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Full-time internships
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  • Sydney, Australia

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Sydney Summer - Internship

Why Sydney?

Much more than a stunning location, Sydney is one of the world’s most multicultural cities - an international fusion of culture, languages, and ideas with nearly five million residents. Sydney is both energetic and engaging, a hub for innovation across a number of industries. An IES internship develops your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and provides substantive work experience to jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market.

Your Internship

An IES internship develops your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and provides substantive work experience to jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market.

IES interns Down Under have been placed in an array of industries and work settings. Recent placement experiences include: social media marketing for a surfing company at Bondi Beach, blogging about the best in Sydney food, art and fashion for a leading PR firm, interning for the city's film festival, coordinating events on Sydney Harbour with a cruise tour line, and working at the Sydney branch of an international chamber of commerce.

You’ll be guaranteed an unpaid internship placement at a local business or organization, where you’ll work up to 35 hours a week. We will work with you to find the closest match between your expressed preferences and professional goals with what’s available via IES Internships in Sydney.

Before you depart, we work with you to fine-tune your résumé, perfect your cover letter, and hone your communication and interview skills as we prepare you for working in a new cultural environment.


Past students have interned in placements like the examples listed below. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. We encourage students of all majors to apply.

  • Local surf company and surf school
  • World’s largest business organization representing the interest of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions in government chambers across the globe
  • NGO improving the employability of women in need by providing free of charge, professional clothing, a network of support, and career development tools
  • Subscription meal-box delivery service
  • University child development and psychology lab
  • Community pet rescue and shelter
  • Debt options and solutions company working with thousands of Australians on how to better deal with unmanageable debt
  • Production company specializing in film, video, animation, and multimedia projects
  • Talent agency for social media influencers providing award-winning management and brand strategy
  • Internationally-recognized event theming, styling, prop hire, and photographic studio providing production design and staging for various events
  • Creative technology agency specializing in experiential marketing, virtual reality, data visualization, and augmented reality
  • App that allows doctors, nurses, and allied health providers to remotely monitor progress of patients

Don’t see what you're looking for here? Just talk to your IES Internships Representative—new internships are always being added!

Daily Life

Spend endless hours exploring Sydney’s famous beaches and coastal walks. The sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour await, a playground for Sydneysiders and visitors alike. Bordering Sydney harbour you’ll find national parks, World Heritage sites, hidden beaches, and abundant Aboriginal heritage. At night, take in a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House, enjoy a meal at a historic Sydney pub, or delve into Sydney’s live music scene.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.


While working in Sydney, you'll also enroll in a required 3- or 6-credit academic internship seminar with other IES interns, where you'll gain context for your internship placement by examining cultural issues in the workplace. Topics covered include:

  • Understanding workplace culture
  • Improving communication
  • Strengthening work attitude and aptitude
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Understanding new cultures
  • Navigating issues, challenges, and opportunities so you can succeed on the job in Sydney and when you return home


This is a list of planned course offerings.  A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
IN 395 - Leading Across Cultures: Internship Seminar Summer English 3
IN 395 - Leading Across Cultures: Internship Seminar Summer English 6

Field Trips & Events

IES Abroad Sydney organizes a number of field trips as an integral part of its opportunities for cultural immersion in Australia. These trips explore areas of significant regional interest and are led by people who contextualize what you are witnessing and experiencing. Additional costs apply.  Possible destinations include:

Featherdale and Blue Mountains

1 day

Hike in the Blue Mountains and enjoy a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Royal National Park

1 day

Enjoy a visit to the second-oldest national park in the world, full of fascinating plants, birds, and animals. During this day, you will canoe, bushwalk, swim, and photograph awesome sea cliffs. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous Cultural Activities.

The Rocks Walking Tour

Get up close and personal and experience the story of Sydney on a historic walking tour of The Rocks area. 

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Sydney is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re here to support you!



After your arrival, you will participate in an orientation program that introduces you to the city and program, which includes:

  • A welcome dinner and sightseeing cruise on Sydney Harbour
  • Settling into your accommodations
  • Information sessions on professional and cultural expectations and practical tips to prepare you for life in Sydney


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which beach to see first or discovering the best coffee in Sydney—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our housing has a community feel which inspires our students to make lifelong friendships while abroad. Our goal is that when you leave Sydney, it will feel like home.

IES Abroad housing in Sydney enables you easy access to the Central Business District and Sydney’s famous landmarks. Public transportation is close by. Commute to work via bus, train, or ferry.

