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Internship Guidance During COVID-19

There are many questions and concerns related to internships during this global pandemic.
Please see below for a few things to consider when deciding if an internship is right for you.

As the global economic and health impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, some organizations have decided to postpone, suspend, or cancel student internships. We understand, are aware of this, and want to continue to help our students reach their educational goals. Circumstances seem to change daily and we want to make sure that we get relevant information, changes, and updates to you concerning your internship experience as soon as possible. 

A Few Things to Point Out About Internships During COVID-19

  • Students are still able to do internships. If the internship is not required, we would prefer the student postpone the experience.

    • Majors that require internships are exercise and sport science, political science, social work, education, and hotel and tourism management (HTM).
  • We would prefer face-to-face internships be postponed until a safer time.
  • The CRDEV 301R Experiential Learning course for on-campus internships is a wonderful alternative for those who are facing COVID-19-related delays for their internships. It may not work for some of the required majors but will work for many other students.
  • Yamagata funding is not available – we are unable to provide any support or airfare for student internship experiences until further notice.
  • Student applications still need to be completed via Handshake. Our student career mentor over internships can help with the applications when needed. Please feel free to email him/her with any questions.
  • It is highly recommended that students confirm that they are current with their student insurance before they begin their internship. For questions concerning student insurance please contact Beth Martin in Health Services at
  • Please consider a contingency plan in the event the internship is canceled, postponed, or delayed. Some students in the spring semester left to do their internships and found out shortly after arriving that the internship was going to be canceled, borders were closed and they were unable to return home. These considerations need to be made before leaving for the internship. Returning to campus, home country, state or region may not be available as this global situation changes frequently.
  • Requesting a remote experience may be available with the organization during this time.
  • Please make sure that your academic advisor maps the experience and internship coordinators approve the experience.
  • Internship coordinators will review experiences with students for health and safety reasons, they will also ask what the internship provider will do to adhere to local and state COVID-19 guidelines and requirements while on your internship.
  • Career Services will also need to approve of the experience and when necessary some internship approvals may need to go to the Enrollment Services Committee (ESC) for approval.
  • Before leaving on an internship contact the internship provider to inquire if the internship is still allowed and you are able to continue with the experience.
  • Check travel advisories and warnings as well as quarantine requirements before leaving.
    • Some states and countries require a two-week (14 days) quarantine once you enter into that state or country.
  • Continue to monitor travel advisories provided by the US Department of State.
  • Please keep updated on BYU–Hawaii’s frequently asked questions related to changes made according to COVID-19 requirements and restrictions.
  • Please be aware that the campus remains closed, including the Hales. Keep this in mind as you make your plans for your internship. A committee is constantly evaluating the university’s ability to bring students back to campus.
  • For now, students should consider internship plans based on the university’s current status: campus and hales are closed.
    • New contracts are not currently being offered and students who have left are currently unable to secure on-campus housing.

Internship Guidance During COVID-19

Currently, internships are still allowed. Each experience will be reviewed and discussed before approval is granted. During the current COVID-19 situation if your internship is not required for your major, we ask that you postpone the experience (if possible) until a safer time to continue. If it is not required and you still want to pursue the opportunity the experience will need to get additional approval. Please notify your internship coordinator of your interest to continue as soon as possible. If you are unsure of who your internship coordinator is, please email us at Another option for non-required internships that is likely to get approved is to request a remote experience with the internship provider. Some of our students have opted to do this and many of the internship providers have accommodated these requests. 

As an FYI, Yamagata funding for internships is unavailable until further notice. We are also unable to provide reimbursement for internship experiences. We apologize for this inconvenience. If a student decides to continue with their internships they do so at their own risk. As mentioned numerous times during this pandemic the university's priority is for our student’s health and safety.

Internships For Credit

If an internship is for academic credit, the student should contact their internship coordinator to get the experience approved and to review program requirements. Should a student decide to participate in person with their internship provider they must communicate this with their internship coordinator during the approval process. Please continue to follow up with your internship coordinator throughout the internship experience. This includes before, during, and after the experience. Be aware that throughout this time of uncertainty, your internship experience may be canceled. 

Please make sure that you understand the possibility of your internship being canceled, postponed, or delayed and that you have a contingency plan in place if this occurs. Borders may close and there is a possibility that you may get stuck in the region that you are performing your internship. The school may not be open for you to return to so please keep this in mind as you prepare for your experience. 

Here are a few important things to consider and remember regarding for-credit internships:

Internship Process, Requirements, and Approvals

  • The student must have 60 credits to do an internship for credit, eight must be in their major.
  • For each credit hour, 45 work hours are required. One credit = 45 working hours, two credits = 90 hours, and so forth.
  • A Handshake application is required. If you need assistance with the application please email Career Services at
  • Your internship should be mapped by your academic advisor and approved by your internship coordinator. If you are unsure of who your internship coordinator is please email us.
  • Financial Services, IWORK (if applicable), International Student Services (ISS), Residential Life,Health Services, PCC, or BYU–Hawaii employer may also need to provide approval for your internship.

Internships Without Credit

Some of our students have opted to pursue internships without credit. These independent experiences are at the student's discretion and do not need university approval if they are not receiving academic credit for the experience. We do suggest if a student opts to do one of these experiences that they discuss any employment matters related to COVID-19 with their employer and look for ways to safely execute the experience. The University will not have any control over the experience and will consider this a private employment relationship between the student and the internship provider. When possible, during the current COVID-19 situation we would prefer that our students do remote internships. We understand that this will not always be possible but, this is preferred. Students also need to adhere to the current state (in which the internship is performed) and local COVID-19 directives/proclamations, plus CDC guidelines. If the student elects to continue with an in-person internship, the student agrees that this is done at their own risk and assumes full responsibility for their well-being. 

If you have additional questions please send us an email or give us a call at the number below.

Career Services
(808) 675-3244