Types of Internship Programs

U-M Affiliated Abroad Internship Programs

The University of Michigan sponsors several international internship opportunities for students. See U-MBased Programs for more information. Students not in LSA and graduate students should contact advisors or faculty in their concentration department or school for any opportunities offered through the University such as the following:

Study Abroad Internships

Many study abroad programs offer internships as an integral part of the program. For undergraduates these are the most easily available options and offer the largest range of choices. Advantages of study-abroad internships include credit, potential availability of financial aid, and a wide variety of locations and subjects offered. Disadvantages are cost and sometimes unpredictability of placement. Hundreds of internship programs are offered through colleges, universities, and study abroad providers and can be found using web sites such as IIEPassport and GoAbroad.com.

  • For U-M undergraduates:
    • Center for Global and Intercultural Study (search programs using M-Compass and consult with advisors about the availability of internships)
  • For U-M graduate students:
    • Consult with advisors in graduate program for information about official exchanges.

Internship Exchange/ Work Permit Program

There are a few reciprocal exchange programs that offer paying paid internships and can provide work permits. Refer to Work Placement Programs for more details. See Work Permit Visas for more information about how to obtain a work permit for a self-found internship.

Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer abroad programs offer placements abroad working for social causes in less developed countries. Time commitment ranges from two weeks to two years. For further information see Volunteer/Service.

Direct Internships with International Organizations

Direct internship information is categorized by industry below. Some industries and organizations have official internship programs while others do not. Those who do not have formal programs will often respond positively to applications from individuals who propose their own internship.

  • GOVERNMENT. The U.S. Department of State and other federal agencies offer internships for undergraduates and graduate students during the summer or either semester, located overseas and in the U.S. These are usually unpaid. Application is competitive. See our Field Specific Opportunities: Government page for more information information including application deadlines, which tend to be relatively early.
  • MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. These are organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and many more, in which governments of multiple nations are represented. Internships with international organizations tend to be unpaid and highly competitive, and often are reserved for graduate students. See our page- Getting an Internship with the United Nations. Note that many study abroad-internship programs located in cities such as Geneva, Berlin, Brussels, London, and Strasbourg offer undergraduate internship placements with international organizations.
  • CORPORATIONS. In most cases students will need to approach overseas branches directly, since few corporations offer formal internship abroad programs. Many U.S. students go through internship placement programs such as those listed in the Work Placement Program section. Some students find internships independently, using Work Permit programs. Smaller firms are more likely to consider internship applications than large, well-known firms. Most internships with private industry pay enough to cover basic expenses. For those who wish to receive academic credit, many study-internship programs offer unpaid placements in business, finance, and other private sector industries.
  • NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (NGO). NGOs include everything from human-rights watchdogs such as Amnesty International, to relief organizations such as CARE, to organizations that support international educational exchange such as the Institute of International Education. They typically welcome interns in their U.S.-based offices and sometimes at overseas offices; overseas internships tend to be for graduate students. To find NGO programs, see Volunteer/Service.
  • EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. Teachers are needed worldwide. Positions generally fall into two categories: Teaching English as a Foreign Language, for which no other credential than a bachelor's degree is usually needed, and Teaching K-12 in overseas schools taught in English, for which teaching certification is usually required. Most teaching positions require a commitment of at least one academic year. Teaching at the university level nearly always requires an advanced degree. See Teach Abroad for more information.

Virtual Internships

We have an entire page dedicated to virtual internships! See here for more information.