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How to get internship in the United States

23 Jul, 2017

How to get internship in the United States

Introduction

Internship is an exchange of service for more desired experience. It can be a paid or voluntary service offered in a company by a student or a fresh graduate as a means to gain more experience or make a little extra money.

Internship in the United States is usually for international students who are probably seeking for completion of their papers or as a part of their coursework. In the United States, internship is very career based. An intern is very likely to intern in a company that is related to their course of study or career specifications. Most often, an intern is likely to work in an organization where he/she can be retained after the duration of the internship is exhausted.

Some internship services are paid while others are voluntary. Paid internship warrants a little stipend from the company. The remuneration is usually not as much as full staff are paid. Sometimes, it’s only enough to cover for transportation cost and a few bills. This is understandable because the intern is mostly after the experience. Then there is the unpaid or voluntary internship. This type is more beneficial to the student. Apart from the experience you’ll get, there’s usually a credit grade to be awarded at the end of the internship. Although people also do voluntary internship for passion sakes. This is usually done in non-governmental organizations, volunteer work, etc.

Types of internship

1) Vocational internship: This is a more task-oriented internship which allows the intern learn the intricacies of the vocation. This includes: engineering, fashion designing, etc.

2) Academic program internship: This is for undergraduate and master’s students who need to practicalize what they have learnt and so they are assigned to companies to work with in order to know the practical aspect of their study. This usually has a credit grade attached to it.

Requirements for internship in the United States

Internship in the states is usually for international students. This is in a bid to introduce them to the American system while also learning about their own culture. The most important requirement needed as an international student seeking internship is getting a J-1 visa. With a J-1 visa, you are open to up to 18 months of internship. Other requirements include

  • Must be enrolled in a degree or professional certificate program in a college or university and have studied for at least 2 years in a college or university. Or be a fresh graduate with less than 12 months post-graduation
  • Internship choice must be directly related to the intern’s academic field of study
  • Must understand that the purpose of the program is to serve and gain experience and not for the monetary gains
  • Must be 18 years of age and above
  • Should understand the American workplace culture.

 

Benefits of internship in the United States

An internship in the United States will make you a better student or worker. It is imperative that you have personal experience with the company you’re applying for that’s why companies create opportunities for internship. Some of the major benefits of interning in the states includes:

1) Learning the language: As a foreign student, it is of utmost importance to be able to communicate with the people in your new environment. Internship gives you that opportunity to learn the language and understand the intercultural difference between communities.

2) Improved skills: Learning in school is usually more theoretical. Internship gives you that practical side of learning. America is an entrepreneurial hub and as such, you will have varieties of organizations to work with to improve your skills or learn new ones.

3) Knowledge of the business culture: Coming to work in the states is very competitive and having knowledge of the business world is an added bonus for foreigners. Internship is the remedy. It will open your mind to understand the business culture and help you to fit in where necessary.

4) Personal growth: Internship helps you to improve yourself in whatever skills necessary. Apart from the fact that you’re learning the intricacies of the business sector, it helps in personal development. You’ll learn team work, organizational behavior, time management and so on that will be beneficial to you even after the internship.

 

Frequently asked questions

1) Who can apply for internship in the United States?

Participants must be foreign students looking for placements. Candidates must also have a history in the University/college or be a graduate with not more than 12 months prior to their graduation

2) Why do I need a sponsor?

Schooling in the states is very expensive and for a foreign student, adding tuition fees with accommodation, visa fee, etc. is going to burn a hole in your savings. It is advisable to get a sponsor that can shield some of the responsibilities like housing, transportation, etc.

3) What’s expected of a sponsor?

A sponsor should conduct thorough investigation into the company the intern intends to work with to make sure the company is not exploitive. Also, a sponsor is also required to assist the intern where necessary be it financial or socially.

4) Duration of the internship

Internship will run between six to eighteen months.

Conclusion

Getting an American visa is tasking. Getting a J-1 visa is also tasking but worthy. Procuring a place of internship in the United States is exceptionally stressful but very much worth the stress. Internship is every shade of good. The pros that comes with it outweighs every form of negativity that might be accrued within the procedure. Yes, the chances of getting an internship place at the first trial is as slim as 40% but it’s important that you keep trying until you get in. And then you’ll smile.

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