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. Therefore, it is essential that you will have access to reliable phone or internet connection and that you are available for these interviews. The timeframe for these interviews may fall in summer or winter breaks depending on your term of participation. 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. Students with demonstrated financial need can work with the Center for Career, Life, and Community Engagement (CLC) for funding to support expenses related to participating in an internship such as the cost of the UK visa required to intern.
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. Please contact the CLC to inquire if funding is available to support this expense and how to apply.
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!