Internships combine academic learning with a professional volunteer experience at a public or private office in Brussels. The internship complements the other European Union in Action program and Brussels Summer European European Internship courses by enabling you to apply lessons learned in class to "real world" situations. By doing so, you gain insights into aspects of European life and culture that are not normally observable in the classroom. The internship also allows you to learn more about a particular career path, to sort out career interests and goals, to develop new skills and to sharpen existing work skills.
A working lunch is needed during the internship of an AU Brussels student (pictured left).
During the European Union in Action program, you intern for two-days per week for a minimum of 16 hours a week. During the Belgium Summer European Union Internship you intern four days a week for a minimum of 32 hours a week. The internship opportunities available reflect the nature of Brussels itself. Previous students have interned for Members of the European Parliament, EU lobby firms and consultancies, multinational corporations, law firms, print media organizations, trade development offices, and non-governmental organizations. All internships are on a volunteer, non-compensated basis and form part of your academic coursework in Brussels.
An AU Brussels student attends a Brussels function for her internship at the Fullbright Commission.
Internships in Brussels are competitive. Before coming on the program, you fill out an internship skills/survey form and send your resume, called a CV in Europe, to the Internship Coordinator in Brussels. Based on this information, the coordinator sends your resumes to the appropriate internship organizations, and the organizations decide which students they will interview. When you arrive in Brussels, a schedule of internship interviews is waiting for you. The actual internship placements depend upon the results of these interviews. Although every student has an internship, the specific internship that you have depends solely upon the results of these interviews.
Internships at NATO are also possible for students who are in ROTC or have a previously existing security clearance by virtue of working for a department of the US government like the State Department or CIA. However, to be eligible for an internship at NATO, you must have an already existing security clearance. American University is unable to obtain a security clearance for students or help you obtain a security clearance.
I really enjoyed my internship and made many great connections with the organization with which I interned with.