Difference between Externship and Internship

Key Difference: The most common differences are that externships are often shorter than internships. They are also unpaid, whereas internships are often not.

Students are often provided with opportunities for internships and externships. For some it might be an optional part of their curriculum, while for others it might be compulsory, either way most students are faced with the option of internships or externships. The question arises: what is the difference between externships and internships?

Externships and internships are quite similar in nature. They both allow students to take the opportunity to work in a field of study or career of their choice and gain practical experience. This allow them to gain hands-on experience before committing to that career. Externships and internships are somewhat similar in their nature to apprenticeships for trade and vocational jobs.

Depending on the context in which they are used, there can be a lot of differences between externships and internships, or there can be absolutely none. The most common differences are that externships are often shorter than internships. Internships often last for the entire summer, or for a semester. The general rule of thumb is that internships last for eight weeks, whereas externships are shorter. They last from a few weeks up to a month.

 Due to the fact that externships are much shorter, they are often unpaid. They often do not offer any monetary recompensation or any academic credit. While, internships often come with one or the other.

However, as previously said, there can no differences between the two either. Today, there are many types of internships and externships. There are unpaid internships, short internships, paid externships, long externships, etc. which blur the lines between the two terms. The only way to be sure of the differences is to check the details of the externship/internship offered, as they are often used interchangeably.

Comparison between Externship and Internship:

 

Externship

Internship

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

A temporary training programme in a workplace, especially one offered to students as part of a course of study

The position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification

Duration

Shorter. Commonly a few weeks to a month.

Longer, at least one semester, and often eight weeks

Payment

Usually not given

Usually given. However, either payment or credit; not both.

Academic Credit

Usually not given

Usually given. However, either payment or credit; not both.

Additional Types

Paid Externships

Long Externships

Paid Internship

Unpaid Internship

Short Internships

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