You’ve secured an internship in the United States, the hardest part is over. As you begin packing you start to realize, “I don’t know anyone in my new city. How will I make friends?”
Being in a new place, especially a foreign country can be a difficult transition. Making new friends, or even casual acquaintances is an important part of feeling comfortable in your new surroundings. Don’t be afraid of stepping outside of your comfort zone, be flexible, approachable, and tolerant and you’ll most likely have no problems. Knowing where to look can be helpful, however.
Your company – More so than some other foreign cultures, Americans generally tend to be less formal in the workplace and open to going out with work colleagues. Sure, you probably won’t ask the other interns to get a drink after work on the first day, but as you become more comfortable with the people around you, you may suggest going out to lunch, getting a happy hour drink after work, or attending company events.
Meeting up with a colleague outside of work may also allow you time to network. You can find out more about the industry, the paths you can take, and what options may be available to you when your internship is finished.
Local Schools and Universities – Your U.S. city or town will most likely have a post secondary-school, community college, or university in it or close by. Even though you aren’t a student at that particular university you can still take advantage of the social networking and community that the school offers.
Try visiting the campus library or student union building. If you bring a book, or something to work on, you may be surprised to find others who are interested in chatting or finding out what you are doing. Many schools also have an outdoor quad or meeting area. When the weather is nice you can sit outside and strike up a conversation with the people around you.
Community Centers and Clubs – If you have a particular interest or hobby you may be able to connect with others who share these by contacting your city’s local community center or searching on the internet for specific clubs and groups in your area. Many towns have various arts clubs, theater groups, and language courses or tandem partners. Use these resources and you’ll be sure to meet someone you can easily connect with.
Facebook and Social Networking Sites – While you should always be cautious when meeting people from online sources, Facebook and other networks have community groups and forums you can join to reach out to others in your area based on interests, field of study, age group, and more. For example, if you’re interning in San Diego and enjoy roller-skating, Facebook has groups such as “Skate This San Diego” and “San Diego Roller Derby”. Get connected by attending group events and meet-ups.
Making new friends is possible even if you are interning in a small town or community. The key is to be yourself and make yourself approachable.
It is without question that the United States is a country recognized for its innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset. An internship in the U.S. provides you with the opportunity to learn about the most innovative skills in your professional field.
Many of the latest trends, techniques, and business practices are created in the United States. Interning in the United States allows you to learn firsthand the latest techniques from experienced professionals in your field.
The opportunity of receiving mentorship from experienced professionals is a huge benefit of interning in the United States. You will have the chance to develop lasting relationships with your bosses who can provide career advice and help advance your professional career development even far in the future.
Your mentors in your host company may also give you valuable insights and perspectives into your desired industry. Developing good relationships with your bosses may also lead to a job opportunity or a new career path.
Internship programs in the United States can expose you to a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Some companies may assign you to a specific role while others may provide you with exposure to different departments. Interning in the United States of America will show you how business in your selected field actually works.
You will be able to attend meetings, work on projects with a team, and complete individual tasks. The skills and experience you gain will also strengthen your resume massively.
When applying for an entry-level job, the first thing that a hiring manager is going to review is your resume. The quality of your resume can be the deciding factor when it comes to receiving a job offer. At the end of the day, employers are interested in people with real-world experience.
Going abroad looks much more attractive in a CV than sitting at home.
An internship in the United States will give you the job experience that you need to fulfill future job requirements. Living abroad in the U.S. will showcase you as an adaptable person who is unafraid of new challenges. For sure, these qualities will make you more desirable for employment in your future career.
American work culture is unique. In fact, it’s that culture that is one of the most important reasons that the United States is the leading pioneer in many industries. The work environment in the U.S. encourages collaboration among coworkers, sharing of ideas, and a friendly atmosphere. Most interns would say that their work environment allows for professional and personal growth. You will have the opportunity to work personally with experienced directors, managers, and CEOs.
While you live and work in the United States, you will have the opportunity to improve your English skills. English is universally accepted as one of the most important languages to know. No matter where you are, companies value people who can communicate clearly and effectively. Interning in the United States will help you improve your vocabulary, accent and pronunciation.
Aside from English itself, interning in the USA will teach you how to interact with other people in a professional manner. American business standards and cultural norms are understood among many companies around the world. Learning these standards can help you make stronger connections with your bosses and coworkers.
While living in the United States, interning with your company will be only half of your experience. The other half is all about the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Some of your friends will be from your host company while others are from outside your work-life. The friends you make while living in another country provide you with fresh perspectives and ideas that expand your mindset.
Moving to another country is no doubt a challenge, but one that comes with immense knowledge, experiences, and personal growth. Living and interning in the United States will give you the opportunity to gain confidence in yourself. Traveling globally will become easier. Understanding different cultures and interacting with people will be less intimidating. Ultimately, you will learn to trust yourself and apply your confidence in every situation that you find yourself in.
Over a span of more than 10 years, we at InternshipUSA.com have witnessed all of the benefits mentioned above with our thousands of internship program participants. The idea of doing an internship in the US is a great first step and may be the starting point to experience soon all the mentioned benefits by yourself. But we are well aware that costs may hold you back, at least for now. But you can start working on saving money and raising these funds. You may be surprised to find out that you are able to raise the funds much faster than expected.
And when the time for your internship finally comes, we can assure you that almost all interns experience a solid ‘return on investment’ quickly. An internship in the U.S. simply pays off. We estimate that the financial benefit over the next 10 years will be more than 10 times higher than what you spend on your internship in the USA. Most of our participants experience an impressive accelerated career as well as a salary increase, and that’s precisely because of their internship in the USA.