Tips for Italian Students to Make the Most of Their Internship Experience in the USA


Ciao ragazzi! Are you an Italian student dreaming of interning in the USA? If so, this is for you! Many young Italians are eager to gain valuable work experience in the land of opportunity, improve their English skills, and immerse themselves in a new culture. However, interning abroad can also be challenging, especially if it’s your first time away from home. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with tips on how to make the most of your internship experience in the USA and recommendations for top industries to intern at. So, let’s get started!

1. Plan ahead and apply early

If you’re an Italian student dreaming of interning in the USA, it’s important to plan ahead and apply early. In Italy, we have a saying, “chi va piano va sano e va lontano,” which roughly translates to “slow and steady wins the race.” This rings true when it comes to securing a competitive internship in the US.

Start your search at least 6-12 months before your desired start date to ensure you have enough time to research and apply for the right opportunities. As you explore companies and industries, don’t forget to embrace the Italian culture and seek out experiences that align with your interests and career goals.

Remember, many companies have strict deadlines for their internship programs, so don’t procrastinate. Utilize resources such as our internship search engine to find opportunities that match your criteria, and reach out to your university’s career centre or study abroad office for additional guidance. With the right planning and preparation, your dream internship in the US could be just around the corner.

2. Get your paperwork in order

Ah, paperwork – the bane of every Italian’s existence! But trust us, it’s worth the hassle to make your internship dreams come true in the USA. You’ll need to obtain the appropriate visa and work authorization before you can start interning. The good news is that there are several types of visas available for international students, depending on the nature and duration of your internship. The most common visa categories for interns are the J-1 Visa and the F-1 Visa with Optional Practical Training (OPT). Just remember that the application process can be lengthy and complicated, so make sure to start early and seek guidance from your university’s international office or an immigration lawyer if needed. Don’t let bureaucracy get in the way of your American adventure!

Here are some legal sources focusing on Italian students who are interested in interning in the USA:

  1. The US Embassy in Italy: The embassy’s website provides information on the different types of visas available for Italian students who wish to intern in the USA. The website also offers guidance on the visa application process, including the necessary documents and requirements. 

  2. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The ministry’s website has a section dedicated to studying and interning abroad, which provides information on the different opportunities available for Italian students. The website also offers guidance on the legal requirements for studying and interning in different countries, including the USA.

For more information on this topic, please visit our post on ‘Visa for Internships in the USA: What European Students Need to Know’.

3. Be proactive and ask questions – Italian style!

Once you’ve secured an internship in the USA, it’s important to be proactive and take initiative in your work. Don’t be afraid to channel your inner Italian and ask questions, offer suggestions, and seek feedback on your performance. Italians are known for their curiosity and passion, so let that shine through in your internship experience.

In addition, take advantage of any opportunities to network with other employees and attend social events or professional development opportunities. Italians are also known for their strong sense of community, so building relationships with your colleagues can be a natural fit. Who knows, you might even find yourself bonding over your love of good food or discussing your favourite Italian films during your lunch breaks!

4. Embrace the Dolce Vita and cultural differences

As an Italian intern in the USA, you may encounter a few differences in culture, language, and customs. But don’t worry, it’s a chance to broaden your horizons and experience the best of both worlds – the la dolce vita of Italy and the land of opportunity of the USA.

Take advantage of your internship to learn and grow as a person. Immerse yourself in the local culture, try new foods, and explore the sights and sounds of your host city. But also be open-minded and respectful of other people’s beliefs and practices.

And remember, Italians are known for their curious and passionate nature. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance from your colleagues or supervisor. The more you engage with the local culture, the more enriched and rewarding your internship experience will be.

5. Research top industries and companies for Italian students to intern at in the USA

It’s important to know where to focus your search. Andiamo! (Let’s go!) Here are some top industries and companies for Italian students to intern at in the USA:

  • Technology: Whether you’re a techie or just interested in the industry, tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft offer internships in fields like software engineering, product management, and marketing. Get ready to embrace the startup culture of Silicon Valley or the hustle and bustle of New York City’s tech scene!

  • Finance: Wall Street in New York City is a hub for financial activity, and many Italian students pursue internships in investment banking, private equity, and accounting. Companies like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley offer highly competitive internships in these fields. And who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a thing or two about Italian finance along the way!

  • Fashion: Italy is renowned for its fashion industry, and New York City is the fashion capital of the USA. Companies like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein offer internships in design, marketing, and merchandising. Get ready to strut your stuff on the runway!

  • Hospitality and Tourism: The USA is home to some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, making it a great place for Italian students to gain experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. Companies like Marriott, Hilton, and Disney offer internships in hotel management, event planning, and tourism. Andiamo a fare la vacanza! (Let’s go on vacation!)

  • Marketing and Advertising: If you have a creative side, you might consider interning at one of the USA’s top advertising agencies or marketing firms. Companies like Ogilvy, McCann, and Wieden+Kennedy offer internships in advertising, branding, and digital marketing. Get ready to come up with some clever taglines and catchy campaigns!

6. Sfrutta le risorse a tua disposizione (Take advantage of the resources available to you)

When interning in the USA, it’s important to remember that many companies offer resources and training programs for their interns. This is your chance to expand your skill set, learn about the industry, and gain exposure to different aspects of the company. You never know what you might learn that could help you in your future career. Think of it like the Italian proverb, “ogni lasciata è persa,” which means “every opportunity not taken is lost.” So don’t let any opportunity slip by!

It’s also worth noting that many universities and cities offer resources specifically for international students. For example, some universities may offer language classes or cultural events, while cities may have Italian clubs or cultural organizations. These resources can help you immerse yourself in American culture while also maintaining a connection to your Italian roots. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your overall experience in the USA. After all, who knows, you might even find some similarities between the Italian and American cultures that you never thought existed!

And as you know, Italians love to meet new people and share their culture, so don’t be shy to get involved!

7. Keep a positive attitude and stay motivated – Viva la vita!

Interning in the USA can be a challenge, but as Italians, we know how to handle challenges with style! Embrace cultural differences and language barriers as a chance to expand your horizons and learn new things.

In Italy, we have a saying: “Viva la vita!” which means “Long live life!” This positive outlook on life can also be applied to your internship experience. Set personal and professional goals for yourself, track your progress. Keep a positive attitude and stay motivated. Remember that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. And when you achieve those goals, celebrate like it’s Carnevale!

Also, remember that your internship is an opportunity to grow and learn, both professionally and personally, so approach it with a curious and open mind. With these tips, you can make the most of your internship and show the Americans how we Italians get things done. Buona fortuna!

What do you think about all this? Are you up to it?

If this topic interests you, check out our latest post, The Cost of Internships in the USA‘, or the section of our blog dedicated to Internships.

Vera Rocha

Growth Digital Marketing Manager of Internships USA

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