World Language Course 486 Internship Guidelines


General Guidelines

  • An internship is an unpaid work experience that may take place during the academic year or in the summer, for which the student receives academic credit. A World Language internship (available for French, German, Spanish, Chinese, or Japanese) provides the student with an introduction to work in some area of business, government, or social agency that involves significant use of the appropriate language by the intern. This may involve translating to or from the target language, interpretation to or from the language, or other kinds of work. An internship which does not involve the intern in significant use of the appropriate world language may not be used for World Language Internship credit. In such cases, the student may seek internship credit in a different academic department.
  • Academic credit granted for internships will vary, but is normally awarded according to the following ratio: 40 hours of work to one hour of academic credit. (Travel time to and from the job site is not included in the number of work hours.) The student must register for course 486, Internship. Internships of two or more credits are preferred for summer internships.
  • A student’s participation in an internship must be approved by the World Language Department Chair and Supervising Faculty member before the student registers for internship credit.
  • A detailed internship description, approved by the on-site supervisor, must be submitted to the Supervising Faculty member prior to the student beginning the internship. This also applies in the case of summer internships.
  • In the case of a summer internship, the student must have enrolled in course 486 before June 1, and have paid for the course prior to beginning the internship. The daily journal and final paper must be submitted to the Supervising Faculty member at least one week prior to the end of Summer Session II.
  • Students may be paid a salary or scholarship stipend but it is understood that most internships are non-paying. Students cannot use full-time jobs during the academic year as internships.
  • If the internship experience is abroad, normally the Valparaiso University Director at the overseas study site will serve as monitor of the internship.
  • Normally, the student pursuing the internship will be a departmental major (or minor in the case of Chinese or Japanese). The student will normally have completed at least six courses in the relevant language at the 204 level and above. For Chinese and Japanese, students will normally have completed JAPN or CHIN 204 or the equivalent.


  • At the end of the internship the on-site supervisor will submit a written evaluation to the Supervising Faculty member rating the student on criteria ranging from work quality to student attitude.
  • The student will keep a daily work journal in the target language*, consisting of entries summarizing what work activities he or she performed each work day. Interns may also wish to record brief reactions to or assessments of the work and their performance.
  • The student will also write a final internship report in the target language*, describing and evaluating the internship experience. The paper should be from 6 to 8 pages (8 to 10 if the internship is for 3 or 4 academic credits), typed and double-spaced. In it, the intern must discuss the following subjects:
  1. Employment site
    1. Description of the institution where intern worked: its activities and place in the field
    2. Description of the department where intern worked: its structure and role within the institution
  2. Intern’s responsibilities
    1. Outline of specific functions and work objectives
    2. Work method
    3. Specific skills required
  3. Analysis of intern’s personal experience
    1. Description of skills and experience acquired.
    2. Description of any specific work-related vocabulary or idioms acquired in the target language.
    3. Cultural competence acquired during the internship, description of distinctive features of work culture in the environment of the target language/culture.
    4. Compare and contrast work experiences in students` native culture and target culture.
    5. Relationship of work experience to insights gained in previous coursework
    6. Personal challenges faced and resolved
  4. Relationship of internship to intern’s professional goals and vocation.

The paper and the journal must be handed in to the Supervising Faculty member by the first day of final examinations of the semester in which the internship is performed.


* For Japanese and Chinese, written work should be done in the target language as much as possible.