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  • Locations: Multiple locations, Multiple
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: UVA applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5 Click here for a definition of this term Open to Non-UVa Students: No
Housing: Student's responsibility Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Credit Type: Direct Credit
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Field Study/ Experiential, Independent, Internship Click here for a definition of this term Tuition Payments Made To: UVA
Click here for a definition of this term Education Abroad Advisor: Ingrid Hakala Click here for a definition of this term Application Fee: Yes
Click here for a definition of this term Subject Area: Anthropology, Architectural History, Architecture, Art - Art History, Asian Studies, Biomedical Engineering, Commerce, Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Engineering, English Language and Literature, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Foreign Affairs, German, Global Studies, Health and Human Services, Historic Preservation, Humanities, Information Technology, Internship, Latin American Studies, Marketing, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Media Studies, Nonprofit Management, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy and Administration, Public Relations, Social Entrepreneurship, Sociology, Spanish, Systems Engineering, Urban and Environmental Planning, Urban Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality
Program Description:
Global Internships Map- lead

Due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, UVA Independent Global Internships will not be offered in SUMMER 2022. 

UVA Global Internships develops direct relationships with organizations, businesses, and institutions which seek to engage UVA students as summer interns. These unique opportunities, which we refer to as "Independent Internships," are available in a variety of professional fields and in many nations. Partnerships with internship organizations often emerge through long-standing connections with alumni, parents, faculty members, and other members of UVA's global network.

Independent Internships are not part of a "package" education abroad program so you must be excited to play the lead role in the processes of preparing for and living out your individualized international experience of work. UVA Global Internships will offer resources, structured support, wisdom, and a community of like-minded fellow travelers to assist you through each stage of your journey.

When are they? and for how long?: It will be up to you and your internship host organization to set the dates of your internship during the summer months. On average, most Independent Internships last for eight weeks. Placements should be a minimum of six weeks. We encourage you to plan for a placement that is as long as you can manage, so as to maximize your learning and impact. 

Who can apply?:Each Independent Internship placement is different. Our program strives to identify opportunities for students with diverse academic backgrounds and professional aspirations. To date, Independent Internships have been filled by/offered to students in eight of the University’s schools, representing 49 different majors/concentrations, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral students.

Will I be completely on my own?: Again, it depends. Many internship host organizations are looking for more than one UVA student intern at a time. Even if you are the only UVA student at your placement, there may be other UVA students working in the same city. Check listings for details!

What are some of the benefits of this pathway to an internship abroad?: A key part of the learning associated with an Independent Internship takes place during the process of preparing for the experience: you must gather resources, do self-directed research, ask questions, and coordinate with others. These are skills that will serve you well in your working life to come, regardless of which academic or professional future you are currently pursuing. Once you are abroad, you will continue to hone these and other transferable skills. Most students return from their Independent Internships feeling empowered for having figured out how to make a life for themselves in another part of the world.

Pre-departure requirements: Independent Global Interns will attend two pre-departure workshops and at least one group advising session in the Spring semester before their departure. Workshops will be offered for those who would like to begin self-directed study of a new language.

What opportunities are available? Postings for each available Independent Internship will be shared below when confirmed.


Internship organization


Fields- Professional/Academic



Applying for an Independent Internship

Do I apply for the program or for a position?: The position. After reading through each of the opportunity descriptions above and deciding which position you plan to pursue, you will specify which internship you are applying for in the questionnaire in your application and tailor your supplementary materials (resume, cover letter) for that particular opportunity. You may also note alternate position(s) of interest; if you are not selected for your first choice placement, we will contact you and request for you to provide additional materials.

What is the selection process?: UVA Global Internships and the internship host organization will review your application materials and make selections. You may be called for interviews in the latter half of January or early February. Offers will be made in the first half of February.

When do I have to commit to a position?: You must submit your commitment five business days after you receive an offer. This is important so that the position can be filled in a timely manner by a UVA student. 

