Due to heightened concerns about student health and safety we are immediately suspending internship placements, volunteer work, and service-learning projects in health care facilities at all USAC program sites for the remainder of the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 academic terms. We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision regarding the availability of these placements during the Fall 2020 semester in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please contact the USAC internship team at email@example.com.
USAC internships provide an excellent opportunity for students to enrich their study abroad experience through a structured work or field placement related to their academic program of study. With the guidance of a professional supervisor and the oversight and support of an on-site internship coordinator, students will gain valuable hands-on experience; allowing them to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to a professional work environment, to gain insight into the fundamental methods and practices of a chosen career field, to develop professional competencies, and to begin building a network of professional contacts. Students will not only gain practical skills and knowledge through their participation but will also improve their intercultural communication and language abilities through their immersion in the workplace culture of the host country.
General Skills-Based Internships
General skills-based internship placements are suitable for students seeking an entry-level work experience in a broad career field. These placements do not require prior experience or specialized skills and knowledge, and are intended to provide students with a better of understanding of the field, emphasizing intercultural communication and the development of professional skills applicable to a wide variety of professional environments. The majority of USAC internship placements are comprised of this type.
Discipline-specific internship placements are suitable for advanced students seeking an in-depth professional experience in a specialized career field. These placements do require prior experience and assume students will possess requisite skills and knowledge of the field, and are intended to provide students with the opportunity to further develop these skills and knowledge through applied practice. There are limited placements of this type, which may have stricter eligibility requirements, including, but not limited to, advanced language proficiency, specialized skills or academic training, and higher GPA requirements. Additionally, these placements may require a separate application.
Research internships are project-based placements suitable for students in the sciences or other research-based fields seeking to develop knowledge in research methodology and practice. Entry-level placements are intended for students without prior lab or research experience. Students will work under the close supervision of the site supervisor and will be introduced to essential aspects of research theory and practice. Advanced placements are intended for students with prior lab or research experience. Advanced students will work under the supervision of a site supervisor but may be assigned tasks to complete autonomously. Advanced students are expected to contribute to the written work of the project. There are limited placements of this type, which may have stricter eligibility requirements, including, but not limited to, advanced language proficiency, specialized skills or academic training, and higher GPA requirements.
Volunteer and Community Service (non-credit)
Volunteer and community service opportunities are non-academic experiences suitable for all students. These positions require no prior experience or specialized skills or knowledge and do not require a significant commitment of time. While volunteer opportunities are not for credit, they provide a wonderful opportunity for students to engage with the local community in meaningful ways, to develop intercultural communication and language skills, and to enhance their learning experience abroad in a less formal manner. For more information on volunteer opportunities please visit the Volunteer and Community Service page.
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Junior standing (at time of internship)
- Foreign language proficiency (see program details)*
- Relevant academic experience
- Enrollment in a USAC study abroad program
*Local language proficiency is not required for all placements; however, it may determine the placements for which a student qualifies. Placements range from beginner to advanced language abilities, and vary across program sites.
Internship placements are available during the Fall and Spring semesters. Summer internships are available at select program sites and require participation in both summer sessions unless otherwise specified.
Internships are optional and included in USAC program fees. Students will be responsible for a $200 fee, which will be refunded upon completion of the internship. If a student is unable to complete their scheduled internship hours, credit will not be awarded and the $200 internship fee will not be refunded. Please note that internships require a significant commitment of time and effort.
Credits and Hours:
USAC students may earn 1-3 internship credits during semester terms. Due to the compressed nature of summer terms, students earn 1-2 credits over the course of both summer sessions, unless otherwise specified. Each credit earned requires 45 internship hours.
Examples of work hours for semester internships:
- 3 credits = 135 hours (approximately 9-10 hours per week)
- 2 credits = 90 hours (approximately 6-7 hours per week)
- 1 credit = 45 hours (approximately 3-4 hours per week)
Examples of work hours for summer internships:
- 2 credits = 90 hours (approximately 11-12 hours per week)
- 1 credit = 45 hours (approximately 5-6 hours per week)
Internship hours may not conflict with the student's USAC course schedule and internship credits do not count toward the minimum credit requirement.
Students will maintain a weekly log of hours worked and activities performed, meet periodically with the Resident Director or Internship Coordinator throughout the term, and submit a mid-term and final summative and reflective essay.
Students are responsible for transportation to and from the internship placement site.
To apply for an internship placement, students must complete the Internship Application (available in their student Gateway account) and submit a copy of their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students meeting all eligibility requirements will be preapproved to participate in a USAC internship.
Final approval and confirmation of placement take place once the student arrives at the program site. Placement with a specific internship provider cannot be guaranteed, but if all eligibility requirements are met, students are guaranteed a placement in the career field specified in their application. Individual placements will be determined by the student’s application, supporting materials, and an interview with the on-site Resident Director and internship sponsor.
Applications for 3-credit internships must be submitted by the program application deadline. 1-2 credit internship applications must be submitted 60 days prior to program start unless otherwise specified (see program calendars for specific dates). Internship credits will not be added to your final course registration until the application and accompanying materials have been received by USAC. You will be notified when your internship materials have been processed or if there is a problem with your eligibility.
Upon arrival, USAC staff will work with students to confirm internship placements and finalize schedules.
Internships are currently offered in the following programs:
- Brazil: Florianópolis (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Chile: Santiago (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- China: Chengdu (Fall and Spring)
- China: Shanghai (Fall and Spring)
- Costa Rica: Heredia (Fall and Spring)
- Costa Rica: Puntarenas (Fall and Spring)
- Costa Rica: San Ramón (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Czech Republic: Prague (Fall and Spring)
- France: Lyon (Fall and Spring)
- France: Pau (Spring only)
- Germany: Lüneburg (Fall and Spring)
- Italy: Reggio Emilia (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Italy: Torino (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Italy: Verona (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Italy: Viterbo (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Spain: Alicante (Fall and Spring)
- Spain: Bilbao (Fall and Spring)
- Spain: Madrid (Fall and Spring)
- Spain: San Sebastián (Fall and Spring)
- Spain: Valencia (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Thailand: Chiang Mai (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Thailand: Khon Kaen (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
- Uruguay: Montevideo (Fall and Spring)
Host University-Arranged Internships
These are organized and evaluated by the Host University and will be credited on the host university transcript in the local grading system. If you are interested in a Host University-arranged internship, you will indicate your interest during the course registration process. Internships are currently offered on the following programs:
If you have further questions, please contact the USAC Enrollment Department: email@example.com.