“For many young people, the economic downturn has been especially difficult because they're often competing with seasoned professionals for jobs once reserved for the inexperienced.”
These students “bring that experience back and use it as leverage for future internships and jobs,” Jacqueline Levine, assistant dean and director of the University of Rochester’s study abroad center, tells USA Today.
“What is particularly important is when students come back, we ask, ‘What did you learn?’ ‘What do you want to do next with that?’”
Roughly 15% of students at the University of Rochester did an overseas internship during the 2011-2012 academic year. That number jumped to 30% during the summer.
Internships, says Levine, open the door to future work.
“An American can’t just move to London and work there,” Levine said. “It’s quite difficult to go and get a job,” unless students have the connections from an internship.
Christopher Crachiola did an internship in China and said it helped him change his major from political science to public policy.
“Every experience you have or language you learn can add to the next endeavor,” Crachiola said.
With the Middle Kingdom now the center of global commerce, a China internship program looks fabulous on a resume back home. If you’re looking to looking to remain in China, 38% of interns are offered jobs upon completing their internships.
Mireille Cronin Mather, director for the Foundation for Sustainable Development, says an international internship gives students and new graduates a more nuanced outlook on life, something that sets job candidates apart from the pack.
"This generation sees the community in different ways. They've got a globalized perspective on life. While that perspective available to them has sometimes been negative, we're very positive and give them that new perspective."