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I am an Indian undergraduate engineering student in electronics and communication engineering. I recently had a conversation (via email) with a professor at the Royal Holloway, University of London. The professor works in my subject of interest, and so I had mailed him asking whether internship opportunities are available for the next summer. I also mentioned that I'm willing to self-fund as far as travel and living expenses are concerned. He said that it might be possible to arrange for an internship, however, he's not sure if he's allowed to not pay me. Naturally, he is a very busy person and told me that it might take him some time to gather more information about my situation. Meanwhile, he asked me to look out for scholarships/bursaries which might be available to me (during the internship period).

Now, being an Indian, I'm not very sure how these things work in the UK, nor am I particularly certain about what he meant by bursaries/scholarships. I did search the net for "funding+internship+UK", but couldn't find anything relevant to my situation. Most of the scholarship schemes I found are meant for undergraduate or graduate students who are going to study there for a period of 3 or 4 years, or for postgraduate researchers. I already mailed the Royal Holloway's international student support and the British Council and am waiting for a response from them. Is there anything else which I can possibly do from my end?

To summarize, basically my question is two-fold:

  1. Are scholarships/bursaries (whatever that means) for research internships (in the UK), at the undergraduate level, available for non-UK students?

  2. If yes, how should I go about looking for them? What are the places I should search first? Whom should I contact first?

P.S: I must clearly mention that I already thoroughly searched my own university's website but it seems that they don't have any funding schemes to support abroad internships. So, probably I'll need to find an external source for funding.


Update: The British Council replied that they do not have anything specific for my situation at the moment, however, I should keep an eye on the "scholarships tab" on their website, for future opportunities.

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    Research internship funding in the UK is mostly reserved for UK and EU students (I don't know how Brexit has affected this). – The Last Word Jul 22 '18 at 16:12
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In the UK, there is not much funding for non-UK/EU students. There is not much funding for undergrads. And there is not much funding for internships. On top of this, as a non-EU/UK student, you will need a visa to work/study in the UK and unpaid "internship" is not a category for which you can easily get a visa. Tier 5 visa is perhaps most appropriate, but it requires serious commitment from the sponsor (UK university), which they may hesitate to provide.

To summarise, my advice is to look for a more standard route, e.g. an undergraduate course for which you can probably get a bursary from your own country. You can also apply for a paid work employment (e.g. postdoc) if you qualify.

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I also mentioned that I'm willing to self-fund as far as travel and living expenses are concerned.
...

I already thoroughly searched my own university's website but it seems that they don't have any funding schemes to support abroad internships.So, probably I'll need to find an external source for funding.

It's not clear to me you want to self-fund or to find a scholarship.

Tax-free scholarships are only for enrolled students. And you can't just enroll in an undergraduate program in the UK, as they require A-level etc.

I think what the professor meant was to "hire" you as research assistant without salary. But he was not sure if it was legal to do.

Your best chance is to look for some exchange programs, e.g. funding from Indian government etc.

You should also look at other countries. But I would say your chance are very small. Internship positions are often for people with intention to pursue PhD at the same lab. And in the Europe, it is requires Master's degree for a PhD

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    Internships (unpaid work) is legal in the UK, but it requires a work permit. As a visa sponsor, University is obliged to provide accommodation, cover utility bills, etc. Often it's too much trouble for them. – Dmitry Savostyanov Jul 23 '18 at 12:11

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