Experiential Learning Opportunities for College Students
As a leading study abroad provider with a focus on peace and social justice, BCA Study Abroad is committed to offering opportunities for cultural immersion within the local community. As a BCA student you will find numerous ways to get to know locals through course work, immersion activities, and participation in formal volunteer or internship opportunities at many of our program sites.
The experience and cultural perspective you gain by working with a local organization as an intern, volunteering with a community based organization, or becoming active in local clubs or organizations can make a lasting, positive impact on your life and career. Some of these experiences may be credit-bearing, while others do not offer credit but are a way to explore and learn about your host country in a more meaningful way.
Learn more about our experiential learning opportunities:
If you are looking for a study abroad experience that more closely resembles what it will be like to work at an actual job, consider working as an intern with a local organization. BCA defines an internship as an academic experience centered around active participation with an established (often non-academic) organization, institution, or business. This experience has no established classroom or traditional coursework component; rather, the academic experience lies in the student’s reflection and analysis of experience gained through participation.
The structure and dynamic of the participatory experience must be laid out before the beginning of the internship, and must include reflective and final analytical components. Examples of the reflective component may include periodic journals, weekly reports, a weekly online blog, or some other regular reflective mechanism. The final analytical piece is typically a final report or essay, term paper or project.
Each internship is designed based on the individual learning needs of the student in accordance with the academic institutions involved (BCA Study Abroad, host institution, and student’s home school) and may build upon previous theoretical or practical academic coursework. Students should be in contact with BCA as they are working on their BCA application in order to start the process of organizing an internship abroad.
All internships are credit-bearing and many students find that they provide opportunities to create long-lasting connections with the local community and build their resume.
BCA offers internships in a variety of disciplines, but some program locations lend themselves better to certain disciplines. Below is a list internship disciplines currently available. If you do not see your discipline listed, please contact us and we’ll review your possibilities together. For more specific information about what is available at each program, please explore program websites or contact us for current availability of international internship opportunities in your location and industry of choice.
- Health Professions
- International Relations
- Occupational Therapy
- Philosophy & Religious Studies
- Political Science
- Social Work
Each program offers a variety of ways to become involved in the community through clubs, organizations, and other local groups. You may find opportunities to join local sports and recreation clubs, take art or music lessons, join a choir or band, or learn about local music, cuisine and culture. You will not earn academic credit through these activities, but you will gain a deeper appreciation for your host culture, meet local and other international students, and create memories and connections that will last a lifetime. For more information about immersion activities available at each program, please review the program pages.
As a volunteer, you will make an investment that will reward you and the community in which you live. In most cases, you will be affiliated with a non-profit, local agency or NGO that serves the local community. Volunteer opportunities are available at most of our programs abroad and serve many populations including the elderly, young children, or homeless or they may include activities such as working with animals, conservation efforts and more. These experiences are designed to serve the needs of the organization and community. Volunteering should not be entered into lightly. Your decision to volunteer implies a serious commitment to the organization and it is critical that you follow-through on the commitment you make to them.