Internships & Volunteer Work

Students frequently think of internships and volunteer work as distinct types of experience. However, internships and volunteer work are not so clearly differentiated and, consequently, your search for career preparatory experience should include consideration of both. Usually internships and volunteer work are entry level and short term. They allow you to develop valuable skills which you can help you get the next internship or volunteer experience and, eventually, your first professional job.

Internships may be done on your own time, but if you wish to get college credit for your internship you should strongly consider doing the Internship Capstone Option.


One way to apply your coursework in professional contexts is to do an internship that connects to your Thematic Area. The following Internship & Volunteer Resources organized by Thematic Area and location (Champaign-Urbana, National, and Global) may be useful to help you generate ideas on where to seek an internship.

Please read the disclaimer regarding the links below.


Students may find the following resources useful for their internship search. Please read the disclaimerregarding the links below.

Global Studies also offers the 1 credit eight week course GLBL 225 Career Development: Internships to assist students in finding and applying for internships.

iLink administered by the Career Center at the University of Illinois (be sure to check out Going Globalwithin iLink, too, for global internship listings)

Learning in Community (LINC) at the University of Illinois – College of Engineering

Community Learning Lab at the University of Illinois-School of Social Work



Will I get paid?

A few internships pay well, but most are low paying or unpaid. In some instances, volunteers receive stipends, honoraria or other forms of pay. The lack of clear differentiation is reflected by how corporations, institutions and organizations list their positions. Increasingly, these experiences are listed together as "volunteer/internship positions" or even "volunteer internships."

Disclaimer: Links and information are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be endorsements of the individual organizations. Employees and agents of The University of Illinois are not responsible for errors contained within these linked sites or any actions taken in reliance thereon. Global Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and The University of Illinois make no claim that the information provided within these linked sites is accurate or current. Global Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Illinois, and its employees and agents take no responsibility for any direct, indirect, consequential, or punitive damages resulting from the user's access to or reliance on the information provided on this website or any linked