Internships, Field Study, and Research Abroad

Students interested in gaining international experience while also building critical skills for their personal and professional development should consider one of our academic internships, field study, or research abroad options.

More and more students are choosing to complete some type of experiential learning program during their study at Penn State. These experiences can better prepare students for their future careers and help them gain a global lens to approach their field of interest. Internships, field study, or research programs abroad can also help students gain a competitive edge in the job market or graduate school application process after graduation.

Education Abroad Internships

The information below is focused on full-time academic internships. Penn State students can intern part-time during their study abroad, but these experiences are rather short and do not take more than 5-10 hours per week. When considering a full-time internship or research opportunity, it is important to take into consideration major and minor academic requirements, as opposed to a preferred program location. Students should make sure the experience aligns with their professional goals, allowing them to be exposed to diverse cultural surroundings for global and intercultural learning. The question to ask is: What do I want to do? rather than: Where do I want to do it? The matrix below is a rough guide illustrating sectors and locations currently available on the Penn State list of approved programs.

A student will work between 20 and 40 hours per week in the internship placement as the core study abroad experience. Before applying to the program, students should meet with their academic advisers or college study abroad coordinators to confirm if the academic credits can be applied toward their degree. 

To search for internship or research opportunities, select "Internship" and/or "Research" under the "Type of Program" category on the Advanced Program Search Page.

  Australia Belize Chile China Czech Republic France Germany Hong Kong Ireland Israel Italy South Africa United Kingdom
Advertising, Management, Marketing, & PR  
Agriculture & Environment              
Arts & Design              
Fashion & Creative Industries            
Film & TV                  
Finance & Supply Chain Management                
Global Health & Health Services            
HR & Psychology                
Journalism & Communications                
Law & Criminal Justice                    
NGOs & Social Impact      
Parliament & Politics                    
Technology & IT    

Internships are not limited to these locations or sectors.

Research Abroad and Field Study Opportunities

Penn State students can apply for research opportunities or field study programs abroad. If students want to gain research experience in their field and prepare for graduate school, prepare for a career in research, or if they are interested in hands-on experiential learning, there are programs tailored specifically for them.

To search for research or field study opportunities, choose "Research" under the "Type of Program" category on the Advanced Program Search Page.

Examples of student research abroad:

  • Research on textile wastewater treatment by bioinspired antimicrobial nanofiltration membranes. (Adam U., EuroScholars, KU Leuven, Spring 2019)
  • Optimizing the device fabrication, by taking electrical measurements in a cryostat - for injecting and detecting spin current. (Ramya G., EuroScholars, Leiden Uni, Fall, 2015)
  • Research on sustainable drinking water production. (Nicole B., EuroScholars, KU Leuven, Spring 2015)

For more information, contact Education Abroad's international internships adviser.

Other Internship Opportunities

If a student would like to do a non-Penn State approved internship for academic credit, it is only possible if the student is enrolled in the internship course in the program/department. Otherwise, students will not be able to transfer the credits back. This is important for students who are in majors that require an internship to graduate. On the other hand, if a student would like to do an internship for work experience, and needs approval forms from Penn State, this process may take longer. In this case, other Penn State departments that are overseeing legal, academic, and safety repercussions of students' participation in non-Pen State programs need to be involved. Please note that students who are going abroad for an internship that is not part of an approved education abroad program should register their planned travel and internship information in the Travel Safety Network.

Examples of other internship opportunities:

Useful Contacts and Related Offices at Penn State

To better prepare for internships and research programs abroad, students should explore resources at Penn State that will enable them to set their professional and personal goals, to potentially get funding, or to obtain the necessary skills to get the most out of these experiences.