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A Division of the International Studies Office

For Partners

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia (UVA) is a top-tier research institute and ranked the third best public university in the U.S.A. As a public institution aimed towards the development of responsible citizen leaders and professionals, the University places emphasis upon critical thinking and providing opportunities for its students to connect their classroom-based learning to matters of local, national, and global significance.

The University is comprised of eleven faculties and it confers undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees to a student body of approximately 21,000. There is overwhelming interest from students across Grounds, in all majors and schools, for internships overseas. Our highly motivated students are eager to contribute their skills, fresh perspectives, and enthusiasm to further your organization’s goals; in exchange, students hope to gain cross-cultural and professional experience. Please visit our Career Center’s webpage to further explore the question of “why hire UVA.”

HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF UVA GLOBAL INTERNSHIPS

Created in support of the “high-impact educational experiences” and “global experiences” strategies outlined in UVA’s Cornerstone Plan, UVA Global Internships is beginning its sixth full year in operation in Fall 2019. We are grateful to our partners who so generously established positions for students in previous years. We work to support all students (undergraduate and graduate) at all eleven schools of UVA.

UVA Global Internships is a unit of the Education Abroad division of the International Studies Office.

Our unit was established at the same time as two additional new campus internationalization initiatives- the Center for Global Inquiry and the Global Studies undergraduate major. We continue to work closely with these and other units associated with UVA Global, as we see our various emphases (on research, experiential education, and classroom-based education) to be mutually reinforcing. We strongly value our many collaborations across UVA Grounds, as we all play our parts to contribute to the ongoing internationalization of our academic community.

OUR GUIDING AIMS AND PRINCIPLES

As an education abroad initiative based in a university, we feel we have the particular duty to emphasize and enhance the learning at the heart of the internship experience.

We aim for our student-interns to:

  • + Approach their internships abroad as multi-dimensional learning opportunities and to be supported in their growth by faculty, university staff, fellow peers, and partner organizations
  • + Engage with substantive intellectual themes and challenges through their work
  • + Develop appreciation for a diverse range of knowledge producers
  • + Exercise clear understandings of health, safety, and risk (which is inherent to experience) and develop tools for managing these matters wisely
  • + Participate in internships abroad that emerge from ethical, reciprocal, respectful relationships with partner organizations and communities

OUR EXPECTATIONS OF OUR PARTNERS

  • Position descriptions and recruitment processes: We will mutually agree upon baseline expectations regarding the nature of the internship position, the intern’s role and responsibilities, and the practical details of the work experience, as well as outline a customized process for recruitment and selection.
  • Meaningful work: We will work together to plan for student-interns to participate in meaningful projects that will contribute to the mission of the organization.
  • Supervision and evaluation: Student-interns are expected to have a designated on-the-ground supervisor and/or mentor to guide their activities during their work term, as well as an orientation to the organization upon their arrival. At the end of the internship period, we will request supervisors to provide feedback on their intern’s performance and suggestions to further enrich our partnership.
  • Shared aims: We will act with the understanding that learning and cross-cultural exchange are key outcomes for all parties involved in the internship arrangement.
  • Length of placements: Internship opportunities should be designed for the ideal length of time needed to complete assigned tasks. We kindly request that no opportunities be established for less than six weeks, as we have found this to be the minimum length of time necessary to achieve meaningful outcomes.

INTERESTED IN ESTABLISHING A NEW PARTNERSHIP?

If you would like to explore the possibility of offering a UVA-exclusive internship with Global Internships or would like to learn more about our efforts, please contact the director, Ingrid Hakala.