Fund Unpaid Internships
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.
The Summer 2023 Internship Funding Applications are now live!! Deadline: April 7, 2023. You must have a secured internship in order to apply for funding. See all the information below.
View the Find and Fund Your Summer Internship presentation held Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
Need help with your internship search?
- Schedule an appointment with a CCI advisor through Handshake or the CTLR advisors for Science and Health related internships.
- Drop into Quick Questions for help with internship searches, resume approvals, cover letters, and more.
- For additional questions, contact Cheryl Whitney Lower.
Please read all information and FAQs below and plan to secure your internship no later than early April, so you have time to apply for funding. If after reading this web page, the FAQs and the Quick Guide, you still have questions, feel free to email Karen White at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cheryl Whitney Lower at email@example.com
Competitive Grants for Summer 2023
Funding applications due April 7
- Summer Internship Funding Grants: $4000
- First-Year Explore Grants: $1000
- Arts Grants: $1000 (for dance/arts trainings or residencies lasting 3 weeks or less)
Criteria for 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 minimum time commitments as outlined below:
- $4000 Summer Funding Grants require a minimum internship length of eight weeks at 30 hours/week or a longer internship that totals at least 240 hours. Strongly encouraged: Appointment with a CCI advisor (or CTLR Health Professions/Science Research advisor) to discuss your plans.
- $1000 First-Year Explore Grants require a minimum of four weeks with a total of at least 100 hours. Required: Appointment with a CCI advisor (or CTLR Health Professions/Science Research advisor) to discuss your plans. First-years are eligible only for Explore Grants or CCI-sponsored grants and may not apply for the $4000 competitive grant.
- $1000 Arts Grants for short-term (three weeks or less) experiential arts opportunities (e.g. residencies, apprenticeships, dance festivals, etc)
- Requires résumé approval by CCI Peer Career Advisor by April 5 (résumés approved last year still qualify).
- Must have secured the internship AND accepted it in order to apply.
- Must be a currently enrolled student with at least one remaining semester at Middlebury after the summer; must not be planning to transfer and must not be on leave for Spring 2023 or Fall 2023, unless for a Middlebury-approved Study Abroad/Away semester or an exception approved by CCI.
- Must not have already received a $3000 or $3500 competitive grant from CCI or be participating in another CCI-sponsored internship this summer. (Exceptions may apply for short-term Arts Grants.)
- May not be a self-directed project, independent research, or research with a Middlebury professor.
- Use this Quick Guide: 2023 CCI Competitive Summer Funding for additional information about eligibility and how to apply.
Summer 2023 Funding for Unpaid Internships
For additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Q 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 7 deadline. Funding decisions will be sent via a Handshake email on May 3.
All communications will be done through your Middlebury email and via emails from Handshake. Pay attention to Outlook and Handshake emails and make sure your Handshake notifications are turned on. You may need to look in the Spam, Junk, or Clutter folders to find them!
The funding process is competitive. It is important that you start your application early (don’t wait until the last minute) and put extra effort into writing a compelling essay that clearly demonstrates why this internship is a perfect fit for you. You should also tell the Committee what you hope to learn, how the experience will give you the opportunity to gain experience and skills, and how it relates to planning for your future. All applicants must have their resume reviewed and approved by a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) during Quick Questions before they apply. Students must visit a PCA for resume review before April 5; some resumes take several visits to be approved. We suggest you have your resume approved early in the Spring semester as one of your first steps. Resumes approved last year are still valid.
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 or CTLR advisor about their plans will be the strongest candidates. (Please schedule appointments with CCI advisors through Handshake or with the Health Professions/Science Research Advisors through CTLR website.) 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 value of your experience but is the reality of the funding committee having to make hard choices with limited funds. Applications from students not on financial aid who have low expenses and are applying mainly to off-set lost summer wages are less competitive.
Remote, hybrid, and in-person internships are all eligible for funding. CCI will no longer be funding self-directed projects. Contact the Innovation Hub for funding of self-directed projects.
Q What do I need to know about international internships?
Coronavirus update: The world-wide situation is fluid and requirements may change due to new variants. CCI will follow all policies outlined by Middlebury College which is responding to an ever-changing situation. Internship funding may need to be rescinded if situations worsen.
