Frequently Asked Questions for Students

What are the benefits of doing an internship?

The Internship Program aims to equip students with the skills and understanding required to make a meaningful contribution to the human rights field. An internship will allow you to apply and develop the skills learned through your undergraduate and postgraduate studies in real life situations. You will gain valuable work experience; have an edge in the job market; network and make professional connections; apply classroom knowledge; gain confidence and; gain academic credit.

What are the pre-requisites for entry into the Internship program?

Students must have successfully completed 4 Units of Study in their postgraduate coursework program. The successful negotiation of an internship placement with a host organisation is also required before entry into the Social Justice Vocational Placement (SCLG6913) and Social Justice Vocational Project Design (SCLG6923) is permitted. Please note, enrolment in these units of study is by departmental permission only.

Does the internship get credited towards my studies?

Yes, the internship program comprises 2 units of study, each worth 6 credit points, with a total of 12 credit points credited to your postgraduate studies.

Are internships paid?

Internships are not paid. The intern must cover all travel and accommodation expenses.

How do I arrange my placement?

Students are required to contact Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl, by the end of week 3 of the semester preceding enrolment in the Internship Electives (part-time students may wish to get in touch earlier). At this time, you will be required to submit a completed Student Data Form, a current CV, available transcripts and a sample of writing.

We recommend students get a head start on preparing for an application by working on developing their Resume. The Careers Centre at the University of Sydney provides information and support in developing resumes.

Can I organise my own internship?

Students may use their own contacts to organise their internship. Students will need to liaise with us to ensure that the internship placement meets the academic requirements of the internship electives SCLG6913 and SCLG6923 .

I'm not sure what I would like to do for my internship. Where can I get some ideas?

It is the students’ responsibility to undertake research into possible placement organisations. You may find some ideas from this list.

Can I do an Internship overseas?

Students interested in an internship overseas are advised that many of the overseas internships, such as those of the United Nations, have long application processes and often require a 3-5-month placement. This exceeds the requirements of our internship program and may not be feasible for every student. We are able to facilitate enquiries for overseas placements and to negotiate arrangements for a successful applicant only where these prospective placements meet the requirements of this internship program and where an application can be made and approved during the semester. Students must first identify a suitable placement, which meets the requirements of the internship program before we will make further enquiries on your behalf.

Applicants wishing to apply for overseas internships must have a valid visa – which they must secure themselves.

Can I do an Internship related to my undergraduate degree and/or my professional experience?

Yes. We recommend that you research organisations that might be able to accommodate and optimise your existing research skills and experience (e.g. many organisations are interested in students with experience in research, communications, project management etc.). However, students should also draw on the skills and expertise they gain through their current postgraduate degree.

When do I enrol in the internship electives?

Permission will be provided once a placement has been arranged and when it is evident that a student has successfully completed their first 4 Units of study. Therefore, students on a full-time program will typically enrol in both SCLG6913 and SCLG6923. concurrently in their second semester of study.

How long is the internship placement and when is it offered?

The Internship is a minimum of 20 working days of approximately 7 hours per day. It can be done full or part-time. The Internship is typically offered mid year or at the end/beginning of the year (over the semester break and at the beginning of semester) to fit in with study commitments (see Semester Dates at the University of Sydney).

Who will supervise my internship?

A member of staff at your host organisation will be assigned as your placement supervisor.

Are there any additional considerations for International students interested in the Internship program?

International students typically face visa restrictions which limit the hours they can work during semester (e.g. up to 20 hours per week) however, student visas typically make allowances for work that is considered a formal registered part of your coursework. In addition, work restrictions are typically lifted during semester break by allowing full-time work during university holidays. Students should ensure that they are familiar with their visa requirements before applying for an internship. Please consult the website for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at for further information. You can also contact the International Office to discuss this further.

Does the university of Sydney provide insurance for my internship?

Yes. The University maintains personal accident policy/professional indemnity insurance for all undergraduate and postgraduate students. The policy provides cover whilst the student is engaged in Campus/Course/University related activities and/or practical placement or community placement activities including the necessary domestic direct travel to and from such activities. Click here for further information on insurance.