Alternatives to Internships: Studying Abroad

My UGBA 105 Professor once told the class that travelling is a great alternative to finding an internship. And I wholeheartedly believe that. But travelling can cost a lot of money, especially for a typical college student, who may have to pay out of pocket on top of tuition. A great alternative, therefore, is to study abroad! It’s cheap (through financial aid and scholarships), and a great way to meet fellow students who are eager to learn.

Here are some reasons why studying abroad is a great alternative to an internship.

  1. You learn to adapt to new surroundings

Entering a new country will feel like entering a new world. The random greetings you share with strangers in the US may not be as welcome in other countries. I’ve had my fair share of weird looks after I subconsciously greeted every stranger who passed me by. Even international students who now have random strangers greeting them in the US can come as quite a shock to some. But fear not! Understanding the mannerisms of other cultures and countries can prepare you to adapt to the multitude of people and departments at your job as well.

  1. You gain invaluable experience

Not many people have the opportunity to travel abroad. Studying abroad is a great way to use your financial aid to go somewhere and do what students do; learn! You will be exposed to new ideas and cultures, which will make for some great story telling and great memories. Your mind will be blown away at how much there is to see in the world.

  1. Who wouldn’t want to study in another country?

One of Berkeley Haas’s core values is, Students Always, so why not incorporate that while travelling abroad? I had the opportunity to study abroad in England at the University of Cambridge. I took a linguistics class from a world-renowned linguistic professor, and I was so honored to be in his presence. Knowledge is something every student should always try to gain.

  1. You’ll be independent

Something about being in another country makes me feel vulnerable. Even though I’ve travelled by myself all the time, going to England made me miss my family a million times more than being at Berkeley. But this feeling of vulnerability made me stronger than ever. Independence is a trait that can be learned by studying abroad. Studying abroad also helps because if you ever do feel lonely, there are administrators and faculty who you can always talk to.

Studying abroad is a great alternative to internships because you don’t have to be at an office 40 hours a week, and you are free to experience new things while you’re there. My personal experience studying abroad really helped me realize how much more there is to learn about people and the world. My world became bigger and I felt more aware of everything that occurred around me. I also had a wave of new work opportunities because I studied abroad. I currently work as a brand ambassador for a major travel agency, and it was all because of studying abroad. Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience and a great alternative to internships.

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