Completing an international internship is a great way to obtain hands-on global work experience while earning academic credit. Western Michigan University's study abroad staff can assist you in identifying and applying for overseas internship opportunities.
- Learn about locations
- Earn credit for internships
- Browse WMU-approved internship providers
- Fund your internship
Western Michigan University students may intern in a variety of countries. While placements in countries where English is not the native language are available, students should be advised that placement options will be more limited in these locations. Frequent locations selected by students are highlighted on the map below.
WMU's Study Abroad office only supports internships abroad undertaken for academic credit and will assist students seeking credit through WMU.
Academic credit for an internship abroad can be assigned either by WMU study abroad (when credits are offered on a transcript) or by a WMU faculty member:
- Credits on a transcript: Many study abroad providers offer internships throughout the year that can be assigned credit through a school of record. Before applying for an internship through a study abroad provider, applicants must discuss their internship requirements with an advisor to ensure their international project meets all stated expectations. Receiving approval for the academic credits is obtained via the course approval form issued by WMU study abroad. Once the transcript is received, a study abroad specialist will post the assigned grade(s) to the student's WMU transcript in accordance with the documented approvals. In this scenario, students are only charged an enrollment fee and the cost of health insurance by WMU Study Abroad. All other expenses are paid directly to the selected study abroad provider.
- Under the supervision of a WMU faculty member: This is the most suitable option for students completing an internship arranged directly with an employer. Students should check with department chairs, faculty advisors or advising staff to determine if their department has a course number that can be used to recognize internship work abroad (note: sometimes this is the department's independent study course). The instructor of record for the corresponding course will be responsible for determining the method of evaluation, assessing the student’s work, and assigning a final grade for the internship. Applicants will document the department's agreement to supervise, evaluate and award credit for the internship abroad during the online application process. When academic credit is approved through a WMU department, study abroad staff will review security and safety issues with the student, as well as the internship assignment. The Haenicke Institute for Global Education will provide applicants with a contract template clarifying the relationship between them, the overseas employer and WMU when the applicant is arranging an internship directly with an employer. This contract is mandatory and will be signed by the study abroad director on behalf of WMU.
University policy requires all students interning abroad to register with the Study Abroad office prior to leaving campus, which ensures the applicant will be covered under the University’s risk-management procedures, including emergency medical and security insurance. WMU credit will not be awarded for internships conducted overseas that are not approved prior to the start date.
For more information, call (269) 387-5890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are encouraged to begin by viewing the internships provided by:
Other providers that may be considered include:
- American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) (Unique locations: semester placements in Costa Rica and Brazil for students with advanced language skills)
- American Scandinavian Foundation
- Arcadia University (Unique disciplines: museum studies and parliamentary placements)
- Center for International Studies Abroad (CIS) (Unique locations: Argentina, Ecuador, Thailand)
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
- CRCC Asia (Leader in China)
- Cross-Cultural Solutions (Does not issue transcripts)
- Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) (Unique location: Prague)
- Cultural Vistas (Funded internship programs for competitive applicants)
- Foundation for Sustainable Development (Does not issue transcripts)
- Institute for Study Abroad—Butler University
- International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) (Funded internships in STEM fields)
- International Cooperative Education
- Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)
- The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)
- U.S. Department of State
Depending on the internship, applicants may be eligible for external funding to help support expenses incurred during their abroad. Students are encouraged to view our scholarship page, browse external resources, speak with their program provider about financial support, and discuss the use of WMU financial aid with their Study Abroad Specialist.