Internships & Volunteering

Internships & Volunteering

Interning or volunteering is a great way to get some hands-on experience while abroad. Students will be working with affiliate providers, which are third party organizations that facilitate study abroad, internship & volunteer programs overseas, who will arrange custom-placements for each student with a company or organization abroad. The affiliate provider acts as a liaison between the student and organization abroad and assists students throughout the pre-departure process as well as offers on-site services and support. Click on the sections below to learn more about this program type.

Affiliate Providers

Affiliate providers are third party organizations that offer a wide range of study abroad programs as well as experiential learning opportunity abroad (e.g. internships, service-learning, etc.). The role of the affiliate provider is to assist students throughout the pre-departure process. In most cases, affiliate providers arrange housing abroad for students, provide airport pick-up services and offer an extensive on-site orientation to allow students to get acclimate to their new host city. Some affiliate providers build in cultural activities and excursions into the program, allowing students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture. Most affiliate providers have staff members on-site in the host city to offer support students throughout the full duration of the program.

The OEA recommends an affiliate provider program for students who are looking to have additional support prior to departure and upon arrival, but are looking to then have their independence while abroad after they are acclimated to their new host city.


Interning or Volunteering through a provider

Students will work with approved third parties in order to set up their international internship. By working with an affiliate provider, students will receive services such as airport pick-up, orientations, accommodations and more (services offered will vary per provider). The affiliate provider will also evaluate the students interests, to include their area of study, potential future career field, and host countries in order to put them in touch with several companies on-site for the interview process. All providers listed below are approved and offer similar services to students. To find out more about example placements, career fields and locations, search through the following affiliate providers' websites below. Internships abroad will almost always be unpaid opportunities. Keep in mind that this is largely because of immigration; if you're interning abroad, and if you have to apply for a visa or other immigration document in order to live or work there, typically this document restricts you from allowing to be paid.

Students who participate in a study abroad program through an affiliate provider will attend a host university or study center abroad. The affiliate provider will be the liaison between the student and the host institution. Upon acceptance, the affiliate provider will communicate all program details and logistics with the student. Upon arrival, students will attend an orientation facilitated by the affiliate provider and potentially in addition to an orientation facilitated by the host university, where they will learn more about their on-site resources, policies and procedures, course registration, etc.

Once classes start, it will then be up to the student to attend class and any other mandatory university or program events; otherwise, when student's have free time, they are welcome to do as they please and to travel on weekends or breaks. While it may be possible for students to participate in this program with other UNC Charlotte students, they could also potentially be the only student from UNC Charlotte on the program at that time. It is likely that UNC Charlotte students will be participating in the program with other American students, and potentially other international students as well.


Program Length

Internship and volunteering abroad programs are offered fall, spring, year or summer. Please refer to the affiliate provider's program brochure for the program dates.

All students must meet OEA eligibility requirements listed here in addition to any further requirements listed on the affiliate provider's program brochure (e.g. prerequisite courses, GPA, class standing, etc. if applicable). Note that in some cases, the affiliate provider's GPA requirement could be higher than OEA's requirement, in which case the student would ultimately need to meet the highest requirement at time of application.

Paid to the Office of Education Abroad

Programs for Academic Credit:

Application fee & deposit

Each applicant will submit an Application Fee & Deposit. Payment will be made through the student's OEA application. The cost of the OEA Application Fee & Deposit for this program type is $35. Please note the following:

  • $10 of the $35 is a non-refundable application fee
  • $25 of the $35 is applied to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee
  • The Application Fee & Deposit must be paid by the OEA application due date, which is March 1st for Fall applicants and October 1st for Spring applications
Remainder of Study Abroad Administrative Fee

If and once approved by the OEA to participate in the program, students will be prompted to submit the remainder of the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, which is $575. The fee will be due typically in April for Fall or Summer participants and in November for Spring participants. Students who are financial aid or scholarship recipients can request to defer payment for this fee until their aid is released at the start of the semester they are studying abroad.

Mandatory International Health Insurance

All UNC Charlotte students who go abroad are required to be enrolled in the mandatory international health insurance. Please refer to our Costs to Consider page for the most current daily rate. An overview of the international health insurance policy and further resources can be found on our International Health Insurance page. Once accepted into the program and once the official program dates are confirmed, the OEA enrolls the student in the insurance policy from their program start date through their program end date, possibly including 1 or 2 additional days before and after their program to account for travel time. At that time, an invoice will be uploaded to the student's OEA application with instructions on how to submit payment. Students who are financial aid or scholarship recipients can request to defer payment for this fee until their aid is released at the start of the semester they are studying abroad.

