Starting this year, students on financial aid will have more opportunities to spend a summer abroad, as the Office of Career Strategy is expanding its International Summer Award program to cover independently-secured international internships.

Created in 2005, ISA covers a proportion of an eligible summer abroad program’s budget based on the percentage of aid a student receives from Yale. Previously, students could only use the funds toward the Global Summer Program, designated summer abroad programs, Yale in London summer courses, Yale Summer Session study abroad programs and Yale-coordinated international internships. Students who secured international internships on their own could not use International Summer Award money to cover any expenses associated with the programs. Now, provided that the independently secured internships meet all eligibility criteria, undergraduates will be able to use award money to cover related expenses. Each summer, the award is currently capped at $12,500 per student.

“We found that more and more students were securing these amazing opportunities on their own, but maybe not in a country where we have a structured program,” said OCS Director Jeanine Dames. “Our hope is to expand student opportunities and allow students to dictate where they want the funding to go.”

Under the new policy, students will be able to receive funds both for international internships they find themselves and for those they obtain with the help of third-party internship providers — fee-based programs that provide internship placements, housing, visa support, emergency support, cultural and professional activities, and other infrastructure, according to the OCS website. Dames said that, as in the case of other universities’ study abroad programs, for which students can use summer award funds if the programs are approved by Yale, third-party internship providers will also have to be approved.

The eligibility criteria for independently secured internships are flexible, according to OCS Associate Director Julia Bourque. As long as an internship is eight weeks or longer, full-time and in a location other than the student’s home country, it will be reviewed by the OCS committee, she said.

To receive funds for independently secured internships, students will have to submit an application, which will be evaluated by OCS staff, before April 1. The application asks for some logistical data, such as general information about the internship, the name of the supervisor and the estimated budget. It also requires that students write three essays describing their decision-making process, how the internship aligns with their academic and professional goals, and the tasks and outcomes of the internship.

“In considering international opportunities whether employer-direct or through a third-party provider, we wanted to learn more about student’s process and strategy,” Bourque said. “It helps us ensure students are taking a thoughtful approach to finding and securing the international internship independently.”

If students secure opportunities in places where Yale already has an established presence through University-coordinated internships, study abroad programs, Yale clubs or Yale liaisons, OCS will connect students to those resources so that they can use them throughout the summer, Bourque added.

Dames added that OCS’s desire to work with more alumni and Yale clubs in places where the University does not have an established internship network was one of the factors that influenced the decision to expand the award.

Dames said that since it was created, the International Summer Award has been consistently re-evaluated to better cater to the needs of students. For instance, in the program’s early years, students could secure study abroad and internship opportunities in only eight countries — those in which Yale could provide them housing, as they were required to live in University-coordinated homes. Today, she added, there are more opportunities to secure housing and find a support network.

“What I hope is that for the internship side, [students] won’t feel limited by just the choices we are putting forward,” Dames said.“I hope they will realize that there are a lot of opportunities put out [by OCS] every year, but if their interests are different, why shouldn’t the students be able to use the [award’s] funding for those?”

The annual Center for International and Professional Experience Summer Opportunities Fair will take place this Friday.

Contact anastasiia posnova at

anastasiia.posnova@yale.edu .

Starting this year, students on financial aid will have more opportunities to spend a summer abroad, as the Office of Career Strategy is expanding its International Summer Award program to cover independently-secured international internships.

Created in 2005, ISA covers a proportion of an eligible summer abroad program’s budget based on the percentage of aid a student receives from Yale. Previously, students could only use the funds toward the Global Summer Program, designated summer abroad programs, Yale in London summer courses, Yale Summer Session study abroad programs and Yale-coordinated international internships. Students who secured international internships on their own could not use International Summer Award money to cover any expenses associated with the programs. Now, provided that the independently secured internships meet all eligibility criteria, undergraduates will be able to use award money to cover related expenses. Each summer, the award is currently capped at $12,500 per student.

“We found that more and more students were securing these amazing opportunities on their own, but maybe not in a country where we have a structured program,” said OCS Director Jeanine Dames. “Our hope is to expand student opportunities and allow students to dictate where they want the funding to go.”

Under the new policy, students will be able to receive funds both for international internships they find themselves and for those they obtain with the help of third-party internship providers — fee-based programs that provide internship placements, housing, visa support, emergency support, cultural and professional activities, and other infrastructure, according to the OCS website. Dames said that, as in the case of other universities’ study abroad programs, for which students can use summer award funds if the programs are approved by Yale, third-party internship providers will also have to be approved.

The eligibility criteria for independently secured internships are flexible, according to OCS Associate Director Julia Bourque. As long as an internship is eight weeks or longer, full-time and in a location other than the student’s home country, it will be reviewed by the OCS committee, she said.

To receive funds for independently secured internships, students will have to submit an application, which will be evaluated by OCS staff, before April 1. The application asks for some logistical data, such as general information about the internship, the name of the supervisor and the estimated budget. It also requires that students write three essays describing their decision-making process, how the internship aligns with their academic and professional goals, and the tasks and outcomes of the internship.

“In considering international opportunities whether employer-direct or through a third-party provider, we wanted to learn more about student’s process and strategy,” Bourque said. “It helps us ensure students are taking a thoughtful approach to finding and securing the international internship independently.”

If students secure opportunities in places where Yale already has an established presence through University-coordinated internships, study abroad programs, Yale clubs or Yale liaisons, OCS will connect students to those resources so that they can use them throughout the summer, Bourque added.

Dames added that OCS’s desire to work with more alumni and Yale clubs in places where the University does not have an established internship network was one of the factors that influenced the decision to expand the award.

Dames said that since it was created, the International Summer Award has been consistently re-evaluated to better cater to the needs of students. For instance, in the program’s early years, students could secure study abroad and internship opportunities in only eight countries — those in which Yale could provide them housing, as they were required to live in University-coordinated homes. Today, she added, there are more opportunities to secure housing and find a support network.

“What I hope is that for the internship side, [students] won’t feel limited by just the choices we are putting forward,” Dames said.“I hope they will realize that there are a lot of opportunities put out [by OCS] every year, but if their interests are different, why shouldn’t the students be able to use the [award’s] funding for those?”

The annual Center for International and Professional Experience Summer Opportunities Fair will take place this Friday.

Anastasiia Posnova | anastasiia.posnova@yale.edu