If you're wondering about internships in college that also let you do quite a bit of traveling, I think you'll like the sound of a semester abroad with ILP!
When it comes to available internships for college students, you have so many options ... but where I was going to school, it was hard to find internships for college students that were affordable. I found one I loved, but it didn't include the flight or the housing which made it pretty expensive, especially since it wasn't a paid internship opportunity. Luckily, my sister told me about ILP and I was stoked — the chance to travel around and possibly get school credit was pretty much a dream come true.
Wondering where you can volunteer with ILP?
Check out all of our countries, here.
To break down the basics of it all, I've pulled together some info from our ILP team who've had experience talking through this whole process for those looking to get an internship in college while they spend a semester abroad.
What Is ILP All About?
First things first, International Language Programs (or ILP) is a non-profit organization that sends volunteers to countries all over the world. Each volunteer goes for a semester (so 3-5 months) where you’ll be helping children learn English or volunteering in an orphanage … and taking vacation time to see all the cool places nearby, of course. We cover your flight, visa (if necessary), meals while you're over there, and housing (plus a few other things).
If you're someone who is looking to be adventurous, are motivated to explore a new country, dive right into a new group of friends, and totally new experiences, it sounds like this is the start of a pretty beautiful friendship. Our organization is set up to help you begin your trip, but then the experiences you have are up to you. (It's also up to you to help make this happen — more on talking to your school's internship offices later.)
Every location is really different, but those who have a good experience on our program are excited for what life in a new country is like. I'm talking new food, a new language, a new definition of what's normal for you, and so many stories. This isn't a program where we have everything scheduled out for you. It's kinda half and half, with a set teaching schedule and so much free time and vacations that you'll plan yourself.
We have spring, summer, and fall semesters ... that means you can count your semester abroad for summer college internships or ones for the fall and winter. You can learn more here about our program.
How Do I Get College Internship Credit?
ILP isn't associated with any specific college or university, so you'll need to talk to your internship advisor at your school to see if it will work ... but it has worked for past ILP volunteers! We have a bit more info about that below, but in a nutshell, you'll have to talk to your school's internship office.
We're more than happy to provide paperwork or additional information they may need, just give our office a call at (801) 374-8854 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Few Helpful Tips For An Internship Abroad
For some, finding ways that this semester abroad program fits within your major may be helpful ... and trust us, so many majors work well for this program! You're immersed in a different country, so any college internships programs focused on social studies, linguistics, humanities, art, global studies, all could work. And the type of service you're doing is also good to consider, even if you're looking for something other than a teaching internship. Most of our programs are focused on teaching English, so teaching, education, English, bilingual studies, or a whole gambit of majors could be applicable.
It's also worth noting that you're only volunteering part-time, so you will have time during your day (and on weekends) to fulfill what may be required for you to get credit. Maybe you will need to write a weekly log, or work on a project/presentation for the end of your semester to get credit.
How Has It Worked For ILP Alumni?
Yep! We've had thousands of volunteers over the years, and some have been able to count their semester abroad with us towards college credit, or count their ILP time abroad as a travel internship or an internship abroad. Talking to one of our ILP directors, he let me know that a handful of alumni were able to get 8-9 credits if that helps you know what to ask for while talking with your school's internship office.
Get All The Perks
Make sure you talk to your college or university about any perks associated with finding your own internship. We've had reports in the past of students attending the University of Utah who have been able to receive an internship grant towards their ILP semester. Nice!
We've also heard of volunteers who applied to the SUU EDGE program, and were able to count their ILP semester as a qualification to that EDGE program.
Try Out These Colleges
ILP is a Utah-based organization, so the majority of our volunteers are from here or nearby ... but that shouldn't stop you from asking around at your college to see if an ILP semester would work as one of the college internship programs you're considering! Here are a few of the most popular universities our ILP volunteers attend where they've been able to get credit for their college internship requirements:
Wanting to learn more?
That's what we're here for! You can talk to someone who has volunteered with our program before who can give you all the insider info about applying, which countries would be the best fit, and answer questions about getting college internship credit or finding ways to fundraise your Program fee. They're here to help!