Start here with MISTI 101

Get started with MISTI! Here is everything you need to know before you apply.

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Next steps

Where Can I Go?

Explore MISTI’s programs by location, language, or area of interest.

Types of Programs

From internships and study abroad, conducting high-impact research, or teaching STEM classes and entrepreneurship to students around the globe—MISTI offers different programs to suit your interests and career goals.

Get Started

Begin your application process with MISTI Launchpad.


Join us for info sessions about our programs, as well as public events from international leaders in science, technology, culture, and industry.

Undergraduate Timeline

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. 

Although it is possible to apply now (Global Teaching Labs, Global Classroom over IAP, and deadlines for some MISTI country programs are in the fall), 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.

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.

Summer after sophomore year is a popular time for students to do a MISTI internship, so start considering 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, it's important to research these locations and narrow your choices down to your top three before starting the application.

If you’re interested in non-internship programs, such as the competitive Global Teaching Labs and Global Startup Labs, learn the deadlines and 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.

Summer after junior year is also an excellent time to do a MISTI internship, particularly for students who may be interested in global careers in the future. Once you have narrowed down your top three location options (misti [at] (contact us )for help if needed), start your application and then 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 U.S. and abroad, and a summer internship may lead to a future career path. 

Junior year is also a great time for students interested in Global Teaching Labs  or Global Classroom 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.

Internships are open to students even after graduation. You may participate in MISTI for up to one year after graduation, as long as you meet application deadlines prior to your graduation and start your 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. You can also apply to spring study abroad up until the mid-fall semester of your senior year.