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How to survive the first day of your internship

Here you are! After several months of intense research, applications and interviews, you have finally obtained the perfect internship abroad. 


Entering the professional world, integrating into a new organisation, meeting lots of people while speaking a foreign language... All of this may seem a bit intimidating, but with the right preparation, you will find that it is easier than it sounds. Surely, you’ve heard that first impressions count. You will find here are a few tips that will help you prepare for your arrival and be comfortable from the very first day of your internship.


Organisation is key: Prepare your first day in advance

Well, preparation starts before leaving your home country. To avoid any kind of stress during your first day abroad, be sure that you’ve got the right accommodation. When is the appointment with the owner of your apartment? How do you get the keys? Are your roommates aware of your arrival? All these questions are primordial to arrive serenely on your first day, to be able to focus on your internship and not to be anxious about other problems. 


It is advisable to get to your new home country a few days before your traineeship would officially start. This will allow you to find your way around and not be late on your first day. The goal is for you to find the location of your internship in advance: How are you going to get there? How much time does it take? 


You can also spot some lunch places around your office. Indeed, your colleagues may propose you to go out with them for lunch, but if not, be sure you have a backup plan. This is also a good way to visit your office neighbourhood. 


It's D-day and you want to give the best of yourself? Too much tension can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage your stress. Here are some of them:

  • Arrive in advance. On the first day of your internship, no delay is authorized, expect to arrive approximately 15 to 20 minutes ahead of schedule. This will allow you to take your time to make the trip, especially if you take public transport, an unexpected event is never far away! It's also an opportunity for you to be there before your colleagues, and to meet them little by little, which will be less scary than being in front of an entire assembly.

  • Start your morning with a quick yoga session. Time is not an excuse anymore. There are so many amazing, 10-15 minute long morning exercises that you can find online for completely free. A new hobby will help you feel more organised and motivated to start your new life.

Here is one of our favourites:

Get ready for your first day presentation

During the first few days, you will probably be given a tour of the premises and meet your new colleagues. Presenting yourself in a foreign language can be a challenge, if it makes you feel more confident, you can prepare a short presentation of yourself to be more comfortable in front of all these new people. 

Pro-tip: Make an effort to memorize and try to remember the names of your colleagues, it will be greatly appreciated! 


Have you ever heard of the “halo effect”? In a nutshell, it means that a person’s perceived negative or positive trait creates a “halo” of an overall impression of that same person. So what should you do? Well, smile! Put yourself in a pleasant posture that will make your new colleagues want to meet you. 


Find the perfect outfit. If you’re not sure of the dress code in your organisation, do not hesitate to ask your manager. Smart casual will usually work, but in any case, don’t try to change who you are. 


Don’t forget: You’ve already made it here. You’ve been selected for this position from hundreds of candidates. You are a star! We truly hope that you find our tips useful and you will have an amazing first day!




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buildyourfuture.bxl@gmail.com 

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