Internships have almost become a requisite summer activity for anyone aspiring to gain a better chance at college admissions. Due to high student demand, Taipei American School offers 50 to 70 internship opportunities to students every summer. The opportunities range from scientific research, journalism, to hotel management, all taken place at leading companies and institutions in various industries.
However, the price of these internships at NT $14,940 often bewilders parents and students. Afterall, students are paying money to work for someone. Shouldn’t they work at no cost, if not be paid? In fact, TAS does not profit from the internship program. It instead uses the tuition fee to manage a quality program by hiring faculty to specifically find and oversee the internships.
The summer academy office endeavors to collaborate with certain companies that are more appealing to students. “We’re the only school that puts in high school students in these internship opportunities in Taiwan,” Director of Summer Academy Dr. Long said, proudly. “Our scientific research ones are amazing.” Every scientific research lab internship offered at TAS gives students a chance to collaborate with post doctoral students.
Easton L. (‘22) is one of the students who took an internship at the National Taiwan University research lab, where he researched cancer cells, this past summer. “It’s definitely worth it. I learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t be able to learn somewhere else or on my own,” he said.
Gloria L. (‘22) took an internship at Regent Hotel in the marketing and communications department, which is one of the best internships at TAS year after year, according to Dr. Long. “I opened my eyes to what [working in a big corporate company] is like,” Gloria said. “It’s different [from simply reading about it] when you’re actually there.”
Students in the past have been able to achieve remarkable accomplishments through the TAS internship program. One student went on-air in their internship at International Community Radio Taipei, and several students have gotten their articles published on China Post during their internship there. Consequently, the TAS Summer Academy office receives enthusiastic feedback about the level of work students produce every year. “It’s very rewarding when we see kids not only learn themselves, but benefit the environment that they’re in,” Dr. Long said. “That’s ultimately what we want.”
The biggest benefit of internships is that they provide students a real world experience in an area of interest. For Easton, who has had his doubts on pursuing a research career, he is no longer certain about his initial prospect after realizing how time-consuming and demanding research is. For Gloria, the Regent internship confirmed that marketing is the career she hopes to pursue in the future.
In view of the guidance an internship can provide for your future aspirations, taking the opportunity offered by TAS is certainly a consideration to be made. A month at an internship might be the most valuable month you will ever spend.