Beginning this summer, the Domestic and International Summer Awards will be renamed the Summer Experience Award and the International Study Award, respectively, and will serve slightly different functions than in previous years.
In previous summers, students who received financial aid could use the Domestic Summer Award to fund a summer experience within the United States, and the International Summer Award to fund an experience outside of one’s home country. This left international students without an award that could cover a summer program or internship within their home country. To solve this issue, the new Summer Experience Award — which will replace the DSA — will now fund unpaid or underfunded internships, research experiences or apprenticeships in any country, while the new International Study Award will be designated specifically for study abroad programs.
“When you dive down into what the changes are, they’re fairly minor, but the impact is really significant,” Jeanine Dames, director of the Office of Career Strategy and associate dean of Yale College, told the News. “I do think we’re going to see more of our international students use their award to work in their home country, and we want to support that because there’s a very good chance many of those students will eventually want to return to their home countries to work, and getting experience in those countries is really important to do that.”
The SEA will be managed by OCS, while the ISA will be managed through the Center for International and Professional Experience. As in previous years, the awards will be given to students who receive financial aid. The SEA will be $4,000 for programs within the United States and $6,000 for programs in other countries. The maximum ISA fund for 2021 will be $14,935.
Dames told the News that the changes to the awards had been considered before COVID-19, but the pandemic “accelerated the conversation.” Due to the pandemic, the DSA expanded in summer 2020 to fund programs in students’ home countries, not just within the United States. Dames said that the change proved to be popular, and laid the groundwork for what would become the SEA.
Senior Associate Director of OCS Julia Bourque, who will oversee the SEA, said that another benefit of the changes is that it allows students to receive funding for multiple international experiences during their time at Yale. Bourque said that it is common for students to study abroad in a country and then want to return to that same country for an internship or research opportunity. Now that study abroad falls under the ISA and other international experiences fall under the DSA, students will be able to do so.
CIPE Associate Director of Fellowships Lindsay Lawton will oversee the ISA. Lawton told the News that the changes to the awards will also help streamline the funding process for students. Previously, students who wanted to do international internships would have to apply through the OCS to get their internship approved, and then apply for the ISA separately. Now, it will all be covered under the SEA application.
“I think the changes will significantly streamline and simplify the process for students,” Lawton wrote in an email to the News. “We hope the changes will further reduce barriers to study abroad and unpaid professional experiences during the summer. I also hope it helps international students build professional networks in their home countries.”
Dylan Moss ’24, an international student from the United Kingdom who is currently on a gap year, said that he thinks these changes are “very important.” Moss had previously avoided applying to internships in the U.K., as he knew he would not be able to afford it without an award from Yale.
Moss also said that it is difficult for him and other international students to get internships in the United States, because many internships have citizenship requirements. Without options in the United States and without funding in his home country, he had difficulty finding internship opportunities in the past.
“Before, I just wasn’t able to do [an unpaid internship],” Moss said. “It wasn’t an option for me. And now, if I want to get an internship in my home country — which I do — [the new awards] are going to actually allow me to do that.”
Applications for the SEA are currently open. Yale has not yet announced whether it will sponsor international travel during summer 2021.
Amelia Davidson | firstname.lastname@example.org