Create your own internship!
Streicker International Fellows Program applicants will need prior approval from the Global Safety and Security unit before consideration for the program. Selection for the Fellowship is contingent upon University travel guidelines. Please direct any questions to [email protected]. Students planning to apply for Streicker Fellowship should meet with Shahreen Rahman to discuss potential travel opportunities.
The Streicker International Fellows Program was established in early 2015 by John H. Streicker ’64 to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to connect with organizations that are aligned with their academic and/or professional interests. Streicker Fellows design their own internships in conjunction with a hosting organization, in any academic or professional area, and in any geographic region outside of the United States.
Awards vary based on student’s proposed budget, and cover program expenses listed below:
- airfare to and from the United States;
- local transportation;
- visa; and
- their cultural immersion proposal.
Application and Deadlines
The Streicker International Fellows Program application will open on February 1, 2024.
To apply to the Streicker International Fellows Program, you must:
- Submit the completed Streicker International Fellows application, as well as all additional requirements, in Princeton’s Global Programs System (GPS). This will include:
- An updated resume
- A recommendation from a faculty member, mentor, or employer who can attest to your ability to carry out your proposal
- A letter of acceptance or a letter of commitment from the organization sponsoring your project or internship on the organization's official letterhead
- An electronic transcript
- Your proposed budget
Students have two options for submitting their application materials: Early Action and Regular Decision.
The Early Action deadline is 3 PM EST on February 29, 2024. The Regular Decision deadline is 3 PM EST on March 15, 2024.
Participation Requirements & Selection Criteria
To be eligible for the Streicker International Fellows Program, you must be a currently enrolled first year, sophomore, or junior. Preference will be given to first-time applicants to the program.
Internships must involve collaboration with a host organization to be considered for funding. Internships must be a minimum of eight consecutive weeks. In designing an internship, students are encouraged to connect with organizations that are aligned with their academic and/or professional interests.
Selection criteria will include:
- the quality of the internship proposal
- its potential impact on the community it is meant to serve
- the feasibility of the project, including logistical on-the ground arrangements
There is no foreign language requirement for the Streicker International Fellows Program. When planning your internship and designing proposals, students should outline how they will carry out their work if they do not command the local language.
Those students selected for the program must attend a series of pre-departure meetings designed to prepare them to make the most of their experience. These meetings address issues of safety, health, working in an unfamiliar environment, and cultural adjustment.
Streicker Fellows attend a meeting with the Streicker family in the spring to share their internship and expectations, or in the fall to share their experiences and insights from their summer abroad.
Terms and Conditions
- Selected students will receive a document entitled Terms and Conditions of Award, which confirms the nature of the internship offered.
- The University reserves the right to revoke sponsorship of an internship if there is a significant deterioration or reasonable expectation of deterioration in the safety and security conditions in the country where travel will occur, or if the University assesses a lack of compliance on the student’s behalf with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, the laws of the country of travel, or the internship provider’s regulations and policies.
- The IIP office may require a student to leave the internship and return home or terminate the internship early, if, after consultation with other appropriate University offices, it is determined that the student’s health, safety or well-being is at risk.
Selected Students MUST
- Withdraw their application from all other summer opportunities both within and outside the University when accepting an internship by returning a completed commitment form.
- Attend a mandatory University Health Services meeting, and ALL other pre-program activities and orientation.
- Complete all mandatory post-decision forms in GPS. In addition, all University-sponsored travel, regardless of destination, must be registered in the Enroll My Trip tool.
- Secure flight, visa, lodgings, medical insurance, immunizations and local transportation in accordance with any applicable policies in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities and all policies as stipulated by the IIP office.
- Adhere to University policy as stated in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities – to know, understand and agree to observe the laws of the host country and to respect the employer’s regulations and policies regarding assignments, working hours, and professional conduct (including dress code), as well as to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to the best of their abilities. If students fail to abide by any of the aforementioned rules and standards, the possible consequences could include University discipline and/or dismissal from the internship.
- Respond to communication from the IIP office during the course of the internship. This includes but is not limited to surveys, reports, and evaluation forms.
- Comply with any additional requirements established by the Streicker International Fellows Program (as stipulated in the award letter).
Selected Students MUST NOT
- Publicize, copy, distribute or use in any form any internship organization data or information without the consent of the organization.
- Terminate the internship without prior approval of IIP office and the internship supervisor. In the case of unauthorized internship termination, the student may be asked to reimburse IIP for the full amount of the award received.
We advise you to begin your planning as soon as possible. You will need time to develop your proposed idea and make a connection with a hosting organization. Filling out the application forms and gathering the required application materials also take time. These required materials include an official transcript, resume, budget, and letter of commitment from the sponsoring organization. Depending on your proposal, you may also need IRB approval and/or a work permit.
A good place to start is taking some time to reflect on your academic and/or professional interests and goals. What do you care about? What do you enjoy thinking about? What questions or issues would you like to spend a summer exploring? Are you interested in tech start-ups? Buddhist activism? Conflict in the Middle East? Rural development in China? Online journalism? Global health in Africa? Whatever the interest, the chances are there is an organization out there who would love to have a free intern for the summer.
