Why should I pay to intern?
You may ask "Why would I pay International Internships so that I can work for somebody else abroad?" Well, the answer is multi-faceted. First of all, the price that you pay to International Internships for your program covers the customized internship placement. This placement service allows us to directly contact local employers in companies and organizations throughout our extensive networks and contacts to find the ideal internship for you- something that even if you tried to undertake yourself may take months and months without even having connected into the right local networks. Secondly, for most programs the price you pay covers the cost of your housing during the entire duration of your program. This way you don't have the trouble of searching for short-term housing in a foreign country and running into all sorts of red tape in the process. Our on-site coordinators live in the same area in which you will, so they know the housing arrangements very well. Oaur application support, pre-departure assistance, local support contacts, and on-site orientation are all inclusions under our programs and services that will make the process and your transition abroad as smooth as possible.
As for answering the question "Why don't most of the internships themselves pay or offer stipends?" It is a pretty general norm across the board: foreign companies are willing to participate in work exchange programs primarily to internationalize their workforce and gain exposure to a foreign intern's special skill set. While this doesn't mean that you won't be directly contributing to the output of the company or organization, it is more of a mutual learning experience for the intern and the host. Because the nature of the internship is academic and in generally non-applied fields such as arts, social sciences, and general business, your experience may not be sufficient to constitute a salaried employee. Different from a typical low skill level, paying job as a temp or server, you are getting the experience of someone with similar or higher credentials. This way you are learning directly from your internship, and instead of receiving a monetary return you have augmented your confidence, professional experience and intercultural competencies.
Also, if you can imagine, government regulations for companies and organizations often prohibit paying foreigners, as in many places unemployment and underemployment are a constant. To allow foreigners to slip in and take locals' jobs is generally not permitted, and your visa and documentation allowing your stay in the foreign country may be arranged under a student or educational purpose, thus prohibiting any significant income. That said, you will benefit by learning from first-hand experience through the company or organization, have the chance to add input and productivity of your own, and establish relations and contacts with people in your field of interest.