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Education has always served as a crucial factor of human development. Besides, in order to improve the aspects of the educational system, people used to implement various changes. As a rule, such changes are associated with the introduction of new methods of education, provision of more opportunities for students or professors, and simply making education appealing to everybody. Moreover, in order to understand the importance of education, one should have some experience in the respective field of study. The internship could provide students with such experience as it gives an opportunity to apply one’s knowledge and skills in practice. The role of internship should be reconsidered and given a new vision making it an obligatory and integral part of education.
Traditionally, after graduating from a certain educational institution, students have to start working in order to earn money for living or to help their parents financially. Moreover, while searching for a vacancy, they usually accept the first suitable one. This phenomenon may be explained by the fact that in most cases graduates need to start working as soon as possible. Consequently, they are not able to explore a great number of opportunities and compare different spheres of work. In addition, there are many cases when students start working in the field they have been trained for in universities or colleges and realize that it does not appeal to them at all. A lack of internship experience during the years of study can be seen as the main reason for such a controversial problem.
There exist a large number of internship benefits for students. First, by practicing internship, students gain a real life experience and exposure in the relevant field. Moreover, it allows them to apply the skills and knowledge they have acquired in the university, college or high school in practice. An internship can also help students learn more about themselves. While performing certain duties or practicing some skills, every intern develops accordingly. A relevant experience of internship may also be beneficial for the students’ future resume. Evidently, when filling in one’s resume, it is important not only to specify the duration of the internship but also mention the list of performed tasks and projects they participated in (Loretto). As a result, after submitting their resume to the future employer, the latter is likely to give preference to their candidacy instead of others. Internships offer opportunities for full-time positions. Consequently, students start understanding the meaningfulness of internship for their future career planning.
As a rule, universities provide the students with the internship opportunity. However, the existence of such opportunity depends on different factors. First, traditionally, the duration period of the internship is not long enough, about one or two months, for the student to become fully engaged into the working atmosphere of a certain field. Besides, it is quite difficult to get a good place of occupation and, as a result, students do not usually have a great choice of companies provided for internship. Moreover, the majority of internship places are limited varying from one company to another. Not all companies are interested in taking responsibility for students and providing them with internships for a short period of time. Consequently, modern educational system requires a change of vision in regard to the role of internship. In such a way, not only universities, but also high schools and colleges should provide students with the internship experience. They have to allow students to understand what they want to do in their future so as not to spend their valuable years of life on things they do not really enjoy doing.
Traditionally, internships are held within the same town or city where students study. However, current internship change includes the opportunity to provide internship not only in places where students study, but also in other cities within their country or even abroad. By travelling to another city and interning there, students will be able to observe working perspectives either in big cities or small towns. They will also understand whether it is more convenient for them to work in metropolis or in the suburbs. Moreover, they will be able to compare working opportunities in other cities with the ones in their native city. While interning abroad, students gain a great number of opportunities. Internship abroad gives students a valuable experience and an opportunity to explore various cultures and learn a lot about their customs, traditions, and beliefs (Hering). Thus, the most important factor of interning abroad is that by working in foreign companies, students can observe the working environment of employees belonging to a different culture and compare it to their native one.
New internship system requires significant changes as each student has to understand different working perspectives. During the internships, students are able to apply knowledge acquired in the classroom. The subject program is usually very limited in most educational institutions, and as a result, students gain only theoretical knowledge and do not have enough practice. Hence, more internship opportunities would allow them to put their knowledge and skills in practice. Moreover, students will be able to discover what they like or dislike about the field of their study. While interning, one can understand what is good or wrong about a certain job and what he or she should change or improve. In addition, students can find a right model of working behaviour so as to follow it in future. Besides, having contacts with different leaders during the internship helps interns to make friends with them or be inspired by these people as well. At the same time, students faced with different challenges during their internships would be more resistant to them in their future working atmosphere.
