If you are thinking about gaining some work experience after your studies and you are an international student, you may have heard about the Tier 5 Intern scheme. It’s a Government Authorised Exchange scheme (GAE) designed specifically to allow undergraduates and graduates from overseas to gain experience working in the UK for up to 12 months.
There are a number of approved Tier 5 organisations who can act as sponsors for your internship provided it meets their requirements for sponsorship.
One disadvantage to the Tier 5 schemes is that you need to leave the UK after your work experience. You cannot switch into a different visa in the UK (such as Tier 2), so this is only for graduates looking for a short period of work in the UK.
You can find a list of all the current Tier 5 schemes and sponsors on the UK Visa and Immigration website. Check with individual Tier 5 sponsors to find out more about their internship programmes, requirements for sponsorship, how to apply and costs. Some relevant schemes for students include AIESEC (Access Tier 5 scheme), GTI (Tier 5 Intern Program) and BUNAC (Intern in Britain) but there are over 70 schemes listed in total.