A number of study abroad programs include experiential components as one aspect of the program or may be the primary focus. The most common experiential opportunity is an internship. All programs that offer unpaid internships for credit include an internship seminar course along with the placement.
Summer internship programs tend to focus primarily on the internship itself and include a higher number of required work hours per week (typically 30-40). Some programs also require student to enroll in a language course. While students report these programs as fast-paced, they value the level of integration into the local work culture.
Semester programs may offer or require an internship course and placement as one component of a full semester schedule. Placements include fewer work hours per week (typically 8-10 hours) to accommodate student’s academic load.
Other programs may include an experiential focus or component for credit such as research, fieldwork, or service learning. For example, a program may require students to complete a self-directed research project. Field-based programs are often located in more rural areas, allowing students to do fieldwork that may be community or research-based. Service learning courses are similar to internships in that students typically enroll in a seminar course in addition to completing service hours with a placement in the local community.