Congratulations on making the decision to include an internship as a part of your upcoming program abroad! This website has been built to help guide you through the CAPA internship application process. Please review all of the information included in this site very carefully to ensure you prepare yourself to be a great candidate for a competitive international placement.

Why Do an Internship Abroad?
How to Fill Out the Online Internship Application
Required Supporting Documents
How to Write a Resume
How to Write a Cover Letter
How to Request a Letter of Recommendation
How to Obtain a Police Background Check

 

Why Do an Internship Abroad?

Demonstrate flexibility and courage in unfamiliar surroundings.
Having an internship as an undergraduate is commendable. Having an internship in a different country is exceptionally so. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re proving to future employers that you’re willing to take on new challenges and that you have learned how to be flexible and hardworking no matter the setting.

Gain cross-cultural communications skills.
Your coworkers and supervisors may come from a myriad of different countries, cities, and cultures. As an intern, you will learn not only how to perform in your job duties, but also how to effectively communicate and coordinate with people whose backgrounds may be quite different from your own.

Learn about your field from a different perspective.
No matter what field you are planning to work in, different cultures bring different perspectives. By working and learning alongside people from another country, you will learn things you never knew about your chosen field of study. The way the Chinese approach business; the way Australians approach medicine; the way Brits approach marketing; all of these experiences will expand your education beyond the American classroom.

Stand out from the crowd in the competitive job market.
Getting that first full-time job is not as easy as it used to be. International work experience can really jump off the page and impress that first set of eyes that is looking at a student’s resume. When you are called in for an interview, your international experience may even be the first thing the prospective job site wants to hear about.

Build relationships with international references.
At the end of a successful internship, you will have a supervisor and maybe even multiple coworkers who can act as references for your uture job search. By doing an internship abroad, you are naturally expanding your professional network and increasing the possibilities for future employment.

Find further immersion in local culture.
Most students name “getting to know locals” near the top of their lists of goals for study abroad. One of the best ways to make these connections is to have a work experience. Not only can your coworkers provide new perspectives on your chosen field and workplace culture, but they can also become your friends.

How to Fill Out the Online Internship Application

When you start to fill out your general program application you will be asked if you plan on participating in an internship. If you answer yes upon completion of the general application, you will be directed to fill out the CAPA online internship application, also named the experiential learning application.

The CAPA online internship application form is designed to give the Internships Team as much information about you as possible. The more detail we have about your experience, interests, and aspirations, the more closely we can match you to an appropriate site. How you fill in the form is therefore essential.

Follow this step-by-step guide and you will have a complete application.

Internship
Make sure that the correct experiential learning choice is selected.

Program
Make sure that the correct program is selected (CAPA center, your school, etc.)

Please list any course work or experience gained through your degree that is relevant to your internship goals.
List all courses taken that are relevant to your internship areas by course title. Do not list courses by course number. Remember to include courses relevant to any of the three areas of interest you have listed. Do not just concentrate on your first choice.

Please list 3 examples of employment or extracurricular involvement demonstrating responsibility. Include a description of your duties.
Give as much detail as you can about the kind of experience gained in each position where you have worked. Do not simply list a job title. Use bullet points for each specific duty and skill required in each role. Where possible, relate your experience to your areas of interest.
Example:
Internship for Any Place Ltd (Marketing Dept)
Organized a mail shot to prospective company clients
Created and updated client database
Made follow up calls
Participated in business meetings and researched clients and competitors on the internet
Assisted with day to day administration
Publicity Officer for Any Place University Debating Club
Organized and planned meetings
Media liaison with University newspaper and television
Special event planning and co-ordination
Reporting to committee
Cashier Any Place Groceries
Greeted customers and assisted them with their purchases
Kept shelves stocked and ensured the store was in a clean and tidy condition
Opened up on certain occasions and often counted cash and closed store
Maintained a customer data base

Please list your desired areas of internship in order of preference.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT section of the application form. Your options may be severely limited if you do not fill out each section carefully.
The following examples below are an example of how NOT to list your choices as the list is too broad and vague. This list reflects the choices of a student who hasn’t really decided what they want.

Marketing
Real Estate
Theater
If Marketing was your primary area of study, you SHOULD choose which aspect of it most interests you. Then offer some generalized alternatives for your second and third choices.

