Virtual – Human Rights and Social Impact (South Africa)
UC Davis Virtual Summer internships take place in an online setting and are an opportunity to sharpen your remote work skills and internet literacy, an increasingly relevant skill. You will be working virtually with an international organization. You will report to a supervisor abroad, or report to your program partner, as you participate in project-based work individually or with a group, either with other virtual interns or collaborating with international colleagues.
- Personal laptop or computer
- Internet access
None! That’s a benefit of virtual internships – no travel is required so you can work internationally while remaining in your home environment.
Important Note for International Students
International students in the United States on an F-1 or J-1 visa will likely require employment authorization prior to engaging in any paid or unpaid virtual internship experience. Students should discuss this opportunity with an SISS advisor before applying if they are considering this program. If you are a non-Davis student, please consult with an international student advisor at your home campus.
Get to Know Your Virtual Destination
While you won’t physically travel to your internship site during the program, it is still recommended to acknowledge the language, history, and politics of your virtual destination. You don’t have to be fluent in all areas, but a little awareness goes a long way. Learn and use basic phrases for the language of your host site. Check out a local news source to learn about current events. As you work alongside local experts, acknowledge that they are addressing needs and challenges of their organization or community through their own cultural lens. These are great learning opportunities to ask questions about different systems of working and living.
There will be a virtual program-specific orientation with the program partner. This orientation addresses best practices for participating in a remote work environment, responds to participant questions, and provides you the opportunity to meet with others on your program. Prior to orientation, you will receive a Program Specific Guide that will further support program preparation.
Much like you do on campus, it remains important to protect data and information that you will have access to as part of your virtual internship. Prepare yourself with the UC Davis Information and Educational Technology (IET) tips for students in keeping your computer safe and secure. Your host organization may have additional policies and practices for you to follow.
- What kind of work will I be doing?
Your work will depend on your host organization and placement. Once you receive your placement, you will start to learn more about the exact work you will be doing. Check out the Placements tab above for more details on sample placements.
Virtual internships require motivation, organization and initiative. Because you’ll be working remotely outside the physical office setting, you will need to manage your own time and complete projects and tasks without constant supervision or assistance.
- How will I communicate with my host organization? What about the time difference?
You can expect to be communicating via email and participating in video calls either with your supervisor or through your program partner. Your program and supervisor will communicate with you on expectations for how you will be communicating, and if there are any additional online tools you will need to access.
They’ll also let you know what times you can anticipate connecting across time differences. In most cases, you’ll be doing project-based work that will allow you to work your preferred hours in your local time zone. During times where virtual meetings are necessary, it may be that you will be connecting earlier in the morning or during the evening hours, and not necessarily during the traditional 9-5 hours. This will all depend on your organization’s location relative to you.
- Are these paid internships?
All UC Davis Virtual Summer Internships are academic, credit-bearing programs and are not paid, but rather offer invaluable work skills and work experiences.
- Are there concerns for connectivity and firewall issues?
In beginning any new role, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the platforms that your organization uses to complete tasks and communicate. In some countries, a selected platform may be used because it is in line with the country’s standards and internet laws. Prepare yourself with the UC Davis Information and Educational Technology (IET) tips for students in keeping your computer safe and secure.
- Why should I consider a virtual internship?
A virtual internship increases access to different locations with the ability to work wherever you and your laptop are. Due to travel limitations or home obligations, a virtual internship provides international work experience with a flexible schedule and with no need to travel. Like any position, a virtual internship is another way to add skills and experience to your resume, as well as increase your global network for future opportunities.