Securing a Global Internship

Dreama Johnson

While time on Grounds sows the seeds of fruitful experiences, widening one’s perspective in the form of an international experience can be equally valuable. Every season, thousands of UVA students travel abroad in order to gain valuable experience in the form of internships, jobs, research, and study abroad programming. Navigating this feat can be tricky, but thanks to Global Week, the UVA Career Center and Education Abroad with ISO has de-mystified the process.

First, there are two main types of internships: either an academic internship program or an internship you pursue independently. It is crucial that you take the time to do your research into these internships, and many alumni say the more time you put into research, the more fruitful the internship will be. Internship programs have been established by UVA and are available on the Global Internships page. You also have the opportunity to pursue your own internship opportunity, which can be assisted by resources that UVA pays for such as GoinGlobal and Idealist, which can help match you with internships. Depending on your financial flexibility, you might also want to consider third party providers who can help match you. When deciding between these two types of internships, it is important to consider independence level and the amount of credit UVA will provide you.

Once you have decided on your opportunity, the UVA Career Center also has a myriad of resources on their page Funding your Internship to help you pay for your experience. Once you travel abroad, students suggest that you take the time to immerse yourself into the culture in order to feel like a local. Given the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 virus, many international internships are virtual. However, alumni of these virtual programs assert that the most valuable part of their experiences were the connections they made. If travel is limited, we encourage doing research in order to become as familiar with the culture as possible. Before your trip abroad, alumni also recommend taking classes about the area or in the language to help with the adjustment.

If you would like to learn more from students who have experienced both virtual and in-person study abroad experiences please watch, “Securing a Global Internship Panel.” No matter where your road takes you, UVA Education Abroad and the UVA Career Center are here to help take those steps with you.