Psychology is the scientific study of human mental processes and behavior. It offers insights into why people act the way they do. A psychology degree equips you with core skills, such as clinical reasoning, principles of psychology, cognitive science fundamentals, quantitative and qualitative research, and experiment design.
As part of your training as a student, psychologist, psychotherapist, or social worker, you’ll need to complete an internship to develop practical skills and further your career. Psychology interns typically perform entry-level tasks to gain hands-on experience while being mentored by a senior healthcare professional.
If you’re looking to apply your skills in a different environment, you can consider psychology internships abroad. An internship abroad is the perfect opportunity to have enriching experiences studying human behavior and building a global network. Read on to learn about the types of psychology internships to consider.
1. Community Service Internships
Community service internships involve helping local communities or social groups, such as ethnic minorities who don’t have access to mental healthcare resources and programs.
Notably, mental health has become an area of significance globally. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), one in every eight people has a mental health condition. Government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations worldwide collaborate with healthcare professionals to respond to the needs of people with mental disorders, especially neglected social groups.
If you’re passionate about helping the local community, you can look for a community service internship abroad. International Medical Aid offers internships to students and professionals, including undergrads, graduate students and licensed psychologists. As an intern, you get to work in a global healthcare setting under the supervision of trained professionals such as psychiatrists and counselors.
Moreover, you can participate in international community volunteer programs. That includes providing mental healthcare services to people in hard-to-reach communities. A recent study shows that 85% of people living with a mental disorder in low- and medium-income countries don’t get efficient care because of infrastructure gaps and a shortage of medical professionals.
By working with international bodies that support mental health programs in such areas, you have the opportunity to improve the health outcomes of these communities, develop your skill set, and experience the beauty of diverse cultures,
2. Counseling and Consulting in Overseas Schools and Companies
Reputable companies or learning institutions abroad hire psychology interns to help them learn and understand worker or student behavior. Schools may also count on psychology interns to support students with mental health challenges and guide them to make critical decisions like choosing a career path.
Data shows that about 12 billion working days are lost annually due to mental health conditions, reducing overall productivity by about $1 trillion. Thus, many businesses and organizations offer workplace counseling to help workers manage their mental health better. Notably, corporations provide the perfect opportunities for paid psychology internships abroad. Companies pay interns to help incentivize current employees, attract top talent, and improve corporate brand image.
As an intern, you’ll work with a professional counselor in therapy sessions and behavioral assessments or independently complete related tasks. For instance, your mentor might ask you to develop a behavioral management plan.
3. Clinical Internships
International clinical internships are ideal if you want to work in a clinical setting. These internships focus on clinical professional development, and the daily patient encounters you’ll get will provide valuable hands-on experience. Here are some of the clinical services you may participate in:
- Offering individual and group counseling to patients on a scheduled basis
- Maintaining up-to-date clinical documentation
- Utilizing psychometric methods and assessment procedures to assist in psychotherapy
- Providing initial clinical consultation to patients seeking assistance with different mental health challenges
- Being available for crisis intervention as needed
You can research international hospitals or mental health facilities approved for medical internships and send your application. Alternatively, consider asking your school to recommend some overseas healthcare facilities. Chances are, they can connect you with hospitals they’ve previously partnered with in global mental health programs.
4. Social Work Internships
As a social work intern, you’ll work with other social work professionals to support the needs of children and families. Your internship may involve case management, consultation, and problem assessment to develop an effective intervention plan. You may also work with children and learn practical ways to address behavioral health problems.
Some of the common places to find social work internships abroad include international social service organizations, government agencies, and other institutions focusing on human services.
A psychology internship abroad allows you to step out of your comfort zone and develop your skills in a diverse environment. Plus, it enhances your resume, showing prospective employers that you can take on new challenges and work independently.