Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Experiential Education

Pursue a virtual internship in another country. Work on critical issues such as food insecurity or access to education. Or be part of a community arts project.

Now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a meaningful internship or service initiative and earn academic credit.

Returning students will be able to register for the Experiential Education opportunities via WebAdvising during the summer add-drop period.

Please note: On-campus students’ internships or service learning placements must be virtual; students will not be able to leave campus for on-site work. For this reason, the Literature and Labor experiential offering will remain restricted to students who have opted to live away from campus. For the TAB 200T Virtual Global Internship option, if there is excess demand from on-campus students, priority will go to those who have had mini-terms and/or full terms abroad cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Union offers the following menu of internship opportunities for academic credit. We will continue to add opportunities for winter and spring terms.

Social Innovation Virtual Internship Courses

Students can pursue a virtual internship with one of our three external partners working for equity and systemic change in education and health care. These internships will be part of courses supervised by a Union faculty member. Once you enroll in these courses with external partners, the Becker Career Center will follow up with details about preparation (resume and cover letter) and placement at the organizations.

The Oxford Project (EXP 201, Prof. henseler)

The Oxford Project is an education innovator scaling up its system of employing the Oxford Tutorial method to blend liberal arts education with real-world technical expertise. It offers nontraditional students greater access to teaching and learning nationally and globally. Virtual internships are available at each of its four entities:

  • A charter school pilot lab located in East Palo Alto, Calif., with 100 students, 30 percent of whom are newcomers. The school uses the Oxford Tutorial method to connect academic content with service.
  • A brand new accredited online university offering an apprentice-based bachelor's and master's degree program with teaching and administrative credentials to paraprofessionals working in rural schools to address the widespread problem of teacher shortages in remote locations. Half of the credits are earned online and the other half practicing what students learn at their school. The university is piloting this program this year with 100 students (there is a wait list of 6,000) in six states.
  • An Oxford University-based Center for Tutorial Studies where faculty and stakeholders gather to figure out how to apply the Oxford Tutorial method in the K-12 setting and expand their international reach beyond their sister schools in South Africa and New Zealand.
  • A new for-profit entity, Craft, that offers course credit and degree opportunities to employees, bringing lifelong learning to those outside of the typical education system.

Description: Internships are available to entrepreneurial students interested in the start-up process and the tactical roll-out of a start-up growth management, strategic prioritization and messaging. Students should be self-starters who can run with a project. Duties might include, but are not limited to, computer systems integration, digital marketing, and branding and design. These internships might also appeal to students interested in college counseling or support for nontraditional students. This course will carry HUM, LCC, and WAC credit.


Health Leads (EXP 202, prof. fitzgerald)

Founded by a sophomore at Harvard in 1996, Health Leads began as a student volunteer organization with students working alongside patients at a nearby medical center on issues related to food security, housing, child care and other essential needs. Today, Health Leads is a sector change leader. Having scaled up the model created and adapted over the past two decades, Health Leads is now working locally and nationally to break down systemic barriers to health.

Description: Health Leads has 10 virtual internships available for students to work at the national and local levels. Half of the interns will do research on best practices for either the national office or at a local office in California. The other half will work directly with families in Boston public schools to better understand their needs around food insecurity, unemployment, mental health and technology access. Interns will also help to connect families with community resources. Health Leads is looking for self-starters with strong interpersonal skills and interest in human services, public health or policy change in public health.


KIPP NYC (EXP 203, offered winter term)

KIPP NYC is a network of 15 free public charter schools serving nearly 6,000 students in grades K-12 and 2,000 alumni through college and career. KIPP NYC’s schools are located in the Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights and Crown Heights, Brooklyn. KIPP NYC began more than 25 years ago and is guided by five operating principles: high expectations for all; focus on character; highly effective teachers and leaders; safe, structured, identity-affirming environments; and KIPP through college. KIPP NYC graduates 97 percent of its high school students, and 91 percent enter college.

In response to New York State Department of Education COVID-19 guidelines, schools like KIPP NYC are de-densifying by limiting the number of grades attending class in person on a daily basis. Online learning will therefore continue to be a big part of the learning experience for students, particularly older students.

Description: Internships are available to Union students either virtually or possibly in-person to tutor small groups of students at KIPP NYC. Training will be provided, and Union students are welcome to join online classrooms to see firsthand KIPP NYC’s innovative teaching practices. Union students from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome. Tutoring in STEM is especially important to help students participating in AP and college-level math and science classes.


Political Campaign Internship Course (exp 204, prof. oxley)

Our fall 2020 trimester dovetails with the final run-in to the 2020 elections. It is therefore the perfect time to volunteer on a political campaign. In this experiential offering, students identify their own internship opportunity on a campaign (either at the local, state or federal level), and then join a group of peers in a course supervised by Professor Zoe Oxley from the Department of Political Science. Students will read political science literature about campaigns and elections, participate in weekly discussions around these readings and how they apply to their internship experiences, and complete a final paper.


