|Plan Your Internship
Through international feminist internships, students
learn about the challenges and opportunities facing women around
the world. An international internship is an exciting way to apply
theoretical lessons learned in graduate programs to concrete practical
situations in real world contexts. A successful internship experience
requires careful planning well in advance of the date a student
arrives at the internship site.
Guidelines to finding a successful internship
- Start the search and planning process as early as possible,
preferably at least three months prior to the earliest deadline
for the funding, or six months prior to your desired start date
for the placement.
- Examine our website and others like it for past students' placements
and look at their internship sites. More detailed evaluations
by some of the interns are available at the Center on Women and
Public Policy. Please contact
us if you would like to read the evaluations.
- Talk to as many faculty, fellows, staff and other students
as you can about your interests and ask them who you should talk
to find an internship in Guatemala or working on domestic violence,
- Send your prospective organizations a letter of interest describing
your interests and background. Tell about your academic work,
volunteer work, and previous employment. Highlight any skills
you might have such as statistical analysis or web page design.
Include how you learned about their organization by referring
to UM faculty or former student interns. Use all forms of communication
(telephone, fax, E-mail, and letter) until you receive a reply.
Be persistent until you get your placement and a letter of commitment.
- While you search for an internship placement you should also
be looking for possible grants and fellowships since most positions
are unpaid. Fortunately, there are several types of funding available.
Pay attention to funders' deadlines and criteria. Most grant applications
are due during February and early April and require the following
on their applications:
- A two- to three-page essay describing the project, the
sponsoring organization, and the relevance of the project
for your academic or professional training.
- A current transcript of your graduate/professional schoolwork
(usually an unofficial photocopy is fine).
- A letter of commitment to your internship from the sponsoring
organization. This written commitment is difficult to acquire
by the deadline, but essential. Tell your organization as
soon as they express an interest that you need this letter
by whatever date. You may need to remind them and arrange
for a fax.
- A letter of reference from your adviser speaking to your
readiness and qualifications to undertake the project and
how it fits in to your graduate program.
- Once your placement is confirmed and your financial situation
is cleared, PREPARE yourself. Make sure to apply for the necessary
documents (passports, visas etc.) Read multiple travel guides,
Studies by the Federal Research Division of the Library of
Congress and State
Department's Background Notes (also available in hardcopy
& Publications Library in Wilson Library, for example).
Make an appointment with your physician for necessary immunizations,
to gather health information about your placement country, and
to apply for medical insurance coverage. If possible, make housing
arrangement before departure. See films from that country, and
take language prep-courses if necessary.
- You may want to consult other internship guides.