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Finding an Internship Opportunity

Finding an internship opportunity isn’t all that different from finding a job, whether it will be a paid or unpaid position. You should conduct your search accordingly.

If you’ve already made contacts in your chosen career field, you might know of a company that already partners with a U.S. firm to offer internship opportunities, or you may have heard about American businesses offering training in your discipline. Here are a few suggestions – things to think about as you start your search:

Before you start applying

Narrow your search and know what kind of internship you're looking for

What do you want to do? Does your passion point to a nonprofit organization, big business, or dynamic start-up company? An internship related to your area of study is a great opportunity to explore your planned career path. Choose something that interests you professionally and aligns with your long-term goals.

Make a list of places you would like to live and intern in during your program

Remember, CIEE Internship USA is about much more than the professional experience. Your time in the United States is a rare chance to visit places you’ve always wanted to see. Where would you like to live during your time in the United States? The high-energy atmosphere of New York City? The more laid-back coast of California? The Midwest heartland of America? Be sure to consider the location as well as the position.

Make a list of companies to get in touch with

After you’ve given it some thought, make a list of companies to contact. This will be your “A” list.

Finding Internship Opportunities

You might be surprised at how many ways there are to find a U.S.-based internship position:

Ask friends, family and mentors

Many successful careers have been launched with a simple conversation. Someone you know may know of an opening or may have connections with companies in the U.S. who would be happy to help. This kind of personal networking is an important professional skill that’s well worth developing because it can lead to more opportunities in the future.

Use university and community resources

Your university or community may have a career center that lists internship programs in the United States and provides career counseling. Your professors also may have connections with potential host organizations.

Tap the resources of business or trade organizations

Just about every profession has one or more organizations serving the professional or educational needs of that particular group. These organizations often offer job-finding resources, which may also include international internship opportunities.

Search online

Make use of job search sites on the web. Specifically look for internship opportunities to narrow your search. Here are a few good places to start:

Visit CIEE's Available Internships Blog

Host organizations share available internship opportunities with us from time to time. We immediately post these opportunities online at and on Facebook.

Go directly to companies that interest you

A visit to the websites of companies that interest you might uncover opportunities that are not listed elsewhere. If no openings are listed, don’t be discouraged. Find out the names of the human resources manager and/or the hiring manager, and contact them to ask about whether opportunities exist.

You can also learn more about the organization by following it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Work with your CIEE international representative

While CIEE international representatives can’t actually arrange an internship for you, they can offer resources and knowledge not available anywhere else. It’s also a good idea to ask your CIEE international representative to review any opportunity you find, as some positions might not be eligible for the program. Feel free to email your CIEE international representative with questions.

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