Overseas Internships

The Benefits of Doing an Internship Abroad

In today’s competitive job market, having global work experience under your belt makes a monumental contribution to your prospective career. Going on an overseas internship is much more than just work experience. It also entails widening your perspective and embracing other cultures on a deeper level with an open mind and attitude.

During an internship abroad, you will be challenged to adapt both personally and professionally. The reward for such adaptation will be enormous. Intercultural communication is a vital part of the modern professional world so employers will recognise that you have the experience in a multicultural environment through your internship abroad. By leaving the comforts of home to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture, you will be pushing the boundaries and discovering what you are capable of.

Why ASEAN, China and India?

ASEAN, China and India (ACI) have shown great economic growth even when the world is showing signs of economic down-turn. During the 2019 16th ASEAN-India Summit, PM Lee said that ASEAN and India should “redouble” efforts in pursuit of economic integration [1]. ACI combined market is about 3.4 billion, that is close to 50% of the world’s population. Hence, it will be strategic for Singaporeans to understand these markets and take leadership in some ways being the developed country in this region. In the budget announced in 2020, DPM and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has set aside budget to send at least 70% of local IHL students to ACI under the new Asia-Ready Exposure Programme [2]. More support will be given to internships under the previously announced Global Ready Talent Programme.

[1] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/pm-lee-calls-on-asean-and-india-to-redouble-economic-integration-12059132
[2] https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-budget-2020-70-per-cent-of-local-students-from-higher-learning-institutions-to

Financial Support

The hosting organisations MAY provide stipends for your internships in their overseas operations. For many overseas markets such as Southeast Asia, India, China, Latin America and Caribbean, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, the Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT) grant co-funded by Enterprise Singapore and SMU is available, through DKHMCC, for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, subject to approval of both Enterprise Singapore and SMU.

This GRT is paid out after successful completion of the overseas internship.

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DKHMCC focuses on internships in the ACI region and actively sources opportunities there. Students who wish to pursue an internship outside of ASEAN, China and India are welcome to self-source and propose the internship on OnTracII for approval.

Hear from the students who have undergone overseas internships:

Listen to what the 2 students who had embarked on an ASEAN internship got to say!



For SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business undergraduate Chin Zi Ying, her remote internship was more than just fulfilling SMU’s global exposure requirement. Ahead, she shares why being grounded in Singapore for the Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP) turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Read more about her experience as a digital retail intern under L’Earth’s Vietnam team below. #SMUExperience

The ASEAN Internship Programme (AIP) and Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP) are organised by Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) to encourage students to build up an international network and be Global Citizens. Apply for an SMU ASEAN internship today!

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Having completed a 3-month virtual internship with an Indonesian startup, SMU School of Accountancy undergraduate Tan Shu Min believes that the new perspectives and ideas gained with the Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP) are valuable for her personal and career growth. She reflects on how her experience has provided unique learning opportunities and allowed her to gain global exposure.

The ASEAN Internship Programme (AIP) and Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP) are part of the offerings provided by Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) to encourage students to build up an international network and be Global Citizens.

Read blog post


On the difference between interning in Thailand and Singapore:

"I felt that I was not given enough tasks that were challenging for me during my Singapore internship stint. My supervisor had too much on her plate to focus on me and therefore there was not much guidance or feedback from her.

In contrast, my Thailand internship supervisor was always checking and providing me with guidance to the tasks that I was assigned to. In addition, he gave me the freedom to explore and venture into the things that I had a strong interest in. Despite being a busy man, he still made it a point to hold a weekly hour-long session just to check on my progress and ensure that I was on the right track."

Year 2, LKCSB
Tuk Tuk Hop, Summer 2019

LIEW Juin Neng Ian

On experiencing the work and culture in Vietnam:

"This internship experience has brought enormous value to me. I was tasked to assist the operations department in value chain analysis and process improvement solutioning for the various business units as part of their corporate transformation initiative. Through this project, I got the chance to witness first-hand some of the real-world business challenges faced by a maturing company, and at the same time learn from their determination to take it to greater heights. I also had the opportunity to learn how the organization is trying to implement digital transformation in the context of Industry 4.0, such as leveraging the technology of robotic process automation to replace manual and repetitive tasks, thereby increasing productivity and lowering operational risks.

Working with the Vietnamese was an inspiring experience. Compared to Singapore, I must say that their spirit and culture of entrepreneurship is stronger. I would certainly encourage my peers to seek experiences outside of Singapore. An overseas internship broadens our horizons, trains us to be independent and self-sufficient. Furthermore, working in a foreign environment builds soft skills, especially intercultural competence."

