Many students at UVA have an interest in interning or working abroad and a desire to learn about international career-related resources.
3 tips to help you begin:
- Start exploring early. Most searches begin at least several months prior to departure.
- Network early and often. Express your interest to faculty, alumni, peers (especially our international students), family members, friends of the family, etc. You never know who might have a helpful contact overseas.
- Make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your ideas and plan.
If you have thought about embarking on an overseas experience, learn more about a variety of resources:
PATHWAYS TO GAINING INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
UVA Global Internships Office
The Global Internships Office posts a variety of summer internship opportunities in Handshake in the fall semester, with most deadlines taking place in December.
UVA academic internship programs
Some internship opportunities are affiliated with academic credit and are part of a study abroad program. Learn more from the Office of Engineering International Programs or UVA Education Abroad.
Non-UVA fee-based placement organizations
A variety of companies offer custom international placements. Fees, inclusions, locations, and duties vary by company.
Pursue an opportunity independently through networking and developing a search strategy
Occasionally, an opportunity to intern, work, or volunteer overseas presents itself when you share your interests with people who have global connections. Speak with others who have international experience or who have friends and colleagues that do. Apply to organizations that may already provide international opportunities, such as government agencies, NGOs, and US multinational companies. Consider meeting with a career advisor if you would like to develop an independent search strategy.
And, both the School of Engineering and the University provide international programs and resources for you to explore on Grounds or around the world.
UVA Engineering Office of International Programs
Engineers Going Global
UVA Global: Visit the “Activities on Grounds” section
International Studies Office: Education Abroad
UVA Summer Language Institute
SAMPLE INTERNSHIPS, RESEARCH, AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Finding an internship, volunteer, or work abroad position can be a challenging, detailed process. The resources listed below are intended to introduce you to some of the existing programs and options available. We encourage you to speak with professors, family, friends, and alumni, in addition to conducting your own searches to expand your list of opportunities.
Note: Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this site, the Center for Engineering Career Development (CECD) does not and cannot guarantee its completeness or accuracy. Information is subject to change and users should therefore confirm all information related to programs and resources with the appropriate contact. Links to external websites are provided for convenience only. CECD has no control over their content. The existence of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by CECD and users are advised to exercise the same caution they would normally apply in visiting any unknown web site.
Internship programs and/or fee-based organizations
IAESTE United States
CDS International/Cultural Vistas
Experiential Learning International
GoAbroad.com: Intern Abroad
GoOverseas.com: Intern Abroad
RISE provides research internships to students pursuing the sciences or engineering at universities or research institutions in Germany.
The Pasteur Foundation Summer Internship Program offers a research internship to those with a strong interest in biosciences and biomedical research.
The NanoJapan Program offers 1st and 2nd year undergraduates research-based summer internships with Japanese research institutions focusing on nanotechnology research.
Volunteer Programs and Resources
The resources below can help you start exploring volunteer abroad opportunities. Please note that many organizations charge a fee to help cover volunteers' accommodation, meals, and project costs. Some offer scholarships to help offset the cost.
Idealist lists non-profit jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities, searchable by geographic location.
Volunteers for Peace places volunteers in positions around the globe.
United Planet connects volunteers to short or long-term projects in over 40 countries.
You can search for a variety of programs on both GoAbroad.com: Volunteer Abroad and GoOverseas.com: Volunteer Abroad.
GoinGlobal offers country-specific career information and cultural advice. Access it for free through the Resources section of Handshake.
BUNAC provides assistance in obtaining work permits within several countries.
The Work Holiday Programme in Singapore allows students and recent graduates to apply for a work permit.
Transitions Abroad offers a guide to travel, work, study, and living abroad.
FINANCING YOUR INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
In the early stages of researching international opportunities, many create a travel budget and seek avenues for funding the experience.
To enjoy an experience abroad, you may need to allocate funds to round trip transportation, program fees, academic credit, housing, meals, travel documents, insurance, and more. The following scholarships and grants may help offset some of the associated costs.
Funding opportunities at UVA
Opportunities and resources outside of the University community
- The Fund for Education Abroad offers scholarships and support to students who are underrepresented in study abroad programs.
- If you are working with a program provider, many offer partial scholarships to help offset a portion of the registration and participation costs. Ask providers for details if you do not easily find this information on their site.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE TAKING ON AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
Once students decide to pursue an international internship, research or volunteer experience, or job, they often spend countless hours excitedly exploring potential opportunities. Be sure you also make time to prepare for an international experience! Research potential destinations, visas, health and safety advice, and other important topics. If you participate in a UVA-affiliated program, you might also be required to attend pre-departure orientations or other trainings.
Designed for students
The State Department site offers advice on health, safety, travel documents, insurance, smart travel, and more.
State Department Travel Advice
Additional Health and Safety Advice
- Apply for or renew a US passport
- Learn if you will need a visa (work or otherwise) for your country of interest – search for your destination country here and then visit the website for their embassy in the U.S. for more information
Adjusting to changes in environment and culture