Preparing your Funding Application
Most funding sources require you to complete a specific application form and have guidelines about which materials to include with the application. Even if there is not a formal application form, generally, you will be asked to submit any of the following items:
Statement of Purpose:
One of the most important parts of the internship application is your statement of purpose. This is traditionally an essay (1-2 pages) explaining why you are interning abroad and why you require funding. Additionally, statement of purpose is meant to give insight into who you are. Parts of this statement are applicable to both the initial internship application and funding applications. Useful items to address include a specific explanation of why this internship will help you meet your future academic/career goals and how this fits with your past and future experiences. It is also beneficial to address the needs of the organization you are applying to and demonstrate your awareness of the organization's mission.
Include figures for travel, housing, and personal expenses (e.g. transportation to internship). In order to submit a budget, most successful applicants research the currencies compared to the dollar and cost of living in the country where he or she will be interning. The employer or internship provider may also be able to assist with a cost estimate. Try to reduce costs for airfare, housing, and other items on your budget.
Sample Budget for U.S. Department of State Internship in Athens, Greece
Travel: 1,200 (roundtrip airfare from Detroit to Athens, summer)
Room/ Board: $3,000 (10 weeks)
Personal Expenses: $600 (including cost of daily transportation to internship)
See a detailed sample budget that includes anticipated expenses and funding sources.
The student travel agency (STA) is a good resource for student travel rates.
Negotiate with the employer to see if housing can be provided as “payment in kind” or see if the employer can help locate inexpensive housing.
Letters of Recommendation:
Letters from professors or attesting to the relevance of the internship to your academic and personal goals strengthen your application.
Verification of your acceptance:
This can be in the form of an acceptance letter from a program or supervisor which includes information regarding location, dates, and nature of your internship.
Official or Unofficial transcript
General Funding Tips
- Don't hesitate to ask! Networking and asking people for funding ideas is always worth a try.
- Start early! For example, the U.S. Department of State accepts candidates for summer internships any time between December and January (application deadline is November 1). Begin exploring sources for funding your internship right away. Deadlines for grants are usually early in the winter term, and some are offered as late as March.
- If you are interested in a paid internship, persistence helps! For example, approximately 1/3 of the U.S. Department of State internships are paid, depending on financial need. The initial application asks that you submit a copy of your Student Aid Report. If you qualify for a paid internship, you will be sent specific paperwork to complete. Contact the student intern coordinator with any questions or concerns. Other internship programs also offer specific stipends or paid internships that might not be listed.
If you are receiving academic credit for your internship, it is possible that financial aid can be used to assist with funding. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information. The UVU International Center's Office of International Study Programs (ISP) offers internships with many of their study abroad programs. Many study-internship programs offer scholarships. The volunteer-internship program Cross-Cultural-Solutions offers scholarships. Some non-UVU programs can process financial aid (examples include Boston University, IES, Syracuse University).
Rotary Club, Kiwanis, ethnic/religious organizations, family and friends. It is often possible to approach your local Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc. club and offer to do a presentation about your internship for them instead of just writing a request for funding. Usually these types of clubs are very interested in having speakers present at their meetings and enjoy establishing a relationship with the people they are funding. It would also be to your advantage to offer to present again upon your return from the internship in order to assure them that their money has been put to good use. Specifically for Rotary Clubs, offering to attend a Rotary meeting in the country where you will be interning would be extremely beneficial. Presenting your internship in front of religious organizations as well as in front of family members and friends is also a good way to inform them of your goals and to give them a sense of investing in your education as opposed to just giving you money.
Two web sites that have excellent general suggestions for fundraising are:
UVU Internship Scholarship Program
The UVU Internship Scholarship Program offers several scholarships to students receiving credit for their internships each semester. There are currently 3 types of scholarships available - Non-Profit (IPE), Government, and General.
- Non-Profit (IPE) scholarships can only be applied to by those UVU interns who are working for non-profit organization and will not be paid during their internship. Award amount is $1000.
- Government scholarships are for UVU students who are completing an internship at a city, state, or federal government agency. Award amount is $1000.
- General Scholarships can be applied for by any UVU student. Award amounts range from $200 - $800.