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Difference Between Internship and Fellowship

Difference Between Internship and Fellowship

Students often come upon two words – Internships and Fellowships. These two words are frequently used interchangeably by those who do not know their meanings. In reality, these words are far apart from each other and have a lot of difference. When given a choice to choose between a fellowship and an internship, one cannot choose without knowing the differences in them.

What Is an internship?

An internship is a small period of work offered by companies to give school and college students work experience and exposure in a focused and specific field of study. It is an opportunity for students to work at the firms with a tag of “intern”. An intern can be a person who has completed his studies or someone who is pursuing his graduation.

Internships can be part time, full time and work from home. Students need to choose the type of internship based on their free time. For instance, during the summer breaks, there is a larger demand for full-time internships. Internships give students practical knowledge and employers get their work done at low costs.

What Is a Fellowship?

Fellowships are learning programs sponsored by different institutes and organizations. The program aims at the development of intellect and knowledge related to specific fields. Fellowships are merit-based programs where different candidates have to prove their caliber to get into the programs. They can do so by providing a recommendation letter and impressive resumes. Those selected for a fellowship are given a tag of “fellows”.

There are different types of fellowships for many groups of people from school students to senior executives working in industries. Students can use the fellowship as an important opportunity to earn a good stipend along with certificates to add in their resume. Applying for a fellowship should be done carefully, as there is a large competition from different ages of candidates. Fellowships are given in fields like science, medicine, literature, history, data analytics, and arts.

Difference Through Comparisons



Internships are work position offered to a student or a trainee to gain experience in a specific organization or industry.


Fellowships aim at a student’s development through studies and not work experience. Fellowships are designed to grow students through the research-based study and theoretical study.

Time Period


An internship’s duration can range from a few weeks to a year. Usually, an internship program is designed for 1 to 3 months, so that students can quickly change internships can gain experience in many fields quickly. An internship can be a part-time where an intern has to work for a few hours of a day. Other internships are full time in which interns have to work for normal job hours in offices.


A fellowship lasts for longer periods than an internship. Fellowships can be from a few months to two years. As fellowship includes rigorous study and research, the time spent by fellows is greater. The time duration varies based on the needs of the institutions providing the fellowship.



  • It presents students with working experience to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world problems that a company faces. Having experience in strategizing and solving a company’s problem will help a student to get a good job after completing graduation.
  • It helps students to understand a field of work and to know if they are carved out for this. Students often chose a lifelong field of study through internships using the hit and trial method.
  • It helps to build their experience portfolios.
  • Internships add deeper dimensions to their academic lives.
  • It is a great way of using free time like summer breaks on self-development and earning some pocket money simultaneously.
  • It helps to develop corporate contacts that can land you a complete job in the future.
  • It teaches an intern about how a company operates and different company policies.
  • Internships help to improve leadership skills and nurture practical thinking in young student brains


  • Fellowship students can learn a lot from the duration of their studies.
  • Fellowship programs often give students some exceptional work opportunities related to their field of study. These work opportunities are even better than what a student gets at an internship.
  • The connections to get a job in the future are an important benefit in fellowships too.
  • Fellowships pay a handsome amount of money to students for their work services. You can learn and earn at the same time in a fellowship.
  • A fellowship title in your resume will attract more employers and can help you land jobs and internships in the future.
  • Fellowships maintain their alumni records openly. Students can develop a connection with these alumni who will guide them as a mentor and help them get a good job after the fellowship.
  • Fellowship promotes analytical and leadership skills in students.



The pay depends largely on the company you intern for. There can be paid and unpaid internships. In earlier times, paid internships were rare. But with time, unpaid internships began to be considered exploitation. Students stopped signing up for internships with no remuneration. This changed the common conventions, and now most of the interns are paid reasonably.


Most fellows are paid generously by the fellowship institutes. The pay is not equal to a full-scale job, but enough to cover the daily expenses of a student including house rent. More prestigious fellowships given even higher pay equal to regular jobs. But with higher pay, responsibilities at work also increase.


Looking at all these differences, it can be inferred that internships provide practical and industry-oriented work experience where students are taught how to do tasks. And Fellowships are study oriented work experience where independent research is encouraged. Fellowships are rarer and uncommon. Hence, completing a fellowship will greatly benefit your resume by making it more exotic and interesting.

Internships are common, but it does not reduce its influence. Doing an internship from an MNC can give a much-needed boost to your job applications.