Why should you consider a virtual internship? Being able to successfully work remotely is an increasingly relevant skill, with more and more companies offering (and sometimes requiring) this ability. You’ll be able to hone these remote working skills as you collaborate with your international colleagues from home. And CIS Abroad will support you every step of the way!
We know that nothing can replace the direct experience of international travel (and trust, our bags are packed and waiting), but we see virtual internships as an important stepping stone to get there. In addition to our detailed FAQ, here are a few reasons why you (and your friends) should consider a virtual internship abroad this summer.
Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Virtual Internship
1. Remote work is the present – and future.
Work from your couch now, and from more exotic locations later.
Clearly, there’s a HUGE reason more people are working remotely right now, but remote work has been on the uptick for quite a while since it was started by NASA in the 70s. According to Owl Labs State of Remote Work 2019, 52% of employees around the world work from home at least once per week and 68% of global employees work from home at least once per month. And remote workers report being happier overall. Not surprisingly, 91% of respondents reported a better work-life balance, 79% talked about increased productivity/better focus, and 78% answered that both stress and commutes were lowered.
So, which career fields should consider virtual internships? Not surprisingly, technology and IT jobs are popular for remote work, but some other industries may surprise you. From the same Owl Labs report, 15% of respondents worked in the Healthcare sector, which was actually more than Technology/Internet responders. Other emerging remote-work fields include Financial Services, Education, and Manufacturing.
2. The project work is legit! You’re doing meaningful work.
The only coffee (or tea) you’ll be fetching is your own!
You’ll be assigned meaningful, measurable tasks and projects. While we can’t yet say exactly what you’ll be doing (because each placement is customized and it depends on your host company’s current needs), know that you’ll be working in your intended career field on a relevant project. Ultimately, you’ll produce a final video, presentation, or similar deliverable for your supervisor at the end of your internship to showcase your learning and results. The quickest way to browse sample virtual internship placement fields is by checking out each program directly: Virtual Internship in Argentina and Virtual Internship in South Africa.
You’ll also form a meaningful connection to your host organization country, which may sound unusual at first! Before you even begin your internship, we’ll host a pre-program cultural orientation to make sure you feel comfortable and ready for your first day. Each week throughout your internship, attend live Cultural De-briefs with your virtual intern peers to share your experiences working across cultures. You’ll better understand and learn from what other virtual interns are experiencing and walk away from this experience with a holistic view of the international work culture.
3. It’s a way to differentiate yourself from those who complete internships in your home country.
Highlight international experience on your resume
Like we said, we know the tremendous value of on-site international experiences, and we want you to have those with CIS Abroad, too! But in the meantime, think of virtual internships as a way to set yourself apart from others who are interning stateside. More and more U.S. employers are likely to start offering virtual internships out of necessity, but with a virtual global internship, you’ll be gaining all other hard and soft skills that every international internship provides, including cross-cultural communication, problem solving, collaboration, and field specific knowledge – just to name a few.
4. The responsible truth: the closest thing we’ll get to international travel anytime soon is forging new connections with our global networks.
We’re staying home until travel is safe
Practically speaking, no one knows when things will return to whatever will be the new normal. Our Pinterest boards are growing fatter by the day, but until it’s safe to travel internationally on a large scale, we need to get creative with how we connect and continue to build global relationships. The world has been flattened for some time now, so there’s no going back – and who wants to?
Virtual internships offer a low-risk way to practice social distancing while accomplishing real work that will make a difference in your future. The programs are cost-effective and offer a flexible schedule and duration and easily fit with your summer plans.
5. With CIS Abroad – get cultural component as a stepping stone to an on-site experience.
And we’ll be here for that when the time comes
Since we want you to create a strong cultural connection with your host organization country, we’ve taken our La Vida Local on-site learning virtual, too! Learn about what it’s like to live in your host country, from natural beauty to traditional customs to modern entertainment. Some self-guided learning adventures, some social opportunities with your cohort, our Virtual La Vida Local programming will supplement your work experience – and hopefully cement that dream of going abroad in the near future.
There are many more reasons to consider a virtual internship abroad, but we hope these are enough to get you interested. If you want to take the next step, research our new virtual programs and submit a quick, initial application when you’re ready.