 15 and above are illiterate, and up to 55.3% of the population live in multidimensional poverty. Often times, New Delhi is associated with inequality, run-down infrastructure and a lack of education.
However, there is so much more offered by the culturally and historically rich city. Known by some as the City of Djinns this magical place will really capture your captivation.
There is an established network of reputable nonprofits that dedicate their time, energy and money towards improving the livelihood of those living in New Delhi. These nonprofits are always looking for extra hands and ideas to help make a difference.
Indian culture is one of the most colourful in the world. If you choose to intern in New Delhi, you can be certain that you’ll be introduced to an amazing amount of history, culture, food, temples and friendly people. The culture alone makes New Delhi one of the best internship destinations to take advantage of.
From the famous India Gate to the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Hauz Khas Fort, New Delhi is home to some of the nation’s most iconic sites. If you’re looking for an international internship that will stretch your cultural knowledge, then New Delhi is for you.
There are so many incredible opportunities to make a difference in New Delhi. India is bursting with potential and oftentimes, all that is needed is a gentle nudge and bit of support to make a world of difference.
Choosing to intern in New Delhi is taking one bold step on the same compassionate path taken by Mother Teresa. In addition to a wealth of great opportunities, the city also prides itself on a well-oiled transport system meaning that you can explore all the wonders that India holds.
Hanoi offers a melting pot of culture and a large number of opportunities to dive deep into purposeful travel.
Although Hanoi has brightly coloured streets, a rich history and fascinating culture, it is also haunted by several social injustices. For example, there is a 30% youth unemployment rate, and their ever-growing population only ranks 115 on the Human Development Index Ranking.
What this means is that there are a lot of opportunities to get involved and make a valuable difference in the lives of the locals. Particularly in the areas of education, youth development, gender rights, health and social justice. Choosing to intern in Hanoi will introduce you to a vibrant world of colour and culture.
The Vietnamese are known to be some of the friendliest people in the world. If you can be certain of one thing, it’s that you’ll be welcomed in the country with open arms. Known to have a melting pot of cultures, you can expect a constant stream of colours, smells, tastes and experiences.
The city itself is breathtakingly beautiful, and the natural surroundings are equally spectacular. When interning in Hanoi, you can expect an unforgettable culinary experience, an introduction to a very special culture, and memories that you’ll never forget.
If you’re looking for an affordable destination that is rich in experience, then Hanoi is for you. The city has got so much opportunity bubbling under the surface, just waiting to be tapped into. There is so much potential to be explored and a meaningful internship is just one way to discover this potential while travelling with meaning.
The ancient city of Athens is a bucket list destination for people all over the world. Why not tick it off of your list while making a difference? There’s good reason that we consider Athens one of the best internship destinations for 2020.
There are incredible pre-med internship opportunities in Athens, giving future healthcare professionals the opportunity to work in a cross-cultural environment and explore a city while gaining experience. Internships are a compulsory part of medical studies, so why not complete your internship in a destination that is unique and new.
With if i could… you have the opportunity to do your pre-med internship at one of the best private hospitals in the world. So, whether you’re studying nursing, cardiology, endocrinology, intensive care, radiology, physical therapy, general surgery, dentistry, other options, or working towards being a general practitioner, Athens could be the spot for you.
Greek culture is ancient and rich. While doing your internship in Athens, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover some of the most ancient civilizations in the world. From iconic buildings such as the Parthenon in Athens, or island hopping from one paradise to the next, Greece is a great place to do your internship.
When not gaining valuable, customised work experience, interns can explore the history and culture of Athens and the surroundings. Fun day trips can be organised to surrounding islands such as Santorini, Paros and even smaller destinations such as Aegina.
If you’re looking for a dynamic place to do your medical internship, then Greece is a great option. The private hospital is one of the best in the world and ensures a knowledgeable and riveting experience.
There is so much beauty and culture to explore when not in the hospital. If you’re looking for a beautiful break from the usual, while gaining valuable experience in the medical field, then Athens is a great option.
Intern with if i could…
Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or want to experience your first time abroad, you don’t need to do it alone. At if i could… we have helped aspiring changemakers take the first step in meaningful travel.
Our support system starts the second that you show interest and contact us to find out what experience best suits you, all the way to in-country support. We have many 17 years of experience with our partners and many years in helping interns find the perfect opportunity to best suit their needs and personality.
Over the past 17 years, we have built strong and healthy relationships with a network of nonprofits around the world who are doing wonderful things. At if i could… we connect you with the relevant nonprofit to best suit your aspirations and goals. Together we make a difference.
By connecting you with reputable nonprofits, you can be certain that your best interests – and the best interests of your cause – are prioritised.
Our support for you and the program doesn’t end when you return home. We have a wonderful network of previous interns who we continue to have a positive relationship with. What this means is that the change that you make is not limited to your time spent in the country, but has the potential to echo on in the future.
Final thoughts on interning in 2020
We expect big things for 2020, and we can’t wait to see how the world is changed in a positive way by those who aspire to see a difference. These are some of the best internship where you can travel with purpose.