Pilot Program Offers Virtual International Internships for Summer Students

University of Arkansas

The Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange and the Honors College are teaming up to pilot a virtual international internship program for Honors students this summer. This exploratory program allows students to put travel concerns aside to develop meaningful international connections with companies, NGOs, health and education organizations.

Although it's not a substitute for a traditional on-site experience, this pilot provides project-based pathways for students to develop their resume and professional skills, while making international industry connections.

"When international travel became limited, we had to think more creatively than ever before," said Sarah Malloy, director of the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange. "Initially I met the idea of virtual 'anything' international with skepticism. I still readily acknowledge that nothing is equivalent to a place-based international experience. However, our focus remains the same with this virtual international internship pilot program — to inspire students to think critically and engage globally."

Providing opportunities for U of A students to develop global fluency remains a priority for the Office of Study Abroad and the Honors College. Global/Intercultural fluency is identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers as one of the top competencies associated with career readiness. According to NACE research, students who demonstrate the readiness competencies are more prepared for a successful transition into the workplace.  

"With supportive academic departments and reliable partners that the study abroad office staff have maintained, we expect that a virtual internship can be obtained that aligns with students' future goals," said Jennie Popp, associate dean of the Honors College.

"An Honors education is characterized by a learning environment that focuses on discovery, creativity, and service," said Popp. She added that this pilot is exploring whether Honors students will be able to meet the same academically rigorous expectations of a place-based internship.

Virtual International Internships included in this pilot allow students to earn 3 U of A credit hours. In addition to the internship, many providers offer professional mentorship, interactive online orientations, career coaching, e-portfolio training, completion certificates or digital badges. All students approved to participate in the Honors College pilot will be provided a scholarship of up to 60% of the total cost of participation.

Contact a study abroad advisor at studyabr@uark.edu to apply for the pilot, as many programs have June 1 deadlines. Scholarships are available for a limited number of accepted participants.

Eligible Virtual International Internship Programs: 

CIS | Application Deadline: June 1 | Program Dates: July 2 - Aug. 14 | Art & Design, Business, Communication, Education, Health, Natural & Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, 

Global Experiences | Application Deadline: May 30 | Program Dates: June 29 - Aug. 21 | Business, Finance, Marketing, Accounting, Graphic Design, IT/Computing, SEO, Journalism 

ISA 4-week Group Project | Application Deadline: June 1 | Program Dates: July 10 - Aug. 7 |Marketing, Communication, Business, International Business, Finance, Software engineering, Computer Science 

SAI Florence | Application Deadline: June 1 | Program Dates: June 22 - July 31 | Florence: Online Marketing, Digital Promotion, Education, Digital Communication 

SIT | Application Deadline: June 1 | Program Dates: June 12 - Aug. 15 | Virtual Internship in Counseling & Humanitarian Action in Jordan, Virtual Internship in Public Health in the Tropics in Kenya, Virtual Internship in Sexuality and Gender in the Netherlands, Virtual Internship in Transitional Justice in Human Rights & Memory Activism in Serbia & Kosovo, Virtual Internship in Social Justice & Activism in South Africa 

USAC | Application Deadline: June 15 | Program Dates Span June 1 - Aug. 7 | Digital marketing and social media management, Business, Event Planning, Engineering, Translation, Social welfare/Social services, English language instruction, Journalism, Research/Grant-Writing






Amy Unruh, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
417-575-5809, unruh@uark.edu


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