Funding for 2020 Unpaid Summer Internships

This page will be updated for Summer 2020 by February. Please check back!   

Funding application deadline: April 13, 2020.

Please read information below and plan to secure your internship no later than early April, so you have time to apply for funding

Middlebury students are eager to gain "real world" experience, and CCI is here to help.  We realize that sometimes a great summer internship may be unpaid or offer a very small stipend; CCI provides internship grants on a competitive basis to help students with expenses related to unpaid summer internships/experiences.

Competitive grants available for Summer 2019
(to be updated for 2020 by early Feb):

  • Summer Internship Funding Grants: $3000
  • First-Year Explore Grants: $1000
  • Dance Festival Grants: $3000

Criteria for internship funding eligibility:

  • Connects the work of an organization to your career exploration, academic pursuits, and/or personal passions and interests, and your aspirations for the future.

  • Includes substantive responsibilities and mimimum time commitments as outlined below:

    • $3000 Summer Funding Grants require a minimum internship length of 8 weeks at 30 hours/week or a longer internship that totals at least 240 hours. Strongly encouraged: Appointment with a CCI advisor to discuss your plans.

    • $1000 First-Year Explore Grants require a minimum of 4 weeks with a total of at least 100 hours. Required: Appointment with a CCI advisor to discuss your plans. 

  • Requires resume approval by CCI Peer Career Advisor before April 7.
  • Must have secured the internship AND accepted it in order to apply.
  • Must have at least one remaining semester after the summer in order to apply; must not be on leave (unless it is Study Abroad) the semester prior to or after the summer internship unless approved by CCI. 
  • Must not have already received a $3000 competitive grant from CCI, or be participating in a CCI-sponsored program or internship this summer.
  • May be a self-directed project, not necessarily affiliated with an organization.
  • Dance grants support dance students who are attending performance-based trainings/intensives.
  • Use the Quick Guide: Eligibility and How to Apply for CCI Summer Funding linked in blue arrow box on right-hand side of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How competitive is the process and what are the most compelling applications?

While we would like to fund everyone, we have limited funds, so awards will be made through a competitive process. You should make sure you have an alternative plan in the event that you don't receive funding. 

All applications will be reviewed after the April 14 deadline. Funding decisions will be sent via a Handshake email on May 1. 

All communications will be done through Handshake so pay attention to Handshake emails and notifications. You may need to look in the Spam, Junk, or Clutter folders to find them!

The funding is competitive but everyone has a good chance if you can clearly demonstrate that this is the right internship/experience for you at the right time; the experience should give you the opportunity to gain experience and skills and relate to planning for your future. All applicants must have their resume reviewed by a Peer Career Advisor before they apply. Those applicants who are on financial aid or demonstrate high financial need, have longer internships, are juniors or higher, write a compelling essay, and have demonstrated their seriousness by talking with a CCI advisor about their plans will be the stongest candidates.  Any combination of these will strengthen your chances. An internship should be one longer experience (e.g. 8 weeks or longer), not two shorter related experiences together in one application. Not receiving funding is not a reflection on the valule of your experience, but is the reality of the funding committee having to make hard choices with limited funds.

What do I need to know about funding for international internships?

International internships require more planning time in planning, particularly in terms of investigating any visa issues associated with your internship. These internships can be an incredible part of a post-study abroad experience as well as an opportunity to explore work in international development or business, volunteer service, teaching, and languages. Please note that students must comply with international travel registration, waivers, and insurance coverage as described below in order to receive internship funding.

International registration and insurance coverage process: If you receive internship funding and your internship experience is in a country other than the US, you must complete steps to register your travel plans online and ensure that you have medevac, repatriation, and health insurance. If you do not have such insurance coverage, you must enroll (there is a charge of approximately $60 per month). If you are an international student with an internship experience in your home country, you do not have to purchase the insurance but you still need to register your travel plans. Specific instructions will be included in your funding award notification.

Funding requests for travel to countries with State Department Travel Advisories of Levels 2, 3, or 4 will necessitate additional paperwork and may be denied by the College based on a risk assessment analysis. Check the State Department Travel Advisory page. Travel to a Level 2 advisory country where Middlebury has a presence does not require additional review.  Travel to countries with Level 2 where Middlebury does not have a presence, as well as countries with Level 3 and 4 travel advisories (including your home country), require submission of an International Activity Approval Form to the Global Operations Committee. Complete the form at the same time that you complete your funding application or earlier so the Committee has time to review your proposal.

