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SAF International Career Development Programs (ICDP) Defined

SAF ICDPs are not mere work placements, rather they are supervised professionally-oriented work experiences designed in multiple ways to encourage participant career analysis.

SAF IDCP Opportunities

SAF offers three distinct types of ICDPs:  (1) Academic Internships, (2) Pre-Professional Work Experience, and a (3) Summer Program in International Career Development (London).

Academic Internships:  Academic internships are career-related, field-based experiences coupled with academic analysis and reflection.  Participants will receive an academic transcript for their experience from an accredited or nationally-recognized university.  The amount of time students spend in a formal classroom setting relative to the work placement is not standard, but it is generally 50% in the classroom and 50% internship. The goal of academic internship programs is to develop professional and cultural skills and provide personal and career awareness. It is an experience through which students can begin to apply classroom theory to practice. 

SAF partners in offering academic internship programs are:  the Foundation for International Education (FIE), the University of  Edinburgh Parliamentary Program and American University's Washington Semester Program (WSP)."

Pre-Professional Work Experience Programs:  SAF Pre-Professional Work Experience Programs are different from academic internships because there is little in the way of a formal classroom experience, no transcripts are issued, and typically students work full-time, 32-36 hours per week.  Pre-professional work is particularly popular with recent graduates and, given the increasingly global nature of employment, ambitious forward thinking students will find such opportunities attractive and a way to distinguish themselves when competing for jobs, especially if such jobs are international in character. Participants will receive comprehensive evaluations of their work contributions.  These evaluations are written by student’s direct supervisor and become valuable recommendations for future employment.  Although these placements do not include an academic transcript, the work experience will be with well-established companies, it will not be a "free labor" proposition, and SAF's partners will closely monitor the program from start to finish. 

SAF is partnering with The Academic Internship Council (AIC) to offer semester-long pre-professional work opportunities in a wide-variety of disciplines starting Spring 2013 in Boston, New York City, San Francisco, and Toronto. 

International Career Development Summer Program: 
Students attending Asia’s top universities tend to be highly motivated, high achievers, internationally minded or internationally curious, and possess very good English language skills.  Many expect to have “international careers” in their own countries by working for organizations trading or otherwise engaged internationally and/or to be internationally mobile. Accordingly, SAF is in the final stages of organizing a four-week summer program with FIE (London) specifically designed to address the needs and interest of such students.  As this stage, the core curriculum of the SAF-FIE International Career Development Summer Program will focus on Cross-Cultural Communication for Careers, British Life and Business, and a Career Workshop.  It is anticipated that acadmic credit will be awarded for successful completion of this program.

Why are IDCPs Imprtant? 

The skills and competencies sought by employers that are enhanced by ICDPs include:
  • Ability to work effectively with people who hold different interests, values or perspectives
  • Ability to adapt to situations of change (comfortable with ambiguity) and to take on tasks that are unfamiliar or risky
  • Ability to gain valuable knowledge from experiences and apply information in new or broader contexts
  • Ability to identify problems and put forth solutions (creative)
  • Ability to work independently as well as effectively with co-workers (confidence, independence, teamwork)
SAF recognizes that our participants choose to study abroad in part to improve their marketability in an increasingly global job market and ICDPs provide an excellent way to distinguish one's educational experiences.


Last Updated: 1/9/19