Internships Guide for Outgoing Students – Viola Marsili

Viola, one of our Global Mobility Peer Advisors, has written this helpful guide for King’s students hoping to pursue an internship opportunity abroad. Viola completed an internship at Bloom Consulting, Madrid, Spain during her year abroad in 2022/23.

Places to look for an internship

General job posting websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Milkround are highly valuable resources when searching for internships. They enable you to narrow down your search based on your preferred industry sectors and the specific locations you are targeting.

Sometimes, depending on the country you plan to go to, you may also come across private recruitment agencies that can facilitate connections with companies. It is worth noting that many of these agencies may charge a fee, so it is essential to conduct thorough research to ensure their legitimacy and credibility, to prevent from scams.

Additionally, I recommend visiting companies’ websites and reaching out to specific individuals via email to inquire about potential internship opportunities. Some companies only announce career openings on their own websites or might not post job advertisements on the specific social media platforms you are checking. This approach not only demonstrates your keen interest in the company but also showcases your motivation to join their team for an internship.

Help from King’s Careers Department

 It is important to note that King’s College London also provides a wealth of resources to support your research and internship endeavours. On the King’s Careers Connect website, you’ll find a dedicated section called the “Global Placements Hub,” offering a diverse range of resources to assist you in discovering interesting internship opportunities abroad. Furthermore, this platform provides valuable guidance on crafting an effective CV, interview preparation, and assessments to help you stand out during the application process.

For your placement abroad, is it likely that you will be asked by King’s to secure your internship many months in advance before starting the placement. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that many companies only start posting Job Advertisements closer to the internship starting date. This is why it is important to consider all your options in case you are not able to secure an internship in the end.

Documents required for the Internship

As part of your internship abroad, once you have secured an internship, you will need to complete the Work Placement Approval Form provided by King’s Global Mobility Office. This document will request specific information related to your placement, which you must fill out and then seek approval from your Study Abroad Tutor. Please note that your placement abroad is not confirmed until you receive confirmation that your Study Abroad Tutor has approved it, and you have completed the KHA (details below).

Once your placement has been approved you will be asked to complete and submit the KHA, the ‘King’s Host Agreement’. This is a three-party contract that needs to be signed by the host university (King’s), the host company, and the student. I would recommend that you inform your host employer about the university’s required procedure and that they will be asked to sign this document. This is because some employers have their own internship contracts and may not be able to sign external agreements which could prevent you from doing your internship with that company.

Benefits of doing an internship

Engaging in an internship abroad comes with numerous and unique advantages. Modern Languages students at King’s are required to seek internships conducted in the target language they are studying at their home university. This not only provides an opportunity to hone their language skills but also helps in building strong confidence and communication abilities.

From my personal experience, I can attest that participating in an internship during your year abroad is a transformative experience. It plays a pivotal role in fostering personal growth and self-confidence as you navigate unfamiliar environments, developing resilience and problem-solving skills.

Furthermore, the skills you acquire during an international internship are highly transferable and beneficial for your career aspirations. Working with people from diverse backgrounds for example is advantageous in any profession. Additionally, the opportunity to apply the language you have been diligently studying during your placement in a different workplace setting, adds another layer of competence. Finally, I believe that overall, the skills and experience you gain throughout your international internship significantly enhance your employability and make it easier when you come back to your home country to successfully secure another internship or find an entry level position when you graduate.

Challenges that may arise

When you begin working in the host company, you may encounter some language barriers when assigned tasks and projects, or misunderstandings may arise when communicating with your coworkers or supervisor. However, it is important to understand that this is entirely normal and an integral part of the learning process. I would recommend approaching this experience with an open mind and the awareness that these challenges could occur. As you become more familiar with the work environment and the language, you’ll likely find that these language barriers gradually diminish.

Similarly, adapting to a new culture, customs, and work environment can pose challenges. It may take time to feel comfortable and fully integrated into the workplace. You also might observe that the company you are working for adheres to different work expectations or procedures compared to those in your home country.

