Applying for a foreign internship–a step-by-step guide

Ashish Goel graduated from IIT-Roorkee in 2006. He interned with Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) in the summer of 2005. He shares with us his experiences during the application process and gives a very helpful step-by-step guide on applying for a foreign internship.


Application procedure:

I. Choose the field:

This is very important because you cannot work well in just any field. You should choose the fields in which you can show them good work.

II. Build a resume:

Make a good-looking resume, not more than 2 pages long, in PDF format. Check out How not to write an internship CV.

III. Look for opportunities and e-mail addresses:

You can use 3 methods for this:

1.) Look for the latest papers and journals in your field of interest. Apart from search engines, explore websites such as Click on the “summary” tab of the paper, read the abstract of the paper and get the e-mail address of the author(s) from the link just after their names on that page.

2.) Google for conference papers. For this just type your field of interest, “conference” and year on the search bar.

3.) Through websites: First choose a country, then search for universities, institutes and research labs using Google or other available websites. You can go to the pages of the particular department and then find contact details of people working in those fields. Also try using the ‘sitemap’ feature.

IV. Send e-mails:

Do NOT mass mail. Do not use Cc or Bcc, just use ‘to’ and send all the mails personally, so that the person feels that you are genuinely interested in working with them. Don’t expect replies for all your sent e-mails; the replies would be very less. Keep track of information about the people you have mailed, like their e-mail address, name, university, designation, the paper from which you got their e-mail address, etc. because this will help afterwards when you send reminders to the people who haven’t replied.

Ultimately, the key is to keep trying.

This article is an abridged version of the detailed guide that Ashish had written back in 2006 and the first in our Foreign Internship series. We hope this was helpful.

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