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Frequently Asked International Internship Questions

General Internship Questions

  • An internship is an intentional professionalizing experience. While working in a professionally structured environment, an intern takes an academic internship class (typically SPAN or PORT 399R) which focuses on the development of professional competencies.

  • Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to start making plans to do an internship during their junior or senior year by exploring different internship opportunities and considering goals for their experience. Students that are junior or senior status are encouraged to apply for internships as most internships require junior or senior status. This is when most students have taken a sufficient amount of their major classes to fully participate in the internship.

  • Students can only count up to 3 credits for one program - either major, minor, or second major. Students cannot count internship credit toward both major and minor requirements.

  • This depends on the internship; each one has different required classes.

    Most internships will require SPAN/PORT 399R. On-Campus internships often require a different internship class (e.g. MSB 491, HCOLL 494R, etc.). If your internship has been approved, these other internship classes will count as the elective SPAN/PORT 399R internship class for your major, minor, or double major requirement. Some internships, such as international internships, may require additional classes.

  • This is what makes an academic internship different from a job. An internship helps students develop professional competencies before entering a profession. NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) has surveyed employers and asked what competencies new college graduates lack when they enter the workforce. The required internship class is designed to help students develop these competencies during their internship.

  • International Internships:

    This depends on the internship.

    • For the Spain Internship, Spain OléSAY Internship, and Brazil Internship, proficiency in the respective language is required.
    • For many internships through the Portugal SiPN program, advanced proficiency Portuguese is NOT required. However, there are some internships through this program (SiPN) that do require advanced Portuguese proficiency.
    • For the Spain Cultural Ambassadors program, advanced Spanish proficiency is not required, but some Spanish is recommended.

    Domestic Internships:

    Some internships are language-based, while others are not. This depends on the requirements for each specific internship. We do require the internship to be related to Spanish or Portuguese, depending on your program.

International Internship Questions

  • You can still do an internship through our department! There are many internships in diverse fields, including some that require other specializations beyond Spanish and Portuguese. We can place interns in fields such as science, political science, business, art history, education and more.

  • A study abroad is focused on language acquisition and cultural studies where students are accompanied by a faculty member who is an expert in the language and culture of the area of study. The study abroad is a curated experience where students take university classes during the week and go on cultural excursions, organized by the faculty director, on weekends. An internship, on the other hand, is focused on the development of professional competencies through the work done at the internship. Interns travel and work independently as well as report to a faculty supervisor through online communication and limited coursework. Travel for leisure is possible, but is independent and organized by the student intern.

  • This will depend somewhat on your internship. In general, you will spend your time working at your internship. This will also include meeting with your supervisor, taking breaks with coworkers, and doing your assigned work. With most internships, you will still have time to explore and take some trips around the area.

  • If you have already taken the classes required by the internship or if you need some extra credits to reach full time status, you may take a BYU Online class. This does not include classes offered through BYU Independent Study. For a current list of BYU Online course offerings, please click here.

  • There are a couple of options for students who have already taken the required classes for an internship.

    1. Option 1: Retake the class. When the course name includes an R after its 3-digit number, this means the class can be taken again.
    2. Option 2: Take a BYU Online class. Please note that this does not include BYU Independent Study. For a list of current BYU Online course offerings, please click here.
    3. Option 3: Discuss other potential solutions with the Internship Secretary or Internship Director.
  • We work with a variety of contacts abroad to find quality internships for our students. Please let us know if you have a preference; however, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to intern at your preferred organization. We work hard to provide you with a quality internship experience, but cannot always guarantee your preference.

  • Yes. BYU scholarships, FAFSA loans, and grants can be used to pay for tuition and school fees associated with your internship. However, some scholarships come with specific conditions of use. It is advised that you contact the organization providing the scholarship to clarify specific stipulations.

  • International students who need a FAFSA score can have a FAFSA score manually generated (used to determine a College Internship Funding amount) by contacting Eleanor Roberts in A-41 ASB (801-422-3534). Please request that Eleanor send your manually generated FAFSA score to Elaine Davies (

  • Yes. Your spouse can also attend. Your spouse must enroll in at least 0.5 BYU credits. When possible, your spouse should also complete the internship experience by applying for the same internship. However, under certain circumstances, your spouse will be allowed to register for the 0.5 credits through the Kennedy Center without completing the internship experience itself. Registering for this 0.5 credit will provide them with the international insurance required by BYU for all who travel abroad. If your spouse has already graduated, they can still enroll for 0.5 credits and go with you to the country where you will complete your internship.

  • Past interns have used Airbnb, renting websites, local Facebook groups, and local contacts (e.g. supervisor or personal friends) as resources to find housing. Former interns have recommended booking an Airbnb or hotel in the area for a few days to a week, then looking for housing when you arrive for your internship. However, per BYU policy, students are not allowed to solicit church members for housing. If you would like more specifics, please contact our Internship Secretary or Internship Director.

  • While participating in an internship, you are required to follow all BYU housing standards. Please note, per BYU policy, students are not allowed to solicit church members for housing. If you would like more specifics, please contact our Internship Secretary or Internship Director.