Mason internship study abroad programs are destination-specific programs. Unlike traditional study abroad programs focusing on one particular subject, internship programs include students from different majors, working and studying in the same location. The student’s internship placement within a company relative to their area of study defines their global work experience, and determines the internship course credit the student will receive. For example, a London internship program can include (but is not limited to) students majoring in Government, Economics, Art, Criminology, Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Communications, and Psychology, and more. It is the work the student does as an intern, in the professional field they select, which determines the global work experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Internship credits are courses within the Mason curriculum created for the purpose of earning credit for professional, practical, or field experiences. Most departments at Mason have internship or practicum courses within their curriculum.
Students participating on international internship programs are guaranteed the total number of credits the program offers, however the exact course(s) you earn credit for requires the approval of your department. The default credit for Mason internship study abroad programs is NCLC 490. In order to receive a different credit, the student must obtain approval from the department issuing the credit.
See the “Program Details” section of each program on studyabroad.gmu.edu, for more information.
The academic work to earn internship credit is based on a reflective practice syllabus–specifically, it is a reflection of the work and skills the student is learning in the course of their global work experience. Typically students create learning objectives before the internship program begins. The Mason professor creates an online Blackboard course. Students submit weekly journal (blog) entries about their day-to-day experiences, and submit a final paper and/or portfolio about their global work experience.
International internships are for any student looking to gain professional experience related to their area of study. Previous professional work experience is not required. Students without previous work experience are encouraged to add campus jobs, involvement in student and campus activities, and volunteer work.
Each internship experience varies depending on the field, the company or organization, the country, and even your immediate supervisor. A job in a hotel for a tourism student in London is much different from the experience of a biology major in Curitiba, Brazil. Tasks can vary from the routine to the exciting. Remember, interns are usually brought in by companies to help out with a variety of projects. You might have a lot of work to complete one day, followed by a slower work day. In exchange for helping out with these projects and contributing the goals of the organization, interns are rewarded with experience for their resume, new skills, and maybe even a great reference from your supervisor if you do a good job. Don’t think the routine or mundane tasks are of no value–often they allow interns insights into the organization structure, activities going on for specific projects, etc.
The first step to secure your spot in the program is to go to masonabroad.gmu.edu. Log in, create a profile, and select the program you want to enroll in. Once you enrolled in a program and you have provided the required supplemental materials (such as a resume, cover letter, letter of recommendation, transcript, etc.), your program officer will confirm your enrollment.
Reasons to Intern Abroad
- Earn academic credit toward your degree while gaining crucial international and professional experience that is directly related to your goals.
- Internships are open to students of all majors at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including international students and non-Mason students. Up to 6 credits are available for summer internships, and up to 15 credits are available for semester internships. Stay on track or get ahead for your graduation.
- Make your resume stand out from others in the application pool.
- On average, prospective employers spend less than a minute looking through a resume. International work experience catches the eye of employers and can quickly transform an applicant with potential into someone the firm wants to hire: independent, self-motivated and experienced.
- Explore a new region of the world and experience culture through immersion.
- Develop industry contacts and references.
- Have a memorable and captivating story to tell during a job interview.
- Today’s college graduates are competing more than ever for entry-level positions. Mason Study Abroad internships are open to students of all majors at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including international students and non-Mason students.
- Language proficiency is helpful, but NOT necessary for participation in most programs.