Internship FAQs

Who is eligible to apply?

WDI Global Impact Internships are available to University of Michigan graduate students enrolled full-time in a Master’s level degree programs, who will be returning the following academic year to complete their program. Graduating and part-time students are not eligible to take part in this program.

What qualifications are you looking for?

Most projects are at a strategic level and require students to have completed their core courses.  As most of our internships are consulting-type projects, several years of work experience prior to returning to graduate school is preferred and often expected.

We look for students with a commitment to the WDI mission, excellent academic and professional record, ability and willingness to be flexible and open to new experiences, cultural sensitivity, strong initiative and ability to work with managers and employees in a different cultural and business environment. Students must also have the ability to build relationships and thrive in an unstructured environment.

Previous international development or business experience and knowledge of a foreign language are desirable, but generally not required. If any of our partner organizations requires language proficiency for their projects, it will be clearly noted in its project description.   In addition to the above general requirements, each project will have its own specific requirements.

How do I apply?

For the Student-Initiated internships: Submit an application package which includes an online application, a current resume, a 4- to 5-page Statement of Interest, a letter of commitment from the host organization, organizational chart, and a budget.
For the WDI-initiated internships: Submit an application package which includes a completed online application, a current resume, and a 2- to 3-page statement of interest.

Where are the internship projects located?

Projects are in emerging market countries.  Occasionally we may have one in the US as an exception, typically at our partner organization’s US headquarters.  The actual locations vary from year to year.

Are there any restrictions on project location or country?

Student safety is of primary importance to us.  WDI does NOT support internship projects in countries that are on the  US Department of State Travel Warning List.   Any exception will be at the discretion of WDI leadership or programs.

How long is the internship?

The internships are for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks. Internships usually start mid-May and end mid-August.  Depending on the organization, some may require a two- to seven-day orientation and/or work period at the US headquarters before going to the overseas location.  If the organization requests over 12-weeks, that would be negotiated between the student and the organization.

I am working on a project as a team. Can we submit a proposal for a Student-Initiated project as a team?

We don’t typically sponsor a team, as we do not typically sponsor more than one student at the same partner organization unless the organization sponsors the second student’s fellowship. Please contact us early if you are in this situation.

I am very interested in working with one of WDI’s partner organizations from last year.  Can I reach out to them to develop my own Student-Initiated internship project?

WDI only supports one project per organization and since we have long-standing relationships with our partners, it is unlikely that we can fund a student-initiated project in addition to a WDI-initiated project.

I am an international student here at U-M.  Can I submit a Student-Initiated internship proposal for a project in my home country?

An internship in one’s home country (or second home country) is strongly discouraged. It does not meet the definition of an “international experience” for the particular student. However, if you feel you have a compelling project proposal in your home country, please contact us in advance. We will review on a case-by-case basis.  Note that WDI-initiated internships do not have this restriction.

How much will I get paid?

Students applying for a student-initiated internship are expected to submit a budget as part of their project proposal. Living expenses for three months and international airfare will be covered.  We do not cover project expenses as these should be covered by the host organization.
Students selected for WDI-initiated internships will receive a fellowship of up to $10,000 for the 12-week internship.

When will I receive my fellowship?

Students will receive 60% of the fellowship funding in May before leaving for the internship and the remaining 40% in August after completing the internship. Students may opt to have the fellowship funding transferred to their U-M Student Account to pay for Fall tuition, if desired.

We will need your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to disburse your fellowship. For international students, check the International Center website or talk to a Foreign Student Advisor at the International Center regarding how to apply for an ITIN or SSN.

How do I find local (in-country) housing?

We highly recommend that students reach out to their host organization to get information regarding local housing as they may be able to assist you in making arrangements. You can also reach out to the 2015 WDI Fellows or U-M alums working in the area by contacting your school’s Alumni Office or Alumni Directory.

I plan on keeping my Ann Arbor apartment during my internship abroad, can I include this in my budget proposal for a Student-Initiated internship application?

Costs related to housing maintained in Ann Arbor will NOT be funded.

Is there a travel allowance?

For Student-Initiated projects: round trip airfare between Detroit and your base city should be included as part of the budget.   Other travel destinations (in the US or in-country) are considered project-related travel and should be covered by your host organization.

For WDI-initiated projects: WDI will reimburse direct round trip coach (economy) air travel expenses from DTW to the location of the internship, up to $1500 (airfare only).   Receipts and original boarding passes need to be submitted to receive the reimbursement.  Reimbursements for airfare are initiated only after completion of travel.   Any additions or upgrades above basic economy class will be the responsibility of the traveler.  WDI will NOT reimburse meal expenses, hotels, car rentals, mileage, health and travel insurance, immunizations, visa fees, etc.  Students must pay for such expenses from the $10,000 fellowship they received.  $500 will be withheld until all deliverables have been submitted to WDI and the host organization at the end of the internship.

If you are not flying directly from DTW to your internship destination and vice versa, you must contact us in advance.  We do NOT automatically approve and reimburse other destinations.

Will WDI arrange for my visa?

You will be responsible for arranging your own visa.   When required, WDI will provide you with a Reference Letter to the Embassy to facilitate your visa application.   Further details will be discussed at Orientation.

How about travel insurance and health insurance?

Students are responsible for purchasing their own proper travel and medical insurance. This is not the responsibility of WDI or the host organization. Students are expected to pay for insurance from the $10,000 fellowship they received.

Students awarded WDI funding are required to have health insurance coverage during their internship. The U-M University Health Services (UHS) offers a comprehensive plan at the rate of $1.10/day. For more information, please visit:  http://www.uhs.umich.edu/tai/.  We require evidence of travel health insurance submitted with the other paperwork.

Does WDI cover my immunizations?

Since any individual’s need for immunizations for travel to any specific country is largely dependent upon his/her own health history and immunizations obtained for recent international travels, students are responsible for all necessary immunizations and associated costs. The U-M Health Services’ Allergy, Immunization and Travel Health Clinic – Phone (734) 764-8320, or your own physician can provide the necessary information.

For more information: visit UHS Travel Health Services: http://www.uhs.umich.edu/travelhealth; http://www.uhs.umich.edu/aithc; or the CDC Vaccination website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/vaccinations.aspx. Appointments at UHS are limited before peak travel times (before Spring Break, April and May).You may need time to compile your immunization records, which you need in order for UHS staff to give you the correct (and only necessary) immunizations.

WDI does NOT cover the cost of immunizations beyond your fellowship award.  For student-initiated proposals, you may include this in your budget.  For WDI-initiated internships, our fellowship award should cover your immunizations.

Please plan ahead!  Start taking care of your immunizations as soon as you accept the internship offer.   Some immunizations may take weeks to reach optimum effectiveness and some are given in series.  UM UHS Travel Clinic may have limited appointment slots and other travel clinics may cost more.

How will I know if my proposal is accepted or not?

For student-initiated internship proposals, we will notify all applicants.

For WDI-initiated projects, due to the large number of applicants, we will not be able to update or notify each of you.  If you have not heard from us or our partner organization within a reasonable time frame, you can send an email to WDI-Internships@umich.edu.

As a WDI Intern, what is my relationship to WDI?

WDI is offering internships to provide University of Michigan graduate students with learning opportunities and practical experiences in international business.  Student interns will neither be employees of WDI or of the partner institutions.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in the field and to conform to local business hours and rules.

Please remember that you will be the U-M and WDI ambassadors within the local community where you will be working and to everyone you will be interacting with.

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