IES Internships Programs
Intern in this stunning metropolis, a center for global business, arts, and culture. Take the MTA to your internship (the world's oldest, largest, and most-used public transit...
IES Internships, a unit of IES Abroad, offers hands-on, professional internships in some of the world's most exciting cities. Whether you chose an eight-week, full-time summer...
IES Internships Reviews
Berlin internship - summer 2017
Submitted by KD - University of Pittsburgh | February 01, 2018
This was not my first time going abroad or even studying abroad. I had studied abroad in Berlin with another program during the Summer of 2016. Although I liked my trip then, my experience was so much better the second time around.
The first thing I did differently was do a home-stay instead of living in the apartments. Although living in the apartments got me closer to the people that I was doing the program with, I wasn't practicing my German at all.
Another thing I did differently was take advantage of my weekends. I went to Prague, Amsterdam, Poland, Munich and Brussels. Sometimes I was by myself and sometimes I went with others, but either way I had a great time! If I wasn't going somewhere else, I was taking advantage of everything that Berlin had to offer. From shows, to tea houses, to museums, I never felt bored.
Having an internship also really made me feel like I was living in Berlin. My internship was at the Charité Krankenhaus as a researcher. I absolutely loved it there! The people were amazing and made me really feel at home.
The one thing I didn't like about the internship was the safety aspect of it. Luckily the apartment I was staying in never got broken into but the apartments of the people not doing homestays did. They lived right by the Brandenburg Tor in center city but were never informed of the fact that you have to double lock your doors here for it do actually be locked. It's really strange because for some reason only turning the key once still allows for people to insert a card or something and pop open the door even though the handle doesn't move. The landlord of those apartments just laughed at them because apparently it's common knowledge over in Berlin but clearly not in America. I really wish they had told us that beforehand, maybe in the meeting before the internships started.
Other than that though, my trip was amazing! IES really tried to address every problem we had in a timely manner. They also really tried to make it fun for us by hosting trips places or recommending restaurants or things to do. Overall, it was a really great trip!
Forming connections abroad with my internship placement
Submitted by Alex Schnurpel - Indiana University - Bloomington | January 29, 2018
I had a fantastic time abroad in Sydney, Australia! I interned for the UNSW Exchange and Study Abroad office, helping them plan their orientation for new students coming in for term 2. My experience was awesome because I was able to work with so many different people (our office was quite diverse!) and the experience left me sure of my goals to pursue international higher education. Plus, I still keep in touch with them! My boss wrote a recommendation letter for my graduate school applications.
One of my favorite parts of the program was the ability to travel so freely throughout Australia; I traveled three different places: Tasmania, Canberra, and Melbourne, with the first two being on my own. I came back from my experience abroad feeling so much more independent and felt like I really started to belong living in Sydney.
People worry about going from the US to Australia and the difference, but it was not bad at all. In fact, I went a week early with my partner, and we had a great time. One of the best parts about being in Sydney is the train system and the ease of jumping on a train to go anywhere within an hour. In addition, Sydney was such a lively, safe city that you felt comfortable going anywhere.
As for the program, I thought it was great. There were activities to help you learn the city and the country, plus the staff in Australia were fantastic. There was a class, but it was relatively easy and the teacher, Sally Anne, was hilarious. I'm so thankful for my time and I wish I could go back!
Great city, lacking internship experience
Submitted by Keriann Reeves - College of William & Mary | January 27, 2018
I've wanted to travel to China for some time now, but also realized the importance of getting internship experience before graduating college for future resume and skill-building. So I decided to go on this Shanghai 2 month trip (which almost didn't happen due to crazy visa complications) the summer before my senior year. My fields of interest included marketing, communications, and advertising, and I ended up working for a local non-profit that was focused on environmental issues affecting China called the Oriental Danology Institute. The organization was founded by a husband-wife pair who are highly educated and knowledgeable academics, however, they were far from being traditional supervisors. Their expectations were very vague and even trying to explain what the organization's mission was a bit unclear in the beginning. We worked remotely from them 70% of the time, as they were busy managing other projects that were running at the same time as ours. We were tasked with interviewing Shanghaiese senior citizens at local community centers throughout the Jing'an District and surrounding areas. Jingjing, our primary supervisor and contact throughout the internship, was only able to visit the first site with us and then we were left to find the remaining 9 centers ourselves (often times with less than 24 hrs notice as to where the next day's assignment would take place) and explain the whole scope of the project as well as conduct the interviews of multiple participants (completely in Chinese) in one afternoon. Our team consisted of myself and two other American college students who were on the IES program with me and one post-college local Shanghai woman who was looking to do graphic design (and didn't seem to know entirely what she had signed up for). Completing the task of conducting the interviews was difficult as none of us Americans were proficient in Chinese (not to mention having no experience with the local dialect) to the degree we could communicate fully with the residents.
On the off-days we didn't have interviews scheduled, we were tasked with translating pamphlets and program information from Chinese into English for their promotional materials. This mostly consisted of us plugging the text into Google translate (via our VPNs) as the sheer volume and complexity of the text was far beyond our elementary level of comprehension. It also didn't help that we didn't know the context of the material since these were not projects we were actively working on.
The people I met were really kind and tried to be as helpful as they could be, but I left feeling like this wasn't what I signed up for in the first place. The transferable skills I'd say I left with were the ability to deal more gracefully with ambiguity in the workplace, how to navigate a city where I wasn't as familiar with the transportation services or geographic layout, and having to work independently and with people from very different backgrounds than my own, and to take the initiative to fill in the gaps of knowledge regarding what we were supposed to be doing at any given time. All somewhat valuable life skills, but not directly tied to what I want to do in the future necessarily.
Time of my life
Submitted by Alexandria Griffin - Xavier University of LA | January 26, 2018
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful, diverse places I have ever visited. I love that from any given point in the city you can look up and see mountains in one direction and the ocean in the other. The people I met there, both the other students and the locals, were some of the warmest people I have ever met and I still keep in touch with many of them months later. I also had a great experience with my internship placement. I was placed in two of the public hospitals in Cape Town where I was able to shadow doctors along with medical students. They really worked with me and allowed me to see and participate in things I never thought possible.
Program: IES Internships - Cape Town Summer
Submitted by Kaitlyn Kuehl - University of Iowa | January 26, 2018
Traveling abroad by yourself can definitely be scary, but IES helped so much to make us feel comfortable when we first arrived. Having the first week there being orientation, I quickly got to know the other students in the program. My roommates became my best friends, and I never felt unsafe! Milan was truly my home away from home. My apartment was a 10 minute walk from the Duomo, which as a perfect spot to meet friends after work to go shopping or get dinner. Walking the streets of Milan was welcoming and a perfect way to find little coffee shops and boutiques. During my free time, I would just wander the streets to get to the culture and history of the City. I grew to become so independent in the 8 weeks I was there by traveling to work everyday in a new country. Not many people can say they worked in Italy for a summer, so take in every moment! My boss was a great resource to learn from a local of things to do around town. I also learned so much in my internship that I am able to apply in my future jobs. This experience is like no other and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!