Internships are a form of on-the-job training. They give you the chance to apply your academic skills to a professional work environment.
Paid or unpaid, their main focus is on your learning. Think of your internship as work experience rather than as a regular job.
The Fair Work Act regulates internships
The Fair Work Act sets out the regulations governing internships and other unpaid work experiences, such as volunteering. The difference between paid and unpaid work experience can be tricky to navigate on your own, socheck out the Fair Work Ombudsman fact sheet for more information.
Internships are usually part of a course
Due to their strong focus on learning, internships are often an integral part of an academic course. Our convenors work closely with employers to build a program that will allow you to develop a set of skills while earning academic credit.
Internship courses typically require you to complete of a piece of research or practical work. All ANU colleges offer internship courses.
Employers also offer internship opportunities
Many employers also offer internship opportunities. You can apply for these 'self-sourced internships' just as you would for a regular job. Completing them cannot earn you credit.
Both internship courses and self-sourced internships are valuable and can be competitive to get into.
Where do I start?
When exploring internships, we recommend you:
- speak to your college to learn about their internship options and when to enrol or apply
- explore alternative opportunities on ANU CareerHub and other employment platforms for students, such as GradAustralia
- ask your student society for industry-specific information
- use our e-learning platform Careers Toolkit to help you build your application and prepare for your interview
- attend a workshop or book a 1:1 appointment with our career consultants, who can help you finetune your application.
Exclusive ANU internships
Contribute to something meaningful and impactful. These prestigious national and international internships are exclusive to the ANU.
Australian National Internships Program (ANIP)
An elite opportunity for you to undertake a 12-week research-oriented internship with government and non-government employers, embassies, cultural institutions and more.
Taiwan Public Policy Internship Program
You could head to Taiwan and undertake a six-week research internship with a department or agency in the Taiwanese Government.
Washington Internship Program
Experience political life in Washington DC over seven weeks. You could work with congressional staff while completing a politics or policy research program.
ANU colleges' internships
Explore some of the ANU college internship programs you can take part in during your studies to build your experience and skills.
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS)
These opportunities include the Heritage and Museum Studies internship, which provides experience with how collecting institutions work.
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP)
Study for a year in Asia or complete 6-12-week internships. Each experience will give you a range of practical skills and accelerate your language ability.
ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE)
These internships develop employability skills through industry experience and practical workshops over 10 weeks.
ANU College of Engineering, Computing & Cybernetics (CECC)
Computing internships are part of an elective course and provide experience working in and applying your knowledge and skills in a range of industry settings.
ANU College of Health and Medicine (CHM)
Gain the skills that are important in every health workplace: an inquiring mind, attention to detail, innovation and familiarity with data and technology.
ANU College of Law (COL)
Law internships are available in a variety of Commonwealth and Territory legal centres, government departments and non-government organisations.
ANU College of Science (COS)
Gain the skills all science graduates need: an analytical mind, problem-solving ability, innovation and familiarity with data and technology.
Internships are not the only way to get experience and build your employability.
Other ways to build professional networks in your field:
- industry projects
- vacation programs
- industry-sponsored competitions.
Volunteering is an important part of Australian culture, and a great way to give back to the community while building valuable skills and exploring work environments.
ANU+ is the University's flagship award program. It can connect you to volunteering opportunities, help you build your professional skills and will formally recognise your contribution at the end of the program.
Casual or part-time work
Look for casual and part-time jobs in any industry, from hospitality to jobs at the University, as they present highly valuable opportunities to develop professional experience and build networks.
Graduate employers value experience, whether paid or unpaid. It's never too early to start building your employment portfolio.