LIEW Juin Neng Ian
Year 1, SIS
Ho Chi Minh City
Talentnet, Summer 2019

Angel NG Jing Yi

On the overall working experience:

"I came to Hong Kong with no knowledge about the real estate industry in Hong Kong. There was a steep learning curve at the start of my internship as I had to familiarise myself with the different terms and the KPIs that were commonly used in Real Estate Investment Trusts. Furthermore, I had a mentor who was patient and supportive as he would ensure that I understood my tasks clearly before he handed it off to me to complete them."

Angel NG Jing Yi
Year 2, LKCSB
Hong Kong
ARA, Summer 2019

Cher Jia Yan

On venturing out of Singapore:

"Venturing out of Singapore alone was one of the best decisions I have made. I had a lot more time to myself which allowed me to consolidate my thoughts and reflect on what I have been through thus far. I started to realise what matters to me and took notice of the smallest things around me. I learned to look after myself and sought for actual solutions, not patches to a problem. I feel that we take things for granted back in Singapore."

Cher Jia Yan
Year 3, LKCSB
SOSV Chinaccelerator, Summer 2019

Coming soon...

Nigel SEAH Yong Yu

On the valuable learning experience:

"Over the last five months, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with the Customer Engagement team in SAP Brazil’s Marketing Department. Based on previous experience, I’ve always felt that the standard three-month internship period is too short to learn about the industry and the job role.

While I was on exchange in São Paulo last year, I fell in love with the city so much so that I decided to take an LOA upon securing an internship here. Being at a large international firm provided me with the opportunity to work with people from other parts of the world for a project, something I would never have been able to do in the companies I used to intern at. Also, I was made aware of the different factors which I need to be sensitive to when overseeing marketing campaign efforts. For instance, despite operating in Brazil, our campaigns needed to be executed in accordance to both EU and Brazilian data privacy laws as SAP was a German company.

I would strongly recommend anyone to take up this opportunity when it arises. Practical purposes aside, interning abroad opens your mind on the deeper level and teaches you to approach other cultures with a more accepting attitude."

Nigel SEAH Yong Yu
Year 4, SOSS
São Paulo
SAP, Term 2 2019

Overseas Internships

Checklist for Overseas Internship Application

  • Ensure that you have completed e-Internship Briefing and pass e-Quiz, completed Reflective Practice Unit and all 5 Internship readiness modules on eLearn > Co-Curriculum Learning.
  • Source for overseas internship opportunities via OnTRAC II or submit a self-proposal on OnTRAC II if you have self-sourced for the overseas internship.
  • Contact your internship approving officer at DKHMCC to ensure all the required administrative procedures are in order before you leave Singapore (and if you're eligible for any Financial Support).
  • Complete the mandatory pre-departure checklist on OASIS at least 2 weeks before the departure date of your approved internship.

Internship Period

Summer Internship April to August
Winter December to January
Term-time internship Students are required to apply for Leave of Absence (LOA)**
Short-Term Internship 4 weeks in December to January

** LOA Information can be found on OASIS
* Please refer to your Academic Calendar for specific dates.

Internship Opportunities

Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/yagnukuw
Opportunities: https://tinyurl.com/y37bcctr


Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP)

Global exposure (GE) is a graduation requirement for students who joined SMU from 2018 onwards. The Overseas Virtual Internship Programme (OVIP) fulfils Global Exposure requirement of SMU for students.

OVIP will kick off with the pilot run to Indonesia and Vietnam in December 2020. Students can apply for the opportunities via OnTRAC.

Self-proposed internships in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan can be considered on a case by case via self-proposal.


  1. Student must not be a citizen of the country where the employer of overseas virtual internship is based in.
  2. Completed all pre-internship requirements (RPU, IRMs and eIB) similar to local internship.

GE Requirement

Students who would like to use the OVIP to clear their GE requirement will be required to:

  1. Complete an eLearn module on cultural exposure of the country where the employer is based in and pass the eQuiz.
  2. Attend a language class in the native language where the employer is based in and pass the online assessment.
  3. Submit a self-introduction of at least 30 sec using the native language.

Your participation in the OVIP this winter will clear the GE requirement if you fulfill all the requirements above. Students who successfully registered and secured an internship with an employer will be assigned to a language class by the overseas desk.

Virtual Overseas Internship in other countries outside of ASEAN, China and India can be recognised as internship, but not for global exposure.


  1. Engage in one to three mid internship conversations with Overseas Desk manager (10 weeks or more duration). For 4-5 weeks internship, there will be just one mid internship conversation.
  2. The first conversation should take place after 2 weeks of internship.
  3. The second conversation should be just before or after half-way mark of the internship.
  4. The third conversation will be about 2 weeks before the end of internship.
  5. Complete the end of internship cultural report and reports on OASIS. If the internship is funded, an additional report for the funding will also be required.

For overseas internship-related matters, please email: overseasdesk@smu.edu.sg.

Students may also walk into:
Dato Kho Hui Meng Career Centre
SMU Administration Building
81 Victoria Street #07-00
Singapore 188065