Should You Pay For An Internship?

Should You Pay For An Internship?

Getting your dream job can be tough, most industries are competative and now more and more people are looking for alternative options to help them stand out in the crowd. Paying to get for an internship, especially overseas is becoming more and more popular, but should you pay? What are the benefits? Is it worth it? Let our guide help you.

Paying to intern sometimes applies when you are joining an internship program overseas rather than in your home country. Applying direct to companies abroad can be difficult, sometimes e-mails or letter applications can get lots, read by the wrong people or just not successful due to the language barrier. This is where a lot of agencies can come in helpful as they can make the whole experince easier and can improve your chances of getting a placement, but this does usually come at a cost.

Here are our top pros and cons to consider:




  • Sometimes applying independently can get you nowhere and you end up wasting time 
  • Some agencies offer structured placements which include an intern program, flights, airport transfer, accommodation, meals and an emergency contact  - if you caculate the time away in terms of booking accommodation independently the costs can actually be relativy good value.
  • If you are looking for experience in areas like accountancy, journalism, media, law, this can be competative but by paying a fee you can be place in reputable well established companies which might be difficult to get into otherwise
  • Agencies usually have long established links with companies who hire international staff
  • If you don't speak a foreign language then applying to intern in China, or Asia or Spain or somewhere else where English isn't the native language can almost immpossible
  • A safe and structured experience from before arrival to departure including visa assistance
  • Experience a different culture - some agencies place multiple internationals on intern programs and arrange social and cultural events



  • The main con is the cost - sometimes this can be a lot of money especially if you are a student
  • Some companies can charge a lot of money, and if you are struggling student without external or family backing it can be difficult to raise the money or justify the cost.
  • If you can independently get a placement, why pay 
  • Do you really need to go abroad? Could you not just apply locally?
  • Can you prove the agency is reputable




Ask yourself, would applying to intern in your home country be better and cheaper? Do you really need this on your CV? Are there other ways to gain experiece relevant to your preferred career e.g. working abroad, taking a TEFL course or volunteering abroad. If you speak a foreign language, e.g. Mandarin, or Spanish, depending on your ideal country then you might be able to secure a placement independently at little or no cost.

If you are very keen to intern in a different culture and think the money spent is a good investment then paying is a option you shouldn't really dismiss. Our top recommend is to research research reseach and see what is best for you. Search our website there are lots of free, low cost and paid internships abroad. You can search companies and apply direct.



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