Frequently Asked Questions


General Internship Questions

What is an internship?

An internship is an intentional professionalizing experience. While working in a professionally structured environment, an intern takes an Academic Internship class focused on developing professional competencies.

What are the requirements for an internship?

Please click here for a detailed outline of what is required by an internship.

When should I start planning and applying for internships?

Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to start making plans to do an internship during their junior or senior year by exploring different internship opportunities and considering goals for their experience. Students that are junior or senior status are encouraged to apply for internships as most internships require junior or senior status. This is when most students have taken a sufficient amount of their major classes to fully participate in the internship.

How many credits (SPAN/PORT 399R) can I count towards major, minor, or second major requirements?

Students can only count up to 3 credits for one program - either major, minor, or second major. You cannot count internship credit for both major and minor requirements.

What classes do I have to take?

This depends on the internship; each one has different required classes.

Most internship will require SPAN/PORT 399R. Internships through the On-Campus resources will require a different internship class (e.g.: MSB 491, HCOLL 494R, etc…). If your internship has been approved, these other internship classes will count as the elective SPAN/PORT 399R internship class for major, minor, or double major requirements. Some internships (for example international internship) may require additional classes.

Why do I have to take a class while doing the internship?

This is what makes an academic internship different from job. An internship helps students develop professional competencies before entering a profession. NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) surveyed employers and asked what competencies new college graduates lack when they enter the workforce. The required internship class is designed to help students develop these competencies on their internship.

How much of the language do I need to speak?
International Internships:

This depends on the internship. For the Spain Internship, Spain OléSAY Internship, and Brazil Internship, proficiency in the respective language is required. For many internships through the Portugal SiPN program Portuguese is NOT required. However, there are some through this program (SiPN) that do require Portuguese. For the Spain Cultural Ambassador program, Spainsh is not required, but some Spanish is recommended.


Domestic Internships:

Some internships are language-based, while others are not. This depends on the requirements for each specific internship. We do require the internship to be related to Spanish or Portuguese, depending on your program.

International Internship Questions

What if my major is not in Spanish or Portuguese?

You can still do an internship through our department! There are many internships in diverse fields and some that require other specializations beyond Spanish and Portuguese. We can place interns in areas from science, medicine, political science, business, art history and all in between. Please click here to visit “How to Find My Internship” and see a list of some of the internships we have available.

How is an internship different than a study abroad?

A study abroad is focused on language acquisition and cultural studies where students are accompanied by a faculty member who is an expert in the language and culture of the area of study. The study abroad is a curated experience where you take university classes during the week and go on cultural excursions, organized by the faculty director, on weekends. An internship, on the other hand, is focused on the “job” that is the internship and developing professional competencies. Interns travel and work independently and report to a faculty supervisor through online communication and limited coursework. Travel is possible, but is independent and organized by the student intern.

What does a typical day look like on an international internship experience?

This will depend somewhat based on your internship. In general, you will spend your time working at your internship. This will also include meeting with your supervisor, taking breaks with coworkers, and doing your assigned work. With most internships, you will still have time to explore and take some trips around the area.

Can I take an online class while on the international internship?

If you have already taken the classes required by the internship or if you need a couple extra credits to reach full time status, you maybe able to take a BYU Online class. This is not BYU Independent Study. For a list of BYU Online classes, please click here.

I have already taken the required class. What can I do?

There are a couple options for students who have already taken the required classes for an internship. One is to take them again. If there is an R at the end of the class this means you can retake the class if needed. You can also take a BYU Online class. Please note this does not include BYU Independent Study. For a list of BYU Online classes, please click here. You might also be able to work with a professor and their corresponding departments to do an independent reading course, but this is not, however, very common and requires foresight and preparation. 

How are International Internships assigned?

We work with a variety of contacts abroad to find quality internships for our students. Please let us know if you have a preference, however, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to intern at your preferred organization. We work hard to provide you with a quality internship experience, but can not always guarantee your preference.

Do scholarships count towards the cost of my internship?

Yes. BYU scholarships, FAFSA loans, and grants can be used to pay for tuition and school fees associated with your internship. However, some scholarships come with specific conditions of use. It is advised to contact the scholarship organization for specific stipulations.

I’m an international student and the funding application is asking for a FASFA score. How do I get that?

International students who need a FAFSA score can have a FAFSA score manually generated (used to determine a College Internship Funding amount) by contacting Eleanor Roberts in A-41 ASB (801-422-3534). Let them know they need to have Eleanor email that score to Elaine Davies (

I’m married, can I still do an international internship?

Yes, you both can go. Your spouse needs to be registered for at least .5 credits. They can either do an internship along with you, or they can just register for the .5 credits through the Kennedy Center. This would provide them with the international insurance required by BYU for all those who travel abroad. If your spouse has already graduated they can still enroll for .5 credits and can still go with you on the internship.

For internships that don’t provide housing, how do I find it?

This depends on your internship. Past interns have used Airbnb, renting websites, local Facebook groups, and local contacts (e.g.: supervisor or personal friends). Former interns suggest booking an Airbnb or hotel in the area for a few days to a week, then looking for housing when you arrive for your internship. However, students are not allowed to solicit church members for housing per BYU policy. If you would like some more specifics please speak with our Internship Secretary or Internship Director.

What are the restrictions for housing if I need to find my own?

Even while on an internship you are required to maintain BYU housing standards. Please note, per BYU policy, students are not allowed to solicit church members for housing per BYU policy. If you would like some more specifics please speak with our Internship Secretary or Internship Director.