An internship can provide a different sort of classroom for expanding your learning; it can help you explore and test hunches about a career field; it can build your resume and launch your career.
"Internships" come in many different shapes and forms and for that reason the word has varied meanings. For some, it means "volunteer," for others "paid apprenticeship." Some organizations require that you earn academic credit, while others don't. Some might use different words such as "externship" or "fellowship." Some summer jobs, work-study or part-time situations might qualify as internships.
The three most common factors that define an internship are these: 1) the work has an end point; it is temporary, whether it's a month long or two years in duration; 2) the work includes specific learning objectives; and 3) the work is performed under the guidance of a supervisor or mentor.
At Puget Sound, it is possible to take some situations which meet those criteria and link them to the curriculum for academic credit.