What international students can do if they didn’t get an internship this Summer

An internship over the Summer is a great way for international students to utilise their time away from studying by adding hands-on experience and skills. The benefits of gaining this type of experience will help your trajectory when it comes to graduating and applying for roles. However, for many students’ term-time is busy with studying for your course, acclimatising to life in the UK and…well life! Internships understandably need to be applied for ahead of time and that may not have happened this year. There are however other ways that you can upskill and start thinking about how your resume and experience will look for future employers. Gaining work experience, in whatever form is the best way to do this, here are our top tips for how to achieve this.

Find a part-time job

Numerous organisations could use extra assistance that may not have official internship programs. Think about what industry you would like to work in after graduating and see if there are any similar companies locally. By reaching out to a small start-up tech company you could improve your coding for example while using this opportunity to understand how companies work. Working alongside professionals can show you, company culture, and the expectations of business while helping you determine what you would like in the future.


UK employers are well documented for their focus on what skills a graduate has, rather than if they were paid for their role. What’s important is that you can present your ability to demonstrate how you could perform in the workplace, which is why volunteering is perfect for international students. It can be a way of finding work experience that provides you with transferable skills that can be cited in applications and interviews. These roles don’t necessarily need to be connected to your course or industry, as what you’re looking for is experience which can be tricky to find while studying. So, for example, you could research the job description of your dream job and see what they’re looking for. Then you can just try to find roles that would give you experience in these areas. Such as working with a charity to help organise events to help your communication, analytical skills, teamwork and strategy.

Take a free online course

Several companies offer free online courses which could give you additional skills. The Open University offer free online courses and you can search by subject, skills for life and skills for study. They even have a section called skills for work where you can find courses to help you understand how to progress in your chosen industry. Free access to LinkedIn Learning is often offered by universities to current students, they have an incredible range of topics from coding to design and how to harness soft skills used in the workplace.

There are many ways you can work towards increasing your employability, such as booking an appointment with the careers team at your university or researching what companies you would like to work for or enquiring about potential internships for next year. For more tips and free advice for international students register with GradLink today!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jun 21,2023

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