Once you have an idea of the type of internship you are interested in, you will have to find a host organization. This requires research and may necessitate narrowing down your interests. Ask yourself where you might pursue this interest? Is there a particular part of the world in which you would like to spend the summer? What organizations are working in this field? Who is doing particularly interesting work in your area of interest? Come up with a list of potential organizations and then vet these organizations based on their reputation, how capable they appear to host an international volunteer, how interested you are in their location, and how well their mission and activities line up with your goals and interests. There may be Princeton faculty who can help with this vetting. IIP staff can also help assess the viability of a host organization. Here are some additional vetting criteria to consider:
- Are there any prohibitive travel restrictions to the host organization’s location or is the organization located in a country where there is a travel warning from the US State Department? Princeton University does not fund or sponsor undergraduate student travel to countries where the United States has issued travel restrictions. Students who have a compelling educational reason to travel to countries under a State Department travel warning can submit a request for an individual travel exemption, and should make an appointment with an IIP adviser as soon as possible.
- Are there any safety concerns at the location where the host organization is located? Make sure you would be able to safely navigate any health or safety concerns in the community where you would be living and working. International SOS and the US State Department are good resources for doing an initial analysis of the risks to travelers at the location of the host organization. Again, IIP staff can help you with this assessment.
- Has the organization hosted interns before? Hosting interns requires some skill and experience on the part of any organization. It is a good idea to have a sense of how much experience they have providing the mentorship and support required of a typical internship or project. If it is possible, try to contact someone who has interned with the organization before to learn about their experience.
- Do you have sufficient command of the language that is commonly spoken at the host organization? Make sure you would be able to communicate effectively with coworkers and/or clients/beneficiaries.
- Is there a fee for participating in the internship? Students seeking to work at host organizations that charge fees to host interns will generally not be considered for funding. Talk to IIP staff if you think special circumstances warrant making an exception.
- Does IIP or another Princeton University-sponsored program place students at the organization? Generally speaking, students seeking to work at host organizations who host interns from other Princeton-sponsored internships or funding sources will not be considered for funding unless IIP staff have vetted the host organization.
- Are there any ethical concerns about working with the host organization? Learn about the organization’s background, their track record, how they are perceived in the local community and by experts in your area of interest to ensure they operate in an ethical manner.
- Can I use a private internship placement provider to plan my internship? No. Internships that are organized through a private internship placement provider based in the US will not be considered for Streicker International Fellowship Program funding.
Another approach to designing your own internship is to tap into social networks you have at your disposal. Princeton faculty and alumni are generally very open to meeting with undergraduates to discuss their interests and help connect them to individuals or organizations they know. Before approaching faculty or alumni, be sure to have put some thought into what types of issues you are interested in exploring and/or on what geographic area you would like to focus. Regardless of how you find a potential host organization, it is important to properly vet it using the criteria described above.
If possible, try to establish a personal connection with someone who works at the host organization through a professor, alumni or other personal contact.
Most students will not have such a personal connection at the host organization where they are interested in working. Making that initial connection will require tact, persistence, nerve, and a bit of luck.
The easiest approach is to send an initial e-mail to introduce yourself. Most websites have some sort of “contact us” link but it is always better to send it to an actual person (even if you do not know them personally). In your initial e-mail, state your interest in the organization and why your interests match the needs and/or mission of the organization. You should request contact information for someone who can answer your questions related to internship possibilities. Indicate the timeframe in which you would like to do the internship (remember, to be considered for Streicker funding, internships or projects must be a minimum of eight weeks) and the fact you are seeking funding so that there would be no cost to the organization. Be sure to attach an updated resume. (Visit the Center for Career Development website for help with resumes and cover letters.)
Do not be surprised or overly disappointed if you do not receive a reply right away. If you do not hear anything, give it a week or two and then send a polite follow-up e-mail. Unless it is explicitly stated otherwise on the organization’s website, you might also try calling to follow up on your initial e-mail.
Make sure to save any correspondence you have with the host organization. When you apply for Streicker funding, you will be required to submit a document compiling your correspondence with the host organization.
Even if the host organization shows interest, you may have to follow up regularly to remain on their radar. Remember to be polite and avoid being too overbearing.
If an organization is serious about hosting you, the chances are at some point you will be interviewed. If you interview for a position, be sure to send a thank-you note or e-mail within 48 hours of the interview.
If you are offered an internship, make sure to define in as much detail as possible what you will be doing. What are the organization’s expectations of you? What are your expectations? Make sure these align.
If and when the host organization agrees to host you, you must obtain a letter of commitment. The letter should be printed on the organization's letterhead (if available) and signed by the most appropriate organizational authority.
Should you find after e-mailing and calling an organization that they are unresponsive or uninterested, you might try targeting a different organization.
As mentioned, designing your own internship is complicated—and this is only the first step in setting up your experience! You will also have to arrange meals and housing and you will have to come up with a plan for immersing in the host community. The good news is there are many resources to provide support.