Think Globally Act Locally (exp 205, prof. kaplan)

This course will examine a diverse selection of environmental issues (clear air, clean water, environmental education), relevant government policies and community responses to environmental problems. Students will work closely with New York state and local agencies as interns, and be involved in real issues confronting community managers. The course includes examination of global environmental problems with local plans for solutions. Community engagement is essential, and the course will have important applied components, building on Union courses in sociology, environmental studies, politics, science and technology, and public policy.

This course is open to all undergraduates, regardless of whether they are an environmental studies major. Internships will be tailored to individual interests. The course will count toward the SOC and ESPE majors, and as a WAC.


Literature and Labor: Working During the Pandemic
(exp 206, prof. mcAuliffe)

Students in this experiential literature course will also be workers, employed for at least 100 hours during the term (for hourly wages rather than in academic internships).

Work is a defining feature of life and individual identity in the U.S., and for better or worse we often categorize people and communities according to the types of labor they do, the wages they earn, the services or products they offer, and the level of autonomy they possess while working. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and exacerbated differences between workers, workplaces and employment experiences as some workers find themselves unemployed, others toil from home, and still others are deemed essential or have taken new jobs, perhaps working harder than ever, or facing health risks simply by showing up.

Together the class will read, discuss, analyze and produce literature about working.

This course will count as HUM and WAC.

Student-arranged Internship Courses

Students can pursue their own interests, secure internships and receive academic credit with the following requirements:

- at least 100 hours of work over 10 weeks at placement

- weekly assigned readings

- weekly check-ins with supervising faculty member

- reflective writing (e.g., a journal)

- final paper or project

The form to fill out to receive academic credit can be found here. The Becker Career Center is available to help with resume preparation and to provide tips on finding internships.

Global Virtual Internship Courses (TAB 200T)

We are working with our study abroad partners to offer virtual internships around the world based on students’ thematic areas of interest, academic courses of study and career aspirations. Students will earn one academic course credit from the internship class provided by faculty from one of our three global partners. Priority will be given to those whose programs were suspended due to COVID-19 in spring, summer and fall of 2020. Knowledge of the host country language is not required, with the exception of Italy, where there may be placements that have a language requirement.

No matter “where in the world” you intern, you will take an internship class to help you engage academically, professionally and experientially with your organization. An onsite internship coordinator will provide support, integration and guidance for success.

Once you register for the TAB 200T Virtual Global Internship course, the International Programs Office will follow up with details regarding placement with partners. Depending on the placement, there is a process to petition for major and minor course credit, as appropriate.

Our Global Partners and Offerings:

campusb - Brazil

Areas of focus: engineering, IT, computer science, business, communications

Interns will work with students and faculty from Institute of Education and Research (INSPER), a Triple Accredited Business School (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS). They will work on a team-based project at an organization with a dedicated supervisor and program coordinator. Through the internship course, interns will learn some basic Portuguese. In addition, faculty from Insper will provide academic context and cultural understanding, as well as professional orientation and mentoring. Interns will also meet with other students and guest speakers.

Examples of placements include doing social development work with Litro de Luz, an organization that brings light to people and local communities that have no access to electric energy or that live without any light on their homes; conducting a market study for the electronic engineering startup LACE; and creating a package of services for consulting firm Sidera, which focuses on International Trade, government interface, and law and economics.

Virtual internships in Brazil are not limited to students majoring in engineering, IT and computer science. All majors and minors are welcome to apply.

CET - Jordan, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Greater China

Areas of focus: arts, political engagement, education, business/finance, women's economic empowerment, STEM

Interns will develop their professional capabilities while exploring the international working world and a potential career path. Students’ interests, background, and language abilities will be matched with the needs of an organization in a country offering a new workplace culture and unique opportunities to engage with potential career paths. The internship course will contextualize interns’ roles and responsibilities as they learn to navigate an international workplace with professionalism and take ownership of their own experiences. With the Union cohort interning across four different countries, in-class discussions are not only beneficial to professional growth, but they also provide a broader, comparative perspective of the working world.

Previous internship placements include working in finance at Ernst & Young in China; developing and optimizing Python models at energy company CEZ Group in Czech Republic; doing translation and data analysis and learning about women’s economic empowerment at the Middle East Children’s Institute in Jordan; and working on logistics for international art fairs at the Taiwan Art Gallery Association.

All majors and minors are welcome to apply.

CAPA - Australia, Argentina, China, Ireland, Italy, England, Spain

Areas of focus: arts, political engagement, education, women's empowerment, STEM

Gain international work experience and develop global professional competencies through these remote internships. In a world becoming more reliant on connecting, collaborating and performing virtually, these internships educate, enable and empower students to develop skills today that prepare for employers' needs of tomorrow.

Union and non-Union student participants will take part in a weekly course designed to help them prepare for future endeavors, whether that means entering the job market or applying to graduate school. Coursework includes reading and writing assignments, building an e-portfolio, developing an “elevator pitch” presentation, completing mock interviews, creating an online professional presence, giving a final presentation and conducting industry field research work.

The remote internship with CAPA gives students access to many global cities and a variety of placement opportunities. For example, over the past decade, Union students on CAPA programs in London have worked in healthcare and education at Royal Free Hospital Children's School, done research at the Institute of Economic Affairs and served as political interns with the Green Party.

All majors and minors are welcome to apply.