You don’t have to wait until college to get an internship. There are tons of great internships for high school students available right now. Many high schoolers mistakenly think that they don’t qualify for these programs. However, with the right information and a little research, you can find an internship that matches your career interests and long-term goals while providing real-world experience.
Internships are one of the best ways to boost your resume and improve your college application. And because selective high school internships and research projects are impressive, participating in one will set you apart from other students and might even help you qualify for better scholarships and more prestigious schools.
But finding an internship that suits you can be time-consuming, so we’ve created a list of top internships for high school students. Our list will help get you started by letting you know your options.
The Intern Intern Group’s Global Internship Program is perfect for high school students who want to travel and see more of the world before college. To apply, applicants from most regions must be at least 18 years old, but residents of certain locales need only be 17.
The Intern Group offers four global programs. If accepted, you’ll have the chance to intern in one of fourteen cities around the globe. The program is dedicated to helping students gain real job experience in a range of careers, providing experience to help them really shine in the college application process. As part of this internship program, students receive accommodation, career training, assistance with visa applications, and many other benefits.
If you want exposure to various cultures and hands-on learning without leaving the United States, consider applying for a Smithsonian Internship. The Smithsonian offers a range of internship programs across several fields of study. You’ll learn from some of the world’s top experts and add a great line to your resume and college application.
Because this is a desirable program, getting in can be a little difficult, but if you are accepted, you’ll be paid a stipend and receive an unforgettable work experience.
For students with a passion for STEM, NASA also offers internship positions for high school students. Applicants need to be at least 16 years old, and freshmen are not allowed into the program. This is another highly competitive internship opportunity for high schoolers that is available in multiple locations across the country. If you are accepted into one of their many internships, you’ll get the chance to explore careers at NASA—something many students can only dream of!
Internships don’t just cover STEM fields. If you enjoy the performing arts, you can also find programs that line up with your interests. The Washington Performing Arts Internship is one of the lengthiest internships on this list. For twelve weeks, you’ll work with performing arts professionals—and receive a stipend. This is the perfect chance to get your foot in the world of performing arts!
The John Hopkins Summer Internship is the ideal program for high school students wanting to explore medical careers and biomedical research. This internship is intensive and requires students to participate in scientific research and exploration. It’s best if you already have some knowledge of research methods and research skills, but you don’t have to be an expert to apply: you’ll be guided by skilled scientists and mentors throughout.
Students interested in leadership positions should definitely apply for the Bank of America Student Leader Internship, which helps students nurture their leadership abilities while also getting them more involved in local communities. In this program, you’ll work with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and other non-profits. During one week of your internship, you will also attend a summit in Washington, D.C., to learn more about careers in government and business. This is a paid eight-week summer program during which students work around 35 hours per week.
The Microsoft High School Internship is another chance for students to learn about STEM careers. This internship is more geared toward computer sciences, IT, math, and even engineering. If you have any interest in these fields, consider applying! Students must be 16 years old and be willing and able to work full-time for four weeks.
The final internship we suggest looking into is the Indiana University Research Program. In this program, students perform hands-on research in behavioral science and biomedicine at the university’s cancer center. This opportunity is primarily meant for individuals who are less represented in science fields and higher education, but any student is welcome to apply. Students participate in clinical research and learn from some of the best researchers, graduate students, and scientists in the country. This is another paid internship that lasts for eight weeks. Expect to work at least 40 hours a week.
Each internship program will have a different application process, so look carefully at the requirements for any internship you apply to. Let your family and friends look over your application and make sure your resume is up to date. Any personal essays or writing should also be checked over by people you trust.
We also recommend applying to a range of internship programs since it’s likely you’ll receive at least one rejection letter. Many prestigious internships—those most likely to boost your college app—will be hard to get into, so increase your chances of acceptance by sending out several internship applications.