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Many students prefer to complete an internship for experience only. This is a good idea because getting experience in a chosen field is always helpful when progressing toward the full-time job search upon graduation. Internships are also called 'summer jobs', 'jobs related to your major', 'experiential education', 'cooperative education', 'co-ops', etc. The word internship often gets used pretty loosely (see definitions).
At present, UW does not have a system in place to recognize students who participate in non-credit internships. Students can choose to do a non-credit internship during the summer, fall or spring sessions although typically summer is the session of choice for many. Summer non-credit internship experiences are usually not a problem with regard to your status as a UW student. However, if you decide to do a non-credit internship during a semester, MAKE SURE you check out the pitfalls. These pitfalls include not being enrolled on campus as a student, which could affect your ability to register early for the next semester. Not being enrolled as either a part-time or full-time student can affect the status of financial aid, insurance, etc. If your internship takes you away from the UW campus during an academic semester, additional obligations may include taking care of on-campus housing agreements and updating your 'internship address' with Office of the Registrar. If not enrolled on campus for a period of 6 months, financial aid loan repayments will kick-in (summer months are included as part of this 6 month period).
Other than to gain experience, reasons to do a non-credit internship include: 1) no academic credits to pay for, 2) may have already completed all electives so extra credits won't count toward major or minor, 3) company with internship doesn't require credit.
Doing a non-credit internship is a great way to gain experience in your chosen career but you must consider all aspects of leaving campus for a semester. To start gathering answers regarding doing a non-credit internship verses a for-credit internship, you can check with your academic advisor, your college Dean's Office, or contact a Career Services Coordinator, Center for Advising and Career Services: 222 Knight Hall, 766-2398, firstname.lastname@example.org.