An externship is a chance for a student to participate in practice-based learning working in a field of interest. It’s similar to an internship, but it’s usually for a shorter period of time. Externships are also less intensive than internships, and depending on the institution, students may or may not receive academic credit for them. A medical professional who is associated with a facility but is not considered a full-time member of the staff is referred to as a “extern.”
The term was coined in 1945, when the concept of trying out a career before committing to it became more popular. An externship is when a student follows an experienced employee around the office while he or she performs daily tasks. The extern may also take part, but he or she will be closely supervised. Externships are typically brief and are designed to give someone a taste of a potential career. Because the extern may or may not choose to pursue that career, there is less emphasis on job training than there is with an internship.
Externships are available in a variety of fields, including law, science, and the publishing industry. Many schools can refer students to externship programs, but it is also possible to contact a company directly to inquire about externship opportunities. Depending on the company, an application is usually required, which may also include an interview. The procedure also serves as a practice run for the job application process, allowing the student to learn about effective job-search techniques.
Some universities require students to complete at least one externship. Several institutions, particularly in the United States, set aside a short period during the school year, usually in January, for fieldwork. During the fieldwork term, students are encouraged to explore various careers and engage in more hands-on learning. If a student completes an externship in January and has a positive experience, he or she may decide to return for a longer internship.
A student may be eligible for academic credit for an externship depending on how a school operates. Typically, the student’s supervisor must submit an evaluation, and the student must also demonstrate that he or she learned during the externship. Depending on the institution, the student may be eligible for a different amount of credit. Some schools only offer credit for the completion of internships, so if the student is interested in pursuing either for credit, contacting an academic adviser is an excellent idea.