Programs Not for Academic Credit

Registration Fee

If a student is participating in an internship or volunteering abroad program and they are either not receiving academic credit for the experience or if they are enrolling in an online internship or independent study course at UNC Charlotte while they are abroad (any paying tuition & fees to UNC Charlotte through Student Accounts for the course(s)), then the OEA will set the student up with an International Travel Registration. This registration is $50 per 30 days the student is abroad, which includes the cost of the mandatory international health insurance.


Paid to the affiliate provider

Students will pay the following to the affiliate provider:

Application Fee

In addition to applying to the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte in order to receive approval to participate in an affiliate provider program, students will also be required to apply to the affiliate provider in order to receive acceptance into the program. An application fee will be associated with the affiliate provider application and will be due by the affiliate provider's application due date. For more information, refer to the affiliate provider's program brochure or contact the affiliate provider directly.

Program Fee

Students will be paying a program fee to the affiliate provider. This fee may include tuition & fees at the host university, housing, pre-departure advising, visa or immigration document support, on-site assistance, cultural activities and more. The inclusions will vary per program. It is the student's responsibility to review the affiliate provider's program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included.


Miscellaneous Costs

The following are expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. Students are encouraged to consider their cost of living abroad, currency exchange rate, their own personal spending habits and their own financial budget when financially planning for the following:

Housing

In most cases, housing is included in the program fee paid to the affiliate provider and is arranged by the affiliate provider ahead of time. It is the student's responsibility to review the affiliate provider's program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included. Additionally, students are encouraged to review the OEA's Housing tab for an overview of housing options that may be offered (differs per program) and considerations of each.

Meals

It could be possible that none, some or all meals are included in the program fee paid to the affiliate provider. It is the student's responsibility to review the affiliate provider's program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included. Most students will purchase groceries while abroad and cook at home to keep to their budget or eat at local cafeterias or restaurants. Refer to the OEA's Food Abroad page for further considerations.

Flight

Once students receive approval from the OEA, acceptance from the affiliate provider and the official program start and end date, they will then be eligible to purchase their flight. Refer to the OEA's Travel Logistics page for flight considerations. It may be possible that the affiliate provider offers a group flight option, in which case this is typically in addition to the program fee paid to the affiliate provider.

In-Country Transportation

Students will need to consider the forms of transportation available in the host city and to determine potential costs associated with traveling to and from class each day as well as transportation throughout the city. It could be possible that a local transportation card is offered as part of the program fee paid to the affiliate provider. It is the student's responsibility to review the affiliate provider's program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included.  Refer to the OEA's Transportation page for further considerations. 

Passport

A valid passport is required for international travel. The OEA does not issue passports. Please visit the OEA's Passport page for further information on how to determine if your current passport is valid according to the host country's regulations as well as how to apply for a new or renew a passport. While possession of a passport is not required in order to apply to study abroad, students will be required to submit a copy of their valid passport very soon after receiving approval. It's in the best interest of the student to apply for or renew their passport as soon as possible.

Visa or Immigration Document

In addition to having a valid passport, it may be possible that a student needs to apply for an additional immigration document, such as a visa or residence permit. The immigration process can be complex, time consuming and is ultimately the responsibility of the student. The OEA cannot advise on immigration requirements of host country governments. It's highly recommended that students determine whether or not an immigration document, such as a visa or residence permit, is required for their host country well before applying to the OEA. Learn more about Immigration Documents here. In some cases, visa or immigration document support is offered by the affiliate provider. It is the student's responsibility to review the affiliate provider's program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included. 

Books & Supplies

Just like UNC Charlotte, students may not be notified of any required books or supplies they may need until they're accepted into the program and register for courses at the host institution (which may even occur upon arrival on-site). Students are encouraged to refer to the affiliate provider's program brochure for further information regarding on estimated costs of books & supplies or to contact the affiliate provider directly.

Personal Expenses

Students will need to budget for personal expenses. This will include things such as potentially purchasing items for their room or dorm, cultural activities, buying hygiene products, acquiring souvenirs, etc. Students should consider the cost of living abroad, the currency exchange rate and their personal spending habits when budgeting for their own personal expenses.