If you are far from your support network, including family and friends, there may be moments when you experience loneliness. That is why it’s crucial to maintain regular communication with them, so you can share your experiences and address any issues you may encounter while abroad.

Finally, the internship experience is very different from the university environment. This is primarily because you don’t have the same level of freedom that you enjoy at university. You may find yourself working longer hours, which could limit the time you have to see your friends as frequently as you did before or leave you with less personal time.

Applying to the United States, tips by Aitana

Hi there, I’m Aitana, one of the Global Mobility Peer Advisors here at King’s! For my Year Abroad, I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

If you’re reading this, you are probably either thinking of applying to study abroad in the US yourself or have received an offer to do so and are feeling a little lost about the next steps (and believe me, I did too!). I’m going to share a couple of tips and tricks that I learned from my experience of applying to study abroad in the US. I hope you find this useful! 😃

P.S: Remember that I am speaking from my experience of applying to and studying in the US, at Johns Hopkins University, as a King’s Study Abroad student for the 2022-2023 academic year. You should do your own research to make sure all of these tips and tricks still apply to your specific case at the time of application. Any comments on visas are based on personal experience and none of them are official visa advise, you should follow the guidance of your host university and the relevant consulate.

Before you even think about applying to study abroad in the US, you have to think about (and do research on!!):

  • The costs of applying to and living in the US, as a study abroad student: You should keep in mind that there are several things that you are going to have to pay for, such as…
    • Visa application: You are most likely going to have to apply for a J-1 Visa (that’s the one the exchange students at Johns Hopkins, including myself, had to apply for, independent of which country our passport was from). You can use this J-1 Visa Pricing Calculator to identify the estimated cost of your J-1 visa application. This cost will vary depending on your country of residence and the length of your stay.
      • J-1 application fee: $160. There is no way around this!
      • J-1 Issuance fees: This is only applicable to certain countries; you can check if this applies to you here). The size of the issuance fee also varies by country. For example, for Australia it is $105, whereas for the United Arab Emirates it is $52.
      • I-901 SEVIS Fee: $220, unless you are exempt (which I wasn’t).
      • Cost of the host university shipping your DS-2019 to your home address: The cost will vary depending on your host university and home address. For me it was around $30 (to ship from Johns Hopkins University to my home address in Switzerland).
    • Health insurance: All J-1 visa holders are required by the US Department of State to have health insurance for the full duration of their program.
      • In many circumstances, you will be eligible for your host university’s health insurance coverage. Note that this means that you still have to pay, there is no way around this!!
      • In my case, I paid $1148 per semester for the JHU student health insurance.
      • Feeling a little lost about what to do next? I recommend that you look through your host university’s website to get an idea of:
        • 1) whether you are required to pay the university’s health insurance coverage or whether you can (or have to) look for third party providers. that meet the J1 Visa requirements for health insurance coverage.
        • 2) the cost of the health insurance coverage for the duration of your entire J-1 program.
        • 3) what your health insurance covers.
      • The academic calendar: American universities’ academic calendars are different to those of UK universities. I recommend that you look through your host university’s website to see their particular academic calendars as they may differ slightly. Here are some general key differences to keep in mind:
        • Fall semester usually starts mid to late August and ends mid to late December.
          • Why does it end so late?? Well, that’s because your last week or two are going to be Exam weeks (and so your fall semester is going to end earlier or later depending on your exam schedule).
