Students > FAQs
Why do MISTI?
What does MISTI offer?
Where can MISTI take me?
How many MIT students go abroad through MISTI?
What does MISTI stand for?
Why should I go abroad through MISTI?
What will a MISTI internship do for my career?
What well-known institutions work with MISTI?
Will I graduate on time?
I'm really busy. Will I have time to do MISTI?
Is it all work and no play?
How does MISTI work?
What's the first step?
What's the application procedure like?
Can I apply to more than one country program?
What are the requirements?
Who is eligible?
What's the placement procedure like?
What happens once I've been placed?
What about practical issues like visa, housing, and travel?
How much does it cost?
Will it disrupt my financial aid package or housing at MIT?
What if I don't speak a foreign language?
When can I go abroad?
When should I start planning?
Can I receive MIT credit?
What host institutions can I go to?
MISTI provides hands-on, tailored internships with leading companies, labs, schools, and NGOs abroad. We also offer workshops, IAP courses, and opportunities to study abroad in your major. Opportunities vary country by country; visit the website of the country program that interests you.
For faculty, several MISTI programs offer seed funds that support research collaborations with colleagues abroad.
MISTI also organizes campus events featuring international leaders in science and technology, industry, politics, and culture.
MISTI offers ten country-specific programs: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Spain — and the list is ever-growing!
The largest international program on campus, MISTI sends more and more students abroad every year. This year, MISTI plans to send more than 400 MIT students abroad, mostly on internships.
MISTI stands for MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives.
Returning MISTI students often tell us that MISTI was the best thing they did while at MIT. All MISTI programs — internships, study, and workshops alike — are designed to give you a useful, hands-on international experience that enhances your work within your major. And in today's global economy, experience working in international teams is vital to your success after MIT.
As a first step into your career, a MISTI internship will help you gain access to employment abroad and boost your portfolio for employment in the US. Many of our industrial partners emphasize how important it is for today's graduates to have foreign-languages skills and experience working abroad — your resume will leap off the screen!
MISTI works with hundreds of leading companies, universities, labs, and NGOs around the world. For a list of MISTI host institutions — searchable by country and major — and a profile of students the individual institutions are looking for, visit our host institutions page.
Since most MISTI interns go abroad over the summer, there should be no disruption to your MIT curriculum. Other students go right after graduation. A few interns choose to take a semester or a year of leave; if that's the case, you should discuss the plan with your MIT department to determine whether you can graduate on time. As for MISTI semester- and year-long study abroad opportunities and IAP workshops, these programs are designed so that you can earn MIT credit and graduate on time.
MISTI makes it easy: once you've been accepted by the program, we facilitate placement and all logistical preparations prior to your trip abroad.
MISTI interns work hard, but they play hard too. You can use your host city as a jumping off point for weekend travel around Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. MISTI also facilitates networking between our interns abroad, and many interns end up traveling together.
How does MISTI work?
Consult the website of the country program that interests you to learn more about that program's specifics. When choosing a destination, take into consideration your level of interest in that country and whether you can meet the requirements for that program.
It's simple. Go to the MISTI application portal to explore hosts, request an appointment and submit your application to one country program.
While we encourage you to have multiple MISTI experiences during your time at MIT, we recommend you pursue them sequentially, not simultaneously. Both students and MISTI staff have found that the best strategy is to choose one country program at a time based on your interest in the country, the opportunities it has to offer, and your ability to meet that program's language requirements. When you have returned from that MISTI experience, you are free to choose a new opportunity in a new country.
Requirements also vary by country program. In general, you will need to fulfill certain language requirements, be in good standing at MIT, and complete country-specific training. Consult the website of the country program that interests you to learn more about that program's specifics.
MISTI is open to all MIT students and recent graduates of all levels and majors, including graduate students and postdocs.
Internships: Once you've been accepted to the program, the coordinator will contact host institutions on your behalf to find you an internship. If you or your advisor has contacts abroad, we're happy to pursue them for you. And if you've already found a placement abroad and meet MISTI requirements, we'd be happy to include you in the MISTI community, involve you in our training programs, and help with practical issues.
Study abroad, IAP courses, workshops: The placement procedure is slightly different for all of MISTI's many programs. We recommend you talk with the coordinator of the program that interests you to get the pertinent details.
Your program coordinator will work with you to deal with administrative and practical issues. You will be asked to attend courses or training sessions that will help you to prepare for your experience abroad.
Your MISTI coordinator will work with you to arrange for your visa, housing, and travel.
All MISTI internship costs are covered either through the host institution or by MISTI. Other MISTI programs, such as study abroad and IAP courses and workshops, require a minimal contribution by the student.
Since most undergrads participate in MISTI experiences during the summer, your internship should not have an impact on either your financial aid package or your campus housing arrangements. If you wish to study abroad for a semester or longer, however, we recommend that you discuss your plans with the Financial Aid Office and the Housing Office.
MISTI encourages you to begin learning a foreign language as soon as possible so that you'll meet the requirements of the program that interests you. Program requirements vary by country. Currently, there are no foreign language requirements for MIT-India, MIT-Israel, or MIT-China's Singapore placements.
Most students (especially undergrads) participate in internships during the summer following their sophomore or junior years or right after graduation. A few undergraduate students opt to take a leave from MIT for a semester or year to do a long-term internship. Graduate students can go whenever it works for them. Some MISTI programs also offer study abroad during the academic year or over IAP.
It's best to plan early, especially if you need to take a few language classes to meet the requirements of the program that interests you. Once you've met the requirements, you should apply to the program that interests you in the fall before the summer you'd like to go abroad. See our country program websites for specifics on deadlines, requirements, and application procedures.
MISTI internships are not offered for academic credit. Some programs offer semester- or year-long study abroad or workshops and study during IAP where credits can be earned.
Each country program cultivates contacts with a variety of leading companies, research institutes, universities, and NGOs. Visit our host institutions page for a sample list.
MISTI is committed to ensuring a safe and secure experience for all of our students. Coordinators will train you on risks within your program country before you travel. We follow the U.S. State Department guidelines pertaining to safe travel abroad. Please also review the MISTI general emergency information.
In addition, MIT offers a variety of information to prepare students for their time abroad.
MIT Travel Risk Policy
MIT Emergency Information
U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of State Emergency info