Participating in the internship program during their term at the London Centre is an important way many students engage with the city and tailor their experience of London to their interests.  Having an internship in London can be a meaningful way to learn about the UK, gain professional experience, and live as a Londoner.  

Internship placements are available for students in a range of areas. Internship students spend up to 20 hours per week at their placement (either as two full days or one full day and two half days) and will also participate in the weekly Internship Seminar with other LULC interns.

This page is meant to provide information about placement options, intern support, and other resources which are designed to help students applying to or participating in the internship program.

Placement Areas

Lawrence's London partner, Florida State University (FSU) London, provides the internship placements.

When you apply to an internship placement, you are not applying to a specific place or company, but rather to a field of interest.  From there, our partners at FSU London will evaluate your application and determine which placement would be best for you and the organization you would be serving.

Examples of internship placement areas include:

Business

  • Entrepreneurship & Start-Up Organizations
  • Consultancies
  • Analytics

Communications & Journalism

  • Publishing
  • Writing & Content Development
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • Media Production
  • Graphic Design

Education

  • Community Education Organizations
  • Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Special Needs Education
  • Arts Education

Environment & Sustainability

  • Government, Non-Profit & Grassroots Organizations
  • Environmental Policy Agencies
  • Sustainable & Ethical Businesses

Finance

  • Finance Departments
  • Accounting Departments
  • Financial Institutions

Please note that placements in investment banking are not possible.

Global Studies

  • Organizations Engaging Global Topics
  • International Relations

Government & Politics

  • Members of Parliament & Constituencies
  • Government Agencies
  • Lobbying Organizations
  • NGOs

Historical & Cultural Organizations

  • Museums
  • Visual Arts & Galleries
  • Historic Archives
  • Community Arts Organizations

Legal & Justice Organizations

  • Justice & Legal Organizations
  • Human Rights Organizations
  • Social Policy Organizations

Non-Profits, Social Welfare & Well-being

  • Health & Well-being Programs
  • Advocacy Organizations (e.g. Mental Health, Homelessness, Public Health, Youth)
  • Global Health
  • Community Outreach
  • Fundraising
  • Faith-based Charities
  • Special Interest Organizations\

Please note that placements in hospitals or clinics are not possible. 

Sciences

  • Laboratory Research
  • Science Non-Profits

Theatre & Performing Arts

  • Theatres
  • Arts Advocacy
  • Arts Administration
  • Community Arts Organizations

Please note that placements as an actor, dancer, or performer are not possible. 

 

If a student has a professional contact in London and would like to explore the possibility of participating in an internship through this contact, the student would work through Lawrence’s Off-Campus Programs office and FSU London’s Internship Coordinator.  The Internship Coordinator in London would work with the potential placement site, review requirements for the program, and visit the site to learn if this placement would fit within the scope and requirements of the internship program.  To allow FSU London sufficient time to work with the potential placement site, it is important that any student interested in identifying their own internship placement is in touch with the Off-Campus Programs office during the application process.

Internship Seminar

This weekly 1-hour course with our London Centre Director, Christine Hoenigs, is designed to help students reflect on their cross-cultural professional experience during their internship. Students received 6 units of credit for this seminar course and work at the internship placement.

All students participating in an internship must register for the 6 unit London Internship Seminar, and take this seminar course in place of one of their elective classes.  Most internship students will take the 2-unit core British Life and Culture course, the 6 unit Internship Seminar, and two 6 unit elective courses which is a total of 20 units.  Non-credit internships are not available.

In the seminar, students discuss topics related to work in London; work on CVs, cover letters and interview skills; and look at cultural differences when working abroad.

In weekly journal entries, students learn how to critically reflect on their experiences as well as short readings, interviews, or blogs discussed in class. Students may also be required to complete short reflective essays and/or a final internship essay interpreting their experiences in terms of the course readings, seminar class discussions, and the broader issue of how a liberal arts-informed perspective frames one's experience in the workplace.

What to Expect from an International Internship

Internships require flexibility, an open mind, a positive attitude, and a professional hardworking approach.  You will be challenged in your London internship and these challenges offer great benefits.  Participating in the London Centre internship program offers opportunities to grow professional interpersonal skills, network, see an industry from a different cultural context, develop time management skills, and make your London Centre experience uniquely your own.  You will learn about yourself as well as your host culture. 

Your internship in London is first and foremost a cultural experience. Interning in an international environment is an excellent learning opportunity to expand your cross-cultural skills and see a culture from a different point of view than as only a student.

You will most likely be placed with a small or medium sized organization. Placements in these types of organizations allows interns exposure to a greater range of roles and influences within the organization.  Most of the organizations you may be placed in only operate in the UK.  Most large companies do not offer internships for the relatively short period of time you are in London or are not compatible with our program. Fun fact: about three quarters of all businesses in London are micro-enterprises with 0-5 employees.

Internships are unpaid and typically entry level. You will be expected to complete a wide variety of tasks, from basic and administrative to more specialized and project-based.  This is an opportunity for you to develop professional skills and gain exposure to a range of experiences. 

