Taking on internships in Europe is an excellent choice based on the location alone. When you begin an internship in Europe, you can spend your free time exploring a different country at any given time. While your internship may be in London, you can spend your weekends in Amsterdam or Belgium with little to no fuss.
The EU is home to one of the world’s largest economies, with a 15.8% share in global economics. Having such a big hand in the global enterprise comes in handy because you can choose from virtually any career path, and you should have no issue finding an internship to match your needs.
This guide will cover the pros and cons of European internships. We’ll also give you some pointers on where the best internships in Europe can be found.
Pros and Cons of Internships in Europe
Before settling on Europe as your destination for an internship abroad, there are some positives and negatives worth weighing. You’ll need to also decide on the type of internship you want first before finalizing your decision. Making sure you’re aware of the pros and cons of an internship and location is integral in ensuring you find the right fit for what you need.
- There’s no shortage of internship opportunities. Although Europe is the second-smallest continent, there are still many opportunities available in a wide selection of countries.
- Europe has “mostly” open borders. This means you’re practically free to travel to and from any country you’d like as long as they’re part of the EEC. So, an internship in Ireland doesn’t mean you need to stay within Ireland. You could drive a few hours in another direction and end up in London or somewhere else.
- The economy is huge. A large number of successful corporations base their operations within the EU. As a result, you could apply to intern for companies like BP or Volkswagon.
- You can expose yourself to diverse cultures. Having access to various countries also gives you ample opportunity to experience cultures diverse from your own. This is beneficial in expanding your worldview and helping you see and understand how others live and work.
- Wages are lower than in the US. Although the cost of living is generally lower in the EU, more money is taken from your income for taxes. With that said, the cost of living will also greatly depend on where you live. While London may cost you more, a less developed area will be more wallet-friendly.
- Getting around can be difficult. Most “big” internships in the EU will be based in larger municipalities like London or Milan. These cities tend to have more traffic, and are more difficult to get places on time without proper planning.
Where to Intern Abroad in Europe
As a consensus, Germany is consistently top-ranked regarding where the best place is for students to intern abroad. The country offers great benefits for interns, but it’s also a beer capital of the world. If there’s one thing that college interns enjoy, it’s having a good beer after a long day of work.
Generally, those looking for internships in finance, business, baking, science research, or media tend to flock to Germany for their intern abroad experience. With that said, Germany isn’t the only option you have. You can receive many of the same benefits you would here in just about any other country within the European Union.
Parting Thoughts on Internships in Europe
Choosing Europe as your destination for an international internship is an excellent choice, especially if you aren’t confident in a language other than English yet. English is the first or second language for many countries within the EU, and you’ll often find that it’s used most often, even amongst natives.
Whether you want to explore old German castles or hike the rolling hills of Ireland, the EU has plenty to offer beyond your next internship abroad.