Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Experiential Education (Winter 2021)

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 Fall Registration 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 the TAB 201T 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 spring term.

Virtual Internship Courses

Student-arranged Internship Courses

TAB 201T Global Virtual Internship Courses

Virtual Internship Courses

Students can pursue a virtual internship with one of our external partners as part of courses supervised by a Union faculty member.

Oxford Day Academy (EXP 201)
Professor Henseler

Oxford Day Academy is a college prep, social justice, leadership academy serving kids from East Alto, CA and surrounding communities, with many first-generation students from LatinX, African American and Pacific Islanders backgrounds. The Academy's mission is to engage and develop intelligent, compassionate young leaders with the character, ability, and passion to create change in the world by blending elements of the Oxford Tutorial system and the Harkness model with interdisciplinary, real-world training. This internship is for students looking to work directly with a dedicated leadership team, to support the innovative practices of the school, and to engage directly, if desired, with high school students and teachers in either English or Spanish. Projects range widely depending on the interests of interns--from marketing and branding to supporting teachers with development of content.

Students who enroll in this internship will also meet once a week online as a class with Prof. Henseler. Through extensive readings, viewings, and the close examination of dozens of schools from around the world, students will gain insight into the design, success, and challenges inherent in the building of inclusive and creative learning environments. Topics include readings on the purpose of education, social justice in education, designing for equity, learning through doing, using technology, building innovative curricula, assessing schools that fail, and building community partnerships. Student work includes weekly reactions to readings, journal writing about internship experience, and a final project of the student’s choice.

This course carries HUM, LCC, and WAC credit.

Educational Psychology Internship: KIPP NYC (EXP 246)
Dean Fredricks

Students will participate in either a virtual or in person internship for approximately 10-12 hours per week at a KIPP NYC middle or high school. 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 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. As part of their placement, students will work with KIPP NYC teachers to develop instructional and emotional support plans to guide them through remote or hybrid learning. Students will tutor and mentor middle or high school students, help with college preparatory activities, and potentially lead groups of students in social and emotional learning and enrichment activities. Students will connect their hands-on experiences with developmental and educational psychology readings, reflective writing assignments, and weekly class discussions.

Internship in (Biden's or Trump's) Washington, D.C. (EXP 208)
Professor Lobe

This virtual internship class is to introduce students to federal policy-making. Each student will gain an internship, working about 15 hours per week (150 hours for the term) with an office or organization in Washington, D.C.. Possibilities for an internship could be on the Hill (Senate or House), in the Executive Branch, or with a Non-Government Organization (NGO) or Think Tank. Winter term, beginning as a new term for Union, is also a new term in Washington, D.C.. The November 3rd election determines which political party controls the White House (and its vast federal bureaucracy), the Senate, and the House, as well as specific representatives (an incumbent or an entirely new Representative or Senator). There will be lots of turn-over. This is a rare opportunity for students to observe these dramatic changes from Day 1. We’ll see and participate in policy debates, whether working with new representatives, staffers, committees, or organizations working outside of government. Major policy issues that the federal government will confront include immigration, climate change, taxation, budgetary issues, foreign policy, and of course, health care, coronavirus, and public health. During the term, each student will also write a weekly journal regarding his/her experiences as a virtual intern. We will also meet together remotely each week to discuss those experiences as well as assigned readings about federal policy-making and the larger policy choices and debates facing decision-makers. Finally, each student will write a final research paper (about 10 pages) that incorporates the specific substantive interest of each student with her/his internship experience.

Big Plans, Tiny Houses (EXP 206)
Professor Theodosiou

Ever wonder how businesses get started? What makes a good idea successful? In this experiential course, students explore the foundation and inspiration phases of planning a mobile tiny house that will travel to local communities in Schenectady, the Adirondacks and Mohawk Valley to communicate science and the arts. In the first half of the course, students will investigate current mobile science labs and similar mobile community outreach vehicles; what they offer, how they are managed, funded, and supported. Students will network with local schools and community centers to identify market needs, and with alumni who have expertise in community theater, set design, fundraising, marketing, and outreach. Students will work in teams to develop ideas that will inform 1) construction design; 2) content design; 3) business plan; and 4) marketing. Participants in this course will be given priority enrollment in follow-up courses that include a science communication interdisciplinary course, and a Design + Build miniterm, in which we will physically build a tiny house!

First and second year students are encouraged to enroll and will be matched with upperclassmen peer mentors. No prerequisites. Petition required.

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 standard student-arranged internship requires the student to recruit a faculty member to supervise the experience and evaluate its academic component. 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.

In Winter 2021, we are offering two specialized student-arranged Internship opportunities:

Health Leads (EXP 202)
Director of Leadership in Medicine, Joanne 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: Up to four to four students can pursue a health-care related internship opportunity with Health Leads. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Joanne Fitzgerald at fitzgerj@union.edu. Registration is by instructor permission.

Real World Writing (EXP 207)
Director of Writing Programs, Joseph JOHNSON

Open to students who arrange their own internships that involve writing (broadly conceived). This course is an opportunity to reflect on your "real-world" life as a writer and enhance your ability to talk with others about their writing. We'll study the role of writing in professional and academic contexts, paying special attention to themes of audience, genre, and context, as well as agency, motivation, and creativity. We will think deeply about how we write and why, and we'll spend significant time sharing both our writing and writing practices. During the first few weeks of the course, students will propose a "real-world" writing project connected to their internship. Students will plan, draft, and revise this project throughout the term. The final project will be submitted during exam week, along with student plans for publication of their work.

Students who register for EXP 207 must complete this form in order for their registrations to be confirmed:


In the “Rationale” and “Academic Work Description” boxes, enter “EXP 20X”. Enter “EXP 20X” for the course number, and “Joe Johnson” for the faculty supervisor. You do not need a faculty advisor or department chair signature. You *will* need to submit dated documentation in writing from your internship supervisor that includes a description of the tasks that you’ll be undertaking.

TAB 201T Global Virtual Internship Courses

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 201T 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.



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.


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.