International internships

A unique opportunity to apply your skills in a real-life work environment and gain international experience.

For students seeking cross-cultural work experience, ENGR90033 Internship is a 25-point subject which allows you the opportunity to undertake a 320-hour internship overseas for academic credit toward your degree during the Australian summer (December–February).

Each year we offer overseas internships through the ENGR90033 Internship portal, with specific destinations to be announced mid-year and applications opening at the start of Semester 2. With summer 2020–2021 likely to be impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have been hard at work developing new and innovative programs.

Therefore, we are delighted to launch our MSE Remote Overseas Internships for the end of this year. Build your career and gaining cross-cultural work experience via working from home this summer!

You can also source your own internship overseas.

University-sourced internships overseas

MSE works with third party partner organisations overseas to offer internships in several locations, based on students’ individual aspirations, career goals, and experience.

MSE works with third party partner organisations overseas to offer internships in several locations, based on students’ individual aspirations, career goals, and experience. Our partner organisations provide cultural, academic and professional development opportunities to allow students to make the most of their experience as they become part of the global workforce.

Summer 2021 and COVID-19

2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for all of us. When it comes to international internships, each year MSE begins planning the development of our summer programs from earlier in the year. This year we have been working on two different plans due to the situation with COVID-19: one plan for student travel if restrictions are lifted, and another plan in the event of ongoing travel bans.

At this point, it has become apparent that travel restrictions are likely to be with us for some time to come. Therefore we have decided not to advertise internships involving travel, as we simply don’t know whether or not they would be able to go ahead. We also realise that many of you may not be keen to travel internationally immediately following restrictions being lifted.

However, we’ve been hard at work innovating and making the most of a bad situation, and we are delighted be able to transition our international program to a remote mode.

  • What is a remote international internship?

    A remote internship can be undertaken from anywhere and is an excellent way to gain valuable real-world experience, with the added bonus of increased flexibility and freedom. Basically, you will have the opportunity to working from home as part of an organisation based overseas. It’s a unique way to learn about working in a cross-cultural team, but also doing so remotely – something that is rapidly becoming a feature of many workplaces.

    Our overseas partner organisations will help to place you with a host company in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Tokyo. They will run a series of interactive online activities both before and throughout your internship, to help with cross-cultural assimilation and to equip you to make the most from your remote international experience. This program is aimed at students interested in an internship with a specific focus on cross-cultural skills and who are keen to explore the possibilities of a career working with remote teams as part of an online, globally-connected workforce.

  • How are remote international internships uniquely valuable?

    One of the many things we have learnt from COVID-19 is how well teams can manage to leverage technology to work remotely. Many people now predict that workplaces will emerge from this time embracing a ‘new normal’, which will include more remote work and less business travel. However, while remote work has many advantages, it has challenges too, particularly in terms of cross-cultural communications and relationship building in an online environment. While the physical environment of ‘in-person’ internships may be different, the practical experience and professional skills gained are essentially the same. You’ll still be attending meetings, working on projects, seeking feedback and developing your employability skills such as communication, teamwork and time management.

    Tailored workshops and guidance specific to remote international working will ensure that your internship equips you with the knowledge and experience needed to thrive as an engineer or IT professional in this professional environment.

    We’re excited to launch this program, and we hope it will become a regular part of the MSE internship offering in the future, sitting alongside our traditional overseas internships after travel restrictions are lifted.

  • Eligibility for ENGR90033 Internship

    You are eligible to undertake the ENGR90033 Internship subject (University-sourced opportunities) overseas if you meet the following criteria:

    • You are enrolled in any of:
      • Master of Engineering (all disciplines, excluding Chemical and the ‘with Business’ streams in all disciplines except ‘Mechanical with Business’, which is eligible)
      • Master of Information Systems
      • Master of Information Technology.
    • You have completed at least 50 credit points in your current Master program as an enrolled Master student.
    • You have at least 25 points available for an elective subject in your degree.
    • You must not have completed another internship subject within your Master course. Disallowed subject combinations are listed in the Handbook.
    • You have a weighted average mark (WAM) of 60 or above in your current course.

    If you meet the above criteria, you will be invited to access the ENGR90033 Engineering & IT Portal where internship opportunities that have been sourced via university networks are listed.

    Although the overseas internship University sourced opportunities are currently limited to students with a WAM above 60, if you do not meet this requirement you will still be eligible to participate in the subject by sourcing your own internship in Australia. If you are unsure of your course requirements, you should book a course advice appointment.

  • Plan to succeed

    Students who prepare effectively for the internship subject are more likely to succeed in securing an opportunity. Even though international internships won’t be advertised until July, you should start preparing now to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

    Most internships you apply for will require you to address selection criteria via a cover letter and a resumé. It is important to ensure you research and tailor your application documents for the local job market in the country where you are applying. The requirements for documents such as resumés vary by country.

    Keep an eye out for any relevant information sessions listed via Careers Online and the MSExpress newsletter as specific information sessions are held periodically for students applying for jobs overseas.

    There are two key areas in which preparation should be focused:

    Create or update your application documents

    Internship host companies will be interested in the skills and experiences you have gained so far. These experiences will be conveyed via your application documents. To ensure you are able to put an effective application forward, consider if you need to add to your resume by:

    • Undertaking some volunteer work.
    • Working in a part time or casual role.
    • Joining and contributing to a professional association.
    • Getting active in your professional student club.
    • Brushing up on skills in demand in your industry.
    • Practising your written and spoken communication skills.
    • Keeping up to date with developments in your industry.

    Set up a plan a semester prior to when you expect to undertake your internship and upskill in areas where you have gaps.

    Prepare for interviews

    If your application is shortlisted for an opportunity you may be invited to an interview for the internship. A range of career orientated and professional skill workshops are advertised on Careers Online which you are encouraged to attend prior to an interview. Before your interview you should also look to undertake the following:

    • Study the organisations website or look for articles about the organisation in the media.
    • Re-read your application.
    • Review the most common interview questions available [PDF]
    • Review the selection criteria and ensure you can provide interesting examples to demonstrate the skills that are listed.
    • Prepare some questions for your interviewer to ask at the conclusion of the interview.
  • Resources

    Utilise resources accessible to you whilst you are a student to gain a competitive edge in your approach:

  • Agreement, enrolment and OHS training

    Enrolment will be permitted via email into ENGR90033 Internship once the appropriate legal agreement has been returned by both you and the host organisation.

    You will not be able to self-enrol into the subject until this time. The agreement will be managed by Melbourne School of Engineering.

    Once returned, you will be sent an approval email which will detail the steps you must undertake to submit an enrolment variation to Stop 1.

    To remain enrolled in the subject you will need to undertake OHS training and ensure that you hold a valid visa for your destination country if required.

    Further information will be provided at the time of enrolment. For further details regarding subject requirements, refer to the Handbook.

Further information

Industry Placement Coordinators
Melbourne School of Engineering
eng-placements@unimelb.edu.au

Image credits: Malaysia by MM, (CC BY 2.0); Petronas Twin Towers by Shubert Ciencia , (CC BY 2.0)