Conversations on Studying Abroad

To Intern or Not to Intern? Things to Consider When Choosing to Intern Abroad

Feb 22, 2020 9:22:00 AM / by Emma Estabrook

In Emma's latest blog from Sydney, she dives into the pros and cons of interning abroad and chats about her experience interning at a startup in downtown Sydney. Check it out if you're thinking about doing an internship abroad!

When you say “part-time” internship it doesn’t sound like that much of a time commitment when you are going to be having some of the most exciting months of your life, but 20 hours can add up to be a lot! For me, I have a combination of either classes or going into work every day from 9-5pm Monday-Thursday. I got lucky and I only have about a 20-minute commute to my internship at a startup building downtown. BUT this will not always be the case. I know many people on my program who have over an hour and a half commute! So that can add up to 9 more hours a week just for commuting to work. There are a good number of things that I have missed out on so far. I get jealous when I have to go into work while my friends are at the beach but that is just that way it goes. The good news is that most people on my program are doing an internship. The people not doing it are in the minority! It is a lot easier to cope with spending time in the office when you are not alone. It is very important to put a lot of thought and weight into the pros and cons of doing an internship abroad. The worst thing you can do to yourself is commit to something that you regret for three months.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_ShayleeI got lucky and was placed with one of my best friends on this trip at the same internship! I am focused on product development while she does communications and marketing for our company.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_Emma Estabrook_SydneyHarbourOn our days off we like to take the ferry to Manly Beach!

With that being said, I am very happy that I decided to do an internship! My placement is awesome. I am doing a lot of meaningful work with technology and learning a lot about things that I never thought that I would before! I am working at a company called MyInterview. It is a company that has designed a product that puts personality back into the hiring process. It is a video interviewing service that does a lot with personality assessment which has led me to even venturing into the psychology side of things! Although it is a time commitment, I am much more confident with my skills and I feel like I have given myself a leg up against the competition when applying to jobs in the future. It is a very unique experience to be able to be working abroad and the companies that CAPA has partnered with are very understanding that you are abroad and want to have time to do things for yourself! Most of the people I have met and talked to about their internships are able to make their own hours and they are flexible from week to week. For example, this weekend I am traveling to Melbourne with my friends and I have to miss my shift Thursday afternoon. My boss had no problem with me making up the hours earlier in the week by staying later. As long as you respect your boss and give them enough warning about your absence and a solution on how you are going to make them up, they will most likely be more than happy to work with you to help make it happen.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_Emma Estabrook_Office

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_Emma Estabrook_MyDeskThis is my desk space at work.

In this end this is a decision that only you can make! I personally chose to do it because of just how much an international internship in a field I had never worked in before would set me apart from the competition and I am very glad that I chose to do it!


Thanks, Emma!

Minh Ta


Emma Estabrook is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2020, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Finance and Business Information Systems major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

Emma's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

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Topics: Sydney, Australia, Internships Abroad