Interning abroad could possibly be one of the best, most positive and rewarding experiences for your child.
At Kape Internships, we understand that this is the first step for your little Talent to test his/her abilities away from your protective shield. This is the beginning of a journey that will change his/her life forever. Learning about a new country/city; speaking a different language; taking care of themselves; assuming personal and professional responsibilities; making new friendships as well as having a boss to report to will definitely change their mindsets and help them grow as a person and professional.
We are sure your child’s health and safety is important to you too. We also know that your concerns increase with distance; the further away your child travels from home, the more important it is for him/her to have support services. In this time of an increased international focus on safety and security, you may feel strongly concerned about your child’s wishes to intern and travel abroad. We hope that by reading this, your concerns will be addressed!
Interning abroad poses many questions for students, but quite a few for parents as well. To help you, here are a few tips to get you through this exciting, and sometimes overwhelming time.
Chances are you will feel more secure about your child doing an internship abroad if you do the right research.
Research the destination country, including its history, culture, customs, laws, social/moral codes, dress and language.
- Allow your child to make the most of the intern abroad decisions – be a guide, not a supervisor
- Give your child the information and resources he or she needs to make informed decisions
- Don’t feel bad for your child not contacting you on a daily basis; they might be busy and entertained with the adaptation of a new reality. The technology is out there and it’s easy to be in contact. Read below the “Communication” section.
- Talk with parents whose children have previously done an internship abroad and try to prepare for the emotions they say they experienced.
Keeping in touch with your student while he or she is interning overseas is important for both of you.
Establish a plan of communication with your child prior to departure. It is important to realize that this plan may need to be altered once your child has settled into an intern abroad routine.
Blogs are an inexpensive way in which to keep in touch. Encourage your child to start a blog while away so that you (and any other family members or friends) can follow along with the adventures.
Some internship destinations can be expensive when compared to your native country, and therefore it is important for the intern to be prepared for this.
Do some research on the cost of life, and draft a plan of the weekly or monthly costs during the internship.
Your child can open a bank account in the destination country so it’s easy for you to transfer money. Paypal is another easy option to take into consideration.
This is the largest concern for most parents of students interning abroad.
Students must be encouraged to cultivate and utilize their “street smarts” while interning abroad. Advise them to take the precautions they take at home, as well as new ones.
Tell them to avoid political demonstrations, to only take official taxis and to protect their passport at all times. Establish emergency procedures with your student prior to departure. Be sure to create a list of emergency contacts.
Finding a place where your child will stay safe is very important. There are plenty of websites out there with “rooms to let”. Finding a place to live near the office location will definitely make the internship experience more pleasant and enjoyable.
At Kape Internships we work with trusted partners in this field. Feel free to visit our Accommodation section.
You may want to visit your child while he or she is overseas. However, if you choose to do so, do it the right way.
If you visit, choose to do so at a time that is convenient for your child. Do not try to visit the first or last week of the stay. Remember that while it may be a holiday for you, your child still has responsibilities!
Returning home at the end of the internship
Just as you must prepare your student for interning abroad and support him or her while he or she is away, you must also be sensitive to the possibility that your student could experience “reverse culture-shock” when he or she returns home.
Allow your child a period of adjustment when first getting home. Students are used to being more independent, so take that into consideration during the first few weeks after the return.
Encourage your student to keep in touch with the people he or she traveled with and met while interning abroad. These connections are important and can last the rest of their lives.
If you’re a concerned parent, feel free to contact us
Complete the form below, and a member of our team will contact you at the earliest convenience.