The University of Iowa

Virtual Global Internships

virtual internships graphic

What is a Virtual Internship?

Call it what you will: Remote Internship, Virtual Internship, Online Internship, Tele-working, Telecommuting, it all means the same thing: you will be completing your international internship…directly from your own laptop!

Remote internships mean that you can work with companies across the globe to support a myriad of projects ranging from basic social media support to full business projects, website designs, market reports, financial assessments, usability testing code, and much much more. 

When completing a remote internship many of the same aspects of a traditional in-person internship still exist, including meetings with your supervisor or teammates, completing a mix of individual and group projects, and learning about the overall company culture and the industry it works in. 

Internships through our providers also mean you will have an in-depth exploration of your host country’s work culture, gain career coaching and develop a cohort of other students all working ‘in’ your same location. 

For more information about virtual global internships, please contact the UI Study Abroad Office to arrange a time to talk with the Virtual Internships Coordinator: Monica Ernberger (319-335-0353). Apply now for Spring or Summer 2021!


Did you miss the Fall 2020 Study Abroad Fair?

If you missed this fall's Virtual Study Abroad Fair, be sure to see the presentation given about virtual global internships. 

View the Global Internships Presentation


"Those who have done virtual internships say it’s a way to learn remote working skills that are more important now that COVID-19 has changed how people work." 

Kelvin Chan, AP News, June 16, 2020



Linette Leng, USAC Internship

"Although a virtual internship could never replace everything an in-person internship would bring, it has nonetheless been a tremendously valuable experience. The virtual aspect really has a charm of its own. I believe that it has made me more disciplined than perhaps an in-person internship would. I have to stay self-motivated and push myself to make sure I get the work done. It’s so easy to slack off because I’m not physically going somewhere to work, but I’m learning to be accountable to myself. I’ve also learned so much about how to navigate the internet on a professional level and use different online tools. I believe that will be a good skill to have in the future as more and more of the world is moving online. "

Linette Leng, October 13th, 2020, participated in a virtual internship at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Reggio Emilia, Italy, through USAC.

University of Iowa Partners for Virtual/Remote Global Internships

The University of Iowa has five partners. 

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Fall CEA Application Deadline: July 12th

Spring CEA Application Deadline: November 15th

Summer CEA Application Deadline: April 2nd

Contact: Monica Ernberger (

Learn more about CEA programs

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Application Deadlines
Fall Deadline IES Application - May 13th

Spring Deadline IES Application - Nov 15th

Summer Deadline IES Internship - March 15th

Contact: Monica Ernberger (

Learn more about IES internships

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Fall SIT Application deadline: August 1st

Spring Deadline SIT Application - Nov 15th

Summer SIT Application Deadline: May 1st

Contact: Monica Ernberger (

Learn more about SIT programs

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Fall TEAN Application Deadline:  Aug 1st

Spring Deadline TEAN Application - Nov 15th

Summer TEAN Application Deadline:  May 1st

Contact: Monica Ernberger (

Learn more about TEAN programs

zoom meeting

Fall USAC Application Deadline: Aug 1st

Spring Deadline USAC Application - Nov 15th

Summer USAC Application Deadline: April 15th

Contact: Monica Ernberger (

Learn more about USAC programs

Global Internships Presentation

Why do a virtual internship?

  1. An internship looks great on your resume, especially with an international organization!
  2. You can still work or take classes while completing an internship.
  3. The cost of a virtual internship is almost a quarter of the cost of an on-site internship.
  4. The future of the workplace is remote. Develop experience that will make you shine in this arena.
  5. You can gain a 3, 5 or 6 credit internship credit that appears on your UI transcript.
  6. You will gain valuable experiences working with an international company organization that you can talk about.

Virtual Internship Abroad Q&A

Your provider will be teaching an internship seminar, alongside your internship placement This seminar/class will discuss such things as the work culture in your organization’s country. You will also be working closely with the provider’s on-site director, and the organization itself, which is located abroad. 

Virtual internships abroad organizations focus on getting to know you and your hopes for your future. They will do a Zoom or Skype interview with you to talk about what skills you would like to acquire, to make yourself more attractive as a future employee. They will go out into the various locations to find a company or organization that would have a project, which would enable you to acquire that experience or develop those desired skills. 

To begin with – no travel costs. One of the more expensive aspects of an on-site internship is travel costs. There are no plane tickets or visa fees for virtual internships. You just need your computer, a good internet connection and the willingness to be flexible and adapt to a new way of doing things.  In general, the cost of a virtual internship is taken up by tuition, career coaching and credit transfer. There are no housing costs, no meal plans, no daily commuting costs, etc. These options tend to cost about a quarter, on average, of what an on-site internship would come up to.

This is your chance to shine, at job search time. Not only will this virtual internship appear on your UI transcript and your resume, you will be able to use it as an example of how you are able to adapt, overcome obstacles, and make the most of the circumstances you find yourself in. You will be able to show how flexible you are, how you are comfortable in international working environments, and how you are a collaborative and innovative thinker.  

Absolutely, you will have a cohort of other students also ‘working’ in the same location that you will attend your internship seminar with. You will also develop a relationship with the other members of your team, if you are in a group project. You will work with a supervisor, at your company or organization, as well as other co-workers there. You will also get to know your career/internship coach who can help you over any bumps in the road and answer questions about the best way to approach a situation. 

Find a Scholarship

UI Study Abroad has compiled a list of scholarships that can be applied to an international internship.

Go to Scholarship List