For Summer 2023: Currently the College is allowing international travel for College funded or sponsored internships but all travel for these internships (including students traveling to their home country to engage in an in-person or remote internship in that country) must be approved by the Global Operations Committee.
Please Note: Funding requests for students traveling outside of the US (including students traveling to their home country) 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 school abroad does not require additional review. Travel to countries with Level 2 where Middlebury does not have a school abroad, as well as countries with Level 3 and 4 travel advisories (including your home country whether you are doing an in-person or remote internship in that country), require submission of an International Activity Review 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.
Please see 4 Simple Steps for Safer Travel.
Information for international internships: International internships require more planning time, 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, teaching, languages, and more. 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, health, 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 $75 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. Students should consult the CDC, Parton Health Center and/or their health care provider on recommended vaccinations.
Q What do international students need to know about participating in a summer internship?
Students on an F-1 visa may participate in paid or unpaid summer internships. If the internship is unpaid, you may apply to receive internship funding from the College. If participating in a paid or unpaid internship in the US or with a US employer, you will apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). To be eligible for CPT, you must have been lawfully enrolled as an F-1 student for a minimum of one full academic year, the internship must be related to your major (or intended major), and you must also enroll in the field work course through the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey to earn credit that will allow you to be eligible to apply for CPT. Please see scenarios below to evaluate whether you need to apply for CPT and visit ISSS’ web site for more information about CPT.
International students in F-1 status: Please see scenarios below that will indicate whether you need to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization. If applicable, follow the steps to obtain CPT as outlined below.
Internship scenarios and the need for CPT:
- International students who are inside the U.S. and have an internship with a U.S.-based organization need CPT authorization.
- International students who are outside the U.S. and have an internship with a U.S.-based organization might need CPT authorization (the organization would make this determination) *Consult with ISSS.
- International students who are inside the U.S. and have an internship with an organization based outside the U.S. are advised to obtain a letter from the organization confirming that no compensation is being provided. (CPT will not be issued in this situation.) *Consult with ISSS, if needed.
- International students who are outside the U.S. and who have an internship with an organization based outside the U.S. do not need CPT, which is a U.S.-based authorization. (Students should follow guidelines of the host country.)
Please see here for more information about the summer credit option.
Please see instructions in previous FAQ (#2 in the list) about international internships if you plan to do an internship in your home country or anywhere outside of the US.
Q What is a First-Year Explore Grant and who is eligible?
A First-Year Explore Grant gives students the opportunity to work with an organization 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. Internships can be remote, in-person, or hybrid.
Eligible students are First-Year Febs, First-Years, and Sophomore Febs. First-year Regs and new Febs are eligible for the $1000 grant this year but are not eligible to apply for the $4000 competitive grants. Sophomore Febs may choose to apply to either an Explore Grant or a $4000 grant. All First-Years and Sophomore Febs are eligible to apply for CCI-sponsored or cohort internships (including MiddWorks for VT internships). These all come with guaranteed funding.
Students applying for a First-Year Explore Grant must have met with a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) via Quick Questions to have your resume approved before April 5. The PCAs can help you create a resume or work to improve one that you already have. You must also meet with a CCI or CTLR advisor before applying for funding. Schedule an appointment with a CCI advisor via Handshake or email Mary Lothrop or Hannah Benz at CTLR to schedule an appointment for Health Professions or Science Research related experiences.
Students awarded a First-Year Explore grant are required to attend an internship pre-departure meeting on in early May. The date and location will be announced on this web page and also in your funding award email if you are awarded funding.
Q Can self-directed projects be funded?
CCI does not have funding for self-directed projects. (A self-directed project means you are not working for or with an organization.) CCI also does not have funding for independent research. Please see the Innovation Hub for funding related to a summer self-directed project or CTLR’s web site for funding related to research.
Occasionally CCI will fund a medical shadowing experience if it meets the criteria for length of the internship (8 weeks, 30 hours a week or 4 weeks, 25 hours a week for an Explore Grant). You must have one doctor or healthcare provider who will serve as your primary supervisor and agree to oversee your learning for the whole experience. You must provide a compelling reason why you cannot do this medical shadowing on your own time (saving time to study for the MCATs does not count) and need the funding for it. Once you have a shadowing experience secured and before applying for funding, please reach out to Hannah Benz, pre-health advisor, for an appointment to discuss whether this experience might be eligible.
