Study Abroad

Internship FAQs


Why should I consider an international internship experience?

International internships provide you an opportunity to expand your horizons, while fulfilling your UW-L capstone experience.  International experiences, in particular practical work experience in an international setting, looks great on a resume!  It may provide you that extra “edge” in the job market.


When should I apply for an internship?

Most international internships require a minimum of six months to process application materials and procure necessary visa and/or permits to work in the country of your choice.  You will have to plan ahead in order to register for INS 250 prior to your experience.

Do I need to enroll in INS 250 (Orientation Abroad) if doing an internship?

All students participating in a UW-L internship abroad program are required to complete the one-credit orientation course the semester prior to departure.  This course does not need to be repeated if you took INS 250 previously.


How do I apply?

When a student chooses an international internship, it is their responsibility to confirm this experience will fulfill their major’s capstone experience.  Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor to identify the appropriate guidelines and criteria prior to submitting their application materials.


Application guidelines, forms, and sample internship placements are available online at: UWL Office of International Education - Study Abroad (Internships)


Download the Office of International Education’s International Internship Guidelines and Application form, available online.  Submit the required materials to OIE at least six months prior to your anticipated departure date.


What are the eligibility requirements for applying?

Requirements vary between programs.  Be sure to review the requirements for the program you are interested in carefully before submitting your application materials.

Do I have to buy UW-L’s insurance?
All students on an international experience are required to have health insurance coverage that covers medical expenses abroad.  The University of Wisconsin System has selected a mandatory health insurance policy; the cost of the coverage is included in your program fee.  Although you may already have health insurance coverage through your parents or university, some group insurance policies are not valid outside the United States.

Where will I live while on internship?
Living arrangements differ according to each program.  Participants may live in pre-arranged dormitory housing, with a host family, or be required find their own housing. 

May I do an observation as part of a UW-L class requirement, internationally?
Yes, an observation experience may be done if your supervising faculty and department requirements are met and approved.

Do I have to speak a foreign language?

It is not necessary to speak a foreign language if you are planning your internship experience in an English-speaking country.  However, if you plan to do an internship in a non-English speaking country, you must submit the completed Language Proficiency Report form, demonstrating your competency, with your application materials.


Do I have to go with a UW-L site, or can I find my own placement?

You are free to search for an internship site independently.  Be advised that you will be responsible for obtaining approval for the site and all logistics (i.e., transportation, housing, etc.).  Bring your site information to OIE along with your application materials.


Do I have to be a student?

In order to be considered for an internship and receive Financial Aid, internships must be done for academic credit.  For some internship programs, you may have to provide proof of student standing in order to be eligible for placement.


What does an internship cost?

Program fees are calculated on an individual basis.  Length of experience, the number of credits earned, strength of the U.S. dollar, etc., are variables that will need to be determined for a precise program cost.  See OIE’s internship coordinator for an estimated budget for your experience prior to submitting your application materials.


Do I have to pay seg fees while on internship?
OIE will process a request to waive the seg fees for your experience while you are on an international internship.


Does financial aid apply to internships?
Federal, state, and most institutional financial aid may be applied directly to the cost of your program as long as you are a degree-seeking student at UW-L.

Can I apply for the Academic Initiative Stipend?
Students returning to UW-L from an international experience are eligible to apply for the Academic Initiative Stipend.  As part of the application process, a service proposal must be submitted and put into action the semester following your return from the international experience.

What should I include in my cover letter and resume?
Your cover letter should introduce yourself and address the type of internship you are seeking.  Be specific when identifying your desired experience.  The more precise you can be will allow the placement officer to locate the most suitable match on your behalf.  Visit the Careers Services Office for assistance in writing a strong cover letter and resume, or visit their website at:


Where can I get more information?

International Internship Coordinator

Office of International Education

223 Graff Main Hall

Telephone: 608-785-8016

Fax: 608-785-8923