The success of your internship placement is what you make of it! Interns must provide the flexibility and open-mindedness to accept a reality that may be different from expectations.

How to Apply

You apply to the London internship program as part of your London Centre program application.  To apply to the internship program, you will indicate your interest in interning when you complete the Academic Plan portion of your London Centre application.  Once you indicate that you would like to be considered for an internship, the application system will prompt you with additional supplemental application materials specific to the internship program.  Once your internship application materials have been reviewed, you will be notified whether you are admitted to the internship program.

Forms and applications requirements 

As part of your London Centre application, you will complete the Internship Request form where you will provide us with three internship placement areas you would be interested in.  You should offer flexibility and adaptability when listing possible placement areas.  Along with those choices, you submit a narrative as to why you chose that placement and how it fits in with your education and future career goals. 

You will be asked to provide a one page CV in British format as part of the application process that details your past professional work experience, as well as your educational history, volunteer, and leadership experiences. You can find an example CV here

You must also provide at least one professional reference letter in addition to the references required for the London Centre application.  References might be from a current or previous supervisor or faculty member.  Reference letters are shared with potential placement sites.  Reference letters must be on professional letterhead paper and should: 
• include your position at the workplace
• explain the nature of your professional relationship to the student (e.g. student's line manager)
• the length of your relationship (e.g. How long you have been working with the student?)
• include a detailed description of the student's tasks and responsibilities in this position
• offer a description of the student's performance in this position
• finish with a clear recommendation why the writer thinks the student will be a suitable candidate for an internship placement in London (e.g. “I strongly recommend…”)

Please note that family and friends are not suitable as references.

 

Pre-departure Preparations

a) Placement process 

The internship placement process replicates the real-life experience of seeking employment. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to present yourself in a professional and mature manner both on paper and in person, to indicate areas of potential placement for which you are academically and personally prepared, and to exhibit high levels of responsibility at all times during your participation in the internship program.

Kathryn Behringer, the FSU Internship Coordinator based in London, will arrange a talk with you via Skype to discuss your application and preferred internship areas. Following this conversation, she will arrange for a Skype or phone interview with a potential internship placement. Both interviews are required before a final placement is secured.

You will be notified of your internship placement approximately one month before the start of the program.

 

b) UK Tier 4 Student (General) visa

If you do not have an EU passport, you will need to apply for a UK Tier 4 General Student visa to participate in the internship program.

The Off-Campus Programs office and London Centre Director provide guidance on the application process and a timeline for completing the visa application. It is essential that you carefully read the Tier 4 Visa Guide and any information emailed to you before you start your application.

You will require a CAS (which stands for Confirmation of Acceptance to Study) letter from the LULC before you can apply for your visa. It is essential that you treat the information in the CAS letter confidential, and that you read the instructions carefully.

Be aware that as part of the visa application process you will need to complete your online visa application, attend an appointment to have biometric data taken (photo and fingerprints), and pay the Tier 4 application fee (as of 2018, the application fee for this visa was approximately $450), and send all application materials along with passport and supporting documentation to the UK Consulate. 

The visa application process takes place approximately three months before the start of the program, and you won’t be able to apply earlier than three months in advance.

 

c) Background check 

Some internship placement areas, e.g. Parliament or placements which involve working with vulnerable populations such as children, require you to provide a background check (e.g. by the FBI). Should you want to intern in such an area, Kathryn Behringer from FSU London will further advise you on how to obtain such a background check.  Please note that it is your responsibility to apply and pay for this check.

 

d) Pack for your internship

Pack for your internship placement!  FSU London and your internship site will advise of the dress code in your particular office. While a few offices are quite formal or quite casual, most offices are ‘business smart casual’, meaning a slacks/trousers/skirts/dresses with a blouse/button-down top. Remember to bring comfortable shoes and to wear clothes that layer well!

 

Getting Started in London

The internship orientation meeting lasts for about one hour during your first days in London. You will meet with Kathryn Behringer (FSU Internship Coordinator) and Christine Hoenigs (London Centre Director), who will talk you through details regarding the internship program, including the material in the "Internship Welcome Packet" which will be handed out during the meeting. They will also answer any questions you might have about your internship at that point.

You will be asked to do a trial journey to your placement, in order to familiarize yourself with the route, find out how much time to factor in for your commute, and avoid getting stressed on your first day at the placement.

Other Things to Remember

• Be aware that participating in an internship requires a high level of commitment. It is your responsibility to organize and coordinate your class preparations and assignments with your work at the internship placement.

• Get to know your co-workers!  Getting involved in the social life of the company will not only introduce you to potential new friends, but also show you British culture from another point of view.  These new friends could also be great professional networking for the future.

• Cultural differences will make participating in your international internship very different from working in your home country. London is the most diverse city in the UK: one-third of residents were born outside the country and the people of the city speak over 300 languages, a diversity which is reflected in the workplace.

• You will most likely be commuting to your internship placement via the “tube” (underground subway), bus or by foot.  Remember that part of your program fee will include a travel card, the “Oyster Card,” for zones one and two throughout the city.  Students often say that they enjoy their commute as one way they are living as a working Londoner.

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