Q Do I have to have an internship secured before applying for funding?
Yes, you must have been offered your internship, accepted it, and committed to it. You must be sure that the internship for which you are applying for funding is the one you want to do. 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, and you will need to forfeit your funding. Exceptions may be granted if your employer rescinds the offer or if the Covid-19 situation worsens and your internship cannot be converted into a remote experience.
Students should apply to their internships early and explain to potential employers that they have an opportunity to apply for funding by the April 7 deadline. Often employers will hire on a rolling basis. Do not wait until the application deadline to apply for an internship.
Students who have been offered their internship contingent on a security clearance should still submit a funding application and indicate in their essay that they are awaiting security clearance. Your funding application will be held until we hear from you that your security clearance is complete.
Q What if I don’t think I will have my internship secured by the April 7th deadline?
We are expecting large numbers of applicants so will not be accepting late applications for funding. You may need to plan ahead and start early. If you are applying to internships with late application deadlines, you may explain to your interviewer or contact person that you have an opportunity to apply for funding but the deadline is April 7. You can ask if there is a chance you could hear a decision from them by April 7 or if they can at least indicate if you are a strong candidate for the position. This information can help you make a decision about whether to wait for a potential offer or make other plans.
If you will not have an internship secured by the April 7 deadline and need funding, you should make other plans which may involve finding a paid position.
If you are reading this after the April 7 deadline and know that you may get an offer before April 26, you may submit an application for funding up until April 26. Your application will be left in pending status and IF we have funding available (no guarantees), we will review your application after May 8. If you are granted funding, the money will not be deposited into your account until mid to late June. Contact Cheryl Whitney Lower (email@example.com) with questions.
Q Are there experiences that CCI does not fund?
Except for Arts 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 and the internship portion itself, without the curricular portion, meets the minimum time requirements for funding (8 weeks long and 30 hours per week) or if the fee is charged mainly to pay for housing.
CCI does 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 $4000 for an eight-week experience or more). In this case, we may choose to provide a supplement grant to bump you up to the equivalent of $4000 (not available for Explore Grants). For instance, if you are receiving a $2000 from your employer, you may apply for CCI funding and if you are selected for funding, we might award you a $2000 supplement grant so that your total compensation for the summer would equal what other students are receiving from CCI. Students in this position should use the $4000 grant application form and explain your situation and financial compensation in your narrative. If you are receiving any compensation from your employer such a housing or transportation stipend, or from an organization that supports you such as Posse, you can expect that CCI will deduct that amount of money from your internship grant in order to make your award consistent with what other students are receiving. Contact Cheryl Whitney Lower at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Engagement grant through the Center for Community Engagement.
CCI does not fund experiences where a family member is serving as your supervisor.
Q Do I need to submit a budget with my funding application?
CCI will not require a budget to be submitted as part of your funding application but we do suggest it would be a helpful exercise for you to use our Budget Template (see next question) to plan out your expenses and costs for the summer to make sure you can afford to do this experience with the grant amount for which you are applying (typically $4000 or $1000). Some students may use CCI’s budget planning template and decide an unpaid internship is not realistic for them at this time and decide to pursue a paid internship or job instead.
The set grant amounts give you decision-making power over your own summer experience. Your costs may be substantially higher than the grant, in which case you will need to assess your plans. 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 or you are participating in a remote internship) and the set grant amount exceeds your budget, the grant can be used to offset lost summer wages. Applications from students not on financial aid who are applying mainly to off-set lost wages are less competitive.
Q I need help planning a budget for the summer. Do you have guidelines? And where is the Budget Template I can use as a planning tool?
Creating a budget and thinking carefully about how much money you need for your experience can be a great learning experience. Use this Budget Template to plan your summer.
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 resources such as Airbnb, look for house-sitting opportunities, and enlist your various networks (such as the Middlebury Alumni Communities in various cities). We recommend allowing approximately $800-$1000 per month for housing.
