For students, it is a fantastic way to take initiative, make contacts and gain experience (especially in an economy where a paying job is hard to come by). For employers, it is free labor! It seems like a win-win. While any internship can add credibility to your resume, some may prove more worthwhile than others. Have you considered the idea that maybe the best internship opportunity for you is waiting outside the boundaries of the United States?!
My best advice for studying abroad is to enjoy it and to set up informational interviews while you are there. It’s always a great idea to build your professional contacts – and building international contacts – is even better! Either before you go abroad or once you get there, make a list of your dream companies in the US and see if they have offices in any of the cities you’ll be visiting.
Do some research on LinkedIn and do some digging for executive email addresses. Pick 1-3 people whose profile you admire on LinkedIn and send them an email (attaching your resume) and requesting an informational interview. Tell them that your dream company is X in the US and you were excited to see they had an overseas office. Ask if you can come in for five minutes to hear how they got started and get advice.
The main benefits of getting an internship abroad are First, they provide contacts and experience with a multinational twist. In our growing international economy, employers often like to see that you are comfortable communicating across cultures. Secondly, internships abroad take you a bit further out of your comfort zone than an internship at home would.
Again, employers like to see that you are willing to take on a challenge. And finally, in terms of subject matter, it is always helpful to expand your viewpoints by learning things from a new perspective.
Good luck and have the time of your life!