In today's interconnected and globalized world, the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence knows no boundaries. Collaboration between research groups is crucial, and the best time to interact with other groups, nationally or internationally, is during a PhD.
First and foremost, participating in an international internship during the PhD studies, opens up a world of possibilities and provides a broader perspective on the individual research field. Immerse yourself in a different cultural and academic environment, and get exposed to fresh perspectives, innovative methodologies and diverse problem-solving approaches. This exposure nurtures a broader mindset and encourages to think outside the box, enriching the research endeavours in the process .
Furthermore, an international internship could grant access to resources and facilities that may not be readily available in the home institution. Universities and research centers worldwide, possess cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art laboratories, but each institution offers its unique expertise. Since no university can have every possible piece of equipment or experts in a specific field, internships create the space for collaboration. By sharing resources, the outcome of the PhD thesis can significantly enhance and explore new avenues of investigation.
Engaging in an international internship expands the horizons and provides a broader perspective on life, itself. Living and working in a foreign country pushes out of the comfort zone and forces to adapt to new surroundings. This experience fosters resilience, independence, and cross-cultural communication skills — essential qualities for researchers in an increasingly globalized world. Additionally, this collaboration can lead to future joint initiatives, research opportunities and academic partnerships, further enhancing the reputation and impact on the PhD program and academic profile .
The ability to navigate and thrive in diverse settings is highly valued by academic institutions and potential employers alike, making international internship experiences a valuable asset for future career prospects.
During the internship, you could meet countless inspiring individuals, expanded knowledge and, most importantly, made lifelong friends. Moreover, could allowed to delve into something entirely new and unfamiliar. Being part of an international team at the forefront of the field, who will welcome you with open arms, and gained new invaluable knowledge, is a life change .
To sum it up, undertaking an international internship during the PhD is a game-changer. It broadens horizons, grants access to new resources, boosts personal growth and fosters international collaboration. So, if you are ready to embrace the world, and all it has to offer, an international internship is the way to go. Trust me, it is an experience that is truly worth it.
By Eliska Petrova
Pain, E. (2017). Through internships, Ph.D. students expand their skills and explore their options. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.a1700051
Ismail, Z. (2019). Benefits of Internships for Interns and Host Organizations. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5b3b5de3ed915d33c7d58e52/Internships.pdf
Sagers, J. (2019). Five reasons to do an internship during your PhD programme. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-01087-9