When to do an internship: during or after your studies?

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There’s this big question that all students have at some point during their studies. “Should I do an internship or extra course now, or after I finish studying?” Many students think that it’s best to finish your studies first. While there are many benefits to doing it this way, there are many more reasons to get some extra field experience while you’re still studying. Experiential learning opportunities are available all over the world. What’s more, they are open to students and graduates alike. However, here are some of the reasons why you should do an internship during your studies.

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1. You can get credits for your course/degree

What better way to finish one of your subjects than doing it abroad? Some universities offer credits for an internship in your relevant field. Make sure about this with your lecturer or faculty dean first. The terms and conditions for getting credit differ from uni to uni. In the past, many Africa Media students have gotten class credit for their month with us. This includes experiential learning in photography, journalism or filmmaking

2. You get practical experience in your study field

There’s no better way to learn than to apply everything you’ve learned. An internship will give you some real-life experience of working in your chosen field. This practical experience builds your professional and personal skills. Even before you’ve finished your studies!

3. You can make sure you’re in the right field

Sometimes, the field you’re studying is different in theory than in practice. The hours or nature of the work might be different from what you expected when you started studying it. To make sure of this, an internship gives you the opportunity to experience it beforehand. Then, you can decide for yourself if it’s what you really want to do with your life. That way, if you want to change study fields, you still have time to do so and follow your real passion.

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4. Build your CV during your studies

Every successful career starts with a great CV or resume. Doing an internship or training program will put you that one step ahead when applying for a job. You can add the program to your CV or resume. You could even get a recommendation letter from the organisation you interned with.

5. Your university might pay for you

Lastly, there might be scholarship options for you to do an internship during your studies or training abroad. This will also depend on your specific university. However, it’s definitely worth looking into while you still have the opportunity. Doing an internship will be even more fun if you can lighten the financial burden of it as well.

These are the main reasons you should do an internship during your studies. It doesn’t matter whether you do it during a holiday or earning credits from it during a semester. Building experience as a student will only benefit your future career. If you agree with this, and you’re looking to do some extra training in wildlife media for a month, why not check out our film, photography, journalism or underwater photo/video programs?

Rouxne van der Westhuizen profile

Blogger Profile - Rouxne van der Westhuizen

Rouxne has an Honours degree in journalism and media studies. She is the course director for the Travel and Environmental Journalism program and specialises in wildlife conservation writing, travel journalism and blogging.

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