          • On the bright side, this means that you will have all your work for your Fall semester completed before the start of your Christmas break. Yes, that means no coursework due or exams to study for in January!
        • Spring semester usually starts mid to late January and ends mid to late May.
        • You can also enroll in the summer semester (if you want to and your J-1 program permits) to take classes at the university over summer. These will usually be more intensive classes with a load of 2-3 times above normal.
        • Holidays will usually be:
          • 2/3 weeks of winter vacation.
          • 10-12 weeks of summer vacation.
          • Fall break, Thanksgiving break, and Spring break will differ for each university and division within the university.
        • Opening a US Bank Account: It is a good idea to open a US bank account.
          • Why?
            • You will need it to pay for things like your cell phone plan and your health insurance.
            • It can cut down on international fees that your own bank may charge.
            • Most checking accounts in the US are free to open!
          • How? You can find more information on how to open a bank account in the US as an international student here and
          • In my case, I was able to open a US bank account at the JHU Federal Credit Union (the university’s bank) for free, and with no Maintenance fees. I needed it to pay for my cell phone plan, fees to my host university (e.g., health insurance), and anything I wanted to buy online while I was there (e.g., anything on Amazon, events, supplies, books, etc.). I was not able to pay for any of these with anything but a US bank account!
        • Getting a US phone number: It is a good idea to get a US phone number.
          • Why?
            • Your own phone number may not work in the US.
            • If your phone number does work in the US, you may have high roaming and phone call charges.
            • You need an American phone number to sign up to certain things online (e.g., events, apps, etc.).
          • How? You can find more information on how to get an American phone number as an international student here.
          • I would recommend getting an American bank account before you get an American phone number as you need an American Bank account to pay for your cell phone plan.
        • The American teaching style, and how it differs from that in the UK: Here are some of the general key differences between the American and the UK teaching styles that you should keep in mind…
          • Instead of having a few big assessments for a module that each count for a big percentage of your final grade, you will have lots of little assessments (usually on a weekly basis), each worth smaller percentages of your final grade. In my case, whilst King’s Bioscience modules usually use two assessment components (that is, an exam and an in-course assessment component), each worth 60-70% and 30-40% of the final mark for the module respectively, JHU used numerous assessment components, administered on a weekly basis, each usually worth from 1 to 20% of the final mark for the module.
          • Instead of 70% and above being a first, 70% and above in the US is a C- (which is the minimum grade you need to pass). When I first heard this, I got really stressed, but don’t worry, it is A LOT easier to get a 70% in the US compared to the UK, and most people get 80-90%. You can find more details on this here.
          • In non-lecture-based modules, attendance and participation can be a part of your grade.
        • The Visa application process & other paperwork: There is A LOT of paperwork you need to do once you get an offer to study abroad in the US. Make sure to do your research on this and ideally start the Visa application process as soon as you receive your offer to avoid any delays.
        • Getting part-time work as an international student: If you were thinking of getting a part-time job while you study in the US to pay for some of the costs, you need to keep in mind that you will have some limitations depending on your Visa type. As a J-1 Visa holder, I was allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and this needed to be on-campus. You will only be allowed to work off-campus if you are faced with an unforeseen economic hardship which arises after acquiring your J/1 status. You can find more information on securing part-time employment as a J-1 Visa holder here. Things do change quite quickly so do check the rules once you are at the host university to establish weather you can work or not.

