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Internships

Students in International Studies may pursue internships, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Internships that have an international focus and are undertaken for credit can, with approval of the director of International Studies, be used to satisfy the International Educational Experience requirement.

For examples, see the list of internships undertaken by International Studies majors in recent years located in the Canvas site for International Studies.

Receiving Academic Credit

International Studies students can receive credit for internships through various academic departments, as well as through the International Studies Program itself. 

Requirements to Receive Academic Credit

Credit through disciplinary areas. International Studies students can receive credit through the internship courses offered within academic departments (such as Political Science and Public Administration; History; Languages, Literatures and Cultures; etc.). Those disciplinary courses are generally only available to students who are double-majoring (or sometimes minoring) in those areas, and will generally count as an elective toward that major (or minor). Depending on the nature of the experience, such an internship may also count as an elective toward the student’s concentration within International Studies. Students pursuing such internships should make arrangements with the respective department, and contact their advisor or the director of International Studies if they would like to request that the disciplinary internship course be validated as an elective for the International Studies major and/or counted in fulfillment of the International Educational Experience requirement. 

Credit through International Studies. Students also may receive academic credit directly through the International Studies Program, by enrolling in INS4941. Students interested in doing so must follow these steps: 

  1. Prior to the semester in which the internship will be undertaken for credit, the student must have successfully completed three upper-level courses within the major, including INS3003 Introduction to International Studies, and have a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. The student should identify an internship opportunity, and complete and submit any application materials as required by the sponsoring entity.
  3. Upon acceptance, the student must secure an offer letter from the on-site internship supervisor (on official letterhead, with an electronic copy being acceptable) indicating the following: the nature of the student’s responsibilities; an approximate indication of the student’s work schedule during the semester in question, for a total of at least 150 hours; and a statement of the supervisor's willingness to provide a written evaluation of the student’s performance the end of the term. (If the student has received an offer letter that does not meet these criteria but which relates to an established institutional internship program, such as those run by government agencies, that letter may be acceptable. Consult with the director of International Studies for assistance.)
  4. The student must complete the Internship Agreement found on the Forms page of this website.
  5. The offer letter and Internship Agreement form must be submitted to the director of the International Studies Program by the corresponding deadline, as follows: March 15 for summer internships (Summer A, B, and C); April 1 for fall internships; or November 1 for spring internships. In certain cases, a student who has spoken with the director of International Studies about their application for a specific internship, prior to the deadlines stated here, will be granted an extension to supplied the required materials.
  6. A student who would like to use their internship in fulfillment of the International Educational Experience for International Studies must also submit the Request for Approval to Register in INS3950 International Educational Experience, found on the Forms page of the Canvas group site for the International Studies Program.
  7. International students (those holding F1 or J1 visas) who seek to pursue internships in the U.S. must submit a completed CPT form to the International Center by the dates indicated in step 5 above.
  8. The names of students whose internships are approved will be notified via email that they have been given permission to register for the internship course INS4941.
  9. All students whose internships will take place outside the U.S. must meet with the International Center to complete any necessary paperwork by: April 1 for summer internships (Summer A, B, and C); May 1 for fall internships; or December 1 for spring internships. 
  10. The student should consult with their on-site supervisor regarding the preferred method for keeping track of their hours. In most cases, an Excel spreadsheet will be appropriate. The student will submit this record of hours to the on-site supervisor, not to the director of International Studies, and that on-site supervisor will attest to the completion of the total hours (see next item).
  11. By the final day of classes of the semester which corresponds to the student’s internship (the Friday before final exams begin—student should refer to the UNF Academic Calendar to determine that date), the student must submit to the director of International Studies the following: the on-site supervisor’s letter, evaluating the students’ work and affirming that at least 150 hours were completed (supervisor may alternatively submit this directly to the director of International Studies ); and a reflective paper of 4-6 double-spaced pages addressing the following questions (in essay, not question-and-answer format): What did you learn during this experience? How has this experience impacted your future academic or professional plans?
  12. After reviewing these materials, the director of International Studies will enter a grade for INS4941. 

Last revised 8/23/2022

Financial Assistance

The sources of funding listed in the section on the Study Abroad page of this website generally may also be used to support internships abroad that are undertaken for credit. For assistance, contact the International Center.

Registering for and Completing INS3950 International Educational Experience

If you are using an internship to fulfill the International Educational Experience requirement, you must register for the 0-credit course INS3950 for the semester in which you will be doing your internship. For more information, see the programs and courses page.

Finding and Applying

Opportunities in Jacksonville and North Florida:

  • The International Studies Program has relationships with refugee resettlement and youth programs operated by Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities. Students who seek interning with these programs should contact the director of the International Studies Program.
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens offers an unpaid Volunteer Engagement Internship. Participants gain experience with program management in a non-profit setting and the running of large-scale volunteer program.
  • The Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts interns. Contact the director of International Studies. 
  • International Studies students have interned in the past with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville.
  • GlobalJax has internship programs focused on marketing and communications and government relations. Contact the director of International Studies.
  • The director of International Studies can help students to explore other possibilities for internships in North Florida.

Opportunities elsewhere in Florida:

  • Students looking to do internships within Florida may consider working with one of the foreign consulates located in the state. Those include the Colombian, Haitian and Mexican consulates in Orlando; those of Greece, Panama and Peru in Tampa; and the over 30 consulates in Miami, many of which correspond to nations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Opportunities elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad:

  • UNF has a relationship with the Washington Center, which helps students to find internships and lodging in Washington, DC. The State of Florida provides financial assistance to students who are selected to participate. For more information, contact the director of International Studies oDr. Mary Borg, professor of political economy. 
  • The Department of State Diplomat in Residence for the Southeast Region can provide assistance in applying for internships with the Department of State, both within the US and overseas.
  • The FBI, the CIA, and other federal agencies have programs for interns. For the FBI (which has an office in Jacksonville on Gate Parkway), see the student page on the FBI jobs website
  • Global Engagement can assist students in arranging internships through UNF's international partners, and the International Center can provide assistance to students looking for other internships outside the US.

Other resources:

  • The Department of Political Science and Public Administration maintains a list of internship opportunities in Jacksonville and elsewhere in Florida, as well as in Washington, DC, and New York City. They can assist students in International Studies to identify and apply. For information contact Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, visiting distinguished scholar and director of the Public Service Leadership Program, or Dr. Mary Borg, professor of political economy.
  • Career Services can help students research internship opportunities, and can also assist in preparing a resume and other materials needed for a successful application. 

A Note on Timing 

For some opportunities, such as those with the Department of State, the deadlines can be far in advance (more than 6 months) of start dates. If you want to do an internship, therefore, you should begin planning as early as possible. If you wait until your last few semesters at UNF, you may be too late to take advantage of some opportunities. Many larger, institutional internship programs are only available to current, registered students.

Research Internships

On occasion, current International Studies students and recent graduates from the Program have pursued internships as research assistants—either for credit or as volunteers—to UNF faculty on specific projects. This is not a common arrangement, but one that can, under certain circumstances, be beneficial both to faculty members and to students who are interested in gaining experience and building their resumes as they prepare for graduate school. For more information, contact the director of International Studies.