As technology and global communication continue to make the world a smaller place, overseas work experience has never been more accessible.
For students and young people looking to see the world and gain valuable experience at the same time, international industry internships and volunteer placements are increasingly popular options.
The best part is there's no limit to where you can go or what kind of work you can do. Whatever your field of interest there's likely already programs and organisations out there that can help set you up in a placement or internship.
Engineering, teaching, medicine - there are opportunities out there for everyone, of all ages and experience, spanning all corners of the globe.
Getting hands-on experience in a foreign newsroom, or any workplace, is an extremely rewarding experience and something you won't forget in a hurry.
Doing a placement overseas can help satisfy your travel desires, while at the same time helping you practise things you've learnt at school and uni, as well as teaching you valuable new skills.
Whatever field of work or study you're in, there is nothing that catches the eye of potential employers better than having experience working overseas. It demonstrates to future employers that you have initiative, an eagerness to take advantage of all opportunities, and that you understand your field of work within a broader, international context.
As well as gaining new skills and adding to your resume, getting to go overseas is always great fun. Whatever sort of work you do there are countless adventures to be had, new friendships to make and great memories to take away with you.
It's a chance to not only visit a part of the world you've always wanted to see, but also to feel a part of the local community, however brief your stay is. It probably sounds a bit clichéd, but spending any amount of time in a foreign country and getting into routine work really adds to your familiarity and appreciation of the place.
My Indonesian internship
In summer 2010/11 I had a taste of Indonesia's media industry through a journalism placement in Jakarta, alongside other students from Australia and New Zealand.
My program was run through the Australian Consortium of In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) (new window), who arranged our placements at news organisations such as Reuters, ABC, the Jakarta Post and others.
It was a great way to experience Jakarta and it helped me learn about local culture and customs more than I otherwise would have. I learnt not to accuse Indonesian government officials of korupsi (corruption) and I was also taught the Indonesian translation for "May I have a lawyer who speaks English?"
In Jakarta I know I was pretty staggered at first by the chaotic traffic and constant gridlock. I was amazed at the casual manner of commuters who never seemed too bothered by the traffic jams. Taxi drivers who'd moved four metres in half an hour would stare ahead in a Zen-like state. After a few weeks in Jakarta someone eventually enlightened me on the local art of nonkrong.
Translated into English as "the art of hanging out", nonkrong is reportedly one of the main factors keeping Indonesian motorists from smashing each other's skulls in.
It generally involves sitting around with co-workers, friends or strangers for hours at a time, relaxing and talking about absolutely nothing. While it sounds like a Jerry Seinfeld invention, nongkrong is a vital part of Indonesian culture that's valued for bringing people together and basically helping people chill out.
Nongkrong is only a tiny element of Indonesia's unique and incredibly fascinating culture, but it was something nevertheless interesting to observe and quite fun to practise. It was one of the many things I'm not sure I would have learnt had it not been for my internship.
Top 5 tips to get started on an overseas internship
Here's a few tips on ways to find out how you can score your own overseas internship:
- Talk to your teachers. If you're at uni or high school talk to your lecturers and teachers and see if they can recommend any industry-relevant internships or exchanges. They're likely to be familiar with what's on offer and can point you in the right direction.
- Career days. Go along to as many information and career days as you can. There are always representatives from overseas organisations happy to tell you about the benefits of their particular placements.
- Word of mouth. Everyone's got a mate or a brother or sister who's been overseas through some type of placement or program. Ask them what their trip involved and how they organised it.
- Google. If you're an engineering student, type in "engineering overseas internship". There's probably a lot of organisations that can already cater for your industry, and there's new businesses popping up all the time.
- Arrange it yourself. If you know you're already going somewhere for a trip, email local companies or places in that area and explain when you're in town and what you're hoping to do. There are endless places and they're all just one email away.
So if you're keen to broaden your experiences and learn a little about how other cultures work - and hang out - an overseas internship is an ideal opportunity.
Articles Written by Josh F
The content of these stories and articles are provided for information and entertainment purposes only. The views expressed are those of our roving reporters/editorial team members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Victorian Government. While every endeavour is made to ensure the currency, accuracy and authenticity of content, it can not be guaranteed. The Victorian Government does not accept any liabilities for any loss, damage, cost or expense you or others might incur as a result of the information or advice (or the use of it) on this website or in the articles. People using the site should undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content.