What is a First-Year Explore Grant and who is eligible?

A First-Year Explore Grant gives students the opportunity to explore a career-related interest or field during the summer and be supported by a CCI $1000 grant. The experience must be at least 4 weeks long and 25 hours per week. Students may work with an organization or design a self-directed project. 

Eligible students are First-Year Febs, First-Years, and Sophomore Febs.  Sophomore Febs may choose either an Explore Grant or a $3000 grant. 

What is a self-directed project?

A self-directed project means you have developed an idea to explore an interest or field but you are not working for or with an organization. You will not have a supervisor per se, but you do need an adult mentor (no direct relatives) who can help you determine goals and stay on track with those goals over the course of the summer. Self-directed projects require more independence and drive; applications for funding must be very thorough and include the name of a mentor, timelines, and achievable goals. Plans to do independent academic research do not qualify for a self-directed project.  Examples of past self-directed project ideas include creating a STEM camp for girls, conducting an environmental assessment for an abandoned coffee plantation, and developing a solar-powered lawn mower. 

What if I don't have my internship secured by the April 14 deadline?

CCI will not accept incomplete applications, and we will not accept changes in your application (except those related to length of the internship or a change in supervisor).  You must have been offered your internship and accepted it, and you must be sure that the internship for which you are applying for funding is the one you want to do. You may not apply for funding for an internship and then ask to switch your funding application or grant to another internship.  CCI expects you to conduct yourself professionally in your internship search. If you have accepted an internship, you should withdraw your applications from all other employers/organizations.  If you do change your mind, you will not be able to make changes to your application for funding or submit a new funding application. 

Students should apply to their internships early and explain to potential employers that they have an opportunity to apply for funding by the April 14 deadline. Often employers will hire on a rolling basis. Do not wait until the application deadline to apply for an internship. 

If you are not sure which internship you want to do or have not heard back from employers by the April 14 deadline, do not submit a funding application. Please work with a CCI advisor for alternatives to your summer plans or contact Cheryl Whitney Lower with questions. 

Students who have been offered their internship contingent on a security clearance should still submit an application and indicate in their essay that they are on hold until the security clearance process is complete. 

Are there experiences that CCI does not fund?

Except for dance grants, CCI typically does not fund classes, trainings, or experiences with organizations that charge a fee for participation, e.g. third party internship providers, yoga retreats, etc.  We may make exceptions if the majority of the experience is an internship or if the fee is charged mainly to pay for housing.  

We do not fund on-campus summer undergraduate research positions with Middlebury faculty because these positions are funded by Middlebury's Undergraduate Research Office in the CTLR. 

We do not fund paid internships unless it is a very low-paid internship (i.e. less than $2000 for an eight-week experience or more).  In this case, we may choose to provide a supplement grant of up to $1000 or to the equivalent of $3000; students in this position should use the $3000 grant application form and explain your situation in your narrative and in the budget form. Contact Cheryl Whitney Lower if you have questions about a low paid internship. 

CCI does not generally fund students who receive funding by another Middlebury program or office. The exception is if you are taking part in an intercultural experience that benefits the community, it is possible to combine a CCI grant with a Cross-Cultural Community Service grant through the Center for Community Engagement. 

CCI does not fund experiences where a family member is serving as your supervisor or mentor. 

Does my budget need to add up to $3000 or $1000?

No. Your costs may be substantially higher, in which case you will need to assess and explain in your budget how you will cover the additional costs. Consider these grants support from CCI to help cover the costs associated with your internship. You may need to obtain a part-time job to finance the whole experience. On the other hand, if your costs are low (i.e. you decide to live at home) and the set grant amount exceeds your budget, you should explain why you are applying to offset lost summer wages. The set grant amounts give you decision-making power over your own summer experience.

I need help making my budget. What are the guidelines? And where is the Budget Template I need to use for my funding application?

Creating a budget and thinking carefully about how much money you need for your experience can be a great learning experience. You  must use CCI's Budget Template when applying for funding.   

