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How to negotiate a paid internship abroad

Published 5 years ago by Maud - Category : Career Advice

If you have landed yourself a paid internship, you have found the holy grail of internships! The international job market is very competitive and rarely will you find a paid internship these days. However, they do still exist in some of the more technical industries like medicine and engineering, for example.

If you feel you should be paid more in your internship and you have good reasons to justify it, then it is rarely seen as a negative to ask for a pay rise – as long as you ask in the right way!

In fact, it can be viewed as strength of character and professional ability to be able to negotiate your salary for yourself. Furthermore, paid interns are more likely to be offered a position in the company later on. So there are more than just the obvious benefits for asking for a higher salary!


So how do you negociate a paid internship?

Always worth checking what other interns in a similar position to you are being paid.

We do not recommend asking for a pay rise if your company is already paying you at a high rate. Your request in this instance will be viewed negatively by your employer and it may impact your chances of being offered a paid position within the company later on.

Having knowledge of what other companies pay their interns is valuable for your negotiations with your employer. It provides them with concrete evidence and a real justification as to why you should be paid more.


We always recommend being polite in your approach and never use language that is demanding.

One great tactic is to say something along the lines of, “at company A I was offered X dollars, but here at company B I am only getting Y dollars. I would rather work for your company, so can you match company A’s offer?”.

This is a simple question which any employer would feel comfortable answering “yes” or “no”. Your employer might not have realised they were paying less than the ordinary rate and so may be very happy to match it. But if they respond to your question with a “no” – do not ever argue with them. Once you have given all your reasons and their answer is “no”, then it is final. Arguing any further will only be viewed negatively.


If your employer does not give you a pay rise, then it is entirely up to you whether you continue with your internship. You may decide it is not worth your time if you feel undervalued, especially if you can get a similar internship elsewhere with a higher salary. This decision is entirely yours to make and will depend on your priorities and what other options are available to you.


Internshipmapper is a career portal for students and graduates. We also provide range of graduate recruitment services to help sourcing candidates for internships or graduate jobs,  and giving out graduate careers advice.  To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs , visit their website.​


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