For many years now, St. Olaf students have found excellent opportunities to earn credit while gaining international internship experience. If you are considering an international academic internship, it is crucial that you first read the information below to ensure you understand all applicable policies and procedures.
Deadlines to register:
Interim Academic Internship - November 1st | Summer Academic Internship - April 1st
- Apply your academic coursework to a real-world work situation in an international setting.
- Work with both a faculty and site supervisor to maximize learning.
- Obtain practical and professional experience abroad that will give you a competitive edge in the job market or when applying to graduate schools.
- Receive a P/N grade and notation as academic internship on your official transcript.
- Grow your international professional network.
- Travel Warning: St. Olaf does NOT allow students to receive St. Olaf credit via Independent Study, Independent Research, or Academic Internships completed in countries under travel warning. See the U.S. Department of State's website.
- Institutional Review Board: If your academic internship will involve research activities with human subjects, be sure to see the Institutional Review Board’s website for steps to have your research project reviewed well in advance of the start date of your internship.
- For 1.0 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 160 hours (120 on-site).
- For 0.5 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 100 hours (80 on-site). NOTE: 0.5-credit internships cannot be completed during Interim.
- For 0.25 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 65 hours (55 on-site). NOTE: 0.25-credit internships cannot be completed during Interim.
- The academic internship counts as an elective credit and does not fulfill GE requirements. It can sometimes be counted toward the major or concentration. Signature from the department chair/program director is required if counting the academic internship toward a major or concentration.
INTERIM/SPRING: All paperwork due to Piper Center by NOVEMBER 1st
SUMMER: All paperwork due to Piper Center by APRIL 1st
If you plan to complete an international academic internship during fall term, please call x3268 and schedule an appointment with the Internships Program Director to discuss deadlines and requirements.
- Academic Internship Learning Agreement & Plan - the document will open and you will be able to electronically complete most sections. You can save the file to a common space to complete at a later date if needed. Upon completion, print the document & obtain the appropriate signatures.
- Parent/Guardian Waiver and Student Waiver - from International & Off-Campus Studies
- Academic Internship Abroad Form
- Medically-related Experiences Abroad - Appropriate Participation Form (for students who will participate in clinical or health care work abroad)
- Orientation: Students planning to do an academic internship abroad will be required to attend the International & Off-Campus Study (IOS) Office's study abroad orientation. Contact IOS for date/time depending on the term you will complete your academic internship abroad. Download the International Academic Internship Orientation Handbook.
- Reflection: Students returning from an academic internship abroad are strongly encouraged to have a one-on-one appointment with a Piper Center staff member to debrief and reflect on the experience. Students who register for an international academic internship will automatically be notified of dates/times for group reflection sessions. Contact the Piper Center at x3268 to schedule an individual appointment.
Summer International Academic Internships require completion of the Registration for St. Olaf Summer School Term II Form available at the Registrar's Office. This form, accompanied by a $50.00 non-refundable fee payable to the Registrar's Office, must be turned in along with a copy of the Academic Internship Learning Agreement & Plan, Waivers, and Academic Internship Abroad Form in order for students to be officially registered! The deadline to register for Summer International Academic Internships is April 1st . Students will be billed summer tuition rates for 0.25, 0.5 or 1.0 credit-bearing internship — the $50.00 non-refundable fee will be applied to the student's summer tuition bill.Registration Process
- Come to the Piper Center (Tomson Hall 270) to learn about internship opportunities and for assistance preparing a
resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills.
- Secure an internship.
- Designate a faculty supervisor. NOTE: supervisors of internships must have faculty status. It is preferred that you identify a faculty member from an academic department, but based on the internship, you may identify a head coach who has a faculty appointment (can assign grades, etc.). St. Olaf staff members, including assistant coaches, do not have faculty status.
- Access the Academic Internship Learning Agreement & Plan - fill out the form online... do NOT print and fill in by hand.
If you are completing the internship during the summer, make note of the additional requirements listed above.
- Begin filling out the learning plan. Finish the form with your faculty supervisor and your site supervisor. Sample Learning Goals & Strategies
- You, your faculty supervisor, and your site supervisor need to complete applicable sections and then sign on the required signatures section. The department chair's signature is required only if you want the internship to count toward your major or concentration.
- Carefully read and sign the student release form.
- Make an appointment with Kathy Tuma in the International and Off-Campus Studies Office to receive information about traveling abroad, the required Parent/Guardian and Student Waivers for study abroad, and to obtain her signature on your form.
- Print and complete the Academic Internship Abroad Form.
- After you have completed the paperwork (including the Parent/Guardian and Student Waivers from IOS) and obtained all the required signatures, call x3268 to make an appointment with the Internships Program Director in the Piper Center to finalize the application. The Piper Center is the last to sign the form before it is taken to the Registrar's Office. You must have an appointment, and you should schedule early! It can be difficult to obtain an appointment on the day of the registration deadline, so plan ahead.
- Consent to Release of General Information: Once you have obtained the signature of the Internship Program Director in the Piper Center, your name will be sent to the Dean of Students Office who will share pertinent information regarding any academic, emotional, medical, or behavioral issues with the Registrar's Office and your faculty supervisor. Should an issue be identified, the Registrar's Office will determine, through conversation with the appropriate Dean, whether to approve academic credit for the internship experience. See page 7 of the Academic Internship Learning Agreement & Plan for details.
- Copies of your Academic Internship Learning Agreement & Plan will be made available for the student, faculty supervisor, site supervisor, and Registrar's Office. Deadline to register an internship during the regular academic year is set in accordance with the Registrar's last day to add a semester-length course.
- If you are completing the internship during the summer, make note of the additional requirements listed above.
- If applicable, obtain an Interim Board Reimbursement Form from the Business Office window.
Questions? Stop by the Piper Center and talk with a Peer Advisor or staff member.
We strongly recommend that you spend a significant amount of time preparing for your internship abroad.
We encourage you to...
- Prepare on your own, under the guidance of faculty who have expertise related to your experience
- Read the following articles/books:
- "The Limits of Charity," by David Hilfiker
- "To Hell With Good Intentions," by Ivan Illich
- "Tourist Traps & Guilt Trips," by John Barbour
- Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
- Resources available from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute
- Request background information about the organization, clientele, work culture, community, etc. from the internship site supervisor
- Interview 3 people before departure, either people who are from that country or people who have significant knowledge and/or experience in the country where the internship will take place
- Meet with another student who has done an international academic internship
- Attend a panel during which the country/region/culture is discussed
- Consider and list on the Learning Agreement & Plan any previous coursework which covered related topics/regions
- Reflect on any previous experiences which resulted in skills or knowledge that would be helpful during the internship
- Talk at length with your faculty supervisor about your expectations, concerns, fears, and hopes for the experience