Keeping current on internship developments around the globe

June 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Current events | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

We may think that the boom in internships is unique to the U.S., but countries worldwide are also dealing with similar growth. Since summer is a prime time for establishing internship goals for the Fall semester, it may be helpful to look farther afield to study how other countries are managing internships.  Understanding global development is important because more and more international students are choosing to come to American colleges. The following examples are representative of new international trends: 

  • China:  “College students should be banned from taking internships because they cannot focus on their studies while working for companies in positions of little significance,” said Huang Guitian, an assistant to the president of Peking University. Not all Chinese students agreed with him. A reader, Linyi, Shandong province, wrote, “I think it is necessary to do an internship while at university. As a college student, you cannot learn the business trends if you spend all your time in school. If you only learn from books you will not connect with reality. An internship can help a student learn more about the needs of employers. By combining theory with practice, young people can develop better.” 
  • Ireland:   The JobBridge programme is to be extended after a successful first ten months, with a number of internships currently available in Longford, Ireland. Last week, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton announced a further 1,000 places would be made available on the programme and widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme due to its success since its introduction on July first last year. According to the Department of Social Protection, the scheme has made significant progress to date. In the ten months since the scheme was launched 6,840 internships have started. The initial target provided for a maximum of 5,000 places at any point in time but this announcement will increase that to 6,000.
  • Canada:  Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government in British Columbia will commit $5M toward scholarships and research internships as it unveils details of how it plans to attract 47,000 additional international students into the province over the next four years.  Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto said, “We want to increase the number of international students that come to British Columbia (B.C.) by 50 per cent.” That target means B.C. has to increase the number of students it attracts by 47,000 over four years. It says almost half of that increase will come from enrolments in private-language schools, 30 per cent from public post-secondary institutions, 12 per cent from private post-secondary and 13 per cent in K-12. In an effort to achieve those targets, the province will give a one-time $700,000 grant to a program that helps attract and support international students to do research internships at B.C. universities.
  • England:  As the graduate employment market becomes increasingly competitive, we need to make ourselves stand out from the crowd – good grades and experience are a must. But we also have to pay the rent, according to an article in the Guardian newspaper. So, when juggling student life, which do you prioritise: your degree, unpaid CV-boosting extras – or a part-time job? The answer may lie with your university’s guidelines. Oxbridge advises students not to take work during term-time, while the University of Nottingham recommends no more than 16 hours a week. There’s no national data to show how many students take part-time work, although the University of Warwick estimates that over 50% of students do so.
  • Japan:   Four leading Japanese corporations are offering summer internship opportunities for UAE national students in Japan, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology announced. Five UAE national graduates from the Foundation program and First year M.Sc. have been selected to participate in this program that runs from 27 May – 9 August. The students have begun their internship with the Japanese International Cooperation Centre. Dr. Amy Wohlert, Executive Director of General Education and Student Affairs, Masdar Institute, said: “The internship program in Japan provides the students with an opportunity to gain access to some of the global leaders in technology, especially in the environment and engineering sectors. Such programs equip the students with special expertise and help them to become full-fledged professionals.”

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