How to Find an Internship

International Internships

Studying abroad is a great way to gain the international experience that can improve your marketability for your future job search. Adding a work experience, such as an internship, to your time abroad can further prove to employers that you understand the global work environment. This guide is designed to assist you in making plan for an international work experience.

In addition to using the information provided by Career & Leadership Development, students are advised to visit the Center for Global Education (Hyland Hall, Suite 1227) for advising on educational opportunities abroad.

One Year BEFORE You Want to Start an Internship

  • Ask yourself the following questions about working abroad:
    • Why do I want an international internship? To live and work abroad, or to gain specific career-related work experience?
    • If I am looking to work abroad in a non-English speaking country, do I have a strong grasp of the country’s primary language?
    • Am I prepared to meet the challenges of an international work experience?
  •  Depending on your answers to the questions above, consider the following:
    • If you are simply looking to live and work abroad, work abroad opportunities other than an internship might be easier to obtain or might be less expensive. These opportunities include short-term paid work abroad programs, teaching English abroad, or volunteering abroad.

      Overview of the types of work abroad programs (University of Michigan’s International Center)

    • If you want to gain specific career-related work experience, then decide what you want to learn/gain from an international internship experience.
    • If you are looking to work in a country where English is not the primary language, consider enrolling in language training.
  • Identify what you are looking for in an internship site and/or opportunity, then prioritize your preferences.



Your Preferences


Geographic Location *



Pay **



Academic Credit



Time Commitment




Fall           Spring           Summer




* Many internships related to international careers, especially those with international organizations, are actually located in the U.S. (ex. Washington D.C. or New York).
** Paid internships are somewhat rare abroad and are available mainly in fields such as business and engineering.

Do Your Research

  • If you would like to do a Study Abroad Internship, talk with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Education (Hyland Hall, Suite 1227)
  • If you are looking to participate in a program NOT sponsored by or affiliated with UW-Whitewater or the UW System, keep the following points in mind:
    • Check whether or not the program is affiliated with an organization or university.
    • Request contact information of past participants in programs you’re considering and contact them with questions about the program and their experiences.
    • Check with the Better Business Bureau for information on the organizations.

Take Care of the Details

  • Prepare a draft of your resume and have it reviewed by the Internship Coordinator in Career & Leadership Development.
  • Application materials will vary from country to country and from company to company. Again, do your research. Possibly research resume advice for the country you will be interning in using a resource such as Going Global.
    • When you correspond with organizations outside of the U.S., send your materials in the country’s primary language and a second set in English. Or if you contact them directly, you can ask which form they would prefer to receive.
  • Application deadlines will also vary, but study abroad internships usually have application deadlines the semester before the term of the internship. Keep in mind that some summer internships have applications in the fall.
  • Figure out the type of visa you need (work, travel, training, student) and how to obtain it. Plan ahead for this process! Again, talk with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Education for assistance.

Have a Successful Experience

  • Be proactive! Develop goals for your experience and set up a work plan with your supervisor.
  • If language acquisition is a goal of yours, make this clear to your supervisor from the start.
  • Let your supervisor know upfront of any needs for time off or of your travel plans.
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in other parts of the organization.