Would you like to do an internship during your studies and make the experience a little more exciting? Then an internship abroad is just the thing for you. Sascha Hebenbrock is studying information systems and management in his fifth semester and completed an internship in Montreal, Canada in 2022. up2date. interviewed him about his experience.
In many degree courses, an internship is part of the curriculum. But even for students pursuing courses where this isn’t the case, an internship offers a great opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and gain some insights into their future professional field. Those who are more adventurous or want to refresh their foreign language skills can take advantage of the opportunity to do their internship abroad. And that’s exactly what Sascha Hebenbrock did.
Sascha, what made you decide to do your internship in Canada?
The reason behind it is really quite simple. When I applied, I was just in my third semester, which was once again semi-digital. I began my studies in the winter semester 20/21, so until then I had only had digital semesters, plus half a semester on campus. That’s why I thought I’d rather do an internship before the next semester follows a similar pattern, and so I started to explore my options. I was very keen to do my internship outside of Europe because I had never left Europe before and wanted a chance to get out.
In the end, a friend who had done the same internship made me aware of the job advertisement, thus making me aware that doing an internship abroad was actually easy.
Tip: In the blog ‘Praxisschock’ on the website of the International Office [https://www.uni-bremen.de/studium/starten-studieren/studium-international/praktika-im-ausland], you will find many reports of fellow students’ experiences, which may inspire you in your search for an internship. Here you will also find a list of internship openings, sorted by country or department.
What was the application process like? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning to do an internship abroad?
I just have one tip: be authentic and courageous. I think the most important thing is to give it a go. When I first saw the job advertisement, I had quite a bit of respect for the requirements at first…. but then I just decided to give it a shot, and it worked. Also, stay relaxed during job interviews and be yourself. I believe that’s what can get you to your goal.
Was the internship paid, or did you apply for a scholarship?
Fortunately, it was paid. In addition, we were given accommodation as well as a car. So we were able to make trips around Montreal and the fuel was paid for.
Tip: The fact that internships abroad are so beneficial for the budget is unfortunately not the norm. However, there are many different scholarship programs to help you cover the costs incurred. These include, for example, the Erasmus program, the Bremen Study Fund, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD – Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst), and the PROMOS program. On the homepage of the International Office, you will find useful information about these and other programs.
An internship abroad offers you the opportunity to not only gain practical professional experience but also plenty of impressions in an exciting, new environment.
And how did you like your time in Canada?
I really enjoyed it. It was quite exciting and overwhelming at the start, because the long journey was unfamiliar to me, and the entry process was a bit complicated. But it was a fantastic experience to live abroad on my own and see and learn about so many new things. I met a lot of new people, from Germany as well as from other countries, because my internship company has locations everywhere and people from around the globe are involved in their projects. There were a lot of people from Eastern Europe, from North and South America … a very good friend, for example, comes from Mexico. I met him there, too. It was really cool: new country, new people, and lots of new friends. Besides, Canada is a great place, especially the scenery.
What kind of experiences have you taken with you from your time there? Have you been able to develop certain skills?
Yes, linguistically, definitely! I’ve never had to rely on my English-speaking skills to such an extent before. But I was forced to communicate with the customers and my colleagues in English during my internship. This, I must say, helped me tremendously to become more self-confident. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I can speak much better now, but the inhibitions are gone, because I spoke English so much and so often during that time. Besides, the internship was a confidence booster on the whole, because I was often on my own and had to solve problems independently. That helped a lot.
Did the internship also have an impact on your studies
I still work for the company I did my internship with.. Relatively early on in my internship, after one or two months, they asked me whether I would like to continue as a work placement student. And I also have the option of writing my bachelor’s thesis there. That’s why I’m a little more relaxed about the future because I think I could definitely get a with them. But I don’t want to commit to it completely just yet Thanks to the internship, I was able to put my knowledge into practice. It showed me the possibilities I have after I complete my studies.
Would you like to do an internship abroad?
Does Sascha’s report sound exciting to you? Find out more about internships abroad. On the website of the International Office, you will find lots of helpful information about available places and scholarships as well as reports by other students. In addition, the online “Jour Fixe” information event takes place every first Wednesday of the month during the lecture period. The link to this can also be found on the home page.