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Differences between Practicum and Internship

Differences between Practicum and Internship

When you begin your journey as a counselor, you will likely be faced with the decision of whether to pursue a practicum or an internship. Both are important experiences, but they vary in several ways. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between practicum and internship.

What is a Practicum?

Practicums are field-based experiences in which students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. Practicums can be paid or unpaid, and last anywhere from a few weeks to a full academic year. They provide an excellent way for students to gain valuable work experience, learn new skills, and network with professionals in their field. Practicums can be completed in a variety of settings, such as nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses. Some schools even offer international practicum opportunities. No matter where you do your practicum, it will give you a chance to learn firsthand what it is like to work in your chosen field.

What is an Internship?

Internships are typically completed during the summer months between academic years, although some internships may be available during the regular school year. Internships provide students with an opportunity to gain work experience in their chosen field of study, and can often lead to full-time employment after graduation. Internships may be paid or unpaid and may last anywhere from a few weeks to a full year.

Some internships may also offer academic credit. Internships are often competitive, so it is important to research each opportunity thoroughly and apply early. Students should also be prepared to complete relevant coursework prior to beginning their internship. By taking advantage of internship opportunities, students can gain invaluable real-world experience that will help them succeed in their future careers.

Differences between Practicum and Internship

Practicum and internship experiences are similar in that they both provide opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in their field of study. However, there are some key differences between the two. Practicums are typically shorter in duration, and they may take place within the student’s current educational institution.

Internships, on the other hand, generally last for a longer period of time and take place at an external organization. Practicums also tend to be more closely supervised by faculty members, while internships provide interns with more autonomy and responsibility. Overall, both practicum and internship experiences can be valuable for students, but it is important to understand the key distinctions between the two.


A practicum and internship are both great opportunities to learn, but there are some key differences between the two experiences. We hope this blog post has helped clear up any confusion and given you a better understanding of what each opportunity entails.

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