By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications
Institute, November 6, 2015 — Many students know that they can gain international
experience through study abroad programs, but few know that an internship can also
provide valuable international education experience.
An upper-division course offered through the UCLA
International Institute’s Academic Programs (International & Area Studies
195CE) enables students to earn four units for an internationally oriented
internship. Launched in 2014, the directed summer session course allows UCLA
juniors and seniors to work off-campus at a business or non-profit organization
on a paid or volunteer basis. The location of the internship can be local,
national or international. The program is open to all majors.
Here’s how it works. Students finds an internship using the
online listings and resources of the UCLA Center for
Community Learning (CCL) and/or the International Institute’s Academic
Programs, as well as through their own targeted research. After securing
the internship and enrolling in the I A Std 195CE course, students then spend
80-100 hours over the course of 10 weeks at the internship site. During that
time, they apply international studies theories and concepts to their
internship experience, analyzing the effects of the global, interconnected
nature of our world on people, cultures, politics, economics and organizations.
In other words, students take their academic knowledge
beyond the classroom. In course papers and during one-on-one meetings with the course
coordinator, they analyze their organizations and work experience within an
international context. Each week, they address such themes as international
markets, corporate social responsibility, global development practices, migration
and transnational identities, mass communications technologies, and human and
political rights. A final research paper then explores a specific aspect of the
student’s internship within an international framework.
The course gives UCLA students a hands-on way to gain
insight into the global nature of the contemporary world while gaining useful
job skills. Past students have done internships at Human Rights Watch, the U.S.
Department of State, the United Nations, Women Thrive Worldwide, local
congressional offices (doing research on immigrant populations) and investment
firms. Other possible organizational hosts include the Democracy Council,
International Medical Corps, mothers2mothers and Global Philanthropy Group,
Effective summer 2016, a new scholarship
fund became available to help students defray the costs of doing an international
internships. Preference id given to students wishing to pursue an
internship abroad that deals with improving people’s financial literacy.
Students interested in registering for the I A Std 195CE
course next summer should have potential internship placement sites in mind no
later than the end of spring quarter 2018.
Updated fall 2017