The 5 Best Countries to Intern Abroad in for Film Lovers

by Palwasha Khatri

Traveling isn’t all about shutting your brain off and taking a vacation. A unique and exciting way to avoid the typical brain-turning-into-mush side effects of a vacation is interning abroad. With an internship abroad, you get to visit a new location, gain international work experience, and brush up your resume to make it stand out in a job search. Internships abroad are available in almost every field. Inspired by this growing trend, as well as the universal love for summer blockbusters, here’s a list of places to intern abroad for movie buffs.

France

As the birthplace of film, France is an obvious destination for film lovers. Not only does the country host the world’s most prestigious film festival, Palme D’Or, it has also always been a popular destination for filming locations due to the variety of landscapes, from beautiful countryside scenes to the fascinating city of lights, Paris. The French government has been aiming to protect and support the local film industry despite the global downturn in cinema. Many iconic films of the 21st century such as The Artist, La Vie en Rose, and Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain have come out of France. Interning in France is the perfect way to experience all that the cinema of France has to offer for film enthusiasts. Internship opportunities can be found at the Cannes Film Festival, or even French film production companies such as EuropaCorp, Gaumont, and Pathé.

Mexico

If you’re looking to experience the excitement of a growing film industry, Mexico is the perfect place to intern abroad. During the Mexican Revolution, filmmakers began to document historical events of their country and since then the tradition of film in Mexico has been increasing. Mexico is currently home to Latin America’s most notable film festival – the Guadalajara International Film Festival. The Nuevo Cine Mexicano has been a great time for young and independent filmmakers to shine. Mexico has also introduced the world to some of the most prominent figures in film currently such as Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, directors of the Academy Award-nominated  El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Y Tu Mamá También, respectively. Interns in Mexico can find opportunities at the film festival, local film societies, or local production companies.

Italy

Italy is the country with the most Academy Awards won in the Best Foreign Language Film category, making it a choice destination for movie buffs. The cinema of Italy has a long history, and has gone through many phases. Interning in Italy will open your eyes to the past, present, and future of Italian cinema, as well as the worldwide film industry in general. In the past, Italy has started many film movements such as avant-garde, and the Spaghetti Western. The dedication to film is clear in Italy, as in the 1930s, the town Cinecittà was built exclusively for film production with theaters, technical services, and even a cinematography school. Many Italian and international films of the past and present have been produced and filmed in Cinecittà, such as La Dolce Vita, Satyricon, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Gangs of New York. While interning in Italy, you can find opportunities at the Venice International Film Festival, on the set of films, or any other places you are interested in.

South Korea

South Korea is one of the few countries where domestic films are more viewed than imported films. The South Korean government has placed quotas on the number of international films allowed to play in theaters. Because of this unique arrangement, South Korea makes for a great place to learn about encouraging local film production. Since the late 1990s, South Korean films have been receiving international acclaim at film festivals and award shows. Due to their success and the Korean Wave because of which Korean culture has come into international visibility, many South Korean films have been acquired by international production companies for remakes. When you intern in South Korea, you will be able to experience the film industry that brought originals such as Oldboy, My Sassy Girl, and A Tale of Two Sisters. Internships in South Korea can be found at the Busan International Film Festival (the largest in Asia), media outlets, and local production companies.

New Zealand

It’s not hard to understand why New Zealand is such a popular destination for filmmakers with its breathtaking and dramatic landscapes. Many famous films were shot and co-produced in New Zealand, including The Lord of The Rings, The Piano, Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Last Samurai. As an intern in New Zealand, you will be able to visit one of the most beautiful nations in the world, as well as get some hands-on experience in the industry. Currently, the film industry of New Zealand itself is relatively small. However, the country’s popularity as a filming location has brought many international production companies to New Zealand, giving many people aspiring to work in film huge job opportunities. Internships in New Zealand can be found at the New Zealand International Film Festival, local special effects companies, or international production companies.

We may have gotten into the habit of experiencing the world from the comfort of a plush movie theater seat, but there’s no reason to accept it as a substitute for seeing, breathing, smelling, tasting, and hearing all the world has to offer. Taking an internship abroad is a growing trend for travellers of all ages, and combining it with a love for movies is a great way to guarantee a fun time. Think about your favorite movie, where does it inspire you to travel?

Palwasha Khatri is a travel and film enthusiast pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Palwasha currently works for the Intern Abroad team at GoOverseas, the best place online to find listings and reviews of intern abroad, teach abroad, study abroad, and volunteer abroad programs.