In recent years, more and more students are trying to gain an edge over their peers by applying for internships during their college career. This means that simply taking an internship is not enough to be a competitive hiring prospect anymore. However, taking an internship abroad may be enough to put you at the top of a prospective employer’s list. Here are five reasons why you should consider taking an internship overseas.

Resource: 30 Great Small College Business Degree Programs 2015

1. Freedom to Travel

Taking an internship abroad will give you a unique ability to see the world that many people do not get until much later in life. In college, there are so many opportunities to choose almost any destination in the world and be set up with a paid internship in your field of study. The best part about interning during your university career is that you can usually kill two birds with one stone: Many intern positions that are affiliated with your college will count as degree credits in addition to giving you real-world work experience.

2. Real World Experience

The average workforce of businesses today are rapidly becoming interconnected, global business communities. This means there is a good chance that you will be working with colleagues from various cultures or possibly even traveling to other countries to perform work in your field. Getting experience traveling abroad and immersing yourself in unfamiliar cultures before entering the workforce will give you a competitive edge over your peers who chose to remain in the country for their internships. Taking an internship abroad will allow you to learn more about yourself and see your chosen field of study in a fresh light. This can either feed your passion for your future career or help influence you to make changes to your field of study while you still have time.

3. Global Networking Opportunities

Taking an internship overseas is the perfect chance to begin developing professional relationships with people in your field from all over the world. Establishing meaningful personal and professional relationships abroad early in life is an incredibly valuable asset later on in your career path. The important thing to remember with this, however, is that it is critical to continue fostering these relationships you have forged even when you return home. You never know when those contacts may come in handy.

4. Getting Your Foot in the Door

For previous generations, a college degree translated almost immediately into full-time employment with a great salary and benefits to support you and your future family for years to come. Unfortunately, this generation knows that the promise of full-time employment is much harder to come by. In fact, the current unemployment rate is holding steady at 4.9 percent and the rate of college graduates unable to get full-time work in their field is steadily rising. Internships can help students get their foot in the door at a workplace in their field, which makes it easier to get and keep a position post-graduation.

5. A Leg-Up On the Competition

Plenty of undergrads take internships and volunteer positions, but far fewer students go overseas. Being able to show employers that you have experience working in other cultures will help you stand out from your peers. In addition, it shows that you are adaptable and able to navigate new situations gracefully, which are both valuable and marketable skills.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting that can dramatically help your post-gradation career, consider an internship abroad. After all, it’s not often that you can get paid to travel and gain work experience at the same time.

Additional Resource: Top 10 Online Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Degree Programs 2014