External & Fee-Based Internships

Start Your Search

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General Search Resources

  • GoinGlobal (UW subscription)
    You can access the full version through the International Internship Database using the link in the “External Search” drop-down menu at the top of the page after you log in. It has Country Guides to learn more about interning and working abroad as well as a job and internship database.
  • JobTeaser
    The largest European career portal for students.
  • GlobalEdge at MSU International Internship Directory
    A directory hosted by Michigan State University that includes fee-based internship programs, direct apply corporate internships, and research opportunities.

NGOs, Volunteering & Service


Tips and Strategies

  • Pay close attention to the requirements of internship positions. Some may not be open to students from abroad, or may require that you already have work authorization in the country.
  • Every country has different visa requirements for internships. It may be easier or harder to obtain the appropriate permissions for an internship in certain countries. Speaking with an Intern Abroad Advisor about your interests can help you narrow your search to countries and fields where an international internship is possible.
  • Networking can help you identify internship opportunities abroad. Let your professors, family members, and friends know that you are interested in an international internship, and see if they have suggestions. Having a reference or personal connection to a researcher or company abroad can make a big difference in their consideration and willingness to host an intern. Identifying UW alumni living or working abroad can be another great point of connection.
  • If you’re interested in working at a company abroad, visit their website and look for a “Careers” section. They may already have an internship program that you can apply for directly. This is especially true for large multinational corporations.
  • Small businesses and start-ups may not have an established internship program. In this case, it can be appropriate to reach out over email to inquire about the possibility of interning with the organization. Make sure to tailor your email to the organization and be clear about what you’re asking.

Fee-based Programs

A fee-based internship placement program helps to match you to an internship opportunity in your field in the location of your choice. They charge a fee for the services they provide you in this process. The resources below will give you some things to keep in mind and ask when comparing programs and making a selection that works best for you.

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Unlike applying directly to an internship position, you are applying to a program in a specific location and then being matched with your internship. If you are set on being in a specific country this can be ideal, but you do need to be ready to wait on the internship placement and be comfortable with some ambiguity until it is finalized.

Depending on the program and your field of interest you may get a placement fairly early, or you may not get final details until right before (or right after) you arrive.

What's Provided

Some programs may include (or have optional add-ons) of local excursions, networking events, language classes, or other academic options. This is an important comparison point, depending on your interest in these extras.


In order to be eligible for UW-Madison study abroad scholarships, fulfill degree requirements, or earn UW-Madison credit you must be enrolled in the Worldwide Internship Program. This would be in addition to courses that may be offered or required by your fee-based program.


Most internship placements with providers will be unpaid. There are some cases when lunch or a commuting stipend may be provided, but you should not expect payment as it is the exception.

Where to Search

A search tool that offers listings for Intern Abroad programs (fee-based). Listings are not evaluated so this is an initial tool to identify programs that you then need to review critically.

Another search tool for fee-based intern abroad programs similar to the above. This website includes participant reviews, but they tend to be very positive so you also need to review each program for yourself.

Reviewing External Internships

In order to receive support and credit from IAP while abroad, our office needs to review and approve your external internship. The following questions will help you to research and compare external opportunities, and is information that our office will ask for in order to approve your internship.

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Internship Placement

  • What meaningful projects will I be asked to complete? Do you have examples of past internships in my field?
  • What is the matching process? Will I be applying to specific positions or matched? Will there be an interview with the host?
  • Will I be the only intern at my site or are there usually multiple students at each site? If so, how many?
  • What language level, if any, is required? How does level affect my placement options?
  • What are my options for duration?
  • Will the internship be full-time or part-time? If part-time, what other things will I do while there?
  • How many students are usually in this country/city at the time I want to go?
  • Is there a guarantee of placement? When should I expect to hear about my placement?


  • Is there an application fee?
  • What is the total program cost for what I am seeking? What is included in that?
  • What are my additional expected expenses beyond that cost (e.g. airfare, meals, local travel, etc.)?
  • When is a deposit due? Is this refundable? When is the total balance due? What is the cancellation policy?
  • What scholarships do you have available?
  • Ask yourself: how does the total cost of participating on this program compare to the time and cost of finding and coordinating an internship abroad independently (which may also be unpaid)?


  • What are the housing options? How do the options affect cost? Will I be living alone, with a family, or with other students? Are the students local or other students from abroad?
  • What visa is required? Will you assist with the visa process or will I do this on my own? (If you are not a U.S. citizen ask how your visa requirements may differ)
  • Do you offer academic options like language classes, internship reflection, or culture classes?
  • What other things are available such as local excursions, networking events, etc.?
  • Is there 24/7 in-country support if there are problems at or outside my internship?


  • Can I speak to a past participant about their experience? Are there UW-Madison students who have participated in this program before?