REAL TALK: This pathway of identifying internship opportunities is time- and relationship- intensive, as positions are identified and established by UVA GIobal Internships staff on a case-by-case basis through personal communications with partners across the globe. We value the limited resources of everyone involved, and thus, an application for an Independent Internship should only be submitted if you agree to prioritize the acceptance of the position if it were to be offered to you. Accepting a placement and later rescinding will reflect poorly on you and on UVA as a whole; it will also deny the opportunity to another UVA student. Do not put yourself, us, and our partners in this position. 
+ IMPORTANT: If you are under the care of parents of guardians, you must have their approval to pursue a UVA Independent Global Internship before submitting your application. Having this approval in place at the application phase is a key step in demonstrating your suitability for this kind of independent experience abroad.   

Courses IconCourses

All students engaging in Independent Global Internships will be enrolled in the 1-credit GSGS 3540 "Working With/Across Cultures in International Internships" seminar while abroad. This course will be conducted online and you will establish a customized schedule for completing the course, based on your unique summer timeline. 

We have designed the course to highlight many of the key principles that inform our approach to experiential education abroad and to offer a flexible educational structure to accommodate students’ individualized internship arrangements. We aim to guide students in:

  • Demonstrating awareness of the essential role of culture in shaping human experiences, formations, and activities, especially in work settings
  • Developing familiarity with fundamental principles of experiential learning theory and reflexively applying them to their own processes of learning in the course of their time abroad
  • Drawing connections between their particular experiences of working abroad to realities of globalizing work conditions and other facets of globalization.

The assignments have been crafted to enhance students’ abilities to develop relationships at work and the readings have been chosen to connect students' individual experiences abroad to broader theories and phenomena. Participants in this course are challenged to direct their own learning through their experiences, using the framework of the course and support from the instructor to grow as much as possible while abroad.

Faculty IconFaculty

Ingrid Hakala |
Ingrid Hakala is the director of UVA Global Internships and the instructor of GSGS 3540. She holds a doctoral degree in the anthropology of education from UVA and has lived abroad in India, Nepal, Turkey, South Korea, Morocco, and Pakistan. Dr. Hakala is passionate about facilitating students' learning about themselves, relationships, ideas, and the world through cross-cultural experiences. 

Accommodation and MealsAccommodation and Meals

As an Independent Intern, you will be responsible for securing your own housing and providing meals for yourself for the duration of your time abroad. UVA Global Internships will do its best to connect you with resources so you are able to secure safe and appropriate lodging for yourself. In some cases, internship host organizations already have housing options pre-identified or can assist you in securing accommodation (check listings). You are encouraged to coordinate if you are interning at the same organization or in the same city as a fellow UVA intern.

Costs & Financial Aid

An internship abroad is likely to be a valuable experience, both personally and professionally, but it will require investments of time, energy, and financial resources. While some may offer stipends or other forms of support (check listings), most Independent Internships will be unpaid.
We care deeply about making an internship abroad as financially feasible as possible for every UVA student. In addition to the tuition for the 1-credit GSGS course, your expenses may include those associated with housing, healthcare, transportation, food, and more. We have created a Budget Development Aid for Independent Internships to help estimate your unique expenses.
You are encouraged to apply for a Global Internships Summer Travel Grant  (due Jan. 21, 2020) to allay costs. Please consult this page for more information about other grants, scholarships, and fellowships that may be drawn upon to support your experience abroad.


Emily Broghan Kelly

Accessibility IconAccessibility

The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Passport IconPassport and Visa

You are responsible for securing your own visa and/or work permit for the location of your Independent Internship. Applying for the proper visa category is of utmost importance. Knowing which visa to apply for will save time and money, in addition to providing you with proper legal status. Students traveling on other non-US passports are responsible for researching visa regulations and should meet with an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process. Every student should ensure his/her passport is current and will remain valid for at least six months past your date of return from your internship. 

Health Info IconHealth and Safety Information

Independent Internships necessitate the assumption of a great deal of responsibility for one's own health and safety by the student. All students who secure an Independent Internship will be required to submit an outline of their plans for housing, daily transportation, and other matters to the Education Abroad office for review in mid-Spring 2020 prior to receiving final approval to travel abroad.

All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel. All UVA Independent Interns required to purchase CISI travel and emergency insurance for the duration of their time abroad. 

This program is currently not accepting applications.