Study Abroad

Internships and research

Find your global experience

Discover the perfect opportunity to spend a summer completing an international internship or research abroad. We've got a range of programmes to suit your needs and give you the best experience possible.

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The aim of a work placement abroad is to develop skills you've learnt in the classroom in a practical real-world experience, combined with the added dimension of strengthening your cross-cultural competencies. An international work experience will enhance your employability and could be a valuable stepping stone as perhaps your first professional role.

The internship providers below are our "preferred providers". This means that we have checked their programmes and that we have personally built a relationship with them. Many Essex students have taken part in their programmes so we can share feedback and guide you from their experiences.

Please be aware that all international internship opportunities are unpaid internships and there is a fee to take part in the programme. This is due to visa restrictions in different countries. If you are interested in a paid internship programme, then you may like to explore Essex Interns (this is overseen by the careers service team within the University).

There is also a range of funding opportunities managed by Essex Abroad which can support you to have the experience of an international internship.

Internship providers

Absolute Internship

In a decade, Absolute Internship has formed into a leading international internship program. They enable university students and graduates to develop their career aspirations across the globe. Their programs take place in Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

Absolute Internship is a pioneering firm working with world-class companies to provide life-changing opportunities to our participants. Their award-winning programs aim to develop both the personal and professional skill sets of those who enroll, allowing ambitious individuals to follow their passions alongside other like-minded students from all around the globe.

Absolute Internship is frequently featured as an industry-leader on renowned media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Sky News.

Absolute Internship are dedicated to providing international opportunities that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find, and with a growing number of talented participants joining them each year, Absolute Internship continues to help students and graduates step out of their comfort zones and follow their dreams – wherever they may be.

How does it work?

Absolute Internship assist you with organising an international internship. Their comprehensive services do a preliminary assessment of the things that you're seeking in an internship, and either matches you with one of their existing business partners, or goes and actively searches a placement to match your needs.

Read about Vimbai, an Essex student who completed an internship in Madrid during summer 2017.

You can also contact Antonio who is a current Essex student from the Psychology department.  Antonio completed a remote internship with Absolute during the start of 2021 with a marketing insight company based in China.  Antonio is now an Ambassador for Absolute Internship and is happy to discuss the programme with you!

How long do the internships last?

Usually for 4, 8 and 12 weeks between June and August. You can choose a duration which suits you best.

Where could I go?

Absolute Internship currently offer programmes in Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies depending on your destination and duration. Absolute Internship offers a guaranteed discount of €100 to University of Essex students.

Their international internship program includes guaranteed internship, housing, transportation to and from the internship, group dinners, career speaker seminars, cultural excursions and weekend activities, as well as 24-hour on-site support.

Each year Absolute Internship offer a range of scholarships to students that covers the cost of their programme.  To find out more please contact Absolute directly via 

When do the internships start and when do I need to apply?

Most programs run between June and August. It can take around three months from applying to when you start your placement.



The Intern Group

The Intern Group program delivers tangible, accelerated professional development. They enable young people to gain invaluable experience in their chosen industry, in an exciting city, in a new country. It is this framework of experiencing different cultures and different ways of life that leads to greater tolerance and acceptance.

An internship program with The Intern Group is perfect for those who wish to travel outside of their comfort zone, both literally and metaphorically. It is for those who wish to gain that crucial experience in their chosen industry while simultaneously learning about the way of life and culture of a different country.

How does it work?

The Intern Group provides international internship programs that enable individuals to gain valuable professional experience at leading companies and organisations while exploring exciting new places and developing extensive global networks. Take your global experience to the next level by completing an international internship.

They have full-time local teams in each of our destinations, who are equipped and ready to set you up with the experience of your dreams. All aspects of the program are designed to enhance your professional and personal development and to allow you to experience diverse cultures in a new way.

How long do the internships last?

You can specify how long you want your internship to last. The Intern Group offers internships from 4 weeks up to 24 weeks. It's a good idea to check the location you're interested in as program lengths may be more limited.

Where could I go?

Asia - Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo

Australia - Melbourne

Europe - Barcelona, Dublin, London and Madrid

Latin America - Santiago de Chile, Bogota

USA and Canada - California, Chicago, New York and Toronto

How much does it cost?

Their programs include much more than a professional internship in your desired career field. You are also provided with quality housing, social & cultural events, professional career training, and full-time local support.


