Internships in Europe—Journal Requirements

Analytic Journal for CAS 397A European Health Sciences Internship


1.  The journal should be a chronicle of intellectual activities and journeys--not a list of the things you are doing. In it, you should document your intellectual growth, both in your work and in your encounters with the people, the institutions, and the culture of your host country, both inside and outside your internship placement.

Keep in mind the difference between a journal and a diary.  One of the problems with some journals is that they have been too much like diaries and too little like journals.  Be aware that analytic journal requirements vary by type of internship.  The journal requirements for your peers in Politics or Arts placements are different than yours.

2. At the beginning, you should describe in some detail the duties of your internship, then after 1 or 2 months you can update that and finally at the end of the internship, describe what you accomplished and how you accomplished it. In between, you should only note significant occurrences, especially if they have an effect on the way you think about the work, the culture, or the country. 

3.  At least one half of your journal should deal with life outside of your internship.  For example: what do you notice about the Brits’ attitudes toward authority?   How does it compare with your own, or that of your American peers?  In Europe, most people live in close proximity to one another.  Does this affect their attitude toward ‘community?’  How?  Record significant activities, but more importantly, record what you learn about your host country through those activities.

4.  You should also use the journal to think aloud on paper; you should try to demonstrate what you are learning about another country, about the people and behaviors in that country, and about the differences between U.S. and your host country, about yourself and the impact of the experience on you.  You should try to read a daily newspaper and a weekly or monthly newsmagazine.  You should try to view the world through English (or German, or Spanish) eyes (assuming that all Europeans see the world in the same way--which they don't).  You should push yourself to meet people of your host country. Develop you own skills in evaluating other cultures.

5.  One of the ways you can show your intellectual curiosity and attempts to satisfy that curiosity is by raising questions in your journal; these can be marked off for emphasis.  For example, in discussing your experience in getting a throat culture, you might have become puzzled about the NHS; this could be reflected in your journal with an entry like the following (which has been paraphrased from a past journal):

QUERY: I have been told that in England medical workers function very inefficiently.  However, this was not my experience; I found that the people who treated me were courteous, efficient, and helpful.  Why do people apparently believe otherwise?

Then, at later points in the journal you can return to the query--answering it, or restating it, commenting on it on the basis of your reading and your discussion with others.

However, you should give some thought to the questions you raise.  If you state your questions perfunctorily, that will be evident and won't enhance your journal.

6. A few general suggestions:

a. Write frequently.  Entries should be made every few days, while your thoughts and ideas are still fresh.  It will be obvious if you write your journal all at one sitting at the end.

b.  You do not have to write every thing that occurs.  Rather, too much description of the mundane will add nothing to your journal.

c.  Various headings, i.e., "My encounter with British Bureaucracy, " interspersed in your journal will help the reader.

d.  Past journal writers have mentioned various people they worked with.  It would be helpful if you reserved several pages for a continuously updated list of dramatis personae, which we could refer to and which would help us make  sense of what you write.

e.  Prepare yourself by reading a current text on the American health care system (or lack of it), so that you can make valid comparisons with the system of your host country.  See the Suggested Reading List which was included with your letter of acceptance.  Your colleagues will assume that you are informed about the US situation.

7.  At the end of your period in Europe, you should conclude your journal by discussing the following questions:

a.  What did you learn from your internship?  What did you gain intellectually, and perhaps personally, from being in England, Germany, or Scotland?

b.  What did you fail to accomplish that you wanted to accomplish?

c.  How, if at all, could you have been better prepared for your internship?  That is, what did you not know before you started the internship that, if you had known, would have made your experience more useful?

8. The final product should be about 20 pages, single-spaced, in length.  The effectiveness of your journal will represent an assessment of your intellectual growth in thinking and learning about another society, i.e. how well you respond to items 1-5 above.

Your grade for the course will combine the evaluation of the journal and the report of your internship supervisor. However, the supervisor’s report will account for only 20 percent of your grade.  The main intellectual product of the internship is the journal, so it is main component of the grade.

9.  Sending your journal.  Be sure to send your journal to the Center for Study Abroad in Rochester so that it is received within two weeks of the official end date of your program. You may email, as an attachment, or mail your journal, but in either case, it must be received by the deadline (not postmarked). Your journal will be returned to you after a grade is awarded.  Write your journal in English.    

Journals received more than four weeks after the program has ended will have their grades lowered by 1/3 of a point (e.g., A- to B+, B+ to B).  Journals cannot be accepted for evaluation eight weeks after the program has ended, without exception.

10.  Plagiarism.  Normal stipulations about plagiarism apply.  A statement on plagiarism is enclosed.



As a student intern, you will have access to places, persons, and information that should be considered confidential.  While you may wish to share information about your placement with friends and family, keep in mind that you should share no more than the name of your organization, e.g., House of Commons, Victoria and Albert, King’s College London and its mission (government, museum, teaching hospital).  Divulging more than that could be detrimental to the department or organization. Your internship supervisor will let you know if there is other information that is off-limits.  When in doubt, ask.

It’s easy to share information with friends and family via email, texting, blogs, Facebook, and other means of communication.  Remember that these are not confidential; anyone can access your private accounts or pages.  Therefore, do not discuss your internship or your co-workers using these, or similar, modes of communication.  Many businesses and organizations regularly check electronic communications and pages for mention of themselves. Your internship may be terminated if you publicly share information about your placement.


University of Rochester guidelines prohibit any personal use of your internship’s office stationery and supplies.  This includes any envelopes, copier paper, correspondence notes, or letterhead.  If your supervisor indicates that you may use a departmental printer to print your journal or personal correspondence, you must supply the paper. Printer paper, notebooks, envelopes and the like are reasonably priced and are widely available at stationers and department stores everywhere in Europe.  Questions concerning the use of your supervisor’s office equipment and property, such as computers, typewriters, copiers, fax machines, or telephones, are to be directed to your Internships in Europe on-site director.  NOTA BENE: Journals submitted on stationery embossed or watermarked with your office’s logo, or mailed in an envelope belonging to an office or department, will have grades lowered by one full letter grade, e.g. A- to B-, or B to C

Rev. 1/13