Doing an internship abroad can be expensive and we know that many students and recent graduates can’t afford it on their own. So we have a few tips for you if you’re looking for scholarships to fund your program. We’ve also included links to some funding search sites and specific scholarships we are aware of, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, so follow our tips to look for more scholarships for which you may be eligible.
Remember that scholarships aren’t the only way to fund your internship. Many internships are paid or have a partial stipend, which can help defray the cost. You can also use our tips on boosting your savings, raising money through sales or using crowdfunding sites.
A good place to begin is to speak with someone in your university’s study abroad and career services offices. You will want to ask about two different types of funding. Sometimes there are scholarships to support students doing internships, no matter where they are and some schools also have lists of scholarships for students who want to go abroad. Some of these will be applicable for internships abroad. If there’s nobody for you to speak with in the office, ask if they have a list of scholarships on the school website. If there is somebody in your department who helps students find internship or study abroad opportunities, ask them about scholarships as there may be funding available specifically to students in your field.
Many cities or regions have scholarships available to people who are residents of that area. Although every city/region is different, we have found scholarships that are for people who are born in a particular city, or go to school in a certain region. Regions of many countries administer scholarship funds to promote internationalization and mobility among their citizens. Or they may need more workers in certain sectors and support training in those fields.
Nearly every country has scholarships to encourage their students to study and train abroad. These can be very competitive, but they are well worth applying to as they often will cover most or all costs. In addition to scholarships and grants, many countries will allow students to use their student loans/funding while they pursue a program overseas as long as they are still enrolled in a university in their home country.
Large multi-national corporations often support internships in order to create a pool of qualified applicants for entry level jobs. While some companies offer regular scholarships, many more offer internships in their offices or with their affiliates for which they cover the expenses and pay the interns. If you do not secure a scholarship, this can be a good option if you would like to work in a large company some day. Look at multi-national corporations in your field and ask them about their international internship opportunities. Often they will pay their interns a living wage and sometimes they will even pay your visa expenses.
Another way to find out about scholarships is to search online scholarship databases. These sites aggregate information about many scholarships in one place. You may not be eligible for many of them, but you will find surprising ones that you never thought to look for before. Some scholarship databases we’ve found are:
- European Funding Guide (Europeans only)
- International Student and Study Abroad
- Scholarship Portal
- Association of Pacific Rim Universities Internship and Scholarship List
National funding sources
There are many scholarship programs all over the world that fund internships abroad. This list is only partial, so if you don’t find your country here, don’t be discouraged! Use the tips listed above to find the appropriate scholarship for you.
- Pierre Ledoux Foundation
- Aide a la mobilite internationale
- Bourse de mobilité internationale Blériot du Conseil Régional Nord – Pas-de-Calais