WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I GET TO LONDON?
- Information about British cultural differences and the culture of work in the UK.
- Emphasis on the concept of an international internship as a learning process.
- A clear explanation of each stage of the internship process, intern responsibilities and requirements, and requirements of the intern’s home institution.
- Practical advice about transport, dress codes and conduct.
- A review of good interview techniques.
Students are notified of their placements after arrival in London and before the beginning date of the placement, barring circumstances beyond FIE’s control. Students are not informed of their placements until they are confirmed, and this can occur anytime between arrival and the beginning of the placement.
While you won’t get to select your exact placement, students benefit from FIE’s years of experience in organising internships for foreign undergraduates and guiding students to make the most of the experience. Only in exceptional circumstances will a placement be changed, and only after a thorough assessment of the situation by the FIE Experiential Education Team. If you would like to discuss your placement, please get in touch with your Internship Mentor.
Preparing for Your Interview
Site supervisors are looking for students who can make a difference and contribute to their organizations. It is up to you to show your site supervisor what skills and knowledge you have to offer. Ensure that you are familiar with the organization you will be working with; check their website before you interview and read any brochures or literature that they may provide.
All placements are considered provisional pending a successful interview. Site supervisors can only make a final judgment on the suitability of the student for the placement upon interview. FIE students do not competitively interview for placements, meaning that only one FIE student interviews for each available role at a placement site.
If an interview is not successful, the student will be informed and will discuss with the Internship Mentor the types of opportunities likely to be available at this late stage. After consultation with the student, a different placement opportunity will be identified as soon as possible and the student will participate in another interview.
International Service Internship Course (ISIC) consists of both the placement and the internship seminars. The seminars are scheduled alongside the placement. For students on a semester program whose internship starts after their midterm break, this means the seminars will also start after the break.
The seminars provide an academic forum for discussion, analysis, and reflection on the internship experience. Assessments include journals, development of professional materials including an updated CV and portfolio, a group presentation and a research paper. More information about the course and a sample syllabus are available on the ISIC course page.
Students are graded on participation in the class sessions, academic assessments, and performance in the placement. More information on assessment is available here.
Challenges in the Workplace
Every student will face challenges in the London internship, but the challenges will be different for each student. Maybe for you the challenge will be understanding the variety of local and international accents, especially over the phone; discovering an industry works differently than you anticipated and so tasks you expected to be readily available aren’t possible or navigating hidden cultural differences between you and your colleagues.
Whatever your challenge, your Internship Mentor is here to help you make the most of your experience and your placement. Get in touch with your Mentor to schedule a meeting or drop by the Experiential Education Office for further advice.
Participating in an internship placement can be a life-changing adventure. While challenging at times, the rewards are plentiful and we hope that you will learn from this experience in many ways. You will develop new skills, increase your knowledge base and social awareness, and work in a new culture. Many students find the international service internship helps them define future goals, establish international contacts, and return home with a lifetime of memories.
- The Placement Agreement Form
- Weekly Timesheets
- The Mid-Point and Final Appraisals
Further details will be discussed at your Internship Orientation. Electronic copies of all forms are available in the Student Resources on MyStudy@FIE.
Realities of Working in London
Learn more about working at your placement site on our Realities of Working in London page.