15 Types of Internships for International Students  [Detailed Guide]

An internship is a period or duration of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field of study. There are several types of internships for students. In this post, we have compiled 15 types of internships for international students.

Employers benefit from these because they usually recruit employees from their best interns with known capabilities, thus saving time and money in the long run.

However, internships are normally arranged by third-party organizations that recruit interns on behalf of industry groups.

Why you should go for an Internship as an International Student

The main purpose of an internship is to learn professional skills, abilities and activities practised in rehabilitation and human services setting where the focus is on helping clients to develop independent living skills, physical, social, recreational, vocational/career, etc.

But from the student’s perspective, an internship assists them with career development by providing real work experiences that allow them to explore their interests and develop professional skills and competence.

During internships, students are given a chance to apply what they learned in classes to actual practice. Students are expected to be challenged to examine how their attitudes, beliefs, and values influence the helping process.

Furthermore, from an agency point of view, an internship provides a unique training experience designed to enhance the professional development and functioning of the student. In accepting students as interns, the agency representative recognizes that the internship is a learning process designed to promote the professional growth of the students.

Benefits Of Internship for Students

Having known what an internship is and also the purpose of an internship. Here are some benefits of an internship:

  • Learn more about your field or profession

Along with job shadows and informational interviews, internships are of the best ways to learn about your field from a real-world perspective truly. While the classroom certainly teaches students important information, there’s a difference in implementing those teaching with a real client or customer.

  • Apply knowledge learned in the classroom

There’s a difference between learning about strategies and tactics and putting them into practice. Interning for an organization or a company helps students learn how their classroom knowledge applies to real situations and reinforces concepts learned in classes.

  • Gain valuable work Experience

In most professions, a college graduate can no longer land an entry-level job with merely a bachelor’s degree and no prior work experience. Therefore internships help students to get real-world experience while studying in school. Internship programs are a great way to generate more work samples for your professional portfolio and give you real accomplishment stories for your resume and online profiles.

  • Develop and build skills.

Learning new skills in an internship can help you in future employment opportunities and might also give you an advantage over your competition in future application processes when the need arises.

Types of Internships For Students

Internships are available for international students at different levels in various countries. They include but are not limited to types of internships for high school students, internships for undergraduate students, and types of internships in Europe for international students.

Below is a list of 15 types of internships for students

  • Paid Internship
  • Unpaid Internship
  • Internships for Credit
  • Non- Profitable Internship
  • Job Shadowing (Externship)
  • Service-learning
  • Partially Paid Internship
  • Virtual Internship
  • Field Experience
  • Practicum (practice)
  • Intern at a Startup
  • Apprenticeship
  • Cooperative Education
  • Work placement
  • Summer Internships

This exists primarily in an organization with the money to pay students to learn while working. Many organizations recognize the value of internship programs and the enormous benefit they play in the recruitment process.

As these organizations work to retain interns, they are also training them on all fronts to evaluate their potential as full-time employees. For this purpose, companies that can afford to pay their interns will usually decide to go ahead and do so.

Unpaid Internship

This helps students who do not have permission to work in their country gain the work experience necessary to find a job after graduation. Although some students are not compensated financially for their time, they can reap many other benefits, like their experience can be put on a resume (CV).

Apart from their experiences, they will make many friends and professional contacts that will be of great importance in the long run.

Internships for Credit

This requires that the experience is strongly linked to an academic discipline to be worthy of credit. Students looking to do an internship for credit usually need an academic sponsor to oversee and set criteria for the internship.

To meet the academic component of the internship, students may be asked to complete a journal, essay or presentation during or immediately after the knowledge and skills they learned over the semester.

Non- Profitable Internship

Doing an internship for a non-profitable organization is different from working in an organization for profit. In a non-profitable organization, there are no stockholders, and no one shares the annual profits or losses determined by the organization each year. Such organization is universities, charities, hospitals, government agencies, etc.

The organisation aims not to make money but to provide community services. Students who complete an internship program in a non-profitable organization provide some very useful skills employers need while seeking to hire entry-level employees in this field.

Job Shadowing (Externship)

This is also known as an “Externship” and is similar to an internship. Students taking part in job shadowing will observe their mentors while working with other professionals. This is also a great way to get insight and experience while helping you decide your career’s direction.

Service learning

This requires meeting specific learning objectives by completing some community service work. It is quite different from other forms of experimental education in that it requires the recipient and the provider of the service to benefit in some way and are changed equally by the experience.

These structured programs require self-reflection and self-discovery, along with gaining the specific values, skills and knowledge required for success in the field.

Partially Paid Internship

This is when students are paid in the form of a stipend. Stipends are typically a fixed amount of money that is paid out regularly. Usually, interns paid with stipends are paid on a set schedule associated with the organization.

Virtual Internship

In this type of internship, the intern works remotely and is not physically present at the job experience without the conventional requirement of being physically present in an office.

The internship is conducted via virtual phone, email and web communication. Virtual interns generally have the opportunity to work in their own space.

Field Experience

The goal of field experience is to get students out into the field that they are studying. This allows you to build experience and lets you apply what you have learned in the classroom into the real world.

In addition, it’s a great way to know a specific school or job site you might be interested in joining in the future.

Practicum (practice)

During the practicum, these students work in the area of study they have been learning for years. This may manifest as a student – teaching or spending a certain number of hours practising social work in a clinic.

Intern at a Startup

One of the great complaints of an intern is that they don’t actually get to contribute to a company. At a startup, there is often more work than people to do, which leaves a great chance for you to do important work. Make your mark early, and remember that startups hire faster as well.


This offers both practical experience and school training while allowing students to learn a skilled trade and make money while doing it. Apprenticeships are paid, and wages increase as the apprentice gains experience.

Cooperative Education

Co-Operative education and internships are both excellent ways for students to gain valuable knowledge and skills in their field of interest. In addition, they offer an opportunity to network with professionals already working in the field.

However, the main difference between an internship and a cooperative experience is the length of time.

Work placement

This is normally shorter than internships. These types of placements are offered to those still enrolled in school. Work placement is usually part of your program or can be

Completed in place of a course. In comparison, internships are longer and typically last for up to a year. Internships are not completed by students but are also for recent graduates and those looking to change their careers.

Summer Internships

Most students do internships during the summer more than any other period of the year. These short term experiences provide a real insight into what it’s actually like working in a particular job or career.

Summer internships can be completed for credit but not necessarily. Getting credit during the summer can be helpful since it can lighten a student’s course load during the fall or spring semester, but the downside is that most colleges require tuition in order for students to receive credit


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