Internships As A Financial Aid Option
Paid and Unpaid: the Purpose of an Internship
Internships are a way for students to gain practical experience in their field, often while earning a small stipend that can be used to help defray the costs of their college tuition. An internship provides valuable educational opportunities, and can be an added benefit to a students resume when the time comes to enter the professional workforce. While not all internships are paid, they should still be considered as valuable additions to any student's educational career.
Benefits of Internships
Internships, both paid and unpaid, offer a number of substantial benefits to college students. They should be viewed as valuable additions to the college experience. Some of the most notable benefits of an internship include:
- The opportunity to apply academic know-how to on-the-job situations.
- The chance to gain knowledge and experience that cannot be taught in a classroom environment.
- The opportunity to work with experienced professionals in your field.
- The chance to consider the value, and the appeal, of the career choice you’ve made.
Paid and unpaid internships are available in a number of disparate disciplines. They are offered by both the Federal government and the private sector. Internships generally only offered to students demonstrating exceptional abilities in their field, and who have demonstrated their intention to pursue their course of studies in the professional arena.
State Department Paid Internships
For students studying business, foreign policy and cultural affairs the U.S. Department of State offers a number of paid internships in various disciplines. Many of these internship opportunities give students a chance to pursue their studies in real life situations, while working abroad in countries vital to the nations interests. These internships include the cost of room and board, and often provide a monthly stipend that can be put towards an interns college tuition. These government sponsored internships cover a wide array of career paths, and are highly competitive. Interested students must maintain a high academic standing in order to qualify. Students may need to meet certain requirements for consideration, including the ability to speak a foreign language fluently.
Interning with the Peace Corps
The National Peace Corps Association provides a large number of internships for students in all fields of study. Interning with the Peace Corps gives students hands on experience in community development, education, international affairs and the management of non-profit organizations.
Volunteering for the Peace Corps requires a two year commitment, after which students will be eligible for job placement assistance, college credit and first choice consideration for a government job. Internships with the Peace Corps are paid, and students can save money for their college tuition while working toward building a better world for all.
Private Sector Internships
The private sector includes all non-government businesses and organizations that may offer internships to promising students in a variety of professional fields. A large number of paid, and unpaid, internships are available from private sector sources, though the interested student will need to do some diligent searching to find them. Private sector internships can be found by speaking with your college department head, financial aid adviser and by looking over the university's bulletin boards and campus papers. Though private sector internships are less well publicized than their government counterparts, they are just as abundant and equally rewarding. These internships provide real world experience in your field, and will ultimately add to your resume by giving you a degree of advanced work experience that may not be found in competing job applicants.
Internships are a very valuable addition to any college students education. They provide hands on experience in your field of study, while increasing both your knowledge and your leaning potential. Paid internships also offer he added benefit of adding to that much needed tuition fund. For the lucky student who manages to earn a position as an intern, the educational and career opportunities are endless.