  • The Intern Group offers a generous 10% discount on program fees to University of Essex students.
  • If you are a college or university student in the UK receiving a Maintenance Loan of over £8,200 or a Maintenance Grant, you are eligible for a 500 USD discount off any of their programs.

When do the internships start and when do I need to apply?

Programs are available all year on a rolling admission. It can take around three months from applying to when you start your placement, but it is best to apply as soon as possible.


Visit The Intern Group for more details and information on how to apply. Keep an eye out for talks we'll be doing with The Intern Group.

Read this case study of Maria's experience with a remote internship based in New York during summer 2020.

Pagoda Projects

With 13 years’ experience and over 5000 participants and counting, Pagoda Projects provide life-changing internships across 7 amazing destinations for students and graduates in the UK and worldwide. They work with universities and government organisations to provide funded opportunities that enhance employability and allow participants to gain valuable experience in their sector.

How Does It Work?

Pagoda Projects assist you from start to finish by working with you and your individually selected host company to ensure you find the perfect summer internship or paid placement.

You will receive unrivalled pre-departure support from their UK staff and in-country teams, as well as first class on-place support throughout your programme.

After completing your programme with Pagoda Projects, you’ll be welcomed into their Alumni network and gain access to employability tips, job offers and the opportunity to meet other alumni.

How long do the internships last?

Pagoda Projects offer 8-week short-term programmes during the summer months with the option to complete a remote or in-person internship.

They also offer a 6-12-month paid placement programme in Taipei, Taiwan with applications being taken year-round, perfect for those in need of an overseas accredited opportunity.

Where can I go?

Pagoda Projects currently offer programmes in:

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Chengdu, Dalian, Qingdao and Zhuhai, Mainland China
  • Taipei, Taiwan

How much does it cost?

For the fee-paying programmes, there is no financial commitment until you’ve found the right opportunity for you meaning you have total flexibility and control.

The remote internships cost £995 for an 8-week programme including support from the Pagoda Projects team. If you’re looking for a more tailored experience with a longer duration, just get in touch and a quote can be provided to match your needs.

For a summer in-person internship in an overseas locations, the programme fee of is from £2,495. This includes the internship, accommodation, visa processing, insurance and support from in-country staff.

6-12-month paid placement programmes in Taipei, Taiwan have a programme fee of £1,995 including on-place support, insurance, visa processing and access to trips and events.

On top of this, Pagoda Projects also deliver places across all our destinations through the British Council funded Generation UK programme as well as their own Pagoda Projects scholarship opportunities.

When does it start and when should I apply?

Funded and scholarship programmes are available for all overseas destinations and will typically take place the following summer. Applications open in autumn each year.

Applications for our long-term paid placement programme in Taiwan are open year-round with flexible start dates that suit you and your studies.


Visit Pagoda Projects for more details and information on how to apply.

You can also follow Pagoda Projects on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for up-to-date news on their programmes.

You might be interested to read the feedback report representing two Essex students that took part in a remote internship during the summer months of 2020.

Eurodesk opportunities

The mission of Eurodesk is to raise awareness among young people on mobility opportunities and to encourage them to become active citizens.  Eurodesk offer a range of internship opportunities across Europe, which you can search via their opportunities finder.

It's useful to note that many of the Eurodesk internship opportunities are funded opportunities and are open to EU citizens.  Please check each opportunity for eligibility and do let us know via email if you apply for any of the programmes as we track student mobility and can offer further support such as funding information, travel insurance cover and recognition of your experience.

"My two months flew by and it was the best time of my life. Even before arriving The Intern Group were amazing at making sure I was completely prepared before arriving and absolving any concerns I had. Upon arrival, the events coordinators were brilliant, always contactable and making sure that we never at any point felt alone in what would have been an incredibly daunting environment otherwise. The internship they found in my preferred legal field was very relaxed and all very accommodating. The additional trips Tarn & First organised were always of incredible quality - allowing the greatest amount of cultural immersion that we otherwise would never have found on our own. Living and exploring Bangkok with the other interns was an amazing experience as well as having time to explore other parts of Thailand flying to places such as Chiang Mai and Phuket. Overall an amazing experience and anyone with any kind of doubts should absolutely go for it as it is such an awesome life-changing experience - my only regret is not staying longer!” 
Josh Completed an internship in 2018 at a law firm in thailand

Research abroad

Research opportunities abroad offer excellent ways to become immersed in, and contribute to, a variety of research projects. They almost always offer generous scholarships and grants.