Middlebury Housing Note: CCI will have a limited number of on-campus rooms and Burlington-based housing for those doing CCI Sponsored, MiddWorks for Vermont, and other CCI Cohort internships. Receiving internship funding does not guarantee you on-campus summer housing but you may indicate your interest by emailing email@example.com.
When planning out your summer budget, you will also want to include transportation to and from your internship site, as well as transportation costs such as subway fare, commuting by train, gas and tolls, etc.
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.
Q COVID-19 Policy for Summer 2023
Students may engage in remote, hybrid, or in-person internships. In-person or hybrid internships that are funded or sponsored by the College require that both the intern and supervisor agree to adhere to all CDC guidelines as well as evolving state, local, country, and College health and safety guidelines that relate to Covid-19. Experiences involving international travel, including students traveling to their home country, may be eligible for funding pending review and approval by the Global Operations Committee. Please note the situation remains fluid and requirements may change.
Q Where is the application? How do I apply?
PLEASE NOTE: THE SUMMER 2023 FUNDING APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW OPEN.
If you have read all the information on this page and have completed all the steps in the Quick Guide: CCI Competitive Summer Funding, including having your resume approved before submitting your application, writing your essay, and completing additional paperwork if your internship is outside the U.S. and necessitates review by the Global Operations Committee (see FAQ on international internships), then you are ready to apply! Find all the forms and templates you need on this page.
Complete an application for funding by Requesting an Experience in Handshake. Go to Handshake>Career Center>Experiences>Request an Experience and then follow instructions in the Quick Guide linked above.
If you are participating in a Cohort internship (including Middworks for Vermont internships) and have received an award letter, you will be instructed to create an Experience and select #9 Cohort Internship as “experience type.” All other applicants should answer the first question by choosing the industry field (#1-8) into which your internship falls. Answer all required questions marked with an asterisk.
Remember that your application is not complete until you have uploaded your two required documents (essay and CCI-approved resume) into the attachments section found on the left-hand side of your Handshake Experience. Do not upload zip files. Please note that you must upload your approved 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 sent through Outlook and 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.
Q 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 by end of day on May 3. Make sure your Handshake notifications are enabled. You may need to monitor your Middlebury spam, junk, and clutter email folders (as sometimes Handshake emails get sent there via Middlebury’s filtering process).
If you are awarded funding and have entered your direct deposit information correctly and completed all steps outlined in your award letter by the deadlines, you can expect your money in your account by mid-June. Students who have not entered their direct deposit information correctly will have checks mailed to them. Since you will probably not receive your money until mid-June, be sure to make your summer plans accordingly; you may need to arrange to start your internship later to accommodate the payment schedule.
Please note that international students may have taxes withheld ahead of time so the amount of the grant you receive may be less than stated in your award letter.
All funded interns must attend a mandatory internship pre-departure meeting in early May (date, time, and location TBD). Attendance will be taken, and any student who has not attended the meeting risks losing their funding or sponsorship. Contact Cheryl Whitney Lower at firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time with any extenuating circumstances.
The date and time for the training will be sent to you in your May 3 award letter if you are granted funding or will be participating in a CCI-sponsored internship.
The grant requirements are outlined in the Internship Funding Agreement form. You will be asked in your funding application to read the Internship Funding Agreement thoroughly and agree to its terms.
Q What is a CCI-sponsored internship or MiddWorks for Vermont internship? Do I still need to submit an application for funding if I am selected for one of these internships?
If you are selected for a CCI-sponsored, MiddWorks for Vermont, or other CCI Cohort internship (all posted in Handshake), this means your internship comes with guaranteed funding from CCI. You must still create an Experience in Handshake (an application for funding) and complete all required paperwork in order to be awarded funding.
You will be sent an award letter via a Handshake email with instructions on how to create an Experience in Handshake. Please wait for your award letter or reach out to email@example.com with questions.
Funding will be deposited in your account by June 9 after a final eligibility check with student life deans. To be eligible for funding, you must be in good academic and judicial standing, be enrolled for Spring ‘23 and Fall ‘23 academic terms, and not be planning to transfer. In most cases, graduating seniors are not awarded funding but occasional exceptions are made.
You will also have requirements to attend required pre-departure meetings, complete mid-internship and final reflections, and submit a photo and a donor update letter. MiddWorks for VT interns may have additional required meetings.