The approach to internship should be based on the need to practice each specialized subject that is covered by students during the year. Consequently, having experienced a large number of different fields of study and aspects of certain occupation, in the long run students would be able to choose the most appealing profession to them (Loretto). In addition to this, practicing in different fields will help them gain the opportunity to discover advantages and disadvantages of each of these spheres. Being employed in several different companies and businesses can be very useful as well. The process of internship also helps to establish a great number of valuable contacts (Loretto). After graduating, students can get in touch with people they interned with and the ones who could provide them with some pieces of advice or useful acquaintances. As a result, internship can not only help gain valuable experience but also provide great prospects for future employment.
The change and improvement of the internship system in educational institutions should be considered by internship providers as well. The latter would significantly benefit from providing students with internship opportunities in their companies as in such case they get a free and useful workforce. Besides, by providing internship to a range of students they can recruit many experienced employees to become part of their working team. Moreover, they would not need to provide them with training because students undergoing internship in their companies are already able to gain important skills. As a rule, companies can save money since interns do not receive any money; however, they should provide them with at least minimum wages as the internship implies that students are full-time employees (Fusco). Moreover, internships can significantly contribute to the development of the company they work for. They can bring in new and extraordinary ideas and thoughts as well as participate in different projects. In addition, companies can strengthen their relations with educational institutions and, as a result, create a favorable reputation in the society. Obviously, by performing all aforementioned, they will also have the opportunity to influence future lives of students in a positive way.
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Similarly to students and companies who provide them with internship opportunities, educational institutions can also benefit from effective internships. Universities, colleges, and high schools can validate their curriculum in a real working environment so that students can study more effectively. Moreover, by providing companies with skillful interns, institutions can benefit financially as these companies may fund their organizational expenses. Educational institutions can also improve their post-graduate statistics. Besides, internships provide students with practical experience, which cannot be gained during lectures and case studies. Consequently, when students have a great internship experience, they become more competitive and employable graduates. In addition, after the graduation, such alumni can participate in the programs and meetings organized by the institutions.
The change in regard to effective internship should be thoroughly reconsidered. Moreover, despite the fact that interning is not a novelty but, on the contrary, quite a common aspect of the system of education, it requires reconsideration and implementation of changes so as to provide more valuable experience and opportunities for students, educational institutions, and companies that provide internship. Besides, as a rule, internship is provided mostly in the universities. However, this phenomenon should be practiced not only in the educational curriculum of the universities but also in colleges and high schools. In addition, while considering the internship perspectives at the above-mentioned three levels of education system, the internship program should be specified for each of them separately.
School internship program must consider some specificity of its application. Spheres of interning in high schools should be based on creativity and opportunities for personal improvement so that students can develop their talents and become more socially aware. For example, the list of possible internship fields may include various art galleries, theatres, nursing homes, animal shelters, orphanages or other social institutions. Such places of internship prove to be especially useful during the period of school study due to the fact that in their yet unconscious age, school students will be able to learn the basis of different moral and social values and norms. Moreover, by taking care of old people, for instance, they will realize a real meaning of life and become more empathic to others. Internships in nursing homes are a great opportunity to make friends with children who are deprived of family and relatives. Students will have a chance to share their knowledge and skills with such children or simply help them feel appreciated.
Colleges can significantly benefit from different internship opportunities as well. Thus, their internship programs should be more specific than those at schools. While at schools students are aimed at interning in various institutions for general social development, colleges should provide them with the opportunity to practice knowledge in their respective disciplines. For example, if a student has the specialty of biology or chemistry, he is required to become an intern in some local hospital or medical center so as to get some experience and practical knowledge in the certain sphere. Evidently, theoretical classes and case studies cannot replace skills gained during internships in the real life environment. However, the course of internship should be well-organized. It should be aimed not just at gaining some new skills and knowledge but, on the contrary, at the effective application of the already acquired ones.
