Cultural internships (also known as 'work placements' in the U.K.) offer students the opportunity to be immersed in British culture, travel extensively within the City, and gain professional experience and valuable international contacts that will serve them well in the future.
The Ithaca College London Center offers work placements during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. During the fall and spring semesters, students participate in a 3-credit work placement and also take part in several courses that are offered at the London Center (12-18 credits, total). During the summer, work placements are taken in conjunction with a cultural internship seminar (6 credits, total).
Our internship coordinators have a great deal of experience placing U.S. interns in London and while placements tend to be in the areas of media and communication, social sciences and theatre, placements can be found in most academic areas. We ask all London Center interns to be as specific as possible about the type of organization they would prefer, but we also look for students to be flexible. Students may ask to be placed at a company or organization that is on our list of recent placements, however, placements are not guaranteed until the student arrives in London takes part in an in-person 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.
All work placements have a strong cross-cultural focus and are considered academic courses. Students are expected to reflect on British attitudes and approaches to work by keeping a descriptive and reflective journal, submitting an essay and a portfolio, and an oral presentation may be required.
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.
One last tip: While there are plenty of “big name” organizations in London, such companies may be reluctant to offer U.S. students a placement. Smaller firms and establishments tend to offer the most fulfilling placements as they have more ‘hands-on’ work to offer interns.