Research opportunities

DAAD - Rise Germany research internships

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschndienst (DAAD) is the German Academic Exchange Service. Through the RISE Germany program, they are offering summer research internships for undergraduates and postgraduates studying in the fields of science and engineering.

This is a funded opportunity and therefore highly competitive. In 2019, nearly 2000 students applied for the undergraduate programme with a total of 216 scholarship places being awarded. You should take time with the application process and also read any tips online.

About the program

RISE Germany is for undergraduate students and offers research internships with research groups at universities and research institutes.

RISE Professional is for Master and PhD students and offers research internships with companies in Germany.

How much will it cost?

Most costs are met by the scholarship, you will receive a monthly scholarship of 861 EUROS (per full month) for undergraduate students.

How to apply

Applications for both programmes for 2021 are open 1 November 2020 - 15 December 2020. 

Euraxess - research portal

Euraxess is a hub for all things related to international research. It works in three key areas: jobs, services and rights, and is completely free to researchers who are interested in working abroad. You get funding for your travels, can apply for fellowships and placements overseas, find a new job on the other side of the world, or just get useful pointers for life in a different country.

By providing support, advice and funding for researchers, Euraxess UK can help you collaborate with other international researchers in your field and share your knowledge across the world. They also have a wealth of experience helping people relocate to other countries, so whether it's medical care or childcare, accommodation or taxation, Euraxess is the place to find the answers.


Available grants vary from country to country and specific fields of work. You can find current opportunities depending on your own personal skills, level of experience, and where you’re looking to go. New opportunities are constantly posted and each one will have its own individual deadline.

Further details and how to apply

Please visit the Euraxess website to learn more and to search through numerous international research opportunities.

Operation Wallacea - biodiversity research expeditions

Operation Wallacea has run biodiversity research expeditions for the last 25 years to a series of remote locations, helping university students from around the world gain valuable experience and get their hands dirty with real biodiversity research. From tropical rainforests and European grasslands to coral reefs and Mediterranean seagrass meadows, Opwall’s network of more than 200 academics leads cutting edge research projects that help to inform local conservation management strategies.

More than 500 papers including some in high impact journals such as Nature and PNAS have been published from these annual programs, so by joining the field surveys students are guaranteed a high level of academic involvement.

How does it work?

By working alongside academics in the field, students can either gain broad experience as research assistants, or gather data on a specific conservation issue or taxa for their independent research project (dissertation). For all students, full scientific training will be provided on site before data is collected. For dissertation students, academic supervision will be provided before and after the expedition, ensuring students can attain a high quality research project.

How long do the expeditions last?

The expeditions vary in length from 2 to 6 weeks between the months of June and August.

Where can I go?

Operation Wallacea currently conduct research in a range of countries and ecosystem types around the world.

Locations include Croatia, Transylvania, South Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, Honduras, Dominica, Guyana, Peru and Indonesia.

How much does it cost?

The cost of an Opwall expedition is dependent on the number of weeks spent on-site:

2 weeks - £1275

4 weeks - £2350

6 weeks - £3150

Expedition fees cover all food, accommodation, scientific training, equipment, surveys and supervision. As the cost of travel varies dramatically between research locations, this is not included. 

All students are provided with full support from the Opwall fundraising team, with more than 20 years of experience in raising expedition costs through of grants, sponsorship, and fundraising activities.

When does it start and when should I apply?

Expeditions begin in early June each year and applications are open now.


One of Opwall’s lead academics is holding a series of webinars, where you can learn about how to join one of these expeditions and how the data collected are being used to help with wildlife conservation measures.

Find out more and register for a webinar

You can also follow Operation Wallacea on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on Opwall expeditions, competitions and upcoming events.

What about COVID-19?

Expeditions were cancelled for 2020 but we are going ahead with a full range of expeditions for the 2021 season. The expeditions will be socially distanced (e.g. one tent per person) and if developments in the fight against the virus do not go as planned and 2021 expeditions can not go ahead, anyone booked on for 2021 will receive a cash refund. 

Research opportunities with our partner universities

Each year our partner universities all over the world offer research opportunities.  These opportunities can be found via our exchange finder - just select "research abroad" under programme type.

 For summer 2021 there are currently programmes from The University of Western Australia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Masaryk University (Czech Republic).

Essex abroad
Find out more

We run lots of different sessions throughout the year to provide you with essential information about going abroad. From first year and second year briefings to funding chats and country low-downs, we've got it covered.

Get in touch