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If you are currently a student or have recently graduated at a British higher education institution then you have the permission to travel abroad or more specifically to the states for the completion of an internship. This particular internship offer will allow you the opportunity to receive hands on experience in a country like America along with the various business practices which are carried out in the country specific to the field chosen by you. You will be offered the opportunity to gain exposure about the American culture along with the display of your own.

The kind of internship placement you receive is not necessarily related directly with your degree course. However it has to match the general purpose of your study in order to be taken under consideration by the authorities. Internships can be paid or unpaid depending upon the field and company. The internship’s main purpose is to offer you a sound understanding of the long term career offer in your particular field along with the knowledge of daily practices of the profession you choose.

Moreover an internship in America will offer you the opportunity to gain the right kind of international work experience you require to succeed in your field of work. The Council for Industry and Higher Education conducted a survey in the year 2007 which covered about two hundred and thirty employers. According to the results about sixty five percent of the employers in UK tend to favor applicants with international work experience.

Eligibility

An opportunity of such will obviously require fulfillment of a certain criteria. In order for you to qualify for the intern program you have to meet the following criteria:

  • The student is required to have been enrolled in a full time study course. Moreover the institution should be an accredited post secondary education institution and that too outside of America. The student should not have been graduated from an institution of such for more than twelve months before the initiation of the program.
  • The individual has to manage securing an internship placement before entering America. The internship can be arranged by the individual on their own or through the help of their visa sponsor.
  • The individual has to be proficient in English language.

Program Details

There are certain details of this internship program which you should be well aware of including:

  • Internships have to fulfill the educational objectives of the program. There is no requirement of direct relation of the degree course and your internship but the general purpose of your study should match with it.
  • You will stumble upon some paid and other unpaid internship opportunities. You will be required to be mentally prepared to work as a volunteer or for quite a small stipend in order to seize an opportunity of building your CV.
  • The maximum length of the internship program cannot be more than twelve months.
  • You should bear in mind that there are certain types of internship positions which you are not permitted to apply for or earn placement in. Opportunities of such include:
    • Unskilled or any kind of casual work
    • Intern positions which require you to take care of medical patients or become a contact
    • Childcare and elder care job posts
    • Any job that would require more than twenty percent clerical or support work.

Applying for Internship Program

Your first and foremost step in terms of the application process is to decide on the kind of length you require of the internship along with its timings. Generally speaking, majority of the organizations would prefer if you work for a minimum of six to eight weeks period of time. An internship which is a summer or a year-long will have a lot of positive effect on your degree studies in the United Kingdom. You have the option of obtaining an internship in the following months of your graduation but make sure it is within twelve months prior to entering the workforce or pursuing any further studies.

You should bear in mind that a majority of the organizations which offer summer internships have certain deadlines of their applications which are generally between the months of January and March. Typically the start dates vary between the months of May and June. The internships which last for a year or a semester tend to have application deadlines three to six months prior to the start date. This timeline in particular is quite authentic when it comes to larger companies which have a highly formal application process.

There are certain cases particularly those in which you desire to work with a small company or a personal contact where you might be able to manage arrangement of an internship program in a shorter period of time. This is however quite rare and should be avoided until there is complete guarantee of the position.  Your internship can be of any field of work, for instance following are the most commonly pursued ones:

  • MBA internships
  • production internships
  • event planning internships
  • study abroad program
  • web design internship

Tips for Searching Internships:

Here are some tips which will offer you general help in terms of researching for the perfect internship:

Start off by looking at the internet ratings. The safest option is to opt for companies which are renowned and are less likely to pose difficulty in this process. There are lists available all over the internet categorized in terms of fields and majors. You must make your search a thorough one in order to ensure a sound decision for your future.

The second most important aspect of your search should be to look for a sponsor. In case you have decided to travel to the United States for any other reason apart from personal travel then you require a secure and appropriate visa. In case of you travelling to America on a placement of work exchange then you must try out for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa.

In order for you participate in a J-2 Program you are required to locate and make contact with an approved visa sponsor. The organizations which have been listed and approved have the ability to act as a J-1 sponsor. In case you manage to secure an internship on your own then your next step will be to contact an approved organization to sponsor your visa. If you cannot find your employer on the list then you can persuade them to apply to become one. You should be aware of the fact that the Fulbright Commission is NOT a visa sponsor.

The sponsor designated for the job is required to ensure supervision of the application process in detail and they act as the primary point of contact throughout the process of exchange program as well. If you’re looking to take part in an exchange programs then you should get in direct contact with the sponsors. Students are encouraged to carry out a full search of all the sponsors approved for this task. A few examples are:

  • AIPT Intern USA programme
  • Bunac’s Intern USA programme

After having covered the second step you must then secure a placement for yourself. This can be done by taking support from your sponsor and it generally happens in this manner. In case of refusal of help from the visa sponsor you must contact the researched internships individually.  You can use the keyword, “internship USA” to help speed up the investigation.

As you continue to search through the internships you will come across the requirement of a resume/CV along with a basic cover letter both in American style. There is a specific format which is followed by all the American resumes and there is a quite a chance of rejection of your application in case you fail to follow the format.  You can find an example of the American resumes form websites such as the Alliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange.

The next step involves you to simply apply for a visa and it is generally quite a straightforward of a process. You can apply for unpaid internships on J-1 visa. All that is left to do afterwards is to prepare for departure. You are required to keep aside time for preparation to live in another country and information of such will be provided to you by your visa sponsor. You have the option of asking around from those with experience in this regard.

References and Resources for Internships:

Publications:

Intern Programme, available at: http://www.fulbright.org.uk/study-in-the-usa/short-term-work-opportunities/intern-programme

Intern, available at: http://careers.state.gov/intern

Push for paid: a student guide to internships, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/15/student-guide-to-internships

More than just an Internship, available at: http://www.summerinternships.com/

207 INTERNSHIPS ABROAD IN THE UNITED STATES, available at: http://www.goabroad.com/intern-abroad/search/united-states/internships-abroad-1

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