Oct 8th, 2017, 04:33 PM

Want to Intern? Get Ready to Pay

By Lily Radziemski
Image Credit: Flickr/Eiftr
If you thought getting an internship was hard, try paying for it.

It is the time of the year when upperclassmen students are scrambling to find an internship for the spring semester. As some students have the option to intern for credit, the time is ripe for securing a position for Spring term. Although the prospect of making some money is an incentive, don’t forget to bring your wallet to the interview: as a foreigner, you are required to pay to receive credit for an internship at AUP. 

The thought of paying to secure a paid position—where the final salary would probably be equal to the fees seems counterintuitive. And, because of it, some students have dropped the prospect of interning altogether. Claire*, a Global Communications student at AUP, describes her experience and what happened in the interview in regards to AUP Internship fines. 

“I was looking for a part-time internship for my coursework. I was actually in an interview with a company, and the interviewer had printed out the paper for the requirements of the AUP internship. She said, ‘oh, did you know about this fee?’ I told the interviewer, ‘I’ve never seen this–I didn’t know we had a fee involved.’

The interviewer said ‘we aren’t willing to pay the fee because we’ve never had to pay the fee for other foreign students. Either you pay the fee or you don’t have the internship.”

Claire then declined the internship and sought answers within AUP.  “I went to the internship office and asked about the fee, and they basically said it was for paperwork, and that it takes time and money to get the correct documentation so we [students] should have to pay for it. I was a little upset because I feel like with such an international university with such a high tuition it should be included. I felt like [AUP] was trying to get more money for something that should already be a given.”

Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Darcee Caron, AUP’s Internship Coordinator and Corporate Liaison, the fees are justifiable.

“It’s standard and it’s the logical result of an educational system that is extremely flexible and allows the student to, in a sense, construct their own curriculum. Some of our students look at the French, and other EU systems, and ask why French students do not have to pay. The answer is simple: at most French institutions there’s no flexibility in the design of the degree. Students pay for the degree, which might include a compulsory internship, to take place at a pre-defined time, sometimes even in a pre-defined company (or the short list of companies). The French system is nice because the “fee” for the internship is built-in to the degree, but it comes, usually, at the cost of flexibility—which is the hallmark of an institution like AUP.”

Despite the logical sense behind the fees, their existence continues to deter students from pursuing internships. In a university with such high tuition fees, it’s odd that the university would offer another option as a part of the curriculum, yet not treat it as such. If AUP truly wants to encourage students to pursue internships as a part of their degree, they should consider taking a new approach in facilitating it.

*Name has been changed to respect the student's anonymity.