Internships in London - “work placements” in British-speak - offer American students a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves into British culture, to meet British people, to travel more extensively in the city, to gain professional experience, to acquire valuable professional contacts and, in the end, a letter of reference from a British company or employer.
The London Centre offers 3-credit work placements during the fall, spring and summer semesters. During the semester, students do an internship in conjunction with courses at the London Center. In the summer term, we offer full time placements that must be taken in conjunction with a cross cultural internship seminar.
Our team of internship coordinators have a great deal of experience placing US interns in London. They will monitor your internship and assign and mark the academic work that supports it. While the London Center specializes in internships in the social sciences, media and communications, and theatre, we can find placements in all academic areas. In all our internships there will be a strong cross-cultural focus and coordinators will expect students to reflect on British attitudes and approaches to work.
Work placements are academic courses. Students must keep a descriptive and reflective journal, write an essay, submit a portfolio and possibly also give an oral presentation on a main theme in their work placement. Students can ask to be placed at a company or organization that is on our list of recent placements, but we cannot guarantee any placement until the student arrives in London and goes for an interview. Students can also find their own placements, although most employers are reluctant to offer a placement on the basis of emails and letters alone. We ask all our interns to be as specific as possible about the type of organization they would prefer, but we also look for students to be flexible.
In order to participate in the internship program, students will be required to obtain a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. This will add to the costs of the program and should be considered before applying. Follow this link to find out more information about Immigration into the UK.
One last tip: while there are plenty of “big name” organizations in London, such companies can be reluctant to take US students on board. Smaller firms and establishments tend to offer the most fulfilling placements as they have more ‘hands on’ work to offer interns.