Benefits of Doing a Psychology Internship Abroad
As a psychology student, it is important to gain work experience in the field firstly to gain practical knowledge which can be applied later on, but also to help narrow down which area of psychology the student wants to go into once their degree is complete.
It is important to understand that internships can come in various shapes and sizes, some paid and some voluntary, but they will all give you valuable experience when it comes to learning how to work with vulnerable individuals. The first port to touch on is the local one. I would recommend volunteering or looking for work experience and internships nearby so you can gain experience while studying, however, sometimes opportunities in your hometown are not available or just not what you’re looking for. That is so fine, and I totally get where you’re coming from. That’s why I decided to volunteer in Sri Lanka.
Initially, the idea of doing a psychology internship abroad made me nervous, as i didn’t know how i would adapt to a new culture, but i quickly understood that volunteering abroad and gaining work experience through psychology internships abroad in another culture are really important for developing valuable, transferable skills for a career in mental health.
Working with vulnerable individuals in another culture teaches you resilience, adaptability and the ability to recognise cross cultural differences. It teaches you communication skills in areas where you need to communicate with people who do not share a common language with you. It is also important to understand other culture’s perception of mental health difficulties to one day be able to help clients who come from varying backgrounds. They may have been diagnosed with one disorder, but according to your training they may have another disorder. This type of experience will help you understand different cultures and provide your clients with more in-depth, thorough, support.
I highly recommend doing a psychology internship abroad, as it teaches you valuable skills you will not be able to gain while in your home country. Not to mention the fact that would also give you the opportunity to travel the world and experience more from a non-career driven perspective. WIN WIN!!