We have limited funds to award. Your careful attention to your budget indicates that you approached the process thoughtfully--and did your homework! Here are some general guidelines:

  • The funding may offset lost summer wages.  Funding can also be used to help you with expenses associated with your internship.
  • A typical food budget will vary depending on where you live, but we advise using a figure of approximately $75- $100 per week.
  • Housing can be tricky. If you choose to stay in a university-based internship housing program (e.g., NYU in New York City), your entire internship funding allocation will likely be eaten up by that cost--and then some! But you don't want to spend your summer sleeping on someone's floor either. Start your search early, check out CCI's housing resources, Airbnb, look for house-sitting opportunities, enlist your various networks. We recommend allowing approximately $800-$1000 per month for housing. If you are living at home, do not include housing and food costs in your budget. MIDDLEBURY HOUSING NOTE: Even if your internship is in the Middlebury area, receiving internship funding does NOT make you eligible for on-campus summer housing.
  • Your budget can include transportation to and from your internship site. However, if you live in San Francisco, and your internship is in San Francisco, we would not expect you to include the cost of round-trip airfare in your budget. If your home is in Boston, and your internship is in San Francisco, then it is certainly appropriate for you to include round-trip airfare. Transportation costs can also include subway fare, commuting by train, gas and tolls, etc.
  • If you are studying abroad and your internship will continue in your host country, you should not include return airfare to the US in your budget as you would be returning anyway. Budgeting for in-country transportation expenses or travel to another country for your internship is appropriate.
  • It is okay if your internship site wants to provide minimal financial assistance such as a subway pass, help with housing, or daily lunch passes. You do need to indicate these funding sources in your application. 

When in doubt, just ask! Or add an explanatory note in the Comments section of the budget.

Where is the application? How do I apply?

If you have read all the information at on this page, and have completed all the steps in the Quick Guide: Eligibility and How to Apply for CCI Summer Funding, including having your resume approved by a PCA at Quick Questions (deadline April 7), writing your essay, completing your budget, completing your funding agreement, and completing additional paperwork if your internship is outside the U.S. and qualifies for review by Global Operations Committee (see FAQ on international internships), then you are ready to apply! Find all the forms you need in the blue box on the top right-hand side of this page.

Complete an application for funding by “Requesting an Experience.” This application can be found on the Career Center/Experience tab on Handshake. 

If you are participating in a CCI-sponsored internship or a cohort internship and have received an award letter, you will be instructed to create an Experience and select either CCI-sponsored or cohort as “experience type.” All other applicants should choose the industry field into which your internship, dance festival, or self-directed project falls to answer the first question on “experience type.” 

Remember that your application is not complete until you have uploaded all the required documents (essay, CCI approved resume, budget, and funding agreement into the attachments section found on the left-hand side of your Handshake Experience. Please note that you must upload your resume to the attachments section even if it is already in the documents section of Handshake. You must complete your application all in one sitting. Applications that have been submitted without the required documents will be declined. 

All communications will be done through
Handshake emails so students must check email, clutter, SPAM and junk email folders daily and ensure that you have your Handshake notifications turned on. Failure to respond to email will result in application being declined.  

When will I hear about funding? When will I get my money? What are the grant requirements?

Funding notifications will be sent by Handshake email on May 1. Make sure your Handshake notifications are enabled. You may need to monitor your spam, junk, and clutter folders. 

If you are awarded funding and have completed all steps outlined in your award letter by the deadlines, you can expect your money in your account by June 7.

All funded interns must attend a mandatory internship pre-departure meeting.

Attendance will be taken, and any student who has not attended one of the meetings risks losing their funding or sponsorship. Contact Cheryl Whitney Lower ahead of time with any extenuating circumstances.
RSVP on the links below to commit to attending one the following meetings:

  • Sunday, May 5, 3:30-4:30 pm at Wilson Hall, McCullough
  • Wednesday, May 8, 7:00-8:00 pm, BiHall 216
  • Juniors studying abroad or off-campus should contact Cheryl Whitney Lower.
  • Any student participating in an international community-based experience not in their own country or a domestic social impact experience and interested in a more in-depth training should attend Pre-Immersion Training for International and/or Social Impact Experiences on Saturday, April 27, 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Coltrane Lounge, ADK. RSVP to Cheryl Whitney Lower preferably by April 1.