Internship Program in United Kingdom

Cultural Vistas’ Internship Program in the United Kingdom provides U.S. students and young professionals with internship placements in the greater London area.

Internship placements are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to business, civil engineering, finance, tourism, IT, media/communications, international relations, the nonprofit sector, and economics.

Internships between six weeks and six months are possible.

Most internships are unpaid. Some internships exceeding 10 weeks may be paid. Scholarships are available for qualified participants. All participants receive a scholarship application following acceptance to the program.

Cultural Vistas, along with its in-country partner, Anglo Educational Services, works with various organizations to place individuals in professional internships that meet their individual goals and career interests. Companies range from small family-owned businesses to multinational holdings.

 

What’s Included

  • Internship placement in your target field with a British organization
  • Application assistance
  • Visa assistance
  • Pre-departure orientation mailing and web-based pre-departure seminar
  • Financial assistance via the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund (must apply separately)
  • Health insurance (required, at an additional cost of $55 per month)
  • Housing in a shared apartment (optional, at an additional cost)
  • Orientation seminar upon arrival in London
  • Support throughout the program in the United Kingdom and the United States
  • Reentry information and tips on marketing international experience to U.S. employers

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Minimum of two years of university-level studies in degree program related to internship field; recent graduates may also apply as long as the internship begins within 12 months of graduation
  • Practical experience in target internship field does not need to be extensive, but is preferred (i.e. summer employment, prior internship, volunteer position). The more experience an applicant has, the more desirable they will be to a potential host company.

Costs

Internship Placement Fee: $1,500 (includes non-refundable $75 application fee) Applications are reviewed only after the $75 application fee has been received. Please note that we will only process payments from qualified applicants.

BUNAC Visa Fee: $755

Insurance: $55 per month (required)

Housing (optional): Housing costs vary depending on time of year and internship duration. The 2016 weekly housing costs range from $461 to $486 per week.

Upon official acceptance into the Internship Program in the UK, you will receive an invoice from Cultural Vistas for the services you have selected. Payments can be made via check or credit/debit card.

Program Details

Pre-Departure
Once an internship has been confirmed, you will receive a pre-departure orientation mailing with details related to your program. Topics will include important program dates, what to bring with you to London, travel specifics, an introduction to the British workplace, and other topics related to your stay abroad.

Placement Process
Once you have been accepted to the program, Cultural Vistas, in cooperation with our in-country partner, will find an internship position with a host company in London in the field determined during your interview. While some placements are secured quickly, the placement process can take a few months. Your resume and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found. Our in-country partner has established partnerships with many types of companies and internships are possible with small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, and multinational holdings. Participants can help by being proactive: update your materials as required and always keep Cultural Vistas informed on everything that may affect your internship placement.

After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview with you, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths, relevant experience, and professional interests. Based on this information, our in-country partner will begin contacting suitable, potential host companies.

Host Companies
Internships are available with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and nonprofit or government organizations. Many of these companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with our in-country partner for years. We cannot guarantee placement at a company of a specific size. While larger companies will certainly look good on your resume, smaller companies also offer excellent internship experiences. A smaller organization can offer more personal contact and participants can gain a broader overview of the company’s overall operations. Keep in mind that while the host company placement is important, you are an integral part of your internship experience.

Internship Positions
Tasks for interns are as diverse as the companies and the participants. Some companies will expect interns to work more independently, while others prefer to supervise their work closely. Though it will be your responsibility to negotiate the details of your daily work environment, we will try to assist you whenever possible. Your resume will be sent to several companies in your field. Some companies might choose to contact you to conduct an interview before offering you an internship position. Always keep Cultural Vistas informed of all company communication. We expect you to be open-minded and consider every offer carefully. Keep in mind that you are a foreign student competing with hundreds of British students and young professionals for internship positions. In addition to gaining professional experience, you will also have a firsthand opportunity to be a part of a new culture. Even if the internship itself is not exactly what you imagined it would be, please remember that you will return home with invaluable personal and professional experiences.

