What is an International Internship?

What is an International Internship?

An international internship is a work experience located outside of the United States.  The work is usually with a company, government, or non-government entity, a research group or institute, or some other organization allowing hands-on experience in a student’s major area of educational concentration or career interest.  International internships:

  • Usually are full-time placements for a matter of weeks to about 18 months.  Often, internships occur during the summer or for one semester.
  • Frequently do not include credit hours toward graduation unless the student arranges an independent study with a U-M faculty member.  Compensation is negotiated between the student and the employer.

Students who undertake international internships should work with the Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC) to set specific learning goals and monitor progress as the internship advances. Make sure to schedule an appointment with the ECRC by calling 734-647-7160 or e-mailing: ecrc-info@umich.edu.

What is the value of an international Internship?

Hannah Jones El Porvenir Nicaragua 2014
Hannah Jones, El Porvenir in Nicaragua 2014
  • Intercultural Awareness: Engineering careers are becoming increasingly international in their scope and areas of responsibility.  Participating in a work abroad experience builds the intercultural awareness needed for professional success – no matter where you work!
  • Cross-Cultural Competencies: According to a RAND Corporation and National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, employers cited cross-cultural competencies as one of the four major sets of criteria they use when hiring graduates for a global job market.
  • Language Skills: An international internship allows you to greatly enhance your language skills.
  • Independence & Flexibility: Students who incorporate international experience into their education develop independence and flexibility.
  • Professional Experience: An international internship allows you to gain professional experience in your field of interest and test whether this area makes sense as a long-term career choice.
  • Building a Network of Contacts: They can open significant opportunities to build a network of contacts with industry professionals, peers, advisors, and other who can be of help throughout your career.
  • Personal Enrichment: Finally, an international internship can provide great opportunities for personal enrichment, travel, and fun!