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I've been accepted to a trial period for an internship here in the US. The trial period would be a month long and they told me if they like me they're going to prolong the internship for another 2 months or so. At the same time, I got an offer to another internship abroad. However because I would require a working visa there, this would require them about 2-3 months to process.

My gut feeling tells me to accept this job offer (abroad) although I know that the company in the US has a better reputation. The problem with accepting the offer is that it means that I won't be able to prolong the trial period of the internship if it gives me a better opportunity and if I had promised the other company abroad that I would come in 2-3 months later. Knowing that I will accept this other opportunity, should I not proceed with the trial period that is being offered?

I feel like this trial period would also be a good chance for me to know if this city is a good fit for me (I've just moved here from another state), as well as an opportunity to learn from such a great company. Another problem that makes me hesitant is because by accepting the offer abroad, they would proceed on paying for my visa sponsorship so there's no backing out if they did this already.

Another option that I'm thinking of is asking to delay the start date of the abroad internship to 4 months later, so if I got offered to prolong the trial period to 2-3 months I would still be able to experience that. Would it be bad to inform the company that I would be on an internship in the US first? Would it be more appropriate if I tell them that I'm currently on another internship and would contact them in another month- 2 months if the opportunity is still available?

For your information: I'm in the US as a foreigner, but currently holds an EAD card which allows me to work here for around a year. I've lived in the country where the other internship is offered for a year before as a student.

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I would say that a trial period goes both ways. They might say "If we like you, we'll prolong the period", but what that really means is "If we like each other, we'll prolong the period".

If you find at the end of the month that prolonging the period isn't the best option for you, then you are entirely allowed to refuse the extension / new internship. Imho they can't expect you to clear out 3+ months of your time, just in case they might decide to let you stay for more than 1.

Now, given that you already know about this second offer, it might be nice to at least inform them that you're not sure you'll be able to have the internship extended by 2 or 3 more months due to circumstances.

(This answer relies on the idea that they offered you a 1-month trial intership with maybe an extension, not a 4-month internship with a 1-month probation period at the start.)

  • Hi Erik, thanks for the advice. So from my understanding, it would be a 1 month trial internship with a possible extension. So do you think I should accept the offer abroad for now? – Checkered123 Sep 29 '17 at 11:52
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    @TashaN. I cannot decide what you should or should not do - that's up to you. But as far as I'm concerned, it's totally fair of you to accept the abroad offer, knowing that you won't be able to extend your initial internship. So if that's what you want to do, that's what you can do. – Erik Sep 29 '17 at 11:55
  • Well said sir. You cannot make the OP's decision. – Mister Positive Sep 29 '17 at 12:00
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Mostly, the answer boils down to "we can't tell you what to do" since you'll have do decide what's more important to you, but I do have some thoughts to share.

Firstly, why are you doing an internship? Are there skills you're trying to learn, are you looking for an internship that will turn into a job down the line, are you simply trying to complete a school requirement in as pleasant a way as possible, or something else?

Secondly, when the time comes to decide, make a list of all the pro's an con's for each internship and lay them side-by-side. Include things like having to move, or the company being less prestigious. Compare the two on their merits and make an informed choice, then follow through.

What else you should consider will depend on why you're doing the internship. It might be that you should simply be happy with the internship you have. It might also be that you need to get a clearer picture of what the employer expects out of your internship and whether or not that matches your goals.

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