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Internship in the Arts and Visual Studies: VST410H5

The Internship in the Arts and Visual Studies (VST410H5), offered by the Department of Visual Studies (DVS) at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical work experience at an institution or business related to the arts and to visual studies. This course is especially tailored for mature and self-disciplined students in their final year of study, who are ready to apply knowledge acquired in previous courses and are planning a career in the arts and the cultural sector. Students registered in any DVS program are eligible to apply. Students work closely with the DVS internship coordinator to secure an appropriate placement. Students usually work one day per week for the term at their placement, as well as taking VST410H5. A variety of skill- and network-building small assignments, as well as a final report and presentation will be required. The final grade for the course will be based on these course assignments, along with the assessment of the employer.

woman in art gallery

Doris McCarthy Gallery, UTSC (Photo courtesy of Ken Jones)


Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga

Instructor / Program Coordinator

Professor Harriet Sonne de Torrens, Visual Resource and Liaison Librarian (Art History, Visual Culture, and Cinema Studies), Department of Visual Studies and UTM Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre


Academic Internship

Information for Interested Students

Please visit the website for the Internship in the Arts and Visual Studies for more information, including prerequisites. For more specific inquiries, please contact Professor Harriet Sonne de Torrens by email at harriet.sonne@utoronto.ca or by phone at 905-569-4610.

Benefits to Students

The internship is an experiential learning opportunity that enables students to gain practical, hands-on, work-related experiences in their chosen career paths, helping them to set strategic goals. Given the reflective nature of the course, the internship experience helps students determine if their chosen fields are the best paths to pursue once they graduate. It also helps them gain professional presentation skills.

Benefits to External Partners and the Community

External partners and communities benefit from the advanced skills, creative knowledge, and the enthusiastic determination to succeed that UTM students bring to the workplace in the internship course. Employers are offered a rare opportunity to benefit from students’ new ideas and eagerness to do their creative best. This, in turn, aids in a fuller appreciation for the value of an arts education at UTM.

Benefits to the University

The success of the UTM students in the DVS internship course facilitates local and external awareness about the value of the arts programs offered through the DVS at UTM, fostering support on multiple levels.

Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity

Students’ success in the DVS internship course has illustrated the importance of supporting their own ideas when determining a suitable placement. The well-placed student thrives and gains a rewarding experience. For faculty designing a similar experiential learning opportunity, it is suggested that the interests of the students should lead the development of the course, for then student will become fully engaged. In addition, the fieldwork course should include time for reflection and the exploration of new ideas.