How internship programs benefit and empower international students

An intern makes a presentation to colleagues at her work experience placement.

For many students embarking on their first ever study abroad adventure, the thought of doing an internship while overseas might seem overwhelming. After all, you've worked hard to get the grades, applied to the best schools, and organized millions of other details to get this far – so why complicate things further?

The truth is, taking on an internship during your time abroad is hands down one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Not only does it offer an early chance to learn more about yourself, both personally and professionally, it gives you a rare opportunity to showcase traits such as drive, organization, and global-mindedness – all things that stand out on graduate school applications and resumes.

Think of it as hitting several life goals at once: traveling, learning new skills, and improving your employability.

A student poses on the high street of Central London at night


The great news is that many of SAF’s partner universities, including the University of Westminster in London, offer internship programs that allow you to gain work experience while earning academic credits. 

Here are some of the benefits that students can expect after taking part in internships during their UoW study abroad journey. 

Applying classroom knowledge in the real world

Internships are a fantastic opportunity to translate theory into practical experience. Instead of sitting on the knowledge and skills you've gained in the classroom, you can apply them immediately in a real-world workplace. 

What’s more, the University of Westminster has a dedicated department, the Careers and Employability Service (CES), that develops internship opportunities which are tailored to students' studies and skills. So you can rest easy knowing that your placement will align well with your academic subjects and career aspirations.


University of Westminster Content 08


Growing your network

As the saying goes: teamwork makes the dream work! For many organizations, interns are essential staff members that work as part of a broader team, and the best place to start forging connections within your industry. Internship fields offered by the University of Westminster run the gamut, everything from social media and event planning for prestigious art galleries and fashion brands to market research and client liaison for leading advertising and PR agencies. 

For networking-savvy students, internships like these are an arena to engage with colleagues who can witness your professional growth, learn about your ambitions, and provide valuable feedback along the way. 

Students go on a walking tour in London, England.


Tailored for the ambitious student

One of the standout benefits of pursuing an internship during your study abroad is that it caters specifically to students who want to maximize their global education opportunities. Internships abroad are especially beneficial for proactive learners, career-focused individuals, and culturally adaptable students who thrive in new environments, whether that’s navigating the multicultural borough of Westminster or engaging in the dynamic work environment of bustling central London.

Learn the art of setting goals and working towards them

Landing an internship doesn’t happen overnight. It involves a lot of careful preparation, but that’s also part of the fun; setting goals and working towards them has given many SAF students a real sense of anticipation and accomplishment during their time abroad. 

To start with, familiarize yourself with the internship expectations offered through your host university – something an SAF advisor can help with well in advance of your travels. 

For example, at the University of Westminster, the first step to participating in their concurrent study abroad internship is to select the Professional and Personal Skills Development course as a preference during application. This course, part of a semester or year-long study abroad program, is worth 20 UK credits and offered either during the fall or spring semester (not both).

You’ll also be asked to complete a form from the university about desired roles and fields related to the internship course. The internships offered are part-time, running for 12 weeks, and require students to work 14 hours across two to three days each week – so it’s wise to plan your UoW internship during a semester with a lighter course load. 

digital marketing students in London learn about consumer personas the process of writing for online customer acquisition and retention and


As a final point, many students say that the hardest part of an internship is actually finding one – the right place that matches their studies, skills, and interests. 

Fortunately, with partner universities like the University of Westminster, that groundwork is already done. The university handles all details related to the possible internship course, offering opportunities across a variety of organizations, including large corporations, SMEs, charities, and schools, with many placements integrated directly into the curriculum. 

That means that the biggest hurdle is already cleared! All you need to do is show up and thrive. To learn more about aligning your international study experience with a meaningful internship, schedule a consultation today.