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How to Select a Global Internship

With so many opportunities, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. This resource will help you understand the benefits of a global internship, identify and reflect on your individual goals, learn about work culture abroad, and explore options and resources available through the UC Davis Global Learning Hub

Why do a Global Internship?

Global internships provides you with a unique opportunity to navigate another country or culture while gaining hands-on work experience. This includes numerous benefits that can have a lasting impact on your future and career: 

  • Learn transferable skills valued by employers in today’s global economy like adaptability, problem-solving, and intercultural communication.  
  • Gain a competitive edge in the job market by demonstrating your ability to work professionally in another country.  
  • Build your global network by making new social and professional connections abroad.
  • Discover industry insights from a different region of the world.
  • Enhance your cultural awareness and understanding while building your confidence and learning about yourself.

Identify and Reflect on Your Goals

Before deciding on an internship, it is important to reflect on your individual goals and motivations for participating. Use the worksheet below to help identify your goals and select the right internship. Make sure to keep these in mind as you research available programs.

We also encourage you to connect with your major advisor, a Global Learning Hub advisor, and/or a career advisor at the Internship and Career Center for additional guidance.

Internships for Academic Credit

Did you know that all UC Davis majors and minors have 92/192 units which are internship units that can count toward graduation? Many departments also have an academic internship requirement and offer internship units for your major or minor. Check out the list of majors and minors that require internships.

The most updated degree requirements can be found on the online course catalog and on your department page.

Transcript Notation

All internships over 40 hours per quarter can qualify for Transcript Notation to officially document your participation in an internship or research project. This may help you stand out to employers or when applying to graduate school. Transcript notation includes the internship title, organization, and the specific quarter(s) on the comments section of your transcript. Students are eligible for Transcript Notation whether or not they are completing an internship for academic credit. Learn more at the Internship and Career Center.

Work Culture Abroad

Whether this is your first internship/job or you have held multiple positions in the past, it is important to recognize that there are major differences in business communication styles that vary by city, region and country. Global internships have an additional cultural component, which can be both exciting and challenging. 

In general, people in the US are more explicit and direct in their communication, are comfortable sharing their opinions (even with their superiors), and like things to be explained in a linear fashion. On the other hand, there are cultures where conflict is avoided, non-verbal cues and indirect communication are the norm and a high value is placed on formality and seniority.  

Recognizing that differences exist is the first step toward successfully navigating different cultures and honing your cross-cultural communication skills. In any professional setting, especially during a global internship, be observant, flexible, forgiving, and practice cultural humility.     

Country-Specific Resources

Interested in learning what it is like to live and work in different countries or cities around the world?

Check out the resources from GoinGlobal. This is an exclusive benefit to UC Davis students (and non-UC Davis students who enroll in a UC Davis Summer Internship Abroad).

  1. Log in to GoinGlobal with your Kerberos to access location-specific resources.
  2. Find ‘Career Guides’ and select ‘Country Career Guides’ or ‘Global City Career Guides’.
  3. Choose a country or city of interest.
  4. On the country/city page under ‘Living There’, you will find many useful topics including work culture and business practices.

Goin Global Screen Share

Is there a country you are interested in that is not included? Take a moment to do your own research to learn more about the work culture prior to selecting an internship.

Explore Global Internship Opportunities

  1. UC Davis Summer Abroad Internships – Explore a variety of cohort-based and academic credit-bearing internships. 
  2. Funded Internships – Apply for an internship that may include a stipend, or some or all expenses paid. 
  3. Research Internships – Get trained on new techniques, design experiments, and analyze results for applied, hands-on learning.
  4. Virtual Internships Improve your skills and employability while connecting with others around the globe in an increasingly digital world.
  5. UC Davis Global Internship Search Tools Find millions of internships using GoinGlobal, the Internship and Career Center, and the Global Learning Opportunities search tools. 

All internships over 40 hours per quarter can qualify for Transcript Notation to officially document your participation. This may help you stand out to employers or when applying to graduate school. 

Benefits of UC Davis Summer Abroad Internships 

  1. Personalized internship placement Placement is guaranteed in an internship (or rotation) based on your skills, academic goals and career trajectory.
  2. Academic credit All programs include two required courses based on the completion of internship hours and a reflection course.
  3. Financial aid applies – If you are eligible for financial aid, it can be used towards all UC Davis Summer Abroad Internship programs. Learn more about financial aid and scholarships.
  4. Transcript Notation – With Transcript Notation, details of your internship program will be highlighted on your official transcript.
  5. Additional Support A variety of support staff are available throughout the process—including while you are abroad!
  • Global Learning Hub Staff – Peer Advisors are available to help you identify programs of interest. Each program also has a coordinator (listed on the overview page) who can provide more information about the enrollment process, internship placements, program details, financial aid, and scholarships. 
  • Program Instructor – Each internship track has a UC Davis faculty member with years of experience who can answer questions about working in the field and share career insights. They will also be leading you through the reflection course during the program.
  • On-site Internship Supervisor  This person will guide you through your internship and can serve as a resource for task-specific questions as well as provide international industry insights. 
  • On-site Support Staff UC Davis partners with internship providers to facilitate internship placements/rotations, manage on-site logistics. The on-site support staff can answer questions about regional work culture and your host country.

Have additional questions? Contact globallearning@ucdavis.edu.