How to find an internship in the UK

How to find an internship in the UK

Finding a UK internship can take time and persistence. However, the benefits of getting a leg up in your career while living in one of the most exciting, historical and multicultural countries in the world far outweighs the initial legwork.

Other than working within the hospitality or healthcare sector, BUNAC can sponsor you via our Intern in Britain program to do most paid or unpaid internships. From big multinationals and international non-profits to independent start-ups, you name the business or the industry, and it’s bound to be represented in the UK. Plus, as Britain has a multitude of major towns and cities that act as global hubs for companies from all over the world, you don’t need to confine your search to finding an internship in London.

That said, the positive workplace culture and progressive British lifestyle attracts would-be interns from all over the world, so competition can be high. Check out our top tips on this page for finding the right UK internship for you.

For BUNAC to sponsor you, your internship must meet these requirements:

  • Be a maximum of up 12 months in duration and at least 25 hours per week 
  • Must be a supernumerary position, meaning that the role is designed for an intern and not a permanent employee 
  • Your internship must include complex activities rather than routine tasks, and have a good level of rotation and clear objectives backed up by a detailed training plan 
  • It must include enough supervision from your employer. In most cases, we look for a full-time permanent staff to intern ratio of at least 5:1 
  • If it’s a paid internship, it must meet the national minimum wage legislation; and for unpaid internships, the  UK volunteer rights. 
  • All internships longer than 6 months must be paid (meeting UK national minimum wage). 
  • The company you intern with should be registered with Companies House for at least the last 12 months.  
  • At least 30% of a hybrid internship must be based in the company’s registered office.  
  • We do not offer sponsorship for fully remote internships. 

If you have any questions regarding the suitability of your internship, please give our team a call 

If you already have

If you already have

If you already have an internship offer

Our team will review your internship, and if it meets all the UK Government requirements, we can start with the sponsorship process.

Visas and eligibility

Tips for finding a UK internship

Focus on your field

Widen your net when it comes to the number of UK companies you target, but stay focused on the role you want. You’ll stand a better chance of getting through the door when you can show a genuine passion for your chosen career, rather than just a willingness to take any internship. Employers ultimately want to see that they can grow your skills in an area you’re truly committed to learning about and want to work in in the future.

Leverage your contacts

By this, we mean get on the dog and bone (that’s a phone to non-Brits) and talk to everyone. Your parent’s friends, friends of your parent’s friends, the pets of your parent’s friends. In all seriousness, you’ll have more connections than you think. And if you’re studying or have recently graduated, reach out to tutors and your college career services and international education office to utilise their resources and connections.

Get online and get creative

Get on Google and shortlist companies in your chosen industry – both in the UK and the brands you know at home in case they have a UK office. And then sell yourself. Contact them to tell them why you’d be an asset to their team, connect with their leaders on LinkedIn, and be proactive with testimonials from your tutors. And be creative. Make your CV stand out or switch up the format and send them a video pitch.

Tell them about BUNAC

The sponsorship cost and visa red tape can be a barrier for companies taking on international staff, so tell them from the outset that you’re applying to be sponsored by BUNAC. As one of the largest A-Rated sponsors for the Temporary Work GAE program, we can provide your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and step-by-step help with your visa application. All you need from them is the internship offer!

Check out these websites

Here are some websites that list intern positions in the UK. Note that UK organisations may use the terms work experience or work placement as well as internship. 


Need help

Need help

Need help finding an internship?

Finding an internship can be time-consuming, especially when you’re overseas. So why not tap into someone else’s little black book of contacts. With the BUNAC Job Hub you’ll have access to our pre-vetted employers that are hiring interns.  We are constantly speaking with new companies and they are regularly posting opportunities. 


Find an internship in London

Even back in 1777, Dr Samuel Johnson famously said about London, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. A city where ancient architecture meets cutting-edge creativity, London has an energy and humility all of its own. So if you want world famous street art, lazy weekend markets, free galleries, vast green parks, cloud-hitting rooftop bars and quaint crooked pubs... then an internship in London is just what the doctor ordered.

How it works

Apply now

Apply now

Apply now for Intern in Britain 2023