Personal Travel Expenses

Many students choose to take advantage of the opportunity to travel to other destinations while abroad. It's important that students do not plan any personal travel until they have received their class schedule and are sure they will not miss any mandatory program events. Refer to the OEA's Personal Travel page for further considerations.

Travel & Electronic Insurance

It's recommended students consider taking out insurance on their flight. Flight insurance is convenience in the event that the student needs to change the departure date of their flight, which, with insurance, can be done for a nominal fee. Refer to the airline's website for more information. It is also recommended that students consider taking out insurance on their valuable electronic devices in the event they are lost or stolen.

Medical & Emergency Funds

It is critical that students put aside funds for medical and emergency reasons. While students will have international health insurance coverage while abroad, they meet to pay for medical expenses out of pocket and then be reimbursed by the insurance company. Additionally, it's always smart to have a set of funds set aside in the event of emergencies.


Cost Estimate Worksheet

The OEA has designed a cost estimate worksheet, which can be used as a resource to determine the total estimated cost of an affiliate provider program including all expenses outlined in the cost structure above. Please download the Cost Estimate Worksheet here and input expenses in the red boxes as applicable to the program and host destination. This cost estimate worksheet is only able to be viewed via Microsoft Excel. As expenses are entered into the red boxes, the total will then automatically increase, giving the student a comprehensive understanding of the total estimated cost of the program. Students do not need to fill this out and submit to the OEA during the application process. If and once approved by the OEA, you will then be prompted to download the official document to complete prior to departure.


Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial aid can be applied to any approved affiliate provider program. Learn more about Financial Aid here. All students are encouraged to apply for scholarships as well. The OEA has a lot of financial resources on our Money Matters page that students are highly encouraged to review.

Students may or may not be able to receive academic credit for their internship or volunteer position abroad depending on their academic department and the program. Check out our Academic Credit tab below under the "International Internships & Experiential Learning" heading to understand how academic credit works with these program types. It will be important for students to have discussions early on with their academic department(s) to determine if they are eligible to receive academic credit for their internship abroad and if so, how.

Learn More About Academic Credit Here

Application Process Overview

Students interested in participating in an affiliate provider program will be required to apply to the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval to go abroad and apply to the affiliate provider in order to receive acceptance into the program. Refer to the How to Apply tab under the "affiliate provider" heading for more information.


OEA Application Deadlines

Students will receive custom placements for their internship or volunteer opportunity abroad. Although the OEA application deadlines are listed below, the student should apply as soon as possible, and before the deadline, in order to ensure they have enough time to work with the affiliate provider.

Program Type Term Abroad OEA Application Deadline
Affiliate Provider Summer, Fall or Academic Year March 1
Affiliate Provider Spring October 1

 

The Office of Education Abroad has identified a list of approved affiliate providers who provide experiential learning options abroad (i.e. internships, volunteering, service-learning) that are legitimate & offer services important for UNC Charlotte student success. Please contact the OEA to determine whether or not it would be possible to use another affiliate provider that is not listed below.

AIFS

AIFS offers programs in 21 different countries as well as a multi-country option. AIFS offers a wide range of unique programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, South Africa and the Americas. Most AIFS campuses offer courses in English or in foreign languages from beginner to advanced levels, so you don’t even have to know a foreign language to study through these programs.

Explore AIFS Programs


API

Academic Programs International, or API, offers programs in 20 different countries. API programs offer U.S. college and university students the opportunity to earn college credit toward their degree programs in the U.S. by completing coursework in a wide variety of disciplines, including such fields as business, the social sciences, medical studies and the arts.

Explore API Programs


CISabroad

The Center for International Studies, or CISabroad, offers programs in 21 different countries, including a multi-country option.

Explore CISabroad Programs


CIEE

Operating in over 40 countries, CIEE provides over 200 different programs for students studying any major or minor.

Explore CIEE Programs


ISA

International Studies Abroad, or ISA, provides programs all around the world as well as internships and service-learning opportunities. ISA has over 250 different programs to choose from.

Explore ISA Programs


TEAN

The Education Abroad Network, or TEAN, focuses on their programs in Australia, New Zealand, China, Southeast Asia and South Korea.

Explore TEAN Programs


USAC

The University Studies Abroad Consortium, or USAC, known for their affordability, offers programs all around the world.

Explore USAC Programs

Photo by: Arriana Covington in Ecuador