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Thread: Advices for an internship by a foreigner

  1. #1
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    Advices for an internship by a foreigner

    Hello everyone,

    I am curently a french student doing my final year of master degree in Urban Planning. I'm looking to an internship in US in order to graduate and acquire experience. Can some of you tell me more about the organization that deals with planning in the US (is there only department of municipalities, consultancies and non profit organization ?). I'm searching in big us cities and especialy in New York. Is there some particularities in the urban planning field in this city. I'm more focus in urban design topics.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the mistakes i could have made.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum! Planning internships are currently very hard to find since there is an oversupply of entry-level planners looking to gain experience. Internships can be found at all levels of government (federal, state, local) but likely require U.S. citizenship. Non-profit organizations that do housing and community development may be an avenue although they might not be able to offer much in the area of urban design.

    On the plus side, being bilingual may also give you an edge over other applicants.

    Good luck on your search!
    The content contrarian

  3. #3
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    Ok thanks for the reply, I was'nt expected easy especialy in a country where urban planner is a renown profession ^^.
    I'm just wondering is there possible to find something without contacts ?
    And are you aware of some ways to facilitate my search ? What are currently the kind of organization that are hiring the most of intern ? Is it NGO like you suggest.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I believe you can work for one year after graduation on your student visa, by applying for an extension and permission. Check on it, my information may be outdated. If you are able to find an employer that will sponsor a work visa, then all the better. If you have a graduate degree from a US university, you have better chances with the visa applications.

    Internships are certainly greatly sought after at present. Try looking at MPOs and similar organizations, they do seem to have regular internship offerings. The one in my area prides themselves as being "like the UN", as they have people from all over the world working there. You can also check with city and town departments, they may hire interns without advertising widely.

    Good luck!

    After a second read:

    Oops, I assumed you were a masters student in a US university. If you are not but you need to do an internship to complete your degree, maybe you can do some kind of exchange program that will also require you to have a student visa.
    Bonne chance!

  5. #5
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    @ Reefe : In fact i'm doing my master degree in France.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I'm wondering whether you might want to consider Canada, where bilingual English-French skills are required, the economy is stronger, where there seems to be an actual shortage of town planners in some areas, and where the standard of practice is arguably higher than in the US. http://www.cip-icu.ca/web/la/en/default.asp for the Canadian Institute of Planners.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Sebastien P. View post
    Ok thanks for the reply, I was'nt expected easy especialy in a country where urban planner is a renown profession ^^.
    I'm just wondering is there possible to find something without contacts ?
    And are you aware of some ways to facilitate my search ? What are currently the kind of organization that are hiring the most of intern ? Is it NGO like you suggest.
    Welcome.

    We are in the opposite situation - thinking of a move to Lyon area, but the job situation is more difficult than in the U.S.A. so we are delaying. I also recommend Canada - we were in Quebec this past September and the growth in Montreal and Toronto might make it easier for you. We also heard a lot of French accents while in Montreal, and McGill University is a great resource.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  8. #8
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    Of course I'm also considering Canada .
    I have other questions : I heard that internship in New York could be found in non-profit organizations. Do you know some of them because it's not easy to know and find those kind of organizations.
    Is it hard for an planner to find a position in urban design companies that are often lead by architects.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by Sebastien P. View post
    Of course I'm also considering Canada .
    I have other questions : I heard that internship in New York could be found in non-profit organizations. Do you know some of them because it's not easy to know and find those kind of organizations.
    Is it hard for an planner to find a position in urban design companies that are often lead by architects.
    Try this website: http://www.abo.ny.gov/paw/paw_weblistingLDC.html

    The list focuses on housing and community development non-profits in New York State, but unfortunately not much in the ways of design. In my experience, it is rare for a non-profit to do design work in-house.
    The content contrarian

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