Now more than ever employers are seeking international work experience. The benefits of an internship abroad provide you with a cross-cultural competency, independence, flexibility, and self-awareness that soars above those who have not experienced an internship abroad. Employers recognize that international experience translates into more desirable employees.
Taking part in an internship abroad is one specific thing that will set you apart from competitors when applying for post-college jobs and careers. 97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation when only 49% of college graduates found employment within the same time period. Not only is going abroad beneficial for you in the long run, but internships abroad boost your resume above any competitors.
Internship Abroad Passport Process
The first step to any international trip is to obtain a valid passport. Here is what you need to know about the passport requirements for U.S. citizens to be able to take part in an international internship or working abroad. Leaving sooner than you expected? There are also options for trusted expedited passport services that will get you on your way to improving your resume and life!
When do you need a passport?
The U.S. government requires travelers to hold a valid passport each time you leave and enter the country. This requirement is also true if you are going to nearby countries or territories outside the U.S. including Canad, Mexico, and the Bahamas. This requirement is strictly for your safety. It simply ensures that you have valid documents to avoid any potential problems when returning to the U.S.
In short, you must apply for and have the possession of a passport for any travel itineraries when you leave the United States of America’s borders. It’s a good idea to apply for a passport early so you’ll always have the valid documents to travel abroad.
How can you get a passport?
Getting a passport has never been easier, despite all preconceived fears. Two options are available whether you prefer to do it electronically or in person.
Electronically: Go to the U.S. Department of State’s website and fill out the forms by following the prompts. This will require gathering additional documents as well. Follow our instructions for more information on what you need to get a passport. You will also need to be seen by a local passport acceptance agent. They will verify your documents and identity and mail off your application.
Estimated wait time: 1-2 months. You will then receive your passport by mail.
In person: Make an appointment at a regional agency nearest you and visit them in person. Typically, these visits are honored by scheduled visits first, then walk ins if available. To minimize your wait time, make an appointment with the agency. Next, you will have to carefully review the State Department’s website to ensure you have all of the necessary documents in your possession before your appointment. If you do not have all of the documents your passport cannot be processed at that visit. This option is generally for emergencies only as proof of travel within 5 days is required.
Estimated wait time: On the day of your appointment it can be anywhere from 20 minutes-4 hours. This fluctuates due to the time of year and if you have all your documents in order.
What happens if you’re leaving within a few weeks and forgot you’d need a passport?
If you’ve already booked your tickets or paid your course registration fee but don’t yet have your passport ordered, there’s no need to panic — there are a number of private expediting companies that can put a rush order on your passport and ensure it arrives at your doorstep just in time for departure. This is often a better option for travelers that need a passport fast since you can do the entire process without leaving your zip code. Also, a trusted passport service will help you get your documents in order and make sure your passport is processed in time for your trip. Expedited passport processing is available within 24 hours if necessary.
Enjoy Your Internship Abroad
There is no better opportunity to network with professionals internationally. These relationships and experiences from interning abroad will never stop enhancing your professional and personal life. Internships abroad increase your marketability as a young professional. As you have learned what it takes to be successful working in another country already.
Interning abroad will be a major life experience. The people you meet and the experiences you have will guide your professional career. Take the leap today. Get your passport and go abroad!