In a Mentor Externship, students are paired with alumni volunteers whose jobs are similar to the students’ future career interests. The students shadow their alumni hosts at their workplaces, allowing for quality observation time as well as hands-on experience. As with many study abroad experiences, externships also include a home-stay in which students reside with their alumni hosts during these one to four week experiences. A premium is placed on conversations to and from work, after work, over meals, on the subway, or at your local coffee shop. It’s about work as a part of life, a common bond, and a relationship-centered experience for both the alumni volunteers and the students.
Externships vs. Internships: What's the Difference?
|Center on a first‐hand experience in a chosen field of interest||Center on a first‐hand experience in a chosen field of interest|
|Involve learning goals and reflections||Involve learning goals and reflections|
|Shorter‐term (1–4 weeks)||Longer‐term (8–12 weeks)|
|Maximize observation, some opportunity for participation usually in the form of a shorter‐term, focused project||Maximize participation, ongoing observation|
|Cost/expenses not nearly as significant as in longer‐term internships; student not compensated for work||Participants are more likely to be compensated for their time|
|Can be completed during 3 periods each year: Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break||Require sustained length of time, usually over summer|
|Involve home‐stays||Do not involve home‐stays|