Working Conditions

It is important to recognise that news organisations do not always offer 9 to 5 work places.

Many will ask interns to work early morning or late night shifts.

In some countries employees feel that they must spend long hours in the office to impress the boss, in others it is expected that people will go home to their families.

You’ll need to “read” the situation when you arrive, and modify your workings accordingly.

 

What parents think

The world is a big place, and it can be frightening. Parents  may resist the idea of you travelling overseas alone to work or study because of this. And maybe you would be alarmed if they didn’t!  But if you follow our guidelines and are sensible it will probably be no more risky than staying home.

Check out the safety FAQ for more information.

The experiences of others can reassure parents, so if you can, find someone who has returned from an internship who would be happy to advocate for you.

RMIT staff members are  happy to take a call to discuss any concerns about going on an international internship.

Parents of returned students tell us that while they were apprehensive at the outset, they realised that the international internship is good for self- and professional development and would give their child many advantages in the long run. Many comment that the person coming home is more independent and considerate and all up more mature, in a good way.

Photo credit: Minette Layne via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Currency and conversion rates

OANDA currency converter
A useful currency conversion site, which allows you to convert between 164 currencies. You can also specify a particular date for the conversion.

FXCheatsheet
Allows you to create and print a wallet

OANDA FXPilot
A multi-currency converter that can be downloaded. It can be set up to automatically update whenever you HotSync your Palm Pilot

The Trading Room
A quick look at how the Australian dollar compares

Travel Insurance

All students travelling overseas on an approved RMIT program receive free basic travel insurance.

There are two requirements to access the insurance:

a/ students must be registered in Mobi
b/ students must register their travel itinerary in MyTrips

For WIL students that have applied through InPlace, this means that it is even more important that they follow the instructions of registering overseas activities in Mobi (see attached link). They will simply not be able to claim, if they are not registered.

This is a basic insurance that covers key items such as medical expenses, loss of baggage etc. However, it is a basic insurance and does not cover mobiles or tablets. Students are asked to familiarise themselves with the PDS and make sure the cover is right for them.

You can read more about the insurance at:

rmit.edu.au/students/travel-insurance

Press Freedom and Ethics

Freedom of the press is an important issue for journalists educated in advanced liberal nations, however when students intern in another country they may find that ideas around press freedom and ethics are very different.

It is important when you are a guest in another country to tread carefully around issues of press freedom. Do not presume to know better than your colleagues. In some countries, publication of a story can have deadly consequences. Heed the advice of those around you.

In the same way that views and attitudes to press freedom differ, so do attitudes to ethics. Global media ethics can be different to Australian media ethics. As an intern in another country, it’s important to remember that you are there to watch and learn.

Student Resources

city-people-woman-street

When researching countries 

The Lonely Planet is a really good place to start researching any country.

As well as books (hard copy or e-books), Lonely Plant has guide apps and language tools.

But it is not the only place for information, and Lonely Plant is aimed at tourists, not those working in the country. Start with this, but please go deeper.

The Australian government Smart Traveller site has a general page on Living and Working Overseas that gives a good idea of the big issues for longer stays.

When researching cities

Past interns tell us that the best advice comes from students from that country, or people who have visited recently.

Ask around and be prepared to invest in a few cups of coffee for people with direct and recent experience to get the best low-down on your destination, and hopefully contacts for while you are away.

TripAdvisor has heaps of information of the tourist kind, good for making the most out of your weekends.

Language courses

Available online or in person. Check out if RMIT is running any suitable short courses. Often funding bodies organise some language education as part of their programs.
Embassies can be a good starting point to find some language instruction.

Flights

STA travel is designed to suit students and it may work out better to chat to one of their consultants about flight options, rather than risk a dodgy super-cheap deal online.

Travel Insurance

The university has requirements for your travel insurance policy.
Do not leave home without one!

Remember,  RMIT Global Mobility staff have heaps of experience with people just like you.

Financial assistance

There are often funds available to help students do internships abroad, but each funding system has its own peculiarities and paperwork, and the eligibility rules change often.

In some cases you may be able to add a big part of the cost of your international internship to your HECS bill, but you should talk to Global Mobility or your course coordinator about what is available.

If the funds come from the Australian Government, they almost always only allow for grants to Australian citizens regardless of enrolment at an Australian university.

RMIT financial assistance.