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International students can pursue internships during their program at BYUH. For F-1 students, this would be classified as pre-completion optional practical training or curricular practical training. For J-1 students, this would be classified as a pre-completion academic training.

For career advising, internship information, and employment networking, contact the Career Services.

Please see Career Service’s Internship FAQs for more general questions regarding internships.

Unpaid Internships and Volunteering

The U.S. Department of Labor defines unpaid internships and volunteering in accordance to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Unpaid Internships

When considering volunteering or doing an unpaid internship, international students should be very careful to make sure that the internship really meets all seven of the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor:

  1. 1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa. 
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions. 
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit. 
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar. 
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning. 
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern. 
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship. 


According to the Department of Labor, a volunteer is an "individual who performs hours of service . . . for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered."

Moreover, "The FLSA recognizes the generosity and public benefits of volunteering and allows individuals to freely volunteer in many circumstances for charitable and public purposes. Individuals may volunteer time to religious, charitable, civic, humanitarian, or similar nonprofit organizations as a public service and not be covered by the FLSA. Individuals generally may not, however, volunteer in commercial activities run by a non-profit organization such as a gift shop. A volunteer generally will not be considered an employee for FLSA purposes if the individual volunteers freely for public service, religious or humanitarian objectives, and without contemplation or receipt of compensation. Typically, such volunteers serve on a part-time basis and do not displace regular employed workers or perform work that would otherwise be performed by regular employees. In addition, paid employees of a non-profit organization cannot volunteer to provide the same type of services to their non-profit organization that they are employed to provide." U.S. Department of Labor, Fact Sheet #14A