Please note that www.aceurasiaabroad.org and all of its information will be moving to a new website. You can visit www.acstudyabroad.org/opit for up-to-date information about the program and many others.
Through OPIT's six-week, English-language internships, students gain substantive overseas professional experience and intercultural communication skills demanded by today's global market. American Councils on-site staff arrange internship placements and provide ongoing support to participants. No foreign-language study is required.
American Councils has developed and implemented education programs in the former Soviet Union and Southeast Europe for almost four decades. It has contributed and continues to contribute to the creation of new knowledge, broader professional perspectives, and personal and intellectual growth through international training, academic exchange, collaboration in educational development, and public diplomacy. The OPIT program draws on the vast network of community partners, regional expertise and overseas resources built by American Councils over the years.
Internships are available in the following professional fields:
- Democracy-Building and Human Rights
- Business and Law
- Education Programming
- Gender and Women's Issues
- Journalism and Mass Media
- Public Health
- Ecology and Environmental Issues
- Social Services
Recent participants have worked at the Kyiv Post newspaper, the Georgian Ministry of Euro-Atlantic Integration Office, the Eurasia Foundation, NLB Bank, and many other prominent businesses and organizations.
Participants earn four undergraduate or five graduate U.S. academic credit hours in Intercultural Communication. Additionally, transcripts will reflect a "Global Internship Experience" as a non-credit bearing course. Academic credit is awarded via transcript through Bryn Mawr College.
Host families expose students to authentic, contemporary daily life in informal social settings and provide supportive environments for students overseas. All families are carefully screened, selected, and monitored by local American Councils staff. They provide two meals per day; participants are guaranteed a private room and telephone access. Even though host families are modestly compensated by American Councils for their services, they enjoy having American guests in their home very much.
It is important to enter into a host family arrangement with realistic expectations. Often, American students establish a very warm relationship with their host family, feeling like they had almost been "adopted" into it. At times, however, the student and family do not form such a close relationship. The object of the program is not to provide surrogate families abroad, but to help students gain a closer understanding of the local culture.
Many of the families have hosted American Councils participants before and already have some experience with "strange" American eating habits or other "odd" habits such as jogging at dawn. Good humor, patience, and open minds on both sides will help in adjusting to these and other cultural differences.
Applications for Summer 2016 are due by March 1st.
June 9- July 25, 2016 (six weeks)
Please confirm dates with American Councils staff as they may change depending on flight availability.
2015 Summer Program Cost
$3,000 (excludes international airfare)
What's included in the OPIT program cost?
- internship placement with local organization
- tuition and mentoring
- housing with a local host family (includes 2 meals per day - breakfast and dinner)
- pre-departure materials
- in-country orientation
- airport transportation
- cultural activities
- health insurance
- visa (if necessary)
- in-country logistical support
- 24/7 emergency contact
Note: International airfare is not included in the program prices.
Before leaving the U.S., program participants attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. Orientation sessions address topics such as health and safety, Eurasian/Balkan business culture, living with a host family, culture shock, and strategies to maximize a student's experience abroad. Students also have a chance to meet and get to know fellow participants. Lodging and meals for the orientation are provided. Upon arrival in the host country, the local American Councils office provides an informative in-country orientation.
The local American Councils offices, employing both expatriates and host-country nationals, arrange the internship placement, housing, in-country orientation, and medical care. American Councils regional staff also provide ongoing logistical support, including an emergency contact person who is available at all times for participants. During the pre-departure orientation, participants receive a wallet-sized card listing field office contact information as well as other important phone numbers.
During the program, the Outbound Office in Washington, D.C. stays in close contact via email and telephone with all regional offices hosting study abroad participants. Outbound staff also perform regular site visits to meet with American Councils program participants in the field.
In addition, participants are enrolled in international health insurance provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). The CISI health insurance plan provides medical coverage of up to $250,000 per accident or illness as well as full coverage for emergency medical evacuation. American Councils overseas staff are available at all times to assist participants in receiving the best medical care available.
All participants are provided with a single-entry visa to the host-country (if applicable) for the duration of the summer program. Some countries do not require U.S. citizens to have a visa. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any other visas required by their individual itineraries.
Visa application information and forms are provided upon acceptance to the program.