Start Date and Duration
Internships normally begin on the first working day of the month, though other start dates are often possible. You are expected to apply four months prior to your desired program start date. Occasionally, internship positions are located quickly, and you may have the option of beginning your program earlier than planned. Internships can last anywhere from six weeks to six months in duration.

Health Insurance
To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our HTH Insurance policy (currently $55 per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

Housing
Housing can be arranged for participants by our in-country partner. Please refer to the full list of fees. Participants should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to British customs and way of life, as well as the usual adjustment that comes with living with flatmates or in someone else’s home.

Travel
Participants must bear all travel costs. All travel arrangements and expenses within the UK are also the responsibility of the participant. While we understand that you want to see as much as possible during your time in Europe, please note that this is not a summer work/travel program. Participants are expected to spend the entire duration of their program completing their internship. Weekend trips are, of course, encouraged.

How to Apply

Request an Application

We encourage you to submit the majority of your application materials online. However, should you encounter any difficulties in uploading your materials, please feel free to mail them to the address indicated below, or as an email attachment to usabroad@culturalvistas.org.

The complete application must be submitted by 12:00 am (Eastern Time Zone) on the day of the application deadline (at least four months before your intended start date), including any letters of recommendation or transcripts mailed separately.

Application Checklist

Application materials to be submitted:

  1. Online Application
    Please click the link above to request a password to the online application. Requesting a password does not mean that you have completed the online application process. After you have requested an application, you will receive a username and password to access, complete, and submit an application. You may preview and edit your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. We encourage you to print a copy of your completed application before submitting it. Please note that once an application has been submitted it is considered final.
  2. Professional Photo
    Your photo should be the same size and format as a passport photo, taken from the shoulder up in front of a monochromatic background. You should wear business attire. The picture can be should be good quality.
  3. College Transcripts
  4. Resume
  5. Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer
    Recommenders can email letters or PDFs directly to us at usabroad@culturalvistas.org or they can mail hard copies of the documents to our New York office.
  6. Copy of the picture page of your passport
  7. Application Essay
    Your application essay should be one full page in English (1.5 line spacing, 12pt font). In three paragraphs, please describe:

    • The reason you would like to intern in the UK
    • The field in which you would prefer to intern
    • The type of work you would like to do
    • The skills and experience you have to offer a host company as an intern
  8. $75 Application Fee
    You can mail a check to our New York office made out to “Cultural Vistas.” Once you have submitted the online application, we can send you an invoice if you prefer to pay online with a credit or debit card. Please email usabroad@culturalvistas.org to request an invoice.

Please note: The Cultural Vistas application fee of $75 is due at the time of application; the program fee of $1,425 will be due upon acceptance to the program. Applications will not be processed until the application fee has been paid.

All hard copies of materials can be mailed to:

Cultural Vistas
Attn: Internships Abroad
440 Park Avenue South, Second Floor
New York, NY 10016

Applications for summer 2017 are due January 15, 2017.

If you have questions, please email us at usabroad@culturalvistas.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between studying and interning abroad?

Beyond the obvious difference of studying in a classroom vs. showing up to work each day, an internship abroad can be much different than studying abroad. While most university programs host a group of students traveling abroad together, an international internship is a much more independent experience.

You will be responsible for finding housing, showing up to work on time each day, and navigating the challenges of living abroad. Of course, Cultural Vistas is here to help throughout your time in Germany, and our Berlin office is open during regular work hours for in-country assistance. While the independence can be intimidating at first, many of our participants come away from the program amazed at how much they were able to accomplish and experience abroad. From growing close to their German coworkers, to taking a first solo trip, each person finds a way to make the experience their own.

Do I need insurance coverage?

To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our GeoBlue Insurance policy. Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?

Cultural Vistas encourages you to explore as much as possible during your time abroad; however, please keep in mind that you are an employee at a company. Therefore, you are expected to attend work according to the expectations of your employer.

Will I receive school credit for my internship?

Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it. Please contact us for assistance.

Does Cultural Vistas offer scholarships?

Scholarships are available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund for those who have already been accepted into the program.  All eligible participants will receive a scholarship application via email. Scholarships are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States (Green Card holders). Priority will be given to participants with financial need and to those with unpaid internships.

