internships in the uk for international students
All students, both EU and non-EU students, are entitled to take up an internship.
All students, both EU and non-EU students, are entitled to take up an internship. You have the same rights as any other student when it comes to internships but there are a few extra obstacles you will probably have to overcome.
If you’re a non-EU citizen, you might have to pay a special student fee in order to take on an internship. This can be between £150 and £250 per week depending on the university course being undertaken by the student. It’s important that this is done at least two weeks prior to starting your internship in order for it not to affect your visa status.
Non-EU citizens also need permission from their university before they start an internship otherwise it could impact their current visa status (and even things like extending their Tier 4 dependant visas). These permissions can be quite difficult and time consuming so make sure you allow enough time for this process if you are heading down this route.
One thing all international students must remember is that most internships don’t provide accommodation or food so these costs will still be covered by yourself even if your travel expenses or visa fees have been covered by the employer.
You can take up and internship for up to 12 months during your studies.
If you are an international student studying a degree that lasts longer than three years, you can work for up to 12 months before the start of your course and during vacations.
However, if you have permission to stay in the UK for six months or less after your course ends (known as ‘short-term study’), you can’t take up an internship or employment.
It’s important to remember that you must be both available and intending to start full-time study at a recognised institution within one month before starting work.
You must also leave the UK within one month of finishing your studies or when your visa expires – whichever is earlier.
You can also take up an internship after you finish your degree, as long as it’s within 4 months of finishing
In other words, if you’ve got a Schengen visa for a different European country, great—but if you show up to the UK with only that, you’ll be (politely) sent back. It’s also important to know that while the UK follows most of Europe’s visa rules and regulations, they have their own list of requirements as well. For instance, if you’re an Indian national and wish to enter the UK on either tourist or business purposes, you need to have a valid passport and must complete your visa application at least 15 days before traveling. Additionally, unlike most European countries that require travelers to have at least $70 per day in disposable income while staying in the country (in addition to travel expenses), the UK doesn’t require additional funds beyond whatever your reason for traveling is—i.e., whether it’s working or learning English.
If you’re looking for employment after graduation or want more time to consider your options before leaving the country altogether (which can be especially helpful when it comes figuring out what sort of work permit might be required for your specific situation), then switching from one type of student visa will suffice.
You cannot get paid work as part of an internship.
If you’re an international student and you want to work as part of your studies in the UK, there are two different types of work placement that may be available to you. You can either do a work placement or an internship. Both of these give you the opportunity to gain practical experience, but there is one major difference between the two; work placements can be paid while internships cannot. There are strict rules around this, so if you’re offered money for completing your internship it’s not actually an internship at all.
However, if your employer has agreed that they will provide you with an internship and not a paid job, then this is perfectly legal under UK law. Internships must be unpaid so that no one misses out on career opportunities for financial reasons; otherwise employers would only select interns from well-off families who could afford to take on a full time unpaid role! The government argues that this means people from every background have equal access to roles in their chosen field.
Internships might even reimburse some expenses such as travel costs or food expenses during your work hours, but anything more than this is illegal unless the internship is a mandatory element of your degree course (like a sandwich year).
Non-EU students can only intern with a company that is registered to hire foreign workers.
If you’re a non-EU student interested in interning in the UK, make sure that the company you’ll be working with is registered to hire foreign workers. If it isn’t, your application may be denied.
Here’s a list of companies that are registered to hire international students:
- Acme Ltd
- British Gas Ltd
- Arcadia Group Ltd
- Bupa Care Services Ltd
- Debenhams Retail plc
Know the rules if you’re an international student looking at internships in the UK.
If you’re an international student living in the UK and want to do an internship while studying, here’s what you need to know.
You must be a student. The rules are strict on this one. You cannot apply for an internship if you aren’t currently enrolled in a full-time course of study at least six months long at a UK university.
You can work up to 20 hours per week during term time. If your course is shorter than 10 months (such as foundation programs), you can work part-time year round, but the rest of us only get to do so during term time, i.e., when classes are actually being held.
You can work full-time during vacations. When term time ends and the holidays start rolling around, have no fear: it’s party time! Yes, that means interning 24/7 if you choose! Just kidding—if your holidays are less than three weeks long, your maximum working hours don’t change from the previous semester; however, longer breaks allow for unlimited hours of interning fun! Just make sure that your visa still allows for it.
You can only complete one internship per degree level per calendar year. Internships are limited by both degree level and calendar year across the UK; however, there is no limit on how many internships total that you may undertake while enrolled in school there (so long as each new one counts towards a new degree program). This can be confusing since some students enroll directly into multiple degrees at once (e.g., BA/LLB or MEng/MBA), but don’t worry — it just means that students pursuing two degrees concurrently will still only be able to participate in one internship under each “tier” within 12 months before they need another refresher period with their employer(s).