Real-World Experience

Sensitivity to and awareness of other people and cultures are among the top five transferable skills that employers look for in applicants—a mix of accuracy, creativity, confidence and flexibility. That’s why we encourage students to look for opportunities to gain real-world experience through participation in faculty projects and internships.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference (UIC)

Each year, the language-based departments and centers of the College of Liberal Arts host the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference (UIC). Students participating in UIC have the opportunity to experience all the rigor and fun of a professional academic conference. UIC hosts panels of student researchers and writers, moderated discussions, chances for students to network with faculty and alumni, and creative student performances.

In addition to traditional conference panels and presentations, students are asked to propose collaborative and discussion-based sessions. In these “open forums,” small groups of students make short, problem-posing presentations on significant global issues and lead their peers in a discussion focused on exploration and questioning, rather than argumentation and answers. This year a variety of student presenters and moderating professors will be representing the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

We also encourage undergraduate students to apply for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This program, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, supports research projects dedicated to fulfilling the U of M’s commitment to research and expanding the store of human knowledge and expression. Students who successfully apply will receive a $1,400 stipend to support their research and will also have an opportunity to present their research at various university symposia.

Students who earn a UROP will be mentored by one of nearly 3,000 diverse faculty members and will meet other students who share a passion for discovery about the human condition. The UROP can be used to help you achieve practical goals like your senior capstone project or put you on a path to career. If you desire to pursue a program with UROP, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Research for more information.


Internships allow you to gain hands-on experience doing the work of an employee in an organization. As a department, we are proud to support student internships through the Lawrence Scholarship in Experiential Learning. CLA Career Services has information on internship opportunities and how to find them. Learn more about past internship experiences.

Student Employment

Student employment is a great way to make connections within the University, as well as learn work and leadership skills. You can find jobs and internships on campus and in the community on the UMN human resources website or on GoldPASS.