Frequently Asked Questions

Application Stage

To be eligible to apply you must be the following:

  • Enrolled in full time undergraduate study at a Scottish University
  • In your penultimate year of study. If it is a 4-year course you must be in 3rd year, if you are studying a 5-year course (an integrated masters, for example), you are eligible to apply in your 3rd or 4th year.

Our internships start on the 14th of June 2021 and usually last for 10 weeks.

The majority of internships will start on the same date. If you know you are not able to start by this date, we suggest you focus on applying to roles within Scotland, as there’s greater flexibility with these internships due to the lack of logistical arrangements.

No, it is our policy that students are only eligible to apply once for the programme.

  • Yes. For internships in Scotland and the wider UK, students are paid the living wage per hour (£9.30).
  • For internships in London, students are paid the living wage per hour (£10.75).
  • For internships outside of the UK all costs are covered (flights, accommodation, visas, insurance) as well as interns receiving a nominal stipend to cover expenses.

No. The Scholar team take responsibility for sourcing your accommodation and will work with you to book your flight. All Scholars must take the lead in submitting their visa paperwork and progressing through the required process.

Yes, if you are on a year abroad and in your penultimate year of study, you are eligible to apply. It is your responsibility to be organised with interviews and application timelines, taking into account any time differences in your country, as any deadlines stipulated will be in UK local time.

Internships last between 8-12 weeks. The duration of each project is determined by the company who hosts our interns.

The Saltire Scholar Programme is open to applicants from all degree disciplines. We encourage all students to consider their transferable skills so that they can broaden their horizons. While there may be internships directly related to your degree, you may have other relevant skills that could be applicable to a different industry or role. In the past we have had pharmacy students undertaking marketing roles, and engineers undertake business analysis roles, so it pays to think outside of the box!

We partner with a wide variety of companies who operate in a range of industries and sectors all over the world. This includes business and finance, engineering, manufacturing, life sciences, creative industries, not-for-profit, public sector, IT, pharmaceuticals, transport, food and drink and many more. When sourcing internship projects, we focus on identifying roles which deliver tangible impact to the company whilst also contributing to your learning and development.

We partner with companies on an annual basis which means every year we offer a range of internships with companies who have hosted interns before, as well as new companies. We understand that students will be drawn to recognisable employer brands, however we pride ourselves on partnering with the world’s leading firms and entrepreneurial companies, some of which you may never have heard of before! Regardless of which company we partner with and where they are located, we guarantee that they will offer students a valuable and meaningful internship.

Our application window is open for around four weeks: whether you submit early on, or on the very last day of the window, every application will be considered equally. There is no benefit to rushing your application and submitting it on the first day! We encourage all candidates to use the application period effectively, but we advise you are mindful of technical challenges if you’re cutting it close to the deadline!

No, it is your responsibility to be able to make deadlines and our application dates are not flexible

If you have any queries about the questions or require application support, reach out to your university’s careers service.

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Due to the high volume of application received in our initial process, there will not be a second round.

Speed Interviews

Once the short-listing of applications has been completed by the Scholar Team, all candidates who have been selected for interview will be notified. You will then be responsible for booking your interview time slot from a range of appointments available. All speed interviews for the 2021 programme will be taking place virtually via Zoom.

In the unlikely event that you still cannot find a suitable slot to book, we may be able to make alternative arrangements with you. However, we must see evidence that you are not able to attend the regular slots (i.e. evidence of university resits, medical appointments).

No. Although this is our final application stage, this is still competitive. Roughly 1 in 3 people within our candidate pool will secure an internship.

If invited to attend a speed interview, you will have two 15-minute interviews, back-to-back: one with a professional (someone from the Entrepreneurial Scotland team or a programme supporter) and one with a Saltire Brand Ambassador who has just completed the programme. Interviews for the 2021 Programme will take place virtually on Zoom.

The interviews are competency-based and will assess your knowledge of the Saltire Scholar Programme and the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation. To help you prepare for your interview, make sure you do your research on the programme and consult with your careers service about competency-based interviews.


These are professional interviews, therefore dress appropriately as you would for a job interview. First impressions are always important.

Candidate Pool Stage

No. Although this is our final application stage, this is still competitive. Roughly 1 in 3 people within our candidate pool will secure an internship.

Please address your cover letters to ‘Sir/Madam’

No, they are not included in the word count.

Yes, you can still apply, however it is unlikely you will be shortlisted. If a driver is specified, then it is because the company have identified this as a requirement for the internship to be successfu

There are various reasons that a Host Company may place an age limit on an internship role. For example, in the USA you must be at least 21 to work for a Company that has any links to alcohol. If your internship has car hire as an essential requirement, you must be over 21 before we can hire a car for you.

No, it is your responsibility to make sure you meet deadlines.

Due to the volume of applications that we receive, the team can only provide individual feedback for your first-choice selected internship.

