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Many of our programs allow students to choose between two pathways: Service Internship and Internship. What’s the difference? And how should you choose?

First of all, the two pathways have a lot in common. Students on both pathways work the same number of hours and can achieve the same level of depth, development and career development. Both pathways include an internship placement and a seminar class (International Internship Course IIC or International Service Internship Course ISIC). On both pathways, students select and rank three area choices.

Here are the differences:

  • Whereas internships could be in any industry (including charities and not-for-profits), service internships are restricted to just charities, non-profits, social enterprises, and other organizations that are working toward goals associated with achieving public good.

  • The International Service Internship Course includes additional content on communities, their needs, and how to best serve your community of interest.

  • Service internships are as much about the benefit to the placement as they are about the benefit of the student.




In our opinion, the Service Internship pathway could well be considered Internship Plus: you learn just as much and have just as great an experience as our regular internship pathway plus you are guaranteed to be making a difference and help building a better world!


Here are two different types of students and how different pathway choices could affect them:

  • Corinne Anderson is a Political Science Major who wants to make the world a better place. She’s passionate about working with minority or disadvantaged groups and has further interests in education, poverty, and homelessness (see Corinne’s CV here).



The Service Internship pathway is what we'd recommend for Corinne. She can select her three areas of interest from our Service Internship Areas and is assured she'll be working with an organization contributing towards the public good. However, if her program doesn't offer the Service Internship pathway, she can still choose the Internship pathway and indicate "Social Welfare and Not-for-Profit Organizations" as her first choice.



  • Kenneth Small is a Business Administration student who is studying marketing and wants to run his own business. During his future career as an entrepreneur, he wants to keep the Earth in mind, because doing business can also do good! (see Kenneth’s CV here).


Kenneth can choose either pathway.


 On the Service Internship pathway, Kenneth can still hone his business skills for example doing marketing for a charity or developing projects with a social enterprise. With a Service Internship, Kenneth will learn valuable skills related to his major and future career while also making a difference.  Alternatively, Kenneth could go for the Internship Pathway and he might want to look at the Business & Entreprenuership, Communications & Journalism, and Environment & Sustainability industry choices. Even if he selected the Internship pathway, Kenneth might still be placed in a relevant department within a charity or not-for-profit as these opportuniries have a lot to offer business-minded students.



Ask your study abroad advisor which pathways are available to you. If you are still not sure, send the internship team an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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