Besides the excitement of going abroad and living in a new country, there can be a lot of nervousness as well. Working outside of your own culture and norms can be a little complicated, especially when it comes to working in Asia. For working in Asian countries, whether as an intern or an employee, you need to take some things into consideration and prepare yourself beforehand. This is especially useful for newbies, for instance you have earned an internship in Singapore, you need to learn about the culture and norms so that you adjust easily.
1. Research and Reach the Destination Beforehand
If you have finally scored an internship in Asia, you need to research your destination beforehand. This is especially important because you need to find out what kind of a place you are going to, what are the peace and conflict conditions there, what are the tourist spots, and weather conditions etc. All these will give you an insight about the country and it’s environment. Another tip is to reach your destination a few days or a week before the joining date. This will help you to adjust yourself; you can look around, learn about the company you are working with, explore the city.
2. Save Money for Extra Costs
Even if your internship is paid for by the company, your airfare is covered, and your accommodation is in the package, you still need to save up for some money that will help you in extra costs in any unexpected or difficult time abroad. You can use the money to shop around the city, go for a weekend, try new street foods, and go for any exclusive city rides etc. Saving money alongside is a smart way of being organized and handling your expenses. It will save you from any trouble.
3. Enhance your Professional Skills for a better experience
Sometimes, learning new skills can be extremely beneficial for your job. If you are planning to do an internship in Asia, you can learn a little about their official language. This will contribute to your reputation as someone who is really dedicated to working in the country, as well as build your confidence. Learning professional skills beforehand for an internship can charm your superiors significantly.
4. Find Affordable Housing/Room
If you are going for an internship abroad, always check for the accommodation package. If it is not included in your contract, you need to find your own housing that is comfortable yet easy on the budget. This can be really easy thanks to the internet revolution, but you can still run into scams. This is why arriving to your destination beforehand is important, so even if you experience an issue, you will have time to find new and reasonable accommodation.
5. Get International Health insurance
There is no insurance that matters more than getting your own health insurance abroad. Since you are away from home, there are not many people who know you or are willing to pay if you experience some unfortunate accident or health issue. Especially if you have any pre-existing medical condition, you need to consult your doctor and take proper medication along with you. Health insurance is necessary when living abroad.
6. Try Learning Cultural Norms and Language of your Destination
This is the best part about interning abroad; you get to learn new languages and a lot of new cultures. Learning about the cultural norms of a place is extremely important. The Asian countries specifically have high regards for their cultures, so learning and following them along in respect while you live there is a friendly attribute and it might as well be healthy and fun for you too. Other than that, some cultural norms can be pretty strict, so researching beforehand and following them will actually save you from trouble as well.
7. Build Your own Network in the Company
The most important part of interning abroad is networking in the events and post- meetings. This broadens your professional circle and gives you the chance off exploring new opportunities as well. You can even find yourself another internship or a job opportunity through networking in the company. Remember to be friendly, polite and dedicated towards your work, but network along your work as well.
8. Interact with Locals and People Outside of Work
What’s the fun if you go on an internship to Asia and don’t explore around? There is a whole world out of the building you work in. Going out and exploring new places in the city, meeting locals and hanging out can be very refreshing. An internship abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime- it gives you a whole set of memories with cultural activities, food, memories alongside work experience, which adds flexibility to your resume.
9. Pack Suitable Clothing According to the Country’s Weather and Norms
No matter what country you are travelling to, you need to research on the weather in the country as well as the cultural norms. You might end up packing short dresses or half sleeves shirts, but the weather might be cold and the cultural norms might not be very flexible when it comes to dresses. In case you want to look professional and modest, pack suitable clothing by researching the destination ahead of time.
10. Try Local and New Foods
This is the best and most exciting part about an internship abroad! You get to try out new and exciting foods in the host country. For this experience, you have to be more open minded and appreciative rather than picky. There will definitely be a difference when it comes to spices and elements of food, but you will definitely find the food items that you will love forever. So instead of eating at McDonalds, try out street foods and famous local restaurant for a fun experience.
Every country, every company and every intern have their own characteristics that differentiate them form others. Remember to be flexible and open minded; and by following these tips, you are pretty much covered and prepared to go for an internship to Asia.