All application outcomes are released at the same time. Unless you have received an email to say you have been shortlisted for a host company interview, you have not been successful. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are only able to provide feedback for your first-choice application.

Firstly, find out who your university Brand Ambassadors are, you can reach out on LinkedIn. You can search directly on LinkedIn or many Scholars have a link to their account through their blogs on the website. If you still haven’t managed to get in touch with any, then email the team to let us know what you are looking for.

The host company will reach out to you to organise the interview. The format varies depending on the company. For example, it may be in-person, over phone or through Skype or Zoom. If you cannot attend the interview date proposed by the company, then it is up to you to take ownership and responsibility for rearranging. Be mindful and realistic of the opportunity you are being offered and always endeavour to be flexible with your schedule, where possible. You should also be aware of time difference and expect the interview schedule to be held on the host companies time zone.

No. It is your responsibility to be aware of any financial costs that may occur with international calls or travelling to an in-person interview.

Once it has been two weeks please contact the team to let them know of the delay and we will chase up the company on your behalf. Please do not contact the Host Company directly regarding this.

Some companies like to receive a thank you message post interview. We are happy for you to do this; however, you are not permitted to ask them when you will hear an outcome or enquire about further employment/volunteering opportunities. The company will inform the team of their decision and all interview outcomes will be communicated via the Saltire team.

Once it has been two weeks please contact the Saltire Scholar team to let them know and we will take the necessary next steps. Please do not contact the Host Company directly regarding this.

No. If you are offered an internship you have 24 hours to decide whether you wish to accept this role or not. If you do accept it, you will confirm your place on the programme and no further internship projects will be shared with you. If you decline it, you will go back into the candidate pool to apply for more roles with possible interviews.

Interns who remain in the UK are responsible for organizing their own accommodation. Here are our tips for sourcing a place to stay near to your host company location, if you don’t already have somewhere in mind:

  • Connect with other Saltire Scholars interning in the same location through the closed Scholar Facebook group. Joining forces often means you can get better accommodation rates.
  • Other Saltire Scholars may be leaving their rented accommodation for the summer to intern elsewhere and are often happy to sublet to you.
  • Connect with students who interned in your destination last year to find out how they sourced accommodation.
  • Contact universities which are near your host company location, as student halls of residence can be an economical source of accommodation and often have vacancies over the summer months.

Your internship will have agreed start and end dates. Travel is usually booked for the Saturday before your internship starts to the Saturday after your last day. You cannot fly earlier than your given departure date. Scholars can elect to travel after their internships and return after their given end date. This is should be discussed at the time of booking your flights and any additional costs associated with staying in-country will be yours to cover.

All flights are booked through our trusted travel partner. We know that the best possible flight option will be chosen for you. You cannot pick what airline you fly with. All students have standard hold luggage included which is set by the airline. Any additional luggage is an additional cost to the student.

This applies to the visa process for many of the locations within which we work. If you achieve an internship outside of Europe, then the visa process is often fast-paced and can have deadlines. You need to be organised and available to attend your visa appointment at short notice.

If your host company have to withdraw your internship position after you have accepted it, you will re-enter the candidate pool and can continue to apply for other internship positions which are of interest to you.

Other than in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic meant the cancellation of several placements, this is thankfully something that does not happen very often.

Internship Secured

Yes, you can contact the company to express your gratitude at being offered the role. Please refrain from asking them practical questions regarding your internship as they will get in contact with these details ahead of your start date. You can also ask previous Scholars any of these questions.

It is compulsory that you attend your onboarding call so that important information about your internship can be discussed with you. The team want to ensure you are informed and well-equipped before starting your internship, therefore the call is an opportunity for you to ask any questions and go over details you don’t understand. If you cannot attend, please supply a reason and ensure you make time to reschedule.

If you plan to undertake an internship on our programme you should prevent making any holiday plans as you may not be granted any leave whilst on your internship. Your employer may consider an ad hoc day of leave, e.g. if you have a special occasion to attend. This can be agreed with your host company after they have offered you an internship.

Yes, you can. If you wish to do this, you must contact our travel agent and arrange this with them directly. Any additional fees will be your responsibility to cover and will be paid directly to the agent.

You will be provided with your Saltire Scholar T-shirt on arrival for you to change into and wear on the day. We ask that you wear dark trousers or a dark skirt because your t-shirt is white and makes for better photos! If you have any other queries there are photos on the Facebook page from previous years.

You can arrange to collect a t-shirt from the Entrepreneurial Scotland office, or they can be posted to your home address before you depart for your internship. It will be your responsibility to ensure that this is done with advance notice.

If you are studying abroad, you are not required to fly back just for Leadership Day. You should contact a member of the Saltire Scholar team to let them know.

Leadership Day is a full day event. Exact timings of the day will be shared with you in due course.

Bring something to take notes (pen and paper), water and snacks. Lunch will be provided.