One of the best ways to get involved and grow your network while studying abroad is to find an internship. While studying abroad, I had full intentions of finding an internship that was suitable for my future career as I believed this opportunity would look outstanding on my resume. Luckily for me, I came across an opportunity to intern at the Sydney Film Festival.

I took a full course load at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) then spent a solid two weeks also working every day for SFF and learning a ton of new skills. During the first week and a half I worked multiple events where films were being premiered. This allowed me to gain customer service skills and interpersonal skills since I was constantly interacting with attendees. I also had the opportunity to work with virtual reality where I taught people about the technology and how it works. This was a learning experience for me as I was extremely new to virtual reality.

Learning about new technology and gaining numerous skills at my volunteer internship experience abroad helped me secure my first internship in the United States upon returning home from Australia. The internship was with Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and required many of the skills that I learned while studying abroad and working with SFF.

Sydney Film Festival interns
Sydney Film Festival staff and volunteers. Photo by Dom Cook, Pace University

As two years has passed since studying and interning abroad and receiving an internship, I have had the opportunity to work with countless well-known companies around the United States such as Fox 2000 Pictures, Columbia Records and MTV. I truly believe the opportunity to receive an internship abroad allows you to become more versatile in your work experience as well as gain numerous skills for your future endeavors. I highly recommend doing research before going abroad to find any possible internships that could help you get started with building your career and network.

If you are interested in volunteering with SFF, you can visit the main Sydney Film Festival website for more information that can be found under the support tab! Just make sure you have fun abroad and good luck with every internship endeavor you find abroad!

TEAN Note: If you need extra help, TEAN can also help you organize an unpaid internship during your semester abroad!

Dom (Domenick) Cook is a TEAN alum from Pace University who studied (and interned) abroad with TEAN in Sydney, Australia.