Over half of MIT undergrads have an international experience before graduation. Plan yours today!

MISTI provides MIT students with the chance to gain hands-on, real-life work experience in leading companies and labs around the worldAt no cost.

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Our programs

Internships: MISTI program managers work closely with students to find a host and project aligned with their skills and interests in a foreign lab or company.

Study Abroad: Earn transfer credit at universities around the world.

Global Teaching Labs (GTL): Prepare tailored courses in STEM that complement the host school's curriculum and highlight MIT's hands-on approach to education.

Global Startup Labs (GSL): Teach mobile app development and incubate technologies among budding university student entrepreneurs around the world. 

Faculty-led Programs: Learn abroad with MIT faculty through hands-on research and fieldwork.

Undergrad Timeline

Plan ahead for success! There are many great times to have a MISTI experience that both complements and augments your MIT education, and many students choose to do MISTI multiple times throughout their time at MIT. Start planning now to set yourself up for success, wherever or whenever you want to go! While this timeline speaks specifically to the undergraduate timeline, MISTI programs are also open to graduate students at all stages of study, including both Master and PhD students.

Congratulations--you’re going to MIT!

Learn more about MISTI on our website and read stories from MISTI students at Notes from the Field or the IdentityX Blog. Join the MISTI mailing list!

First year (Fall/IAP)

Your first semester will be action-packed--learning about the MIT ecosystem and getting used to the new pace of activity. Join clubs, pursue UROPs, dedicate yourself to your coursework. MISTI is a professional experience in addition to an intercultural one, and being able to demonstrate your interests via your activities helps you start building your resume. You might want to start taking language classes (or continue language learning from high school), as many MISTI programs require a minimum of 2-4 semesters of a language. There are accelerated language courses offered over IAP, if a language class does not fit into your fall schedule. 

The deadlines for Global Teaching Labs and Global Startup Labs (over IAP), and early deadlines for some MISTI country programs are in the fall. Although it is possible to apply, recognize that these opportunities may not be the right fit for you as a first-year. You may want to focus first on developing relevant experience before you apply. For study abroad, this is a great time to start speaking with your academic advisor and the study abroad program coordinator about creating a four year academic plan that includes one study abroad semester. 

First year (Spring)

Learn more about MISTI in our joint activities with the Office of the First Year, and connect with other students in your clubs, teams, or classes about their experiences with MISTI. This is a good semester to take a culture course, which is required for some MISTI country programs. 

Sophomore year

Summer after sophomore year is a popular time for students to do a MISTI program, and to set yourself up for success, consider whether you have the necessary requirements. Does the country you wish to travel to require you to speak some of the language; does the MISTI program require a culture course; when are the application deadlines; in what subject area do you want to intern or conduct research? If you have multiple host location interests, consider which is your top choice, and apply online. For students interested in non-internship programs, such as Global Teaching Labs (GTL) and Global Startup Labs (GSL), which are competitive programs, learn the deadlines and attend information sessions to determine which locations are offering programs this year. For study abroad, many students study abroad their Junior year. Some study abroad applications for Junior year Spring will be due the February of your Sophomore year. Speak to your department and reach out to MISTI regarding those deadlines, so you can plan ahead.

Junior year

Summer after junior year is also an excellent time to do MISTI, particularly for students who may be interested in global careers in the future. Meet with MISTI program staff to learn about specific companies that may be a good fit, based on your experiences at MIT and your professional goals for after graduation. Many MISTI hosts are international companies, with offices both in the US and abroad, and a summer internship may lead to a future career path. 

Junior year is also a great time for students interested in GTL or GSL or semester exchange/study abroad programs. Attend information sessions and reach out to program staff to state your interest early as some programs may be competitive. For study abroad, this may also be the time to plan for Senior Fall or Spring.

Senior year

Internships and GSL are open to students even after graduation. Students may participate in MISTI for up to one year after graduation, as long as they meet application deadlines prior to their graduation and start their program within three months of commencement. If you are interested in full time positions in a certain MISTI country, you might also reach out to staff to discuss opportunities and potential recruitment avenues. Students can also apply to Spring study abroad up until mid-Fall semester of their senior year. Reach out to program staff to state your interest early.


First, decide which 1-2 MISTI countries you’re interested in and read through their descriptions, requirements, and student stories on the MISTI website. If you meet a country’s requirements and feel it may be a good fit for you, then start an application in the MISTI application portal. Click on the country, log in via your MIT certificates or Kerberos login, choose which program and term you’d like to apply for, and follow instructions to begin submitting documents. 

You need to e-sign several documents and submit the MISTI application, the country/program-specific application, and a copy of your resume and transcript for all MISTI countries before making an appointment to meet with the country program staff to learn more. Some countries or programs may ask you to submit additional documents before making an appointment; follow instructions in the application portal carefully. Prepare for your appointment by thinking through your relevant interests, skills, experience, and goals for your experience abroad.

For study abroad, we recommend making an appointment by contacting misti@mit.edu. The Study Abroad Program Coordinator will be able to answer your questions and walk you through the application process (speaking with your academic advisor, completing the MISTI application, deadlines to be aware of, etc.).

Learn more about the application process for all MISTI student programs.