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Linguistics-related Internships

An internship is a way to explore career options, network, and get work experience. The Career Development Center has hundreds of local internship listings. Linguist List maintains a linguistics-specific internship registry. Also, some businesses and organizations that do not offer a formal internship program may be happy to accept you as an unpaid intern if you approach them and volunteer.

Linguistics students sometimes get discouraged that few internship ads specifically mention “linguistics”. Don’t limit yourself! Many businesses and organizations need people with intercultural knowledge, language skills, and data analysis skills. You can apply for internships in a wide range of fields, with a great cover letter explaining what you have to offer.

Below are a few organizations that offer linguistics-related internships or volunteer opportunities. Please note that the Linguistics Department cannot vouch for them; these links are provided just to get you started on your search.

Computational linguistics

Language documentation / revitalization

Miscellaneous Nonprofits

Translation / language specialists

There are numerous translation agencies in the L.A. area that you could approach for internships. Many agencies also hire freelancers.

Language teaching

Government

Many government agencies offer internships for bilingual (and other) students, including:

Academic research

  • The Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) offers research internships at about a dozen universities for undergraduates from backgrounds under-represented in graduate education, including minority students, first-generation college students and students from low-income families.
  • The National Science Foundation has a program called Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), where undergrads do paid internships on specific projects. Some years there may be linguistics projects. They would usually be in the category of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. Natural language processing projects would be in Computer and Information Science and Engineering.
  • A number of universities offer other undergraduate summer research programs, including UCLA, Oregon, Dartmouth, North Carolina, Maryland, and UC Irvine.
  • The University of Maryland’s Baggett Fellowships fund a year of post-B.A. (but pre-grad school) linguistics research.

A few university research labs offer their own internships programs, such as:

Other labs may also accept interns if you ask them. Here is a good description of how to approach a lab about an internship.

Branding

Examples of companies that offer internships in brand-name creation:

There are also quite a few marketing companies in the L.A. area that do brand-name development; you could approach any of them about internships.

Language policy

Language Assessment

Publishing and writing