Why do thousands of students each year ditch their fancy vacation plans for summer break and instead opt for an NGO internship abroad?
Often such a decision is driven by the desire to shift one's focus and attention from own materialistic needs to the bigger, more pressing matters of the world.
As cliché as it may sound, the experience of an international NGO internship is life-changing and many students want a taste of such an enriching experience in the prime of their lives.
In case you've been missing out on this valuable experience so far, you better hurry and sign up for an NGO internship in Japan for your next summer vacation.
Internships are anyway integral to your academic life. You'll have to take up as many of these as possible during your school and college years to build a worthy resume.
So why not select an international internship, like NGO internship Japan, that not only develops the right transferable skills but also rejuvenates your soul and perspective towards life.
There is no greater satisfaction than knowing that you've made a positive difference in someone's life, that you were there for someone when they needed your help.
Tips For Finding Your Dream Japan Internship
On your path of finding ideal NGO internship in Japan, you may encounter many confusions plaguing your decision-making process.
But these simple tips will put these confusions out of the way and help you see through things much clearer.
The first step in your search for NGO internship in Japan calls for you to decide what type of NGO you want to work for. From small to large, local to global, there are many non-profit organizations in Japan devoted to just as diverse causes. You have to do some soul-searching to come up with a cause that moves you the most.
Think about what kind of work you'd like to do during your NGO internship in Japan. NGOs function just like any for-profit organization does. They have similar business needs like accounting, marketing, PR and communication, administration, human resources, etc. See what qualifications and skills you currently hold and how can you leverage them during your internship at the NGO.
Get your personal finances in order. International internships are usually unpaid, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they still are a great long-term investment for achieving professional and personal growth. That being said, you need to make sure that you have enough money to finance your internship. Ask your university if they have a stipend program for a summer internship, or if they can help you out financially through some sponsorship or loan programs.
You could create a donation web page where you invite people you know as well as other Internet users to donate funds to finance your internship. Ask around among your friends and teachers about scholarships and other financial aids that can be helpful in your situation.
Prep yourself mentally for the internship in Japan. Living in a foreign country, away from your friends and family, is undoubtedly challenging. On top of that, you may also have to face cultural differences and language barriers. Strengthen your mind and temperament enough to be welcoming towards these new challenges, because they may seem overwhelming at the outset but they're definitely not insurmountable! They come with every foreign traveling and working experience, and can be easily handled with just a dash of optimism and determination.
Make sure you understand what you're signing up for. In your search for NGO internship Japan, you'll find out about plenty of NGOs in Japan. This is the time for you to go in your research mode. Learn in detail about each of these NGOs and about the type of intern candidate that they're looking for. The intern job description and your own skill set should bear at least some resemblance. Otherwise, neither the NGO will benefit from you nor will you from your time at the NGO.
What To Do Once You're There?
Okay, so now you've arrived at your destination for your Japan internship. Now, what next? How to set the right tone for your internship in the first few days itself?
Your internship in Japan is only going to last for a couple of weeks, there's no time to be coy! On the first day itself, have a tête-à-tête with your supervisor at the NGO about what are the organization's expectations from you. This will give you concrete goals to achieve for your time at the NGO.
Check your inhibitions at the door. You may have a designated work description but that doesn't mean you can't explore and find out other ways to make yourself useful. For instance, you may be assigned to work in the accounting department, but if you have a knack for creative writing or public speaking, then you could ask permission to contribute in the communications department as well.
Keep up with your Japanese learning efforts. You can count on English for most of your basic communication, but throughout NGO internship Japan you'll also be meeting a lot of non-English speaking people. When in Japan, learn how to speak in a language that most Japanese speak!
Don't let your enthusiasm get the better of you. You may have sky-high anticipations from your NGO internship in Japan of changing the world. But remember that you have to start from the ground up before you can go on to do something big. So show diligence even for the smallest of the tasks delegated to you.
Put the team ahead of your personal ambitions. You have to think of yourself as a team member working with others to serve a common greater goal, keeping in mind to not act like you're only here for your career goals.
NGOs in Japan are not just active at the grass-root levels, but are also working on an international scale.
Their purview of activities includes agricultural training, educational development, forest conservation, ecosystem conservation, reforestation, improving health care, protection of human rights, providing vocational training, and several more.
There is no better way than NGO internship in Japan to do justice with your desire of helping the humanity and the environment.