2020 applicants
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).

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 10 cities around the world.

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.

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, 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 generously 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.

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.


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

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?

Africa - Cape Town

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.

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.

Generation UK - China 

Through Generation UK, the British Council has opened up opportunities in China, giving you the chance to experience this unique country while gaining valuable skills for the future.

Give yourself the edge when it comes to applying for jobs through a two-month internship in China. You can choose your own work sector, which of six booming cities you want to work in and a start date that suits you.

Whatever your ambitions for the future, your internship will help you stand out from the crowd. New industries and work opportunities in China are rising faster than the skyscrapers that accommodate them, and China may soon overtake the US as the world’s largest economy. Companies across the world will value your experience of China's culture and business practices. No prior Chinese language skills required.

Where can I go?

Placements are available in the following Chinese cities through partners CRCC Asia and InternChina.


There are limited places available in these cities:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen


There are limited places available for these cities:

  • Chengdu
  • Qingdao
  • Zhuhai

We recommend that you research each of these cities, and speak to the partners directly to decide which location is best for you.

What will I be doing?

Internships are available across many industry sectors, including IT, legal, marketing, design, engineering and hospitality.

When do the internships take place?

The internships are flexible, with start dates throughout the year. Choose the date that best suits you. Most students choose to do their internship during their summer vacation, but many graduates prefer to start later. You'll need to have completed the internship by the end of 2020.

The placements Generation UK offer are always for a two-month duration. You must be available for the entire duration of the placement.

How much will it cost?

You’ll need to pay for your own flights to China, your visa and any other expenses related to your travel.

You’ll also pay for your own food and other day-to-day expenses. Costs vary depending on your standard of living, and you should also factor in whether you wish to travel and explore China in your free time. Around £50 per week should be sufficient for your daily expenses.

Generation UK funding will cover:

  • all placement fees
  • accommodation
  • comprehensive travel insurance
  • pick-up from the airport
  • dedicated support throughout your placement

You will also have access to:

  • weekly Chinese language classes
  • a programme of business and cultural activities

Am I eligible?

Applications are open to undergraduates, postgraduates and recent graduates.

As Generation UK is commited to social mobility and widening participation in the higher education sector, to be eligible for the internship programme, you must also meet the student finance eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Generation UK works with two partners in China; CRCC Asia and Intern China. To apply, use the partner's programme for Generation UK funding using the application form on their website. Applications are currently closed but usually reopen around November with a deadline of mid January.

This is a funded opportunity and therefore highly competitive. Priority will be given to students with an excellent academic record and those who can demonstrate a strong interest in China. You should take their time with the application process and also read any tips online.

Please note that you can only apply to one of the partners. if you apply to both, your applications will be disqualified.

Eurodesk UK opportunities

Eurodesk is a free information service to help young people experience international opportunities.  Established in 1990, Eurodesk is now a European-wide network with national support in 36 countries.

The Eurodesk Opportunity Finder database lists current opportunities across Europe. There are five categories – learning, volunteering, internships, participating, and grants.

EMA – short for Eurodesk Mobility Advisor – is a bot that functions as a virtual Eurodesk advisor providing friendly services available 24/7  - you can access EMA via Facebook messenger.

"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

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.

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 studying in the fields of science and engineering.

This is a funded opportunity and therefore highly competitive. In 2019, nearly 2000 students applied 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 a 3 month funded internship in Germany for second year science and engineering students which will take place in summer 2021. In their internships, students are carefully matched with doctoral students and researchers whom they assist and who serve as their mentors.

How much will it cost?

Most costs are met by the scholarship, you will receive a monthly scholarship of 750 EUROS (per full month), the scholarship also covers international travel costs with an international travel subsidy.

How to apply

Applications for 2021 are now closed and new information will be available around October 2020.

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.

This year we featured programmes from The University of Western Australia and  Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Eurodesk UK

Eurodesk is a free information service to help young people experience international opportunities. Established in 1990, Eurodesk is now a European-wide network with national support in 36 countries.

The Eurodesk Opportunity Finder database lists current opportunities across Europe. There are five categories – learning, volunteering, internships, participating, and grants.This can be a great place to search for funding to support your research abroad.

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
Get in touch
For more information about a summer abroad
Telephone: 01206 872198