Internships Abroad

What is an Internship Abroad?

All academic internship placements abroad are unpaid and provide you with an experience you likely could not find on on your own. Interning Abroad allows you to experience another country culturally, academically, and professionally. No matter which of the three internship program types you choose, all programs are run by a provider organization that specializes in making internship placements abroad. Here are the three ways to Intern Abroad: 

GVSU Approved Internships

Register for the GVSU 490 internship course in your major and then gain the work experience overseas!

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External Internships

If the GVSU Internship Programs don't fit what you're looking for, external providers offer programs in more destinations and for more majors. 

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Study + Internship Combo

This option is best for students looking to complete courses abroad and gain some work experience. 

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What is the difference between these 3 Internship types?


  • These programs have all been carefully reviewed by GVSU's International Internship Review Committee (IIRC) and meet all our standards for safety, support, and --most importantly-- quality placements.
  • We show our confidence in these programs by signing affiliation agreements, which in turn gives GVSU students access to discounts on the program fees.
  • Most students going on a GVSU Approved program register for GVSU credit (typically a 490 level course).
  • For some majors, students are required to take the 490 course at GVSU and cannot transfer the credits from another university in order to fulfil the 490 requirement of that academic program. For example: Computer Science, Exercise Science, Engineering, and Nursing do not allow students to complete their 490 course requirement through transfer credit so those students will choose a GVSU Approved Internship program.  


  • In many cases, these programs are chosen over GVSU Approved programs because students take an internship course through the provider and transfer the credit back to GVSU, which is more affordable option than registering for GVSU credit.
  • Another main reason students choose and External Internship program is if they would like to intern in a particular lcoation that is not among the GVSU Approved options. 


  • These programs are a best fit for students whose primary goal is to complete general education or major-specific courses while abroad and would like to add on an internship experience. 

Virtual Internships Abroad

A virtual internships might be what you're looking for! Visit the Virtual Internship Abroad page to learn about some of the many options you have. Some of the highlights of interning abroad remotely are:

  • more affordable
  • flexible schedule
  • career exploration
  • international work experience

Steps to Interning Abroad

STEP 1: Review Programs

When looking at all the Programs, think about what you want and need out of the experience.

  • Looking for a particular destination?
  • What kind of career experience are you looking for?
  • How long do you want to be away?
  • Does your major allow transfer credit or do you need to register for GVSU credits?
  • Have you completed your Issues and Global Perspectives general education requirements?

General Internship Abroad expectations:
​​​​​​​Internships are unpaid, but for credit. Placements in particular companies are rarely possible (Dior, Deutsch Bank, Audi, Guinness, UN, etc). Interns typically work 40 hour weeks. The Program Fee across program types usually includes the involved work of finding your custom placement, housing, and on-site support. Program fees do not typically include passport fees, comprehensive health insurance, flights, or meals. 

Study Abroad Photo

STEP 2: Top Picks & PIC

Knowing your goals, your academic department's requirements, and personal interests, pick 2-3 programs that best suit you.

Meet with a Peer Adviser to learn more about the placement process, applications, housing, unique program features, and much more.


Study Abroad Photo

STEP 3: Academics

Each academic department does things differently. Most departments have a designated Faculty member who oversees internships. Meet with this person to ask some key questions:

  • How many contact hours are required by the department?
  • Is transfer credit accepted or does the department only approve GVSU internship credits?
  • Which GVSU course would I register for in order to get credit for the experience? ex. HTM 290, BUS 490, MOV 399, etc
  • What does the assessment for GVSU credit include? Journals, research, reflection paper, etc.


Look up your major's designated internship Faculty member: Internship Contacts.

Study Abroad Photo

STEP 4: Funding

Interning abroad isn't always cheap. Make sure to look into scholarships, meet with Financial Aid, and start saving for those delicious meals and souvenirs!

For GVSU Internship Programs, look into our short-listed opportunities here


STEP 5: Apply

Once you've decided which program is the best fit for you, get that application started!

All students must have an accepted OASIS application on file before interning abroad. Consult with the Padnos International Center if you are unsure which OASIS application type is appropriate for your internship.

Please note that after you are accepted on OASIS, you will have a second application to complete for your program provider unless you are doing a GVSU Internship with EUSA.

Study Abroad Photo

STEP 6: Preparations

When working with any internship provider (GVSU or External) you will need to provide a resume and be able to describe the experience you're looking for and why you're interested in interning abroad.

We highly recommend visiting GVSU's Career Center to help you prepare your Resume and Interview Skills. 

Ultimately, the decisions to intern abroad is yours, so asking yourself what you want out of a professional experience is especially important. 

Some things to consider:

  • Do you want to work for a large or a small company?
  • Are you looking for an observational or hands-on experience?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What prior experience do you already have?
  • What are you looking to gain from this professional experiences?
  • What other interests do you have that might compliment your academics? Sports, hobbies, crafts, skills, etc.

We highly recommend visiting GVSU's Career Center to help you prepare your Resume and Interview Skills. 


Page last modified June 21, 2021