About Social Work Internships Abroad
World Endeavors social work interns have the chance to learn about the diversity of this important field, and to do hands-on work that makes a difference in the communities where they are placed. International social work interns usually work with nonprofit or government organizations, assisting with public outreach and education programs or working with individual clients. Interns may help counsel clients and provide them with resources, prepare reports for funding agencies, update and manage client files, or help develop and deliver public awareness programs. Some research and administrative support work may also be part of interns’ responsibilities.
With any internship, specific daily responsibilities may vary based on the requirements of the host company or organization, as well as on the location or timeframe of the internship. The qualifications, skills, and experience of the intern may also influence the type and complexity of work assigned.
The Value of Interning Abroad
Many students spend hours in the classroom, only to graduate with no practical experience. Completing an international internship can give you the experience and confidence you need to pursue your chosen career after college. An international internship stands out on your resume, gives you an edge in a tough job market, and affords you a valuable global perspective. Interning abroad can also introduce you to different ways of working, giving you more flexibility and greater comfort with diverse points of view as you enter the workforce. Plus, interning in a non-English speaking country gives you the opportunity to greatly improve your foreign language proficiency, another skill that is highly valued by employers.
In the Spotlight: Social Work Abroad
Interning abroad is one of the best ways to learn about the variety of challenges facing social workers worldwide, and the ways social workers meet those challenges. Interns learn about the day-to-day work of social welfare and outreach, and about how to work with different cultural values. Having an international internship on the résumé indicates self-motivation, commitment to the social work field, and the ability to adapt to a variety of circumstances.
Eligibility for Internships Abroad
Successful international interns have a strong desire to learn more about their chosen field, as well as to immerse themselves in a new culture and environment. World Endeavors looks for applicants who are hard working, adaptable, and able to work both independently and as part of a team. Previous professional work experience, academic coursework in the chosen field, or international experience is helpful but is not a requirement to participate in a World Endeavors international internship. In addition, foreign language proficiency is not a requirement for participation; even in non-English speaking countries, many English-language internships are available.
World Endeavors’ minimum age for participation is 18. There is no maximum age for participation. Due to the customized nature of our internship placements, interns at all stages of their careers are welcome on the program. If you have further questions about program eligibility, please contact a World Endeavors advisor.
Other Considerations for Social Work Internships
Good communication and interpersonal skills are particularly important in social work internships. Interns should be adaptable, organized, and self-motivated, have a strong interest in social work, and be willing to adapt to the culture and conditions of the country where they travel to do their internship. Depending on where they are placed, some interns may need to work unconventional hours.
Top Destinations for Social Work Interns