Internships and Placements: Information for International Students
Internships are periods of paid work experience of up to three months and in order to comply with visa regulations, any internship carried out by an international student must fit the description outlined in the British Council / Education UK website. To comply with the regulations, all internships must be paid and this can be a problem for international students as some internships are unpaid. If you are offered a period of unpaid work experience, you could classify this as temporary or part-time work and not as an internship.
Sandwich placements (also known as Industrial Placements or Year in industry) are periods of paid work experience, normally carried out in the third year of a four year undergraduate degree. For some courses, sandwich placements are compulsory and if this is the case, then you will be provided with support from your faculty. Find out if your faculty has a Placements Tutor or Coordinator as they will have important information on undertaking placements as part of your degree course and where to look for vacancies.
International students can participate in sandwich placements with the current Tier 4 Student visa. However, as a placement student, you are still registered and will receive support as a student at the university and hence will still have to pay fees (albeit much reduced fees) – please check with your faculty.
This is a very good opportunity for you to gain practical work experience in your relevant field and experience working in the UK. Over the years, many international students have been successful in getting industrial placements in major companies as well as in small medium size enterprise (SMEs). Applications for these placements can be very competitive, especially in large national or international companies, so you should start applying early as most have closing dates between December and February.
It is also possible to do an industrial placement in your own country. However, you will need to check the suitability of each placement with your faculty’s Placement Tutor / Coordinator.
Internship and placement vacancies
Check out our main internships and placements page for advice and details of where to search for vacancies.
If you are undertaking a sandwich placement as part of your course, your faculty should be able to advise you where to look for vacancies; some have a placements notice board (Blackboard) or placements website where vacancies are advertised.
For more information about opportunities and application procedures for internships and placements, or help with CVs and speculative applications, please come and see us, email or call us on 01274 234991.