Internships are useful for gaining experience in a specific workplace environment whilst travelling. They usually last a year, but can be difficult to obtain because of US employment laws and restrictions concerning work permits. Nevertheless, organisations such as CCUSA and Alliances Abroad work to place students in internships, ranging from positions in national parks and resorts to social and clerical work, amongst others. As with au pair schemes, CCUSA requires you to hold a J1 visa, but the work placements are usually for only about five months so this would not suffice for a whole year of work-based travelling. Furthermore, although such organisations arrange flights, insurance and visas, it may be more difficult to find accommodation, particularly on a long-term basis.

Another excellent source of internships is through private sponsorship with a company, many international companies are happy to invest in potential employees by sending you to work in another location for a year. Sometimes you will have to make a commitment to the company, for example promising to work for them for a year or two after graduation but if you manage to land one of these lucrative internships it could well be a good investment.

Other large companies organise competetive internship schemes, these usually involve sitting numerous exams and aptitude tests as well as a lengthy interview process. These kind of internships are generally at highly desirable companies such as those in the fortune 500. Those applying should expect heavy competition but with large potential rewards both in terms of generous pay but also for the CV boosting potential employment at these sort of companies offers.

Useful Links

Alliances Abroad Organise various internship schemes as well as camp based work and voluntary programs.

CCUSA are an organisation which specialises in finding internships in the USA for foreign students.