Set up an advising appointment: You are encouraged to reach out to Streicker administration during any part of the project/internship design process for support. You may send an email to Shahreen Rahman for more information.
Do not be afraid to cold email lots of organizations! Worst thing that can happen is that they say no. Also, ask around, and see if your professors, mentors, or even your family members know any places that might be a good fit. Since you can work for free, you're an easy sell if you have your foot in the door at all. And, definitely consider the place when looking for internships --- the city I lived in was as important to my experience abroad as was the work I was doing.
Be brave, persistent, and confident. Don't be afraid to send follow-up emails if they don't respond, but also do your diligence to respond to their emails in a timely fashion. You will feel like you are asking them for a lot of information and help on "empty promises," but don't worry too much and just focus on what you need to do. If you are stuck on anything at all, IIP staff (and past participants) are a great resource.
My main recommendation is to pick a location and then begin meeting with professors and advisors to discuss options. It is likely that a professor in your department will know of someone at least in your country or interest.
Try and familiarize yourself with the work being done in your host organization as much as possible before you arrive. If there is literature that is relevant to the work, then read it before arriving. The same goes for any common techniques being used by the organization that you will also need to learn/be familiar with. This will allow you to quickly get going with whatever your project there is.
Really vet what type of work you will be doing day to day. This means identifying who will be supervising you as you work and also understanding what expectations they will have. Also reaching out to train yourself in any relevant software, systems, etc. that are used at the job site.
I would recommend being very proactive in searching for an internship and having a current resume prepared to send to employers. Also, make use of the connections Princeton has through your professors and respective departments!
I would recommend reaching out to advisors, professors, or the business/nonprofit organizations themselves and inquire if they have open intern positions. Once you are in contact, lean what the internship entails and explain to them that you are applying for funding.
Research as much as you can about events/cultural activities in the area. Try to join classes and other activities where you can meet other people who are local to the area.
Definitely reach out to alumni in the area you are headed. If you are lucky, they may need or know someone who needs a house sitter (happened to me!). If not, they will have tips and may offer to take you out to lunch. To find alums in the area, check TigerNet. For meals, learn how to cook a few basic things and you'll be fine. It's good practice for adult life!
For housing, you should ask for recommendations from your co-workers. For meals, check out the food scene and its prices to understand how much food costs and what you can expect to pay.
Use meals as a way to meet as many people as possible in the community. Don't eat by yourself!
For me, housing was the most overwhelming part of setting up the logistics of my summer. Homestays are a great opportunity to immerse yourself and feel safe at the same time! Being a part of a family can make you feel welcome in the culture; living in an apartment, however, also necessitates that you learn how other people of the culture live– from architectural layouts and furniture down to purchasing your own toiletries, food, etc. Either way, be sure to choose somewhere that you feel safe: though it was daunting and overwhelming at the time, I'm very glad I researched both of my neighborhoods thoroughly, because there are some areas I would not have wanted to live in.
If you're able to find a local person to live with, I'd highly recommend that. One thing I underestimated was how lonely it can be living in an entirely new place; living with someone else definitely helps alleviate that loneliness. If that person is local, then they can also be a resource to help you out with many logistical things. And you can learn more about local culture!
Do some research before going on what possible activities you can do, and don't be afraid to talk to past Streicker Fellows (especially if they went somewhere near where you are planning on going to) or people who've lived in that area before.
Approach it deliberately—it's hard to think of ways to immerse yourself, and it's especially hard when you're there and busy and tired, so it helps to make specific plans in advance.
Find something you have always wanted to do and try it! Try to plan ahead, I wish I had done a little more research into what classes and stuff I might want to take. And, look for things you do at home, like sports or hobbies, as a good way to make friends and meet people.
Do your research beforehand to see what activities you can do to meet other locals and experience the culture. Check out what classes your city offers!
It is important to be more proactive than what you think is necessary. Outline concrete ideas and plans for how you will go about immersing yourself, especially with regards to the social environment in your location.
Look for [extracurricular] classes to enroll in, and keep an eye out while you're there for any events that might be happening--oftentimes, you can make friends with local people just by striking up conversations with people at events.
Really stretch your comfort zone as much as you can! Take advantage of your resources. For example, I asked my coworkers to help me meet people my own age, and the friendships I made as a direct result completely changed my social life (in an immensely positive way).
Put yourself out there! Don't be afraid to reach out to friends of friends of friends. The more people you try to get in touch with or talk to, the better. If people look at you funny for talking to them in cafes or bars or whatever, no worries, at least you made the effort. Definitely sign up for a class or an extracurricular group or something, that makes a huge difference.
The best way to immerse yourself in a culture is to simply try to become a member of that culture: note the little details that set the members of the community apart from yourself, and try to adapt to those. Also, it helps to set concrete goals for yourself in cultural immersion: for example, "I will start at least 5 conversations in ______ language each day." or "I will participate in a walking tour of a different part of the city each week."