The following list below is a good example of how to complete your choices to help the internship team focus on your specific interest in your field.
Generalized Marketing
Public Relations
Event Planning

Never be overly specific however, as this offers the internships team no scope.
An Example of What NOT to Do:
Fashion Marketing for High End Retail Chain
Fashion Marketing Department Store
Fashion Marketing For a High End Brand

Never quote specific companies as a choice. If you have a particular company in mind, mention it only as a possibility. For example: Theater (if possible with the RSC or Gate Theater).
Be aware that certain internships are only available to students with previous experience in the field. Internships within high profile corporate companies, for instance, are extremely competitive and only the top applicants with the most extensive experience can be considered. Internships in creative fields such as journalism, broadcasting, graphic design and theater, etc., do not guarantee creative input. Creative fields do, however, require you to submit an electronic portfolio containing samples of your work. If you are applying for internships in any of these fields, please make sure you read the “Realistic Expectations” section of this handbook following the sample application.

What are your future career plans and how will your internship placement area relate to these plans?
Be as informative as you can, be but be open. If you have no specific aspirations, say so. If you have a very clearly defined career path, let us know that also. The more information we have, the better our match will be. Have reasonable expectations, though. Internships abroad are very different from what you may have experienced elsewhere, and some steps you may be anxious to take to advance your career may just not be feasible within the internship environment.
Example:

My career plans are to go into the marketing field but I have not yet decided in which direction I want to go beyond that. I find events marketing and planning particularly interesting and would ideally like the opportunity to see how the industry works first hand and also gain an international perspective. I feel that the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the communications field will be beneficial to my career and I would enjoy the chance to explore areas that I have not yet encountered. Public Relations, for instance, is a field I have considered as a possible career option.

What type of duties do you expect to be given?
All realistic expectations will be met by any of our sites. The type of internship will vary, however, depending on the site and your particular assignment. Some sites offer team projects, others offer individual projects and still others will offer experience helping out on a day-to-day basis. Some will involve client contact, some may not. If you have a particular preference for the type of work you want to do, let us know and we will do our best to meet your expectations.
Example:
I anticipate doing fairly straightforward tasks to begin with in the hope that as I demonstrate my ability I will be given more complex work. Assisting a professional on a specific project would be an ideal way to learn and develop my skills. I would hope that I would be given as wide a variety of experiences as possible although I would of course expect a certain amount of “grunt work.”

If you are seeking a political placement, how important is it that your site reflects your political beliefs? Please give an indication of those beliefs if applicable.
Be clear if you have any strong beliefs that might affect your placement. If this question is not applicable to your internship site, you can leave this blank.

Please provide any additional information that will assist us in locating the most appropriate and rewarding placement for you. Include any special skills you may have i.e. computers, languages, strengths, personal qualities, etc.

Tell us everything that may be a selling point, such as: computer skills, languages, academic prizes, and particular interests. It will be of interest to our placement sites if you have lived or studied abroad or visited this country before.
Example:
Computer skills:
Microsoft Office
Excel
Access
PowerPoint
Languages:
French (6 years)
I studied in France for a semester
Strengths and Skills:
Organized
Reliable
Team Player
Uses Initiative
Trustworthy
Good Problem Solver
Academic Awards:
Dean’s List
Interests:
Public speaking, tennis, reading, theater and politics
Internship agreement
Read this carefully and then mark “I agree” at the end of the agreement.
Additional notes and documents
Mark “I agree” and “Yes” where asked to complete the application. Use the file upload section to attach the necessary documents to your application. The list of required documents is provided in a checklist.
If you cannot scan and/or upload your documents electronically, please send physical copies to the CAPA Boston Office: 65 Franklin St., Boston MA 02110
Save and Continue
Click on save and continue. The next screen will show you your internship application. If you need to edit your application, click on “Internship” on the left side menu under number 2 and then click “edit” at the bottom. When you are finished with your internship application, click onto step 3 on the left side menu to complete your CAPA online application.


Have Questions?

Anne McDonnell

CAPA Program Manager

amcdonnell@capa.org or 800-793-0334

 

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CAPA The Global Education Network is committed to academic excellence, integrity and innovation in learning abroad. Our mission is to provide meaningful experiences that challenge and inspire students to analyze and explore complex political, cultural and social landscapes within urban environments. Through our commitment to personalized learning, collaborative learning communities and global connections via technology, we prepare students to live and work in a globally interdependent and diverse world.