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3rd year abroad vs possible internship?

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    I'm going into 2nd year in a Scottish uni now. I'm planning on applying for an exchange year, but there's something that I'm unsure about. I know we are 'supposed to' look for internships in the spring semester of 3rd year, and then do it the following summer.

    However, this would not be possible for me if I did a year abroad. I'll be away in the interview period, and even if I would get a place through a Skype interview, I wouldn't be able to do an internship as I will likely only be returning in August/September. I'm planning on going to Japan, so it's not possible to come back for an interview, and the semester only ends in late July, so I'll basically be gone all summer. So I would just have to go straight to my final year without any experience like this.

    Do you think it's worth it to go abroad? I know getting internships is really hard anyway, it's not like I can just go and do one, but I'm wondering if it is a bad move to not even try. My main subject is Politics so it's all pretty competitive, even though I am also a decent student (got AAAAAB grades in first year).

    I wish I didn't care so much what my CV will look like. Just don't want the lack of real world experience hurt my chances to do interesting things after I graduate. I mean I do have work experience, but it's completely irrelevant to what I would like to do after I graduate (I've worked, and currently work, in bars/restaurants/a café, whereas my dream is to work for in the media, with an international organisation or something like that - I don't think it really matters if I have nothing but waitressing on my CV when applying there). Do you think employers are likely to see a year abroad as a positive thing as well? Should I just forget about the whole internship thing and focus on planning my year abroad with no regrets?

    You only live once I would do the study abroad year in Japan. Will look good on your CV too. Why are you getting back so late from your year abroad are the terms different in Japan?

    I'm only a recent graduate, but I did a year abroad and internships, and I've never been asked in an interview about my YA but I was asked about my internships.

    That said, the internships I did were super-boring, whereas my YA was one of the best years of my life. I wasn't even anywhere exotic like Japan, so I'd say go for that exchange year but make sure to use it to build skills that are useful for work. Learn as much of the language as possible, maybe even (depending on visa) try to get a couple of week's work experience/work shadowing in a company over there.

    You don't say what kind of media you're looking to get into, but it can never hurt to have experience (especially for a super-popular field like the media). One way you can get this while still being abroad is to turn your hand to writing/editing. Maybe write for the Tab/your student newspaper about your year abroad or try to get freelance jobs as a copywriter or a proofer for a media organisation - one of the joys of the media as a sector is a lot of it is digital, so you can do it anywhere. If you can't get a paid position, try setting up your blog and promote it through sites like thirdyearabroad.com and your uni's erasmus/international society.

    Can't you do both ? An internship in the summer and abroad during the academic year ? Take a look at the Erasmus programmes - they are the ones that help you study abroad !
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