FINDING A PROGRAM
Why should I intern/work/volunteer abroad?
An internship/work/volunteer experience abroad is not only a fun and exciting way to travel, but it will also open many doors for you after you graduate. Not only does it help you build work experience, language skills, and communication skills, you get to do all this while exploring a new and exciting place! For more information please see: Why Work/Intern/Volunteer Abroad
Am I ready for travelling abroad?
Good question. Not everyone is ready to travel abroad just yet, so put serious thought into your decision. If you are looking for a vacation, then this may not be for you. A work/internship/volunteer program IS hard work, but there is still a lot of fun infused within it. Going abroad on your own can be exciting, but it can also be scary at times. Talk with your family and see if a work/internship/volunteer program is right for you!
How do I find a program?
Go to our FIND A PROGRAM! link.
What are the differences between a work, internship, and volunteer program?
-INTERNSHIPS PROGRAMS: On average 2-4 months long, usually not paid, but relevant to your field/interest
-VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS: short-term, can be relevant to field/interest, often more in-country support.
-WORK PROGRAMS: long-term, paid, usually harder to come by, so may not be relevant to field/interest.
How do I choose the right program?
There are many questions to consider when choosing what program is right for you. First you have to decide if you want a work, internship, or volunteer program. Some questions you need to consider are: How long do you want to stay? Do you want to be paid? Do you want do something that is appropriate for your major? What do you want to gain from this experience? Do you want more or less in-country support? You also have to decide where you want to go and which program in that region is the best for you. For more information please go to: Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process
Can I go with a friend/family member?
Because TCNJ is not affiliated with these work/internship/volunteer programs, this is dependent on which program you chose. Please forward this question to them.
When should I start planning?
Everything you have to do for an internship takes time. From deciding where you want to go to applying to the program to preparing to leave. It is recommended you start planning at least 2 semesters in advance.
Can I use my scholarship?
Because TCNJ is not affiliated with these programs, we are unable to allow you to use your scholarship.
How will I fund the program?
Some programs you will be paid for, others have ways to fundraise the money. It is really dependent on what your program offers. Many programs listed on our FIND A PROGRAM! search are very affordable.
Will I be paid for my internship?
Some internships are paid, other are not. This is one aspect that will determine which internship you choose.
What if I am not interested in the programs available on the FIND A PROGRAM! search?
Our FIND A PROGRAM! link also provides links to many databases that will help you search even MORE work/internship/volunteer opportunities!
Can I get credit?
Yes, but you have to take the initiative. Please see: Gaining Academic Credit for your Work/Internship/Volunteer Experience
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
Some programs, especially in South America, may require some knowledge of the language. Most programs do not.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE/WHILE YOU ARE THERE
How do I stay safe abroad?
There are many ways to stay safe abroad. It is important to register with the U.S. Embassy at: https://step.state.gov/step/ and find tips and warnings about the country you are traveling to at: http://www.state.gov/travel/. For more information go to: While You Are There
Who do I contact in emergencies?
Contact the U.S. Embassy that is in your city/country and also the local police. This information can be found at: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Should I get travelers insurance?
YES! On the rare chance you get hurt overseas, it is always important to have travelers insurance to keep you covered! One insurance carrier is: http://www.hthstudents.com/
How do I know where my embassy is?
Go to: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Where will I be living?
This is dependent on your program. Make sure that you are comfortable with the living situation your program offers BEFORE you leave. If your program does not offer housing, ask for their help in finding you a place to rent. Also, see if anyone is meeting you from your program when you arrive and bringing you to your agreed-upon living arrangements.
How do I get a passport?
Do this quickly, as it can take sometime to issue a passport. Follow these instructions: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html
How do I get a visa?
First find out if you need a visa and then follow the instructions of how to obtain them through the country’s you are travelling to embassy website. A list of websites can be found here: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm
How do I find airfare?
There are many websites that offer affordable airfare. We recommend: www.kayak.com and www.studentuniverse.com Make sure you also buy the insurance the airfare offers. It is worth it! When buying airfare, also make sure you are flying on the agreed upon dates with your program and see if someone from your program will either a. meet you at the airport or b. give you detailed instructions on how to get to your place of residence from the airport.
Do I need vaccinations/immunizations?
You may. Go to the Center for Disease Control to find out: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
How should I handle money when it comes to travelling abroad?
There are many different options for obtaining money while you are abroad. Depending on how long you are staying, you need to figure out which one is the best for you:
a. Keep your current bank account and use ATM/Credit cards abroad. ATM fees can be pricey, but if you take out large amounts at once OR talk to your bank, you may be able to figure something out that will work for you. This is probably your safest bet as this means you will not be carrying around a lot of money at once. Make sure you let your bank know ALL the countries you are travelling to.
b. Open a bank account abroad: you will need help to do this, research online to see how you would go about it in the country you are going to.
c. Exchange money once you get in the country: go to a bank or AUTHORIZED exchange bureau to do this. To check out exchange rates go to: www.xe.com
How do I stay in contact with my family?
We recommend using Skype. Find out more at : www.skype.com
What should I bring with me when traveling abroad?
Packing for a long trip can be a daunting experience, but don’t worry- there are many resources out there to help you:
For more information go to: Preparing to leave
Where can I find out about the country before I leave?
There are lots of websites out there to find out about the country you may be travelling to. Google the country! Try Wikipedia! Here are some other options: http://www.tripadvisor.com/
For more information go to: Preparing to leave
AFTER YOU RETURN
How do I use this on my resume?
Make an appointment with the career center: http://career.pages.tcnj.edu/students/individual-career-counseling/ to highlight your experience on your resume. An experience like this will stand out to future employers/graduate schools because it is so unique!
For more information go to: What to do When you Return
Will an interning/volunteering/working abroad improve my job prospects after I graduate?
It can! Working/interning/volunteering abroad not only allows you to gain the necessary practical skills employers are looking for, but it allows you do it in a unique way! You have gained cross-cultural understanding and have had to solve problems and communicate in a foreign country. These aspects of your experience show your strong communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills! A work/intern/volunteer experience abroad proves to the employer that you not only have specific, marketable job-skills, but also a unique international understanding.
For more information go to: Why Work/Intern/Volunteer Abroad & What to do When you Return