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Internship

The internship for FLIT majors is taken as a regular course, for which prior registration is required. The course is FL 495. Its catalogue description is as follows:

Provides structure for application and expansion of knowledge gained through extensive preparatory course work in the subject area for the internship, as well as in the foreign language, which has been studied. Normally taken abroad, in a country where the foreign language acquired by the student is universally used. Not for graduate credit. Prerequisite: senior standing, minimum 2.75 GPA, a business language course and a culture course, and written approval from the Director of FLIT. This approval is subject to satisfactory completion of both oral and written language competency exams before the internship begins.

Because the internship is preparation for a permanent job, the responsibility of initiating the steps to and procuring an internship rests ultimately with the student. FLIT Language Advisors provide guidance, leads on previously served internships and other resources available, and writing letters of recommendation. The FLIT Office provides copying, faxing, and mailing services.A foreign internship provides 3-6 units of credit towards the foreign language requirements for the major. It should be taken after completion of all course work and it is done under the supervision of a FLIT Language Advisor. Obviously, previous work experience cannot be retroactively counted as an internship.

The first step in arranging the internship (assuming an area of specialization has been developed) is to fill out the “Internship Check List” (including FLIT Language Advisor’s signature) and submit it to the FLIT Office at least six months before the internship begins. Regulations and processes for the internship are attached to the Internship Check List.

The internship should be abroad, in a country where the language which has been learned is used in the business community. It should be understood that a foreign internship will be an expense. Students who do not anticipate being able to meet the expenses of an internship are advised not to enter the FLIT (or PFLT) major. There is no rule for salaries–they range from no salary to enough to cover basic living expenses. No internship sponsor, however, pays for overseas transportation or for SIU tuition for the course. Additionally, the intern must have health insurance coverage during the full period of the internship.Please be advised that internships are only available to students currently enrolled at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Previous FLIT Internship Locations

Marketing and sales have been the largest areas of employment; however, the majority of those finding jobs have been scattered throughout almost all areas of business, including marketing research, contracts, taxes, exports, and administration. Businesses are not initially interested so much in a generalist, even if he or she does have language skills. Initial hiring is usually for a specialization area, e.g. accounting, computer programming, marketing, production, or market research. After being hired into a specific position, the new employee spends time learning the company’s products, procedures, customers, and structure. In U.S. business this usually precedes assignment to the international division.
The required internship serves as a forerunner to permanent employment. Students must conduct an internship “job search,” in the process of which they do a resume, send out letters of inquiry, and have interviews. After being “hired” they usually receive on-the-job training.