UAH

Why an Internship at UAHuntsville

The study of a foreign language is never an end in itself. We study a foreign language in order to prepare ourselves for something-travel, business, politics, communication with different cultures and regions.  There are as many purposes as there are students. The Foreign Language Department's purpose in requiring an internship of its students is to bring about the transition from the study of French, German, Russian, or Spanish from the classroom to the real world.  It is an opportunity to put into practice what has been learned in the controlled environment on campus in the cultures and contexts which up until now have been seen on paper and on computer screens but never in person - an internship forces you to put everything on the line, for real, where anything can happen!

Where?

Our students have been to Quito, Buenos Aires, Guanajuato, Salamanca and Barcelona; Avignon, Paris, Baynost, and Chambery; Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, and Kreuztal; Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Sochi, Rostov on Don,Yaroslavl, and out in the middle of nowhere!

Sometimes, it is not possible to go abroad.  For personal, financial, business reasons, often one must stay in the area.  We can work with that and try to find a great internship experience locally.

What?

Teaching English; selling construction equipment; studying marketing at an electronics component manufacturer; working at an archeological dig, with abused and neglected women and children,  orphanages; selling coffee; growing mushrooms; marketing food, schools, and other products; working with local governments, schools, industry, art museums, and on and on and on... if you can think of it, we can try do it!

How?

The process begins each fall in early October with an information meeting.  You will fill out applications, tell me about yourself and what you would like to do, where you would like to go, and when.  You will prepare a resumé, and then we will have an interview to get to know each other and discuss what you would like to do.  Then, we will begin working together to find an appropriate place for you to do your internship.

Still have questions?

Check out the FAQ sheet below and/or -
Get in touch with Mr. Karl Keller

Morton Hall Room 307
(256)824-2342
karl.keller@uah.edu


Application, Resume, Statement of Intention

After completing the internship application, you may submit it at the end of the session or you may leave it with the Administrative Assistant in MH342 if you cannot attend the meeting. The completed application MUST be received by October 15.

An electronic version of your resume must be sent to my email address: karl.keller@uah.edu with the subject line: "2011 Internship Resume of".  It must be received by November 1.  Interviews will be conducted October 18 -22.  A sign-up sheet will be passed around where you will select an interview time.

A one page statement of your goals and intentions regarding the internship must be written and taken to your interview on October 18 - 22.  The statement should describe:

  • Whether you plan to do your internship in spring or summer
  • Whether you plan to do your internship locally or abroad
  • What interests or skills do you have that you would like to apply on your internship
  • If planning to go abroad, where would you like to go?
  • Do you have plans for the period of your internship that will affect your availability? For example, weddings, National Guard duty, etc. These will be taken into consideration, but you are expected to be available for the entire semester of your internship.
  • Anything else that you would like to mention.

Local Internship or Internship Abroad?

Students are STRONGLY encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to fulfill the internship requirement abroad.  The opportunity for personal, professional, and academic growth simply cannot be duplicated by a local internship experience.  However, personal circumstances may dictate the choice of fulfilling this requirement locally.  Financial, health, and other personal circumstances must be taken into account when making this decision.  Consult your student loan, grant, or scholarship provider to determine what assistance may be available.

Spring or Summer Internship? Three or six credit hours?

For local internships, FL410 may be taken as a three credit class or a six credit class.  Local internships done in the spring semester will entail working either 10 hours per week for (3) credit hours or 20 hours per week for (6) credit hours.  Local internships done in the summer entail working either 20 hours per week for (3) credit hours or 40 hours per week for (6) credit hours.

Internships done abroad involve working full-time at the internship site for a minimum of four weeks. We can discuss your choices in more detail during your interview.

Registration

When registering, please note that FL410-01 is the (3) three credit hour course and FL410-02 is the (6) six credit hour course.  Registration will be unblocked for you after the application and interview process is completed.  You will not be able to register until I have received your application, resume, one page statement, and we have had our interview.

Time involved

Please keep in mind that your internship is going to take up a good deal of your time.  If you do it in the spring, it is recommended that you not take more than nine credit hours in addition to the internship.  If you will be doing it in the summer, you will have to be at the internship site for four or eight hours per day depending on whether you take it for three or six credit hours.  Of course, if you take it abroad you should not register for any other classes.

Passports and Visas

If you plan to do your internship abroad and no not yet have a passport or visa, it would be advisable to begin the application for your passport or visa right away --  not tomorrow or next week, TODAY.  The delays involved have been exacerbated by recent changes in the regulations and it is not uncommon for several months to elapse before the passport/visa is in hand.  Please do not allow your internship experience to be delayed or cancelled due to procrastination.

Prerequisite

FL303 is a prerequisite for FL410, so if you have not taken FL303, you must take it in the spring semester.  In some local cases, FL303 may be taken along with FL410 in the spring, to be determined on a case by case basis.  Your academic standing must be good.  Students on academic suspension may not complete an internship.

What will happen during the Internship Interview?

The purpose of the interview is to allow me to get to know you personally; your interests and desires, and to discuss the program as it relates to you.  You should be prepared to discuss your personal goals, what you hope to accomplish and learn, and your goals for the future.  You should have your one-page paper ready by that time.  It is also important to discuss any health issues that you may have as well as anything else that might impact your ability to carry out your responsibilities or that might require special preparation and investigation beforehand.

STAY IN TOUCH

The process of arranging internships involves a great deal of time, effort, and coordination between me and you and the internship sites.  It is imperative that you check your email at least once a day.  If I have to wait a week for you to respond to your message you may lose out on an internship opportunity.  So please make sure to be responsible about your email. You must be proactive about your internship.

Also, if something comes up affecting your internship, especially if you decide that you will not be able to do your internship as planned, please let me know right away.  I understand that circumstances can change and you might have to cancel or revise your plans.  That is part of life.  But please come and talk to me if you are having problems or if you have any questions at all.  Please do not wait until the last minute to tell me about such changes. If we work as a team, we can do great things!