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Frequently Asked Questions: Global Perspectives Virtual Internships

Since you no longer have to travel across the world to participate in an international internship, you may be wondering what a virtual internship is like, what you can expect working with an international company and why you should participate in USAC's program.

We've compiled some FAQs to aid in your success. If you have further questions not answered here, please contact us.

How does a virtual internship work?

USAC Global Perspectives virtual internships allow students to gain valuable career experience while working remotely for an internationally-based company. Once the application process is complete, you will interview with our on-site staff to determine the right internship placement for you. Students who participate in a virtual internship will be placed with an organization or business located in one of USAC’s Specialty program locations in your field of choice. You will be in regular contact with the Resident Director (USAC’s staff member that lives in the internship host location) and your placement supervisor who will introduce you to your internship organization, its mission, and most importantly, the work they do.

Virtual internships include a 15-hour seminar that will help you make sense of your internship and navigate the cross-cultural landscape of the workplace. Each internship is different, so it’s important to stay in contact with your internship leader about responsibilities and expectations, as well as any questions you have throughout your internship.

Do I have to meet a certain language requirement to apply for a virtual internship?

Placements in Spanish speaking countries and all translation positions have language requirements. Other internships do not have language requirements, but some proficiency is encouraged.

Eligibility requirements for virtual internships include:

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of application
  • Have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a sophomore or higher at the start of the internship
  • A personal interview is required

Can I combine my internship with online courses?

Yes. With home university approval, you can enroll in online courses with USAC the same semester you participate in an internship. However, we recommend considering your workload and discussing options with an academic advisor to determine if both an internship and online courses fit in your academic schedule.

Does my home university study abroad office have to approve a virtual internship with USAC?

Some home universities will require approval for you to take online courses with USAC. USAC’s enrollment department will be in contact with your home university as part of the application process. We recommend that you also contact your study abroad office to inquire about any other steps or paperwork that need to be completed to participate in the Global Perspectives online program.

Benefits of Global Perspectives Virtual Internships

Why should I choose a virtual internship over a local opportunity?

USAC virtual internships introduce any student, anywhere, to the global workforce. The opportunity to learn from and network with professionals around the world cannot be replicated at home, and the international perspective you will gain through a virtual internship can make you stand out when job hunting.

How does a virtual internship substitute for in-person instruction?

While a virtual internship could never fully replace an in-person internship, we’re excited to be able to provide the opportunity for students to learn from and work with professionals in their field of choice around the world. Through a virtual internship you will gain resume-boosting career skills, an international perspective, and strengthen soft skills that employers value.

What skills can I gain from a virtual internship?

While each internship will have its own unique set of responsibilities and goals, participating in any virtual internship will teach you valuable skills and professional work habits that can be applied to any job. Beyond the obvious industry-relevant skills you’ll likely learn on the job, you will also develop some soft skills that employers value in an applicant. These include:

  • Time management
  • Ability to communicate across different environments (including various digital platforms) and through language barriers
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Independence and autonomy

The opportunity to work with international professionals in your field will expose you to industry trends, different perspectives, and global issues that you likely wouldn’t be exposed to at home, shaping you into a global citizen in and out of the office. Your virtual internship will also introduce you to new ways of thinking and help you create new work habits for a more efficient, workforce-ready you.

What are the global workshops?

A huge benefit of choosing to participate in a Global Perspective Program with USAC is the option to also participate in free global workshops. Participants from all over the U.S. will come together for a series of online career development panels on subjects like cross-cultural teamwork or pursuing an international career. Students can also participate in fun and interactive virtual workshops on topics such as Italian cooking, yoga in India, Latin dance, or Ghanaian art (topics vary by term). Stay tuned for more information. 

Virtual Internship Details

What fields do you offer virtual internships in?

USAC Global Perspectives virtual internships are offered in several popular career fields including:

    • Digital marketing and social media management
    • Business
    • Event planning
    • Electrical/Control Engineering
    • Translation
    • Social welfare/Social services
    • English language instruction
    • Journalism
    • Research/Grant-Writing
    • Health/Wellness

    See additional internship opportunities

    Note: Internship placements may vary by term and availability. While we try to work closely with each student to find the perfect placement for them, we cannot guarantee placement with a particular internship provider.

    How many credits will I receive for my internship?

    Each virtual internship is worth 3 credits.

    Who will I report to during my internship?

    Although the placement site will be in a different country, you will be in regular contact with the Resident Director and your placement supervisor who will introduce you to your internship organization and what they do. As part of the interview and placement process students, resident directors and internship supervisors will develop an internship contract that specifies the work to be completed and weekly work schedule.

    Will my credits transfer back to my home university?

    While credit from USAC programs is accepted by most U.S. universities, you’ll want to make sure to speak with your study abroad advisor and academic advisor to understand how credit from USAC online courses will apply towards your degree requirements.

    Are there paid internships available?

    USAC Global Perspectives virtual internships are only offered for academic credit. Participants will not be paid for their participation in the program.

    How to Be Successful in a Virtual Internship

    How many hours will I work for my internship?

    Interns will complete a minimum of 120 work hours remotely during U.S. working hours. Over the course of the semester, you can expect to dedicate 10 to12 hours per week towards your placement assignments. This format allows you to gain professional work experience, learn more about a future career field, and develop an appreciation for the workplace culture of your placement country.

    All internships include a 15-hour seminar in addition to the placement hours that will help you make sense of your internship experience and navigate the cross-cultural landscape of the workplace.

    What type of equipment/technology do I need?

    Virtual internship participants need an up-to-date computer with speakers, a microphone, and a camera as well as access to reliable internet service. Access to Microsoft Teams for Education and Office 365 will be provided for the duration of the semester.

    I’ve never participated in a virtual internship before. Do you have any tips?

    Absolutely. Not only will you have direct contact to a USAC Resident Director and your internship supervisor to answer any questions you have about your role and duties, you can also check out our USAC blog article, Guide to Virtual Internships – How to be Successful written by a past internship participant.

    Quick Details

    2020-21 Application Cycle

    Fall: Open

    Spring: Open

    2021-22 Application Cycle

    Opens December 1

    Eligibility

    Minimum GPA: 3.0

    Sophomore standing or higher

    Interview required

    Program Type

    Specialty Online

    Credits

    3 US credits