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Lee Iacocca International Internships

To fulfill our mission to prepare students to lead in the 21st century, Lehigh University must enhance the global competencies of its students. Building upon the important role the Iacocca Institute has played since 1988 in expanding Lehigh’s international focus, Lee Iacocca has committed $5 million in matching grants to establish the Lee Iacocca International Internship Program, a cutting-edge program that will offer undergraduates access to a broad range of work opportunities in foreign countries. Each $1M grant is expected to support 7-10 internships per year. Four opportunity-types have been identified for student engagement:

  • International Co-op: paid work experiences that have academic and formal work components.
  • International Research: work/research experiences typically held at universities, national laboratories, or research-focused corporations.
  • Internship Linked to Coursework: work experiences linked to Lehigh courses that have an international dimension. (i.e., a course on sustainability could include Lehigh students participating in a short internship in Rio de Janeiro where they help craft UN policy on urban equality.)
  • Cohort Internship: teams of Lehigh students work on faculty-led, theme-based international programs with peers from another country to address a common problem in a multinational corporation.

Students will be selected through a campus-wide competitive process; the selection committee will include a member of the Iacocca family, or a designee. Interns will work in the destination country, report to a supervisor on site, and present a report to the host organization and Lehigh community upon conclusion of their internship.

The impact of this program is vast:

  • Positions graduates for leadership in the global marketplace regardless of financial circumstances.
  • Advances global leadership as a hallmark of a Lehigh education.
  • Enhances Lehigh’s ability to recruit great students.
  • Raises the level and quality of the conversation on campus regarding international issues through
    interns’ reports.
  • Increases Lehigh’s visibility with international employers, organizations, and institutions.
  • Strengthens and extends Lehigh’s global network.
  • Leverages faculty as well as university and Global Village alumni connections abroad.

Funding Levels

I. Endowed Internships: These funds will be used to fully support scholarships through our traditional endowment procedures (i.e., a portion of the investment return will be used in support of student(s). These funds would be named; for example, “The John L. Smith International Internship Fund.”

  • $100,000 New Endowed Internship, no restrictions
  • $250,000 New Endowed Internship, with restrictions [To a college/field of study]

II. Current Use Internships/Term Funds: Funds will support immediate internships, similar to our use of annual fund dollars. We welcome programming support, but it will not count towards the match.

  • $10,000 Support for one one-time internships
  • $15,000 Support for two one-time internships
  • $30,000 Support for four one-time internships

Examples of Internships:

  • A business or engineering internship with an overseas corporation.
  • Research to identify prevention, wellness, and health care innovations. Research collaboration with a partner university or international research organization.
  • Work with a social agency on the development of a United Nations’ Millennium Goal.
  • Work with a corporate or public agency in a developing nation to improve infrastructure and help the environment.
  • Work with a cross-disciplinary team (i.e., business, architecture, geology, and industrial engineering students) in a project to protect regions from earthquake damage.

For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at (800) 523-0565.