International Students: How to Secure an Internship in the UK

After university, many international students will be looking for graduate jobs or placements in the UK.

The number one thing that employers will really want to see on your CV is work experience.

However, for international students studying in the UK, it’s not always easy to know how to get work experience and what entitlement you have to do so.


Work experience/internships

The types of experience potential employers or recruiters want to see include internships, part-time work, holiday jobs, external/extra-curricular project work, and volunteering.

However, relevant work experience in your chosen sector is the most beneficial.


Why is an internship so important?

Employers place a lot of value on work experience when it comes to hiring graduates.

Depending on the field you will be working within, this experience doesn’t always have to be specific.

General work experience can demonstrate a variety of skills and qualities to prospective employers.

If you have some form of employment history this can show that you are: driven, mature, proactive and it can also back up any skills you claim to have.

An internship placement:

  • Increases your chances of full time employment by 75%
  • Adds valuable, relevant experience to your CV
  • Develops your transferable skills (team work, communication etc)
  • Deepens your knowledge about your industry
  • Provides you with a reference from a UK employer


Skills gained from work experience

As mentioned above, an internship will help you to develop a variety of transferable skills. These skills show employers you have the potential to do well in their company.

These include:

  • Communication
  • Team working
  • Independent working
  • Confidence
  • Organisation
  • Commercial awareness
  • Industry specific skills
  • Language skills

Plus, many more! All of these skills are highly valued by graduate employers.


Eligibility and the law

Any work you undertake must be done legally and in line with the requirements of your Tier 4 student visa.

International students on this kind of visa can work up to 20 hours a week part time whilst studying or you may work full time during holidays only.

You are also able to complete a work placement if this forms less than 50% of your course and your university is a licensed sponsor.

If you are unsure, you can consult:

You must also make sure your CV and interview techniques are up to scratch before applying!


How to find work experience

If you’re on the hunt for work experience, there are plenty of places to look.

Online job boards: This is a good place to start, some will even have placements and internships available.

Agencies: There are lots of recruitment companies and ‘temping’ agencies (companies that specialise in short term or temporary jobs) out there that could help you find work. Just make sure you do your research first to find reputable agencies.

Direct: Or you could just go straight to the source and deal directly with companies and employers. Send them your CV, reach out to them or apply for jobs on their website.

Professional organisation: Grad Careers Coach provides internships in the UK for international students.


2018 Guaranteed Internship Programme

With Grad Careers Coach our Internships are 100% Guaranteed, or you get your money back, and we do all the hard work for you.

You gain practical work experience in great companies, as well as a chance to improve your English language and develop key transferable skills.

Fill out this short form below to get information on our Guaranteed Internship Programme and whether it’s right for you.

Or you can simply email your CV to

We’d love to hear from you!

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