University of Technology Sydney

97900 International Internship

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: International Studies: Professional Learning
Credit points: 8 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Anti-requisite(s): 94680 Entering Professional Life (6cp) AND 94681 Entering Professional Life (8cp) AND 97901 International Internship


This subject provides students with the opportunity to develop their intercultural awareness and professional skills through completion of an intensive internship, virtual placement, practicum or entrepreneurship placement with an international organisation. It is offered in July and Summer sessions, however the specific internships available may vary. Students participate in classes at UTS before the start of their program and after to support their learning experience.

The international placement in a company, organisation or institution gives students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams on tasks and projects and learn about the work practices and functions of the organisation. The subject enhances students' intercultural communication skills and understanding of their own and others' cultures. Students must be accepted into an approved international program such as UTS Global Short Programs and other pre-approved Faculty led international activities before submitting an eRequest to enrol. Students should attach confirmation of their acceptance to their eRequest.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Communicate effectively and appropriately in written and oral academic and professional English
b. Critically analyse the behaviours, norms, and values of host and home cultures, paying particular attention to work and work-place related practices and interactions
c. Evaluate own culture-based assumptions and how they are informed
d. Reflect on how learning has occurred through the overseas program
e. Articulate the value of international experiences for career and professional purposes

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

As this is a stand-alone subject and not part of a specific degree program, the subject engages with the following Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Attributes:

1. Professional Readiness

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry

3. International and Intercultural Engagement

5. Active Citizenship

6. Effective Communication

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject provides an immersive, practical learning experience in an international location and supports this learning through pre-departure and post-sojourn activities. Before coming to the subject preparation seminar, students engage with online readings and materials. The subject preparation seminar allows students to work in groups to explore aspects of intercultural learning and to help prepare them for their practical experience in a different society and culture. An online quiz to test students’ understanding of the core concepts is available on UTSOnline before departure. During the overseas stay, students participate in a structured program with the host organisation designed to enhance students’ transferable skills and practical experiences. In the subject return seminar, students reflect collaboratively and individually on their experiences and professional application of their learnt skills. Assessment-specific online modules on UTSOnline allow students to gain a deeper understanding of intercultural communication, reflective learning and international issues.

Content (topics)

The subject will include content on notions of culture, intercultural awareness, communication strategies and working in globalised societies.


Assessment task 1: Expectation Statement


a, b and c

Type: Report
Weight: 15%

500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Insightfulness into the basis for knowledge of host culture values and behaviours 40 b, c
Degree of awareness of own cultural assumptions 40 c
Clarity of written expression and coherence of statement 20 a
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Intercultural Reflections Report


a, b, c and d

Type: Report
Weight: 50%

1,500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of analysis of a salient work-related practice or interaction 40 b
Degree of reflexivity on home cultures practices 20 c
Insightfulness into the process of learning through the program 20 d
Clarity and appropriateness of written expression and 20 a
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Professional application


a, d and e

Type: Presentation
Weight: 35%

3-4 minutes.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of reflection on how learning occurred through the program/overseas experience 30 d
Communication of professional learning outcomes 30 e
Application to future workplaces 20 e
Coherence and oral expression 20 a
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Students must actively participate and complete all activities of the in-country host institution or program. They are required to obtain a certificate of program completion from the host institution or program which can either be an official document (transcript, certificate of completion), or an email from the overseas course coordinator directly to the UTS subject coordinator. If students do not fully complete the overseas program component, an X- Fail (Unsatisfactory performance in a compulsory component of the subject) grade may result even if assessment components have been completed successfully.

Attendance at the subject preparation and subject return seminars is essential in this subject because important information is only available through the essential interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. An attendance roll will be taken at each seminar.


The following list of references provides examples of encounters and journeys in a range of cultures. There are also some sample references on preparing for internship experiences:

Baldwin, J.R., Faulkner, S.L., Hecht, M.L. & Lindsley, S.L. (eds) 2006, Redefining Culture: Perspectives across the Disciplines, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ.

Bestor, T. C. 1998, Neighbourhood Tokyo, Documentary Educational Resources, Massachussetts (video documentary, in UTS Library).

Bonvillain, N. 2011, Language, Culture and Communication, (6th edn), Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Bridgstock, R. 2009, The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: enhancing graduate employability through career management skills, Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 28, no.1, pp. 31-44.

Crossman, J, Bordia, S, Mills, C. 2011, Business Communication: for the Global Age, McGraw-Hill, North Ryde.

Goodall, H.L. Jr., Goodall, S. & Schiefelbein, J. 2009, Business and Professional Communication in the Global Workplace, Wadsworth, Boston.

Gower, R.K. & Mulvaney, M.A. 2012, Making the Most of Your Internship: A Strategic Approach, Sagamore, Urbana IL.

Guilherme, M. et al. (eds) 2010, The Intercultural Dynamics of Multicultural Working, Multilingual Matters, Bristol.

LeBaron, M. 2003, Bridging Cultural Conflicts: A New Approach for a Changing World, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

LeBaron, M. & Pillay, V. 2006, Conflict Across Cultures: A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Boston.

Holliday, A. Hyde, M. Kullman, J. 2012, Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book for Students. Routledge. Abingdon, OX.

Holliday, A. 2016, Difference and awareness in cultural travel: negotiating blocks and threads. Language and Intercultural Communication, vol.16, no.3., pp. 318-331.

Holliday, A. 2016, Cultural travel and cultural prejudice, in Aquino, M. B. & Frota, S. (Eds.), Identities: representation and practices, Lisbon: CELGA-ILTEC, University of Coimbra, pp.25-44.

Martin, J.N., Nakayama, T.K. & Flores, L.A. (eds) 2002, Readings in Intercultural Communication: Experiences and Contexts, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, Boston.

Neugebauer, J. & Evans-Bain, J. 2009, Making the Most of Your Placement. Sage, London.

Pink S. 2007, ‘Walking with Video’ in Visual Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, December 2007, pp. 240-253. (accessed 07 October 2014).

Pusch, M. D. 2009, 'The Interculturally Competent Global Leader' in D. K. Deardorff (ed), The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence pp. 66 - 84. Sage, Los Angeles/ London.

Scott, J. 2006, ‘God, We’re Not Immigrants! A Reflection on Moving and Staying’ in Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 3 no. 1, pp. 1-6. Available online at: (accessed 6 Nov 2014).

Slimbach, R. 2005, ‘The Transcultural Journey’, Frontiers. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, vol. XI (August). Available online at: (accessed 6 Nov 2014).

Sorrells, K. 2013, Intercultural Communication: Globalization and Social Justice, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

West, R. and Turner, L.H. 2011, Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times, Wadsworth, Boston.