Engineering has become more and more a matter of international collaboration. In a global economy, an engineer must be able to use foreign languages and be prepared to work in different cultural and economic work environments. This experience, learning about other people's structures of working and thinking, can readily be obtained outside university studies via an internship in a foreign country. 

The University of Maryland, together with other engineering schools worldwide, has instituted a research internship program. The basic aim of this program is to give international students the opportunity to participate in research activities in engineering laboratories at Maryland. 

Goals for the Research Internship

  • Work on engineering level. The intern will gain insight into technical areas that match the future requirements of a young engineer. This means being challenged up to the limits of one’s knowledge and skills.
  • Insight into industrial or semi-industrial work methods with active involvement and participation. The intern must learn to work under time constraints in order to be successful, and to be responsible for results.
  • Qualified supervision. As a young engineer working in new fields, the intern needs competent supervisors who are available for mentoring.
  • Learning and practicing a common foreign language. Good knowledge of the language of the host country is a basic requirement for working on a project abroad, to better meet the culture and understand the behavior and thinking of the people. It is also necessary for deepening personal relationships.

Exchange Visitor Intern Program

The Exchange Visitor Intern Program (EVIP) is a 6-month research internship program with a competitive application process. The program dates are typically March 1 to August 31 and September 1 to February 28 each year. Students admitted to the EVIP receive a stipend to assist with living expenses during the internship as well as up to 20 days of leave for vacation (or illness) to travel and participate in cultural activities. Students must be nominated by their home institution for consideration in this program. Do not send unsolicited resumes. Typically, 8-15 internships are available each term through this program. Application deadlines are mid-October for the Spring/Summer term and mid-March for the Fall/Winter term.

Research Internship

Internship placements are available in most engineering departments. The research internships can be from three weeks to twelve months in length and the start/stop dates are flexible based on the student's and/or faculty supervisor's schedule. Research internship typically provide no financial support so students must provide their own financial resources. Students should start the application process for a research internship at least six months prior to their proposed start date.

Important Links:

Student interns must meet the following requirements.

  • Enrolled in and pursuing a degree in an accredited post-secondary academic institution outside the United States.
  • Participating in the a student internship program in the United States will fulfill the educational objectives for his/her current degree program at his/her home institution.
  • English proficiency sufficient to communicate with the faculty supervisor and other research personnel, understand lab and safety instructions, and make progress reports both written and verbally.
  • Good grades in their studies at their home institution.

Previous apprenticeship, internship or research experience is preferred, but not required. Special qualifications that are essential for a project will be made known. Students should indicate special courses, knowledge or certifications to assist us in placing the student into the right project.

Paperwork and Formalities for Prospective Interns

Step #1

Students must be nominated by their home institution.  All documents must be in English or with English translations and must be submitted at least six months before the intended period of stay.

  • Nomination from home institution
  • Curriculum vitae (résumé), special qualifications
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Copies of the certificate of apprenticeship or other additional training courses
  • Proof of English language proficiency: The required minimum scores are as follows:  TOEIC 990, TOEFL 80, and IELTS 5.5.  If you don't have a TOEFL or IELTS score, you may still apply, but will have to pass an online interview via Skype after you have submitted your application materials.
  • Copy of picture, information and signature page(s) of passport for security screening

Step #2

Once an internship placement has been found for a student, he/she will be required to complete the internship application in iTerp.  iTerp is an online process where the student and/or home institution must upload the required documents. The documents can include the following:

  • Prospective intern information
  • Statement of purpose
  • Health insurance confirmation
  • J-1 Intern Attestation
  • Home Institution Certification
  • Confirmation of financial support (e.g., bank deposit or other income)

Application deadlines for the Exchange Visitor Internship Program:

For the Fall Session
Submit your materials no later than March 15th.

For the Spring Session
Submit your materials no later than October 15th.

Application deadlines for the Research Internships:

Applications for the research internships are on a rolling basis and should be submitted at least six months prior to the proposed start date.

Submit the application to:

Jane Fines
Director, International & Leadership Programs
A. James Clark School of Engineering
1131 Martin Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-3011 USA

E: jfines@umd.edu
T: +1 301 405 3857
F: +1 301 314 9867

Health/Repatriation Insurance

As of August 1, 2017, the University of Maryland requires interns to purchase health and repatriation insurance through the University of Maryland Health Center. The insurance through the Health Center meets the requirements for the J-1 visa.

VISA - On receipt of the DS-2019 form

  • DS-2019
  • Passport Photo (in color), Passport (valid at least one year)
  • Evidence that the intern will leave the USA after the educational term (i.e., a letter of certification from the Study Abroad Office that studies have to be continued at the home institution).
  • Confirmation that Visa application fees were paid or are included with application.
  • The processing time is about three to four months.

Upon arrival in the USA (UMCP)

  1. See Jane Fines at 1131 Glenn L. Martin Hall.
  2. Meet with Payroll Office staff of your Sponsor's Department
  3. Attend intern orientation presented by the office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

Students must provide documentation of adequate financial resources for their internship period, which is currently set at $1500 USD for each month of the internship. The common methods of financing include:

  • Payments from the project funds of the inviting professor.
  • The intern must demonstrate that funds are available (from a personal bank account or other source).

Pay Schedule for Interns in the Exchange Visitor Intern Program

EVIP interns will receive a stipend of $8,000 (USD) during his/her stay at University of Maryland. You will receive a statement when you arrive telling you the dates which you will be paid. The paychecks will spread over a period of 10 pay periods. After receiving the first check you will receive a check every two weeks until the entire $8,000 is paid. Adjustments will be made on your last paycheck to reach the agreed upon amount. Students should come with enough savings for the first few weeks - this is the time needed to process the students into the University's personnel system or network. The cost of living is expensive in this area. Although the money you are paid goes a long way towards covering your expenses, you must have savings or funds from home as well. Also, your final paycheck will be given to you several weeks before you return home, so you must budget accordingly to prevent being short of money for the last month you are here.

Vacation/Sick Leave Policy for Interns in the Exchange Visitor Intern Program

The purpose of the EVIP is two-fold - work/study and experiencing the American Culture. Students who come to us through this program are here for six months, but are only technically working for five months total. During the six month period, the interns are entitled to a maximum of 20 days to visit sites and engage in activities in the USA or to use in case of illness. The guidelines for handling this is to observe all the University holidays during this time, some of which are provided in addition to their total leave (please see link for the holiday schedule, below). Taking leave during the visit requires a common sense approach of flexibility, understanding and responsibility in coordination with advisors.

2016-2018 Holiday Schedule

Housing

Participants in the internship programs must reside off-campus. Some interns may be able take over the apartment or house left available by students who are finished with their internships and are returning to Germany. Others must find alternate housing. Finding a place within walking or biking distance to campus is ideal. Other good options can be found on routes served by the university's shuttle bus service (please note that in some locations, shuttle service is the summer is limited). The University of Maryland Off-Campus Housing Service has information on local rentals. 

Please contact Ms. Jane Fines (jfines@umd.edu) Director of International and Leadership Programs, for more information.

Contact

Jane Fines, Director
International & Leadership Programs
A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland
1131 Glenn L. Martin Hall
College Park, MD 20742-3011

Tel: (301) 405-3857
Fax: (301 314-9867
Email: jfines@umd.edu


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