Global Mobility Experience Bursary: Student Success Stories

Some study abroad destinations may be closer to home, but that doesn’t mean the experience can’t be new and exciting.  Now let’s hear from Kiara, who studied in Paris.

Hi! My name is Kiara, I study European Studies: French Pathway at King’s which has offered me the chance to study for a year at Sciences Po Paris. For those of us on the European Studies courses, we don’t choose our study abroad locations, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study at not only one of the best political sciences universities in the world, but also in such an incredible city! Paris is just wonderful- when you are there for an extended period, you can see why it is the top tourist destination in the world. Everybody wants to get a taste of Parisian life! And living there means I get to experience the city in a more profound way than those just visiting would.

Classic Parisian life

I applied for the GMEB primarily because I believe commitment to inclusivity among the study abroad cohort is important. This bursary is a substantial amount of money that really aids your experience and gives you the opportunity to get more out of your study abroad. In the same way that everybody does, I really wanted to get the most out of my time away and having extra financial aid definitely helps with that. It adds a sense of security that means you can enjoy your time abroad to the fullest and see places and do things you otherwise may not have been able to do! Overall, the GMEB is a great initiative!  

With the help of the GMEB, I was able to enjoy all the aspects of Paris that I wanted to! I have enjoyed incredible food, seen amazing sights and been to expositions that provided great learning opportunities for me as someone who studies culture and history. One of the most valuable experiences I had was when I went to the Institut du monde Arabe in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. This museum is not free entry, and I therefore had to pay to view their expositions, but it felt particularly special to me to visit this museum being half Arab/north African and always wanting to learn more about my culture and background! In the museum, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting Paris and which I will surely be visiting again, there was amazing middle eastern art, and coins on display showing the various currencies that have been used in the middle east and north Africa for thousands of years. There was a section that focussed on the Maghreb region in north Africa which I found pertinent due to my Moroccan and Algerian heritage.

Inside the Institut du monde Arabe

This part of the museum meant a lot to me as I’ve never been able to go to north Africa and it made me feel like I was there. In the souvenir shop I bought a book by Kamel Daoud who is an Algerian writer. This is just one of the ways the GMEB enriched my experience in Paris, and I am very grateful to have had such a lovely experience! 

Traditional dress

Rumbling tummy? Andrew and Aitana give their suggestions…

For some of our incoming Study Abroad students, not having a meal plan included can feel a bit strange however it’s quite normal here at King’s!  The majority of our housing is self-catered, which means it’s now a good time to learn how to cook.  Or if you don’t want to cook, our Peer Advisors Andrew and Aitana have put together some handy guides at where to find some tasty food and snacks on and around campus.

Strand/Bush House

1. The Shack

  • Ground Floor, Bush House – you can see it from the outside on Bush House!
  • It’s a great place to grab a coffee, brownie, or a warm snack like a sandwich
  • They also have loyalty cards! If you get a loyalty card, every 9th coffee is free

2. The Vault

  • 1st Floor, Bush House – right opposite the King’s Kitchen!
  • If you don’t have much time and want to get something to eat on-the-go, the Vault serves warm boxed meals you can take with you which are – let’s be honest – a bit more exciting than a sandwich from the Shack

3. King’s Kitchen

  • 1st Floor, Bush House – right opposite the Vault!
  • This is the best place to get a warm, cooked meal without leaving campus. You can choose between European or Asian food, Pizza, or the Salad Bar
  • The prices are also very reasonable compared to spots not on campus, and the service is fast, so if you have a short break between classes, make sure to visit!

4. Food Trucks

  • Since Strand has become pedestrian-only, foods trucks have become regular visitors to the Strand and Bush House campuses!
  • Pass between the two between 11:30-15:00 and if there’s a truck around, consider getting a meal from there and sitting down in the new seating area or one of the many benches

5. The Arcade 

  • 1st Floor, Bush House (Southwest entrance)
  • Similar to the Shack, but a bit less peaceful and more fast-paced. If you want to get a quick snack and head off, or sit down to chat with some friends when it’s quieter.

6. The Roots Café 

  • Pair a great view with vegan food here on the 8th Floor of Bush House, or get a coffee and something sweet
  • The quiet atmosphere and easy access to an outdoor terrace makes this a great spot to study in peace or see London from above

7. Chapters

  • 2nd Floor of the Strand Building hosts Chapters, a café with a view of the river!
  • On Friday, the café serves Fish and Chips, and on other days provides a great range of both vegan and non-vegan warm food for less than £6 per meal

The Maughan

8. Rolls Café in the Maughan Library

  • 1st Floor, the Maughan Library
  • It also serves hot food, coffee, and has a microwave! Since you’re not allowed to eat anywhere else in the Maughan, you might as well head down and see what’s on offer!

Guy’s Campus 
The two most famous spots on Guy’s Campus are Guy’s Bar and The Shed 

9. Guy’s Bar/The Hut 

  • Between 12-3pm, the Hut provides warm food, grab and go options, and a place to sit quietly
  • After 5pm, Guy’s Bar opens – which serves a variety of alcoholic (and some non-alcoholic) drinks!
  • It’s definitely not a place to sit in and quietly study, but if you want to meet new people or have some fun with friends, Guy’s Bar hosts musicians, quizzes, and weekly club nights
  •  Check out the calendar to see what’s on!

