Yalies hoping to spend the summer working in the United Kingdom may need to start looking for opportunities elsewhere, Undergraduate Career Services Director Phil Jones announced Wednesday.
Changes in U.K. immigration policies have cast doubt on whether Yale students from the United States will be able to undertake internships with the British Bulldogs program this summer, Jones said Tuesday. The program has been put on hold as UCS seeks help in navigating the new rules from contacts in the U.K., Jones said, adding that UCS will determine by mid-February whether to hold the program.
UCS received confirmation that U.S. citizens would not be able to participate in a temporary work program like the Bulldogs one only a few days ago, but Jones said he is still hoping to maintain the program in its current form.
“We’re still trying to find a way through the bureaucracy that legitimately fulfills the requirements as the British government has set out,” Jones said in an interview Tuesday.
The immigration legislation — passed in late November — permits students to work abroad if they are citizens of a country with reciprocal work agreements with the U.K., thereby making all students from Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan eligible to participate in the internships.
Even if UCS is not able to send U.S. citizens on the program, a small possibility remains that the program will still run in “skeletal format” for eligible students, Jones said, although he said his current focus is on maintaining the program in its current format.
In response to the uncertainty, UCS has expanded the maximum number of applications students can file for International Bulldogs positions, allowing students to submit three applications to British Bulldogs posts and three to all other programs.
British Bulldogs is the most popular international Bulldogs program, accounting for 30 percent of all International Bulldogs applications last year, Jones said. Last year, 32 students were chosen to participate in the program from a pool of about 200 applicants, he said.
The fact that the Bulldogs program might be cancelled this summer came as a blow to some students, like Mathilde Williams ’11, who said she already submitted applications to two British Bulldogs programs.
“I’m sad the program may not run this year, but I’m glad I can now apply to six internships instead of three,” Williams said.
Jennifer Urgilez ’10 said students like Williams were put in a tough position because of UCS’s lateness in notifying students of the potential problem. With only three days before the International Bulldogs application is due, students have little time to regroup, she said.
But for Leang Chaing ’10, who interned with Richmond Towers Communications through the British Bulldogs program this past summer, said the experience offered by British Bulldogs in some ways cannot be replicated.
“It’s truly a shame that British Bulldogs was canceled,” he said, “because it’s an amazing opportunity for all Yalies. There was a really dedicated alumni group in London who organized some of the summer’s most memorable events.”
Yale operates 18 different International Bulldogs internship programs on five different continents. The deadline for applications is midnight on Jan. 31.
The new legislation will not affect students planning to study abroad in the United Kingdom, Study Abroad Director Karyn Jones said.