Friendship And International Internship: The Magic Of Being A Part Of Something Bigger Than Yourself

Traveling to a foreign country, living in a foreign country, and working or interning in a foreign country are three completely different experiences. Though some may argue that the effects all three have on those who embark on the adventures are one and the same - they feel more confident; more creative; are generally happier about themselves, their life, and towards their future - only one of them holds the ultimate power to change the trajectory of your life around… Is it: A) traveling; B) living; or, C) interning?

If your answer is C) interning in a foreign country, you are absolutely correct! A round of applause for you!!

You may be wondering: What’s behind all this?

It’s the chemicals in our brain: dopamine and endorphin. The former is responsible for us to feel a sense of satisfaction and motivation! It also plays a huge part in how we ponder and plan. The latter promotes pleasure from exercising and laughing - you could say they run on laughter... (see what I did there?)

Jokes aside, the levels of dopamine and endorphin inside our tiny brains increase as response to our shared collective experiences of the good, the bad, and, as much as we hate it, the ugly. This emotional intimacy often draws us closer together, and de facto, causes them to bond better despite being complete strangers to each other in events leading up to the formation of those fond attachments. It goes without saying that connections cannot occur with absences of the environment essential for them to blossom and grow.

Nor can it be achievable alone, without the company of the others. Humans are social beings. In a nutshell, we are not wired to live life in seclusion! Thanks to that, we have been blessed with cinemas, bowling alleys, sports arenas, concert halls; and each other’s company - all working together to imprint special and lasting memories in our hearts. That’s amazing news don’t get me wrong. However, there’s more to what meets the eye. These high walls could trap you in. Your world would revolve around them and them alone. To break yourself free, travel abroad - to gain that shift in perspective and get creative!

(Source: Nicholas Lobos' Friends on Unsplash)

To make your time in a foreign country count, why not do an internship? International internships offer you both the opportunity to put yourself in a new, unfamiliar environment that is perfect for personal development. What’s more, there's a higher chance for you to generate innovative ideas; create new and lasting bonds with people of different cultural backgrounds from yours - life is more enjoyable with friends by your side! They can be that person who sits next to you at work or the one you bumped into by accident on the streets or someone who you saw regularly at a cafe.

Interning abroad could appear to be more challenging than, say, living or simply traveling abroad (good news for the adventurers among us!). It is the sweet middle between the two ends of the spectrum - you do not have the luxury of tourists where your intentions are to have fun nor do you have that freedom of a permanent resident where you are not obligated by time constraints or any constraints for that matter. You are instead forced to find that balance that works best for you - the one that allows you to both enjoy your life whilst adapting to your new home, your new neighbors, your new colleagues; rediscover your favorite meal; find your way around the city...

There are a lot that need to be put in place, and, sometimes, that could be a hassle. Yes, change is never easy. So, make it fun! Get rid of the mundane, throw it out the windows. Embrace the change. Find the joy in it, surround yourself with those who share your passions and interests or those whom you genuinely like! Remember that it is only in situations such as these that we are able to shred off our old selves; unlearn certain traits; and maybe learn something new for a change!

These life-altering opportunities are hard to come by, it’s not everyday that you will be pushed to the edge; made to accept and live with circumstances that are out of your control, right? Getting out of your comfort zone is a courageous act that not everybody is capable of doing. To be able to even spark that connection with someone who may not know your name or speak your language shows just how open-minded and outgoing you are as an individual. With just one spark of the *magic* of international internships; and friendships, you are capable of achieving anything...and everything.

Don’t let this rare opportunity slip through your hands! Apply to AIP or check out more information about our many internship programs here!

Learn more about our internships!