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University internship should be completely specified and aimed at the application of already gained knowledge and skills in practice along with developing new skills so as to practice them in future. Besides, students should undergo internship after covering every subject in his/her specialty. Internship during university years must also be employment oriented. Students need to understand the future perspectives of their chosen field of study. Moreover, it is important to gain internship experience in different places available in order to understand what is more appealing to them. For instance, if a student’s specialty is jurisprudence and law, he/she should undergo internship in different institutions and in different positions in order to be able to identify how he/she could already contribute to the company and what remains to be learned. Consequently, students can observe real working opportunities and understand their attitude to them.
Many more internships should be provided to students. Schools should take responsibility in regard to the organization of internship for each student to practice a lot. They have to maintain good relations with various cultural institutions and local companies so that students have the opportunity to intern there. School internships for students should be carried out at least two or three times a year. Moreover, after each period of internship, they should report the things they have learned and experience hay have gained. Besides, discussions regarding internships must be performed in class groups. This will help students to analyze each other’s reports and demonstrate their opinions in regard to these reports. Hence, they will be able to see their strengths and weaknesses. However, internship at schools is better to be performed in students’ home countries, but not abroad due to the fact that at their young age they are not mature enough.
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Regarding the organization of internship in colleges, it should be more specified depending on the subjects students cover during the year. Due to the fact that college internship is more specified than the one at school, it should be aimed at the application of knowledge and skills gained while studying different subjects. For example, when a student completes the course Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, he or she is given an opportunity to intern in companies dealing with leadership so as to practice different strategies and methods of effective negotiation and conflict management in real time situations. Thus, such specified internships should be diluted with internships of general social directions similar to those organized at schools. Such a combination will help students realize the seriousness of real working practice or experience and at the same time they will not forget that being socially aware and being a part of one’s community is also essential. In addition, considering the opportunity to intern outside of their hometown, students should be given an opportunity to undergo internships throughout the whole country. Such internships will allow students to dive into the atmosphere of social difference.
The internship in universities should be completely specified and perceived with whole seriousness. It should be thoroughly planned and organized. Besides, students have to complete internship after every subject of their professional development. The purpose of the university internship should be based on practicing knowledge as well as gaining new experience. During internships, students must be assigned with different responsibilities so as to understand whether they are able to correspond to their field of study. After the internship is complete, relevant reports should be promulgated within meetings where students of different professions should be present. Such method will allow students to analyze not only the peculiarities of their own specialty but also those of others. Considering the internship abroad, it should especially be practiced by students in universities. At their already mature age, they are not afraid of life challenges and can intern in international companies. They will be able to experience working atmosphere in different cultural backgrounds.
The issue of internship funding is very controversial. As a rule, educational institutions are responsible for the organization and funding of internship procedures. However, the local government must also take part in the internship pursuit. They should help and encourage schools to attract as many students as possible to intern in various social institutions. Consequently, not only students but also the government will benefit from such measure. In addition, students should be provided with appropriate internship conditions. Moreover, after the internship is completed, they should get a certificate, which would attest that they really practiced their skills and knowledge in the respective field. Such certificates will be an additional benefit while applying for some job position after the graduation. Obviously, the government should fund them for every school to be able to provide enough internship certificates.
Internship in colleges should be funded by the government so as to allow students to get a valuable experience of the working atmosphere and become more socially mature. Moreover, during internships in colleges, students should be provided with the opportunity to work within their native country. They should be able to travel to other big cities or small towns to learn more about various social backgrounds or statuses and compare them to their own. Moreover, the government must provide financial support so that every student can afford appropriate living conditions and food supply. Consequently, in case of efficient funding, all sides including colleges, government, and students in particular, will benefit from internships. Government will receive professional employees, colleges will enjoy skillful graduates, and students will have better career perspectives.
University internships are very important for students. As a result, they should be properly funded. This is because after completing internship in universities, students must practice not only in local institutions but also abroad. Consequently, international internships require appropriate funding. Government should fund university internships so as to enable students to conduct the researches all over the world (Sugar). Such expenses as tickets, housing, and food must be provided as well. Due to the fact that students in universities are of different social class, all of them should have the opportunity and access to such internships. Besides, having completed international internship, students of lower class will get a great opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills for their future careers.