Student Guidelines for International Internships

International internships must meet a higher standard and require special handling due to potential risks associated with travel/living outside the U.S. Please be aware that this process will take several weeks and submit your request sufficiently in advance to allow time for this. Not all international internship requests are approved, so any expenditures made prior to final approval and authorization for credit may be done at the risk of not receiving internship credit for the experience in the event that your internship is denied. Such expenditures might include pre-paid travel, lodging, and program participation costs. You are encouraged to research travel restrictions for any potential internship location you are considering by visiting: 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ and
https://travelsmart.byu.edu/content/brigham-young-university-international-travel-policy-travel-restrictions-list

The following two items must be submitted before your internship will be approved for registration:

1. PROOF OF INSURANCE

2. REQUEST LETTER – Requirements & Guidelines

This letter should be submitted with or shortly after your internship form.  Address your letter to the BYU-Idaho Career Center.  Include the following information:

  • Company/Organization for which you’ll be interning
  • Name and contact information of on-site supervisor
  • Internship location (city, country)
  • Dates of travel
  • Costs of travel, lodging, fees for program, travel documents and how you plan to pay these expenses
  • How you found the position
  • How many hours you will be working/work schedule
  • Benefits of the internship
  • How the internship meets your educational goals
  • How the internship enhances your employability after graduation
  • Who you will be traveling with (to the location, and during your stay)
  • What you will do in your free time while there
  • Additional travel you will be doing during your internship (this must receive separate advance approval)
  • A brief outline of previous international travel experience(s)
  • Housing arrangements
  • Language requirements and your fluency
  • Logistics of church attendance (chapels/Branches/wards nearby? Church leaders contacted?)
  • Name and relationship of anyone you know who lives there
  • Are your parents aware and supportive of your plans to travel internationally?

Please include as much information as possible to help us understand the nature of your internship, travel experiences and plans.  You may be asked to meet with the Academic Vice President regarding your request.

International Internship Approval Process

Approval criteria

BYU-Idaho encourages all students to seek domestic internships that lead to probable employment offers upon graduation.

BYU-Idaho will generally approve an internship outside of the United States if the following conditions are met:

  • The requested internship is in a country that is not on the restricted travel list.
  • The requested internship is sponsored by a U.S. Government agency, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or sponsored by a large multi-national company with offices in the United States and the host country so there is a higher probability of a professional employment offer upon completion of the internship.
  • The sponsoring entity provides an appropriate visa and permits
  • The internship experience does not primarily consist of providing humanitarian service (except some Public Health major students) or teaching English (except some TESOL minor students)
  • The internship experience is paid, helping students offset high travel and living expenses and excessive debt

BYU-Idaho will also generally approve an internship outside of the United States if the applicant is an international BYU-Idaho student and the requested internship is in the applicant’s country of residence or in a country that is within the same region of the applicant’s home country and does not have travel restrictions or warnings.

Notwithstanding the above criteria, all international internships are subject to final approval by the Student Life and Academic vice presidents. University officials reserve the right to deny any internship application for safety, academic, or any other lawful reason.

Approval Process

1. A student submits an international internship application through iPlan, which is simultaneously emailed to the faculty internship coordinator (according to major), the BYU-Idaho Career Center internship team’s lead student, and the employer indicated in the form (with the contact information provided by the applicant).

Note: In a domestic internship, if an employer submits the master agreement and a student completes all necessary forms, iPlan automatically approves the applicant for registration. This is not true for “Exceptions Internships,” which include international internships, entrepreneurial internships, on-campus internships or healthcare internships.

2. For international internships, iPlan requires the student to upload an Internship Request Letter and the Acknowledgement of International Health Insurance in order to submit the Internship Request Form. The internship processing lead student sends an email to the applicant, prompting them to consult U.S. State Department international travel information for their destination country and reply that they have read and will follow the recommendations.

3. The lead internship student reviews the completed documents and works with the applicant to complete any missing information.

4. Once the application documents are complete, the BYU-Idaho Career Center works with the travel administrator (currently Leesa Allen) to assess any travel restrictions. The travel administrator, in collaboration with Landes Holbrook at the BYU Kennedy Center, determines whether the country is safe for travel.

5. Countries with travel restrictions are denied and the applicant is informed

6. The internship approval team submits the request to the managing director of Student Advancement who ensures criteria are met.

7. Managing director of Student Advancement forwards to Student Life and Academic vice presidents for final approval.

8. Final approval or denial is communicated to the managing director of Student Advancement by the Student Life vice president.

9. Managing director of Student Advancement triggers communication to the applicant regarding approval or denial

10. If the internship is approved, travel administration will automatically enroll the student in GEO Blue International Insurance and bill the student’s BYU-Idaho account (unless it is an international student doing the internship in their home country of record). Travel Administration will notify the student that insurance has been secured.