Department of Foreign Languages

Internship Program Overview:

Students pursuing the B.A. in Modern Language & Culture (primary language of French or Spanish) are required to complete an internship or a study abroad. The Department of Foreign Languages also offers any student the opportunity to participate in an internship who has completed the courses numbered 3302 (Conversation) and 3303 (Advanced Grammar and Composition) in Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

A foreign language internship is a partnership between the university, the student, and the host-organization in which motivated students gain valuable knowledge of the target language and culture(s) that cannot be acquired in the classroom. The experience gives students an opportunity to enhance their language skills in a professional environment as well as to learn skills that will prepare them for their future career(s). In some cases, an internship may lead to obtaining a job.

Interns earn credit hours, which vary according to the number of hours spent at the host-organization (see the chart below). These host-organizations can be quite diverse; they have included major international companies like CNN, Coca Cola, or Delta Airlines, and small companies like LATN (Latin American Translator's Network). Usually, interns find positions in governmental organizations, local businesses associated with the target language and culture(s), schools, and non-profit organizations such as Misión Católica or the Latin American Association. Depending on the nature of the host-organization, interns may be paid for their work by the host-organization. Although most host-organizations are located within the Metro Atlanta Area, some possibilities exist for internships outside of the state, and even internships abroad.

An internship is a time-consuming endeavor that can be extremely rewarding if well planned. To maximize effectiveness, students must play an active role at the different stages of the process:

  • Students must be familiar with the Foreign Language Internship Program (FLIP).
  • Students must define their goals and objectives (and develop a Learning Contract in consultation with their faculty supervisor).
  • Students must participate actively in finding a host-organization (students are responsible for arranging interviews at the proposed host-organization).
  • Students must fulfill their Learning Contract activities, reflect upon their experience, and be actively involved in all aspects of the target language and culture(s) during their internship.

Since planning for an internship takes time (anywhere from two weeks to three months), interested students should start the process early on in the semester preceding the internship.

For more information, please contact the following advisors according to your language interest and at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester of the proposed internship (i.e., contact in early September for a Spring internship, etc.): Noah McLaughlin for French; Dr. Jaime Cruz-Ortiz for Spanish; Dr. Sabine Smith for German; Dr. Federica Santini for Italian; Dr. Liuxi Meng for Chinese.

Guidelines for Internships:

Criteria for Admission

A strong foreign language internship and Learn & Serve Program, which is recognized as such by the university, the students, and the host-organizations, a program, which is truly an enriching experience for students, requires that prospective interns meet a certain degree of preparedness.

  • Students must have all their paper work completed two weeks before the end of classes in the semester preceding the internship. The internship application process typically takes four to five weeks. Due to this time constraint, students are strongly encouraged to start the process early on in the semester preceding the internship.
  • An internship is most appropriate for students who are in the second semester of their junior year or the first semester of their senior year. However, some students who have successfully completed a foreign language course at the 2002 level may be considered in the program. In this case, the student would begin the application process while enrolled in a FL 2002 course. (In some special cases, this requirement can be waived, e.g., for students interested in doing an internship abroad.) Interested students are encouraged to plan their internship ahead of time so that they can prepare themselves for it.
  • A 2.5 minimum GPA is required. This requirement may be waived for French, German, and Spanish B.A. majors who are graduating in the semester system since they are required to do an internship or a study abroad to complete their degree. However, if a French German, or Spanish B.A. major is not deemed ready to undertake an internship, the program coordinator, in consultation with other faculty members, will outline a plan of action to help the prospective intern meet the level of preparedness required to undertake an internship.

Length of Internship and Number of Credit Hours Earned
  • The length of an internship will match the length of a semester: 15 weeks for fall and spring semesters, and a minimum of 8 weeks for a summer semester. (Prospective interns who opt for a summer internship are encouraged to do a 10-week internship.) In rare circumstances, exceptions can be made (e.g. internships abroad) provided that the total number of hours for the credit hours earned is met.
  • The following numbers apply to a regular 15-week semester. (For a summer internship, the number of credit hours will be given according to the total number of hours the intern has spent at the host-organization.) Unless duly justified, no internship will be approved for less than 10 hours per week.

    Number of hours per week Total number of hours Number of credit hours earned
    10-11 150-165 3
    12-15 180-225 4-5
    16-20 240-300 6-7
    21-25 315-375 8-9
    26-30 390-450 10
    31-40 465-600 11-12

Application Process
  1. Please contact the following advisors according to your language interest. Contact Noah McLaughlin for French; Dr. Jaime Cruz-Ortiz for Spanish; Dr. Sabine Smith for German; Dr. Federica Santini for Italian; Dr. Liuxi Meng for Chinese.
  3. PRINT & FILL OUT the QUESTIONNAIRE about internships.
  4. Contact a faculty supervisor. (Supervisors: please note the revised Faculty Supervisor Guidelines).
  5. When appropriate, establish contact with a host-organization
  6. PRINT OUT & discuss the LEARNING CONTRACT with the faculty supervisor and the on-site supervisor.
  7. Once an internship has been selected, students will receive the proper agreement, insurance and liability forms from the advisor.
  8. Return all documents (Application Form, Learning Contract, Agreement, Liability and Insurance forms) completed and signed by all parties to your advisor.

To guarantee enrollment in your internship, the deadlines for the completion of the Application, Learning Contract and Insurance forms are as follows:

  • For Summer: April 15th
  • For Fall: August 1st
  • For Spring: November 15th

Exceptions to the above-listed deadlines must be approved, in writing, by Dr. William Griffin, Chair, Department of Foreign Languages. To receive approval you must have your completed Application ready, as well as a valid reason (in writing) as to why an exception should be made for you. Exceptions are approved based on a case by case basis.

Internship Forms: