Software/ programming/ computer science internships abroad. Watch

j1i9s9s5
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Hi, I'm currently studying Mathematis and Computer science and will be starting second year in October pending one resit exam. In my second year summer I would like to do an internship in areas like: Software Engineering, programming, cryptography for example. I am really interested in going abroad to work for a summer in an english speaking environment obviously. In particular, the US or Canada. However I don't know much about what is available. Could anyone shed some light on this or make any suggestions about what kind of opportunities there are and how competitive they are for UK students. Thanks!
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j1i9s9s5
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lukemtesta
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Hi, I'm a recent electronic and computer engineering graduate BEng, and have completed over a year in the industry as part of my course. About 5% of my course worked abroad, with more opportunities than people taking them. Most major corporations offer paid temporary summer positions (such as Microsoft and Qualcomm in the states) doing real everyday engineer/computing related work. Usually salary varies from 1-2k sterling. Just go on their websites and check.

For smaller companies, many don't offer under 12-month positions. However I found that if you send a covering letter and CVs explaining how much you would love to do an internship there, they will sometimes do their best to open up a temporary position jsut for you! It's happened to me a few times looking for my placement, but I got the job at Qualcomm before the other interviews.

Most universities don't offer sandwich courses like Surrey did, such as Southampton. However I know someone who explicitly asked the university to take this year working as part of the course, and was accepted. There is less competition and more 12-month placements. For this you will need to start looking in October, as the best positions (in fact 1/4 of the national available jobs) are taken by end of December.

I would recommend this as 80% of my course were offered permanent positions prior to graduation. For example at the end of the year I had a 30k contract sitting on my desk and I only needed a 2:1 to get the job (of which I start a year and a half after the contract deadline).

However THIS IS IMPORTANT. You WILL need a MINIMUM of a 2:1 in first year to have ANY hope of getting an internship, else your CV will get thrown in the bin. They want proven academic track records of your ability and enthusiasm. Also you may need volunterring/open source development experience to stand out for the more competitive summer opportunities (Apple, Imagination Technologies, Microsoft etc). It is not easy getting an internship... expect a 5 stage interview process and thorough presentation/examinations... Be ready.

Finally why not just take a year studying abroad? Most institutions offer it. Surrey sent people to Michigan (I think it was) and NTU (the top institution in Singapore) for their second year - This differs between universities so you probably need to contact them before semester starts to have any hope of doing this. It is usually ONLY offered for second years.

Message me if you have any other questions,
Luke
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