Internship Abroad: Expectations vs. Reality

Posted by Halima Benslimane | June 7, 2017

You probably have some expectations about the internship but does it always match the reality? Nope.

Internship is the first step to the professional world because there you have a first touch with job experience and sometimes it is kind of test of your skills for a specific position. Here is the list of 5 realities, you may experience during your Erasmus Internship Abroad.



Expectations:  you think that you will be working in team with an advisor/tutor all the time.
Reality: the person who “brought” you to the company will explain you your responsibilities and how to fulfill them in the beginning but then you will be assigned tasks, which you will be supposed to handle independently.  This is the moment when you learn to be autonomous at work and how to deal with some situations without constant guidance.

University Knowledge In Use

Expectations : the subject of the internship is matching what you are studying at university. You are sure that what you have learned in university will help you to do your internship much easier.
Reality : get ready to do a lot of research and a lot of thinking to fulfill your responsibilities, because probably you will face many new situations, which you did not have a chance to experience before. University classes may be useful in theory but internship is more about practice. Therefore, the skill that you will need for an actual job is being able to adapt to new tasks and situations.

Getting Hired

Expectations : you expect to perform absolutely well and hope that the company will hire your for a full time job in the end of the internship.
Reality : it is not automatic that after internship the person is hired. It all depends on the company; you need to get to know whether there is an opening positions, if there is a  budget and if your profile matches the job requirement. If you are on international internship and you are not speaking the local language, it may be an obstacle for you to be hired too.

The Status

Expectations : you will be treated as any other employee. If you expect coming for your new internship and dealing with things alone, you may be wrong. Often, colleagues do help each other but most of the times, everyone takes care of ones’ tasks.
Reality : you will be considered as the new kid in the company. For others, you will be the one with a least experience in specific field (unless you had numerous internships before) and everyone will be happy to help you even when you don’t need it. They will try to explain you everything too frequently, so you would totally “get” it.

It Is Easy

Expectations : you will not work that hard because this is just and internship, training, and preparing for a real job.
Reality : Every company sees you as an asset and will try to take advantage of your free work as much as possible. You will not be a slave, but you will be packed enough with the tasks to the end of the working day! You want to prove yourself and learn as much as possible so you can find yourself working even longer than an employee.


Did any of your expectations did not appear to be the realities?Share your thoughts below 🙂


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