University of Wisconsin–Madison

FAQs

Who can host a UW-Madison intern?
Companies, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and universities are all potential hosts.

What type of students apply for internships?
Undergraduate students from all disciplines on the UW-Madison campus. We promote opportunities based on the organizations’ needs.

Does the internship have to be located abroad?
No. International internships can be based outside the U.S. or domestically, if the focus of the work done is international (trade, use of language, cross-cultural, etc.). The internship could also be predominantly virtual such that a student on campus could engage internationally.

Are language skills a requirement?
Organizations are able to specify language requirements for positions, if needed. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an international leader in foreign language education and research, offering instruction in over 80 modern and ancient languages. English-only positions are also very popular, if there is an appropriate setting, sufficient work, and an English-speaking supervisor for students with limited language skills.

How long are internships?
It varies. Most are semester-long (Fall is between September-December, Spring between January-May) or summer (between June-August). Combination of semester + summer is also possible. Generally the most popular durations for North American summer are 8-10 weeks, and 12-14 weeks for semester-long internships. However we will allow anything over 4 weeks and about 100 hours of time with the organization.

Are internships paid or unpaid?
Paid (corporate) or unpaid (NGO-based) internships are possible; but providing housing, stipend, and/or airfare can make a big difference in number of applicants. Remuneration can come in the form of a scholarship through the UW Foundation rather than direct payment to student if there are complications putting a student on payroll for short-term.

Are students engaged in work for academic credit?
We recommend (or require, based on host request) a 1-3 credit online course for students to reflect on the internship experience and increase intercultural communication knowledge and skills. Therefore, access to the internet and some time for the course are necessary.

When do internships need to be posted by?
Summer and Fall internships need to be posted early in January to allow time to review and then determine logistics before summer. Spring positions should be posted by the beginning of September.

What is required for a position description?
A clear and specific position description should be created to outline the deliverables/project/work the student will be expected to complete, and the skills/qualifications the organization is looking for. Having a clear position description up front will help us find the best candidate pool from which the organization can select.

How are students selected for internships?
IIP promotes the opportunity and collects applications, but the organization makes the selection to ensure best fit for the job. Interviews by Skype or phone are strongly encouraged and can be facilitated by IIP.

Who works with IIP from our organization in this process?
We need a responsive point person on the organization side to review candidates and work with our office and the selected intern on details. This person may or may not be the intern supervisor. There does need to be a single supervisor who is interested in working with the student and will help her/him meet the stated internship goals and an emergency contact on site.