What is the difference between Externship and Internship?

Internships and externships are very similar. They both place students in a professional setting where they can gain valuable insight into what they can expect to experience within the field they have chosen.  But there are some clear differences between the two:

Internships are longer in duration and can last anywhere from 1-3 months, a semester, and in some cases an entire year. Externships, on the other hand, are for a considerably shorter length of time. Externships can be for just one day, or for a week, allowing students to easily complete externships over a winter or spring break.

Students serving as interns will be given meaningful projects, be assigned responsibilities, and work deadlines and expectations, very similar to what they would expect as a full-time employee. Externships, however, are generally considered job shadowing.

Some internships are unpaid, some may include reimbursement for housing and transportation costs, some may be unpaid but offer NU credit. Externships are generally unpaid and do not offer a credit. They are intended to give students a short, real-life preview into their career.

Why doing an ex/internship is important?

  1. Intern gains the initial professional experience that enhances his/her competitiveness;
  2. Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge and skills;
  3. Internship is similar to training, which would be given in an educational environment and asking questions is one key to learning;
  4. Intern is not entitled to wages, but he/she gains valuable insight in the working processes of that particular company and the industry at large.


Report-Universum Career Test 2015 – Nazarbayev University

Suggested standards for Internships

Basics for Starting an Internship Program- UW LSCS

Basic Criteria for All Internships

Best practices of the world’s leading universities