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International Studies Internship

I. How do I find an Internship?

Find International Studies Internships

Career Center

Students must find their own internships. The International Studies website and Career Center are good places to start looking for information. There are many possibilities in South-central Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, and internationally. Large internship programs have application procedures. In other cases, students can find placements through their own efforts by making phone calls and sending out resumes with cover letters.

II. Why select an International Studies Internship?

An International Studies Internship allows you to gain college credit for work at an internationally-related business, organization, or government agency in the U.S. or overseas. Even though most internships are unpaid, they provide an opportunity to obtain valuable on-the-job experience. Gaining familiarity with a workplace can help you to decide whether a particular career is right for you.  Also, in the competition for entry-level positions and graduate school admissions, students with relevant internship experience have an advantage.

The International Studies Program offers an internship for each of its major concentrations:

INT 390 - IS Internship: Comparative & Global Cultures

INT 391 - IS Internship: Global Political Relations

INT 392 - IS Internship: Global Business & Economics

INT 393 - IS Internship: Africa & Middle East Studies

INT 394 - IS Internship: Asian Studies

INT 395 - IS Internship: European Studies

INT 396 - IS Internship: Latin American & Caribbean Studies

III. Requirements

Students must…

  1. have elected the IS Major, the IS Minor, or an Area Studies Letter of Completion.
  2. be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA overall and in IS courses).
  3. have taken INT 200 and 6 additional credits of International Studies major, International Studies minor, International Development minor or Area Studies certificate courses. 
  4. find an internship relevant to your international studies academic requirements and career goals.
  5. perform intern duties for 120 hours to earn 3 credits or 240 hours to earn 6 credits.

Internship Instructions, Applications, Deadlines and Forms

IV. Setting up an Internship

1) When an internship is confirmed, students must obtain an on-site organization supervisor. The Director of International Studies or another suitable faculty member will serve as the faculty supervisor. The on-site organization supervisor and faculty supervisor will be responsible for evaluating an intern's performance.

2) Students should submit a completed Letter of Agreement (Internship Application)  to the International Studies Office.

3) After the signed Letter of Agreement is submitted to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the student should schedule the internship in the course registration system during the semester at the site.

4) An IS internship is a fantastic experience, but there are potential complications. Since internship sites normally are far from Shippensburg and earn a maximum of 6 IS credits, being away from campus during fall or spring potentially can extend your undergraduate career by an extra semester. There are several ways to work around this problem. One is to do the internship during the summer. Another is to combine the internship with off-campus study, doing a 3-6 credit internship while taking 9-12 credits of academic courses. This option involves registering for the classes and internship at an university near the internship site and transferring the credits to Ship. Internship programs, like The Washington Center, handle these kinds of arrangements for you. Finally, if you are planning to work 360 hours at the internship, you may be able to earn an additional 3 credits from another department, for a total of 9 Ship credits. This requires permission of the IS director, the other department, and the Dean of A&S.

V. Grading Requirements

A Pass/Fail grade will be awarded based on the following items:

1) Reading list

Each student must develop a reading list related to his or her internship totaling approximately 150-300 pages. The readings can be books, articles, training manuals, or web pages that provide background on the worksite.  For example, an intern at the U.S. State Department might choose to read relevant parts of the State Department website and a book on U.S. foreign policy.

2) Journal

Students must keep a journal about the internship experience. Entries should describe activities at the workplace and provide personal reactions to each selection on the reading list. You MUST start the journal on the first day of work or when you begin your readings, whichever comes first. Each entry should identify your name, date, internship location, hours worked that day and cumulative hours worked. The journal must have daily entries for the first two weeks of the internship. Thereafter only one entry per week is required, but you are free to add more. The journal MUST be typed, double-spaced and submitted to the faculty supervisor on a weekly basis.  It may be mailed or submitted as an e-mail attachment.  Send to faculty supervisor, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA, 17257 or

3) Final Paper

Students must submit a 5-10 page paper (typed, double-spaced). The paper should 1) summarize activities at the internship site, 2) describe how you met the educational goals stated on your Internship Application form, and 3) reflect on how the internship experience relates to the internship readings and previous coursework in International Studies. Submit the paper to the faculty supervisor at the end of the internship.

4) Student Internship Evaluation

A "Student Internship Evaluation" form (Internship Application) must be completed and submitted to the faculty supervisor at the end of the internship, preferably with the final paper.

5) Supervisor's Evaluation of Intern

The organization supervisor will send Midterm and Final Evaluations directly to the faculty supervisor.  Please be sure that your organization supervisor has these forms (Internship Application).

This internship information sheet has been adapted from materials developed by Dr. George Pomeroy of the Geography/Earth Sciences Department and Dr. Steven Burg of the History/Philosophy Department of Shippensburg University.
Contact the International Studies Program Mowrey 246 Shippensburg University Phone: 717-477-1907