Cambridge is a combination of British intellectual elitism and modern discovery, making it an ideal location for interns seeking professional experience abroad. Nestled amongst rolling green hills, boat-studded canals, and curved stone walls of the historic University of Cambridge, the city has been smoothed by the countless hands that have passed through its gates and onto academic excellence. Although immensely proud of its reputation and incredible history, Cambridge is also home to a thriving and youthful culture, as well as leading researchers and developers in some of the top industries in the world, making it the perfect place for internships abroad.
Internships in Cambridge
With the many colleges, academic institutions, and bustling city culture, Cambridge is a popular location for those looking to intern in the United Kingdom, as there are numerous internship opportunities. Internships in Cambridge vary in length, but most last anywhere between six weeks, six months, or a year. When it comes to placements, many internships in Cambridge are found in the following fields.
Engineering & Technology. Cambridge and its surrounding area is often referred to as Silicon Fen due to its similarity to Silicon Valley with the sheer number of research and business corporations. The city is a hotbed for technological and engineering innovation. The Cambridge Science Park, just three kilometers north of Cambridge, provides ample opportunities for interns looking to enter the fields of engineering or technology through a variety of professional pathways.
Tourism. For a relatively small city, Cambridge attracts hordes of tourists each year, mostly due to its longstanding tradition as a crucial centerpiece in British history. The world-renown University of Cambridge and the surrounding ancient streets (as well as its collection of over forty museums and galleries) also attract many travelers. Interns may choose from a variety of fields under an umbrella of tourism, such as hospitality or museum management. Cambridge’s vast array of cultural experiences allow for a number of opportunities in this fast-growing and developing field.
Medicine & Pharmaceutical Research. With such close ties to the University of Cambridge and to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest centers of health science and medical research in Europe and the world, the city of Cambridge is a city filled with internship opportunities in medicine and research. An internship in Cambridge in medicine or pharmaceuticals is an incredible chance to develop your skills as a medical professional in a city where some of the top hospitals in the UK are located.
Life in Cambridge
When dreaming of the quintessential, historic city in the United Kingdom, one might picture curving cobblestoned walkways lined with lush ivy, grand arches framing the doorways of ancient libraries, or the quiet flow of canals snaking through the center of the city in a light drizzle of rain. Cambridge, often touted as the prettier city in the rivalry between itself and Oxford, is often described as such. With thousands of years of history dating back to before the Bronze Age, Cambridge is a small city that has managed to hold fast to its historic upbringings while always keeping an eye on the future.
For young interns looking to learn from both their professional and personal experiences while abroad, internships in Cambridge are a perfect fit. With so many colleges and universities, there is a distinctly youthful culture throughout the garden-lined streets of the city. This is particularly evident in the numerous pubs, where most students and young professionals congregate to share a pint at their favorite neighborhood spot.
Aside from the many cultural and historical opportunities at Cambridge’s many colleges and museums, the city is also home to numerous festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, theatre, film, and the world’s largest science festival.
Cambridge is a city meant to be explored on foot, bike, or by punting (using a pole to steer your flat-bottomed boat along Cambridge’s waterways). Each neighborhood is distinct in its own way, and delving deeper into the city as the locals do allows you to have a fully immersive experience. Bicycling through Cambridge is very popular, and the Cambridge Railway Station connects directly to major train stations and airports in London, which is just one hour away.
Salary & Costs
Paid internships are widespread in the United Kingdom, making internships in Cambridge somewhat more feasible for international applicants with initially limited budgets. Payment for internships in Cambridge typically come in the form of compensations or stipends.
The cost of living in the UK can be somewhat high, and Cambridge can also be expensive since it is a tourist-centered city. Luckily, Cambridge is also a university city, so interns can be budget conscious by taking advantage of under 25 or student discounts offered throughout the United Kingdom. Additionally, Cambridge is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, or a very efficient public transportation system of buses.
Accommodation & Visas
The most common form of accommodation for interns in Cambridge is apartments (“flats”) or townhouses. Many internship providers include accommodations in internship program packages, or will at least assist interns in finding a place to live.
All internships in the United Kingdom, whether paid or unpaid, require a Tier 5 Visa.
In order to obtain this visa, individuals must have a certificate of sponsorship from the organization with whom they will be interning in Cambridge.
You must apply for this visa at least three weeks before entering the UK, although the application process is relatively simple and fast. Be sure to have all of your paperwork when traveling into the UK, as you will be asked for it upon entry. The Tier 5 Visa allows individuals to stay and intern in Cambridge for up to two years, depending on the length the specific internship program.
Benefits & Challenges
Challenging Numbers. Many graduate students in the UK are actually required to undertake internships or apprenticeships in order to complete their degree. As a result, competition for available internships in Cambridge can make it challenging to find a placement, especially with the city’s incredibly large student population.
- Personal & Professional Development. To this day, Cambridge remains a leader of innovation and intellectual prowess, in both Britain and the rest of Europe. The professional experience gained through an internship in Cambridge, a city with such a proud and esteemed reputation, will equip interns with the skills necessary to perform well in a fast-moving and challenging professional environment in the future.