Is This Program Right for You?
This program is run through our premier AU Brussels center, and is designed for students seeking a unique summer internship program worth three credits. Students participate in full-time internships for six weeks with organizations in Brussels, mostly if not all conducted in English. Some internships in French are available. This program is open to students from all majors. Most financial aid does not cover summer terms with American University. Find out more at our AU Brussels website.
Brussels is the home to several multilateral political institutions, most notably the European Union and NATO. These organizations, along with the collection of international businesses, cultural institutions, and news media agencies make internship possibilities in Brussels very attractive to students from many disciplines.
This is a three-credit program consisting of an internship and a seminar class is open to undergraduate students. The first week student will have an orientation, internship interviews, and introductory sessions at the AU Brussels Center. Beginning the second week student will intern Monday through Thursday during normal working hours. A seminar taught by the Resident Director, Dr. Jerome Sheridan, one evening each week, is required. The curriculum for this program focuses on the European Union, particularly the process of government cooperation and the challenges such an undertaking entails. Here is an example of the Belgium Summer Internship Syllabus.
Past internships have taken place with lobbying organizations, consulting firms, law firms, defense contractors, corporations, non-governmental organizations, etc. In past summer terms, students have:
- interned on a range of projects for analysts and scholars, including preparing them for upcoming events and conferences, contributed research to their work prior to publish online or in print; researched potential foundation grants
- researched briefings over topics for panels, assemblies and events the organization is coordinating; edited all articles for newsletters; wrote preliminary drafts of speeches; assisted with planning the organization's General Assembly
- organized summits annually along with other programs and events to help promote the role of female representation in national governments worldwide; worked on a project to create a 3-year program to help promote and support the role women have in creating democracies
- researched and contacted potential distributors for an US company that wants to export to EU countries
- researched European Union legislation relevant to legal cases; compiled data to be included in client briefs; found examples that would be used as a client’s defense argument
Brussels students live with a family in a homestay. The homestay experience offers insights into normal life for citizens living in one of the most powerful cities in the world. The homestay also provides a daily connection with modern Belgian culture that might otherwise be missed in the hectic pace of this busy European capital. The Homestay Coordinator makes sure students are placed with a family that provide a good match to each student.
A student receives three evening meals with the family each week and breakfast daily. For a student who wishes to integrate with Belgians and improve her or his French, it's the perfect opportunity. However, for a student who wants to live more independently, there is no obligation to spend time with the family. Most, if not all, homestay hosts speak English and/or French.
You will not know your homestay placements until your arrival in Brussels.
This program staff organizes one weekend excursion within Belgium during the program, in addition to cultural and networking opportunities within Brussels. As the internship takes place from Monday to Thursday, Fridays and weekends are free for exploring Brussels or personal travel.
Students need to make sure any independent travel they do will not keep them from their student responsibilities.
This program is very independent in nature. Student visas are not required for American citizens in this program.