Apartments - Live in a two-bedroom apartment in a multi-unit apartment building. You will share your two-bedroom apartment with 3 IES Abroad roommates, sharing one of the two bedrooms with one of those roommates. Meals are not included/provided but there is a kitchen in the apartment in which to prepare meals.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Spend your free time getting to know Sydney and its surroundings through IES Internships-planned cultural events and optional field trips to places like the Blue Mountains and The Royal National Park.

June, July and August see Sydney host a number of exciting events including:

  • Vivid Sydney – a festival of light, music and ideas! Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of 'light art' sculptures, innovative light installations, and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy.
  • The Sydney Film Festival - this festival showcases the best in cinema from across Australia and around the world, including features, documentaries, short films, retrospectives, restorations, animation, and more. One of the world's oldest film festivals, Sydney Film Festival reflects the historic development of the Australian film industry.
  • Winter Festival – located at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Winter Festival Sydney offers winter activities and entertainment, including a large outdoor ice skating rink.

During your time in Sydney, you’ll likely want to explore what the rest of this vast country has to offer! Whether it be a weekend in Melbourne, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, or sleeping under the stars in the Outback, the possibilities are endless. The Sydney Center staff are available to help you plan trips further afield, to maximize your Australian experience.

Get to Know Your New City

Visit Barangaroo

Enjoy a meal by the waterfront in this unique inner-city suburb.

Try Sydney Desserts

From lamingtons to Tim Tam slams, there's bound to be a dessert you'll love. 

Stroll the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Capture magnificant views of the Opera House and Circular Quay. 

Walk from Bondi to Coogee

Prepare for stunning views, beaches, parks, and cliffs on this 6 km (3.37 miles) coastal walk in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Watch a Show at the Opera House

Treat yourself to one of many spectacular performances at Sydney's most iconic venue. 

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Summer 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019
3 Credits
$4,640 $2,535 $135 $7,310

Summer 2019
6 Credits
$5,130 $2,535 $135 $7,800

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid
Up to $1,000

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from infromation provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of home campus
Vera Isaacs Schwartz Endowed Stipend
$500 cash stipend

The Vera Isaacs Schwartz Endowed Stipend has been established by Alan and Ronnie Schwartz in loving tribute to Alan’s mother. Vera valued learning in the classroom, but also recognized that there is an education to be had in museums, cafes and pastry shops around the world. Alan is a current member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors and he has established this stipend to honor his mother Vera and her commitment to providing her grandchildren funds to expand their college education outside of the classroom.

Service Learning Summer Internship Scholarship
Up to $5,000

The Service Learning Scholarship was initiated by the Hemera Foundation, whose mission is to foster basic human goodness in individuals and society. This Scholarship, which will be sustained through a foundation collaborative, aims to inspire students to make a social impact through summer internships within philanthropic or direct service/social service organizations.

Study Abroad Accessibility Grant for Students with Financial Need

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad office is located in Surry Hills, an inner suburb within the city of Sydney.  It is immediately adjacent to the city center, known as the Central Business District, or CBD.  Just a few blocks from Sydney’s central rail station, it is well connected to the rest of the city and surrounding areas. Commuting time, by bus, to the University of Sydney campus is 15 minutes and to the UNSW campus 20 minutes. The Macquarie campus is 45-55 minutes away by public transportation.

Our Staff

Chris McKenna

Center Director (Interim)

Chris has worked in the international education sector for almost 20 years and joined our partner, the University of New South Wales in Sydney, in 2006. He held a number of positions at UNSW before being appointed as Director, International Affairs, in May 2016. In this role, he provided support, counsel and advice to the Pro Vice-Chancellor International. Prior to UNSW, Chris was a Senior Project Manager at JWT Education, one of the world's largest communications agencies that provides market research, consulting, branding and communications services to clients in the education sector. In this role, Chris worked on various research projects with a number of Australian universities, government education departments worldwide and organizations such as the British Council. Before moving to Australia Chris lived in Tokyo for two years. He holds an M.A. from the University of Glasgow.

IES Abroad Staff

Kate Smart (Center Director - on extended leave until May 2019)

Kate Smart has been the Director of the Sydney programs since 2016. Kate has over 15 years of experience in International Education, including senior Study Abroad roles at Macquarie University, the University of Sydney, and University of New South Wales.

Kate has lived and worked in the United States and studied abroad in Thailand and Jamaica. She has a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master of Education in International Education from Monash University. Kate loves sharing her knowledge of the city (and the rest of Australia) with new students, from her favorite beaches to swim at to the best place to grab a great flat white.


Sian Viney - Internship and Student Services Coordinator

Helen O'Riordan - Program Coordinator