Internships provide invaluable experience, help improve your English and look great on a resume.
Instead of interning in your home country, broaden your horizons and venture overseas. Not only will you gain a wealth of knowledge, you will come away with amazing experiences that can only be found from interning, travelling and living overseas.
Finding an internship abroad can be challenging, but the payoff is definitely worth it.
Read below for tips on how to find and secure an internship in Australia.
Before Arriving in Australia1
1. Contact your school or university
Let your university know that you are looking for an internship in Australia. Sometimes universities will have contacts in Australia that can set you up with an internship, so be sure to check in with your school to see if this is possible.
2. Contact an Australian internship agency
Australia has a lot of agencies that will help you secure an internship. As it can be difficult to find an internship in Australia directly while you are still in your home country it is often much easier to contact an agency that will then work to find you a place.
Helpstage (www.helpstage.com/) and My Internship Abroad (www.myinternshipabroad.com/) are two reputable agencies to contact.
Be aware that sometimes agencies will charge a fee to find you an internship.
3. Contact Australian businesses directly
While you are still at home you can contact Australian businesses directly.
Search through Google using terms like “internship (location)” e.g. “Internship Cairns” and “(industry) internship (location)” e.g. Marketing internship Cairns.”
Contact the business, explain a bit about yourself and send through your resume.
If the business has an internship available, interview the manager through Skype and confirm everything.
After Arriving in Australia
1. Contact businesses directly – face to face if possible!
It can be easier to secure an internship once you have arrived in Australia. Use any connections that you have made while travelling – everyone knows someone and can be a useful resource to getting an internship! Go into businesses that you are interested in interning in in person and introduce yourself – don’t forget to bring in your resume!
It is often easier for businesses when they can see someone right in front of them, especially if you are available to start as soon as possible.
- Expect your internship to be unpaid. Paid internships do exist but can be harder to find. Always ensure whether your internship is paid or unpaid before commencing and what you have agreed to. Some internships may be unpaid but can offer food or accommodation in return.
- Be smart about choosing your city – some industries will have a stronger presence in certain cities than others. If you want to work in a certain industry, do a bit of research online to find what cities would be best to get an internship in this industry.
- Ask yourself how you will live outside of your internship. If your internship is unpaid, work out whether you will need to get a paying job as well, and when you will be available to work this job. Hospitality is often a good idea, as your internship is likely to be in the day, meaning you are free to work at a restaurant at night
- Cost of living in different Australian cities. Australia is a big place and the bigger cities are generally more expensive than smaller towns. It is often also easier and quicker to find a share house or accommodation in a smaller town like Cairns than in Melbourne.
- If you have the choice between a few different internships, check the typical weather, the nightlife and the things to do where it is located. Remember you have to live there as well and choosing a place you will enjoy will make your internship a much greater experience!
- Persevere! Internships abroad aren’t always the easiest to find, but they provide great working and living experience.
- Be flexible – sometimes internships will be available in different cities so be sure to be open to any opportunity!
Internships can provide a wonderful opportunity to stay in Australia. The contacts you make in your internship could lead to a job offer with sponsorship or on a student visa. An internship in Australia could be opening many doors for your future! So go and find your internship!