10. The Shed 

  • The Shed prides itself on serving high-quality coffee and a variety of snacks
  • They also have a breakfast deal each day, so if you need to grab something before heading off to class, give the Shed a visit!

11. Henri’s Deli 

  • This spot can be found in the Henriette Raphael building, and operates in a way similar to King’s Kitchen, serving breakfast and lunch!
  • Opens from 8am to 4pm on weekdays


12. Bytes Restaurant/Cafe 

  • Located in the Franklin-Wilkins building, Bytes restaurant offers breakfast and lunch deals every weekday
  • It is also located right next to Bytes Café – Waterloo’s version of the Shack/Arcade


Global Mobility Experience Bursary: Student Success Stories

Kayva Kolli joined King’s from the University of Pennsylvania for a semester, and used her GMEB funds to explore her own culture in London.

My name is Kavya Kolli and I studied abroad at King’s College London from the
University of Pennyslvania. At my home university, I study the history of art and economics and was lucky enough to take classes in both realms during my time abroad. I took a leap of faith by applying to study abroad at King’s because I have always felt the need to constantly put myself in situations which would assist me in growing and gaining new perspectives whether it be cultural, academic, or geographic. King’s had all of that and more with a diverse student body population, class offerings that were well suited to people with a global mindset, and the flexibility to pursue extracurricular student organizations to become integrated with the greater community. Alongside this, I was in a community of like-minded individuals who were academically driven to pursue their passions.

Alongside my academic endeavors, I also wanted to utilize my time in London to enrich myself outside of the classroom. I applied the the Global Mobility Bursary in order to explore my cultural heritage in a new environment, travel to see art in its historical and cultural context, and network with professionals to help with my career. I was able to attend and meet other first generation Indians from England, assisting in my understanding of how our cultural differences are bridged by the similarities of our experiences. We were able to relate to one another and speak about how we used our heritage to create a community but also shared it with others whether it was through food nights in our KCL accommodations or cultural events thrown by the student societies.

During my time abroad, I was able to travel to ample locations and visit many museums in the meanwhile to continue my research on sub-Saharan African art and Grekko-Roman sculptures. I used the GMEB to solo travel to Paris, France on a solo trip since this city has incredible art collections. I visited the Louvre and spent the day speaking to a curator of one of the collections. Experiencing the art on my own allowed me to connect with the pieces and take time with each one I looked at. I was able to identify the artists’ intentions, the significance of them, and correlate my experiences to theirs. I also was able to see the curatorial preciseness utilized to give the viewers a specific experience. The presentation of the pieces was strategic in creating a story for the viewers to follow along with. Along the way, I grabbed some good eats and drinks such as authentic croissants and hot chocolate, all while speaking to tourists from another region in France about their experience growing up there!


Another way I used the GMEB was to visit Southhall, a town in west London which is culturally similar to India and has a large Indian population. I got to speak to many of the shop owners about their own journeys to London and even brought my flatmates who came from different cultural backgrounds to share the experience with them. We ate food, drank chai, and tried on many dresses, such as lehengas, in order to create a versatile experience. I also was able to use a bit of my Hindi to speak to the shop owners about where they source their products from.

Cultures colliding

Last, but definitely not least, I took a trip to Italy where I visited Pompeii to first hand see a piece of art I was writing an essay about. I travelled with two study abroad friends of mine and gave them a gallery talk about the piece where I was able to see the implications of using specific materials and the incredible craftsmanship of the piece sustaining the volcano eruption. The beauty of seeing the piece in the context of where it was created, laid on the ground in the home
of a highly statused individual in Ancient Rome, emphasized the incredible feats of artistic progression. I was able to use the GMEB to help with entry into the park and the travel costs.

Beautiful ancient art
European history and culture

These experiences would not have been as easily accessible to me had I not had the opportunities to apply for the GMEB. I learned new languages, ate food from various regions, and academically grew my understanding of the fields I am studying in the classroom. I will take this with me as I continue my research and will continue to forge connections with my peers who may come from these different cultural backgrounds.