What is involved in the application process?

Complete an online application by clicking the “Request an Application” button. After submitting background information about yourself, we will email you a password granting you access to our online application system.

After submitting a completed application, all supporting documents, and the application fee payment, Cultural Vistas will schedule telephone interviews with all qualified candidates. During this telephone interview, we will make an assessment of your abilities, language skills, and career goals and will answer any questions you may have.

After a successful interview, you will be formally accepted into the program and we, in cooperation with our in-country partner, will begin the search for an appropriate internship.

Am I involved in the internship search?

Cultural Vistas will work diligently to find a placement for you; however, proactive participation from your end is strongly encouraged, though not required. You may approach potential host companies independently or offer contact information to us throughout the search; however, it is essential that you inform us of all outside contact.

Will I receive a refund if I am not offered an internship?

Yes. All fees paid (less the $75 non-refundable application fee) will be refunded in the unlikely event that you are accepted into the program and an internship is not found for you.

Cultural Vistas will work with each participant to see that they receive an internship most suited to their interests and capabilities. Previous work experience coupled with the chosen field of work will influence the availability and ease of finding a position.

What are the benefits of an internship abroad?

Interning abroad gives you the unique opportunity to explore a new culture, improve your language skills, and gain intercultural competence all while boosting your resume and gathering professional experience.

Many articles about the benefits of interning abroad can be found online, but perhaps most important are the long-term effects on your career. Whether it’s standing out from the crowd while applying for your first entry level position, or having the opportunity to transfer to another country mid-career because of your previous internship experience, your internship abroad will only continue to pay off down the line.

What is a customized placement?

We conduct our internship search based on your level of experience, academic background, and professional interests as discussed during your interview. We do not have a set number of pre-determined internships that need to be filled. Instead, we look for a placement until an appropriate internship has been found. While we do have established partnerships with a number of organizations and companies, we conduct new research each year as required. Your desired internship will be discussed during the interview portion of the application process.

How much is the program fee and what does it cover? What additional costs can I expect?

The program fee of $1,500 (including a $75 non-refundable application fee) includes internship placement with a British host company in London, a pre-departure mailing, visa assistance, support throughout the program abroad and in the United States, and a reentry guidebook upon completion of the program. The participant is responsible for airfare, housing, meals, and transportation within the host country. The participant is also responsible for the BUNAC visa fee (currently $755). Insurance must be purchased through Cultural Vistas (currently $55 per month), unless proof of enrollment in equivalent international insurance required by your university is provided.

What kinds of companies offer internships?

Internships are available with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and nonprofit or government organizations.

To request a list of possible host companies, please contact us at usabroad@culturalvistas.org. Please note that neither Cultural Vistas nor our in-country partner can guarantee that you will intern at a specific company. We, along with our in-country partner, will do our best to locate the best possible internship for you, based on your previous work experience, educational background, and interests.

Are the internships paid?

Most internships are unpaid. Some internships exceeding 10 weeks may be paid. A limited number of scholarships are available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund, for qualified participants.

Where will I live during the program?

Housing in London can be arranged for participants by our in-country partner. Please refer to the fees tab for more information.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, all participants in this program will require a visa. Cultural Vistas will assist you in this process and will provide you with the necessary information required for a successful application. Please contact Internships Abroad at usabroad@culturalvistas.org if you would like more information on the visa application process.

What is the duration of the program? Can I extend my internship?

The Internship Program in the UK runs year-round, and the duration ranges between 6 weeks and 6 months, depending on the participant’s wishes and schedule. It may be possible to extend the internship to the 6 month maximum pending the participant’s schedule and the wishes of the host company.

Are students at universities outside of the United States eligible for the program?

Yes, U.S. citizens are eligible for the program, even if they are studying at a foreign university.

Are graduating seniors and recent graduates eligible?

We are able to accept applications from graduating seniors and recent graduates, as long as their internship begins within 12 months of graduation.

How does the placement process work?

After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview with you, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths and professional interests. Based on this information, we will begin contacting suitable potential host companies. The placement process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. Your personal resume and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found