Overseas internships and work experience

Many students are keen to gain overseas internships or work experience. You can apply directly to the organisation that is providing the experience, or through a third-party company that will find the experience for you and may charge you for this service.

Where to look for opportunities


Top Australian intern programmes 2020

The aim of the Top Intern Programs list is to recognise those organisations that provide the most positive experience for their interns as determined by the interns themselves. To that end, the Australian Association for Graduate Recruiters conducts an annual survey of interns who have been part of a formal internship program. The interns are asked to rate their employer on around 15 different criteria. These ratings are combined and used to produce a list of the top 40 intern programmes. See the full list for 2020 at www.topinternprograms.com.au

Popular Australian job sites include:

Other countries

Where to look for overseas internships and work experience

Highered is an international career platform that connects you to available global internships with companies around the world including Daimler, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Bayer and Amazon, among others. It also has a specific section for jobs in China.

  • Visit Highered (you can register using your University email address). 

University of Auckland Career Development and Employability Services (CDES) 

But first, do your research

Many overseas work experience opportunities, both in person and virtual, may appear to be excellent – but don’t make any assumptions until you have done your research. As well as learning as much as possible about the organisation itself, you will need to consider your own circumstances: what support the organisation will provide for you (training, issue resolution etc), how much time you will need to commit and whether this will fit with your other commitments. Make sure that:

  • You understand all the costs associated with the opportunity
  • The experience you will gain is worth the time and financial commitment you will have to make
  • You have documentation of all the relevant correspondence
  • If in doubt, check with Business School Careers: bizcareers@auckland.ac.nz
Below are some things to think about. Not all of them will be relevant to every opportunity.

The organisation

  • What is the organisation’s legal status (charity, not-for-profit, registered company)?
  • What is the main purpose of the organisation?
  • What is the size of the organisation?
  • Is the advertised role within the organisation or with a third party?
  • If it’s a third party, will your experience be with one organisation or multiple?
  • How professional is the advertisement, their website and social media?
  • How long has the programme been running?
  • Are there student testimonials? Do an internet search that is wider than just the organisation’s website

The contract

  • Will you be employed by the organisation directly or by a third party?
  • Will you be an employee or volunteer?
  • What hours will you work?
  • Will they provide a learning plan?
  • Have they given you a reasonable amount of time to consider their offer and seek advice?
  • If support materials are required, will they be provided, or do you need to provide your own?

The experience

  • Will you be working independently, or in a project with other students?
  • Will you have direct contact with or feedback from an employer?
  • Do you have to apply for the role, or just sign up?
  • What activities will you do on a day-to-day basis?
  • What skills do you need?
  • What benefits (skills, knowledge) will you gain from the experience?

What support will you have?

  • Will you be offered an induction and/or training before you start?
  • What training will be provided during your experience?
  • Is a representative of the organisation onsite or nearby?
  • Is there someone you can contact if you have questions/issues?
  • Will your contact speak your language (e.g. English)?
  • How often will you be in contact with them?

Time commitment

  • Is it easy to find how much time you will have to commit?
  • What about your other commitments, both in and outside of the University?

What are the costs?

  • Is it a paid opportunity?
  • Do you have to pay anything and if yes, what costs are involved?
  • Is there a refund policy?
  • Does the opportunity offer value for money?


  • Do you have to organise and pay for the travel and visas?
  • Will you be travelling by yourself or in a group?
  • If the organisation pays for your travel, what happens if you have to come home early – can you transfer the ticket?
  • Is travel and health insurance provided?


  • Do you have the address of where you will be staying?
  • What is the standard of the accommodation?
  • Are meals and accommodation provided or is there a cost?
  • If you’re staying with a local family, can you find out details about them? For example, how large is the family, and are they being paid to host you?
  • How far away will you be from where you will work?