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Studying Abroad vs. Getting an Internship

Studying Abroad vs. Getting an Internship

By your junior year of high school, you could have the option to study abroad or work as an intern. Opportunities like these often are during summer, and if you have the means, both choices are worthwhile in the college admissions process.

If you’re wondering which opportunity to pursue, you’ll need to consider the type of experience you want and the type of college application you want to present.


Even though most of the tasks you will be assigned will be menial, internships are a great opportunity to work and interact with professionals. You could discover a career you want to pursue, narrowing your potential majors in college. You’ll also walk away with valuable experience, having spent time in the workforce.

Colleges like to see high school internships on applications because they show that you narrowed your passions and took the initiative to pursue them. Internships also communicate that you aren’t afraid to take on professional work at a young age. 

You might leave your internship with a recommendation letter from your boss. Colleges love applicants who are confident and mature and who possess an exceptional work ethic.

Studying Abroad

Studying abroad also is an incredibly valuable experience. Many programs offer scholarships that enable high school students to study in another country for the summer or a semester. If you can secure funding, you’ll have a chance to live among a different culture. New foods, customs and languages will broaden your worldview and make you a better global citizen.

If you studied a foreign language or are knowledgeable about another country’s traditions and ways of thinking, you’ll be able to apply that knowledge to your own social and political life, including as a college student.

Like internships, studying abroad demonstrates maturity, as well as a willingness to take a risk. Studying abroad also can communicate that you are independent and curious, both of which are desirable traits in an applicant.

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