A state agency is teaming up with the University of Wisconsin to expand international internship programs through Wisconsin-based companies.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation gave a $50,000 grant to UW to assist Wisconsin companies with hiring interns, Monica Walberg, the international grants manager at WEDC, said.

Maj Fischer, director of UW’s International Internship Program, said companies are going through the IIP to find students to fill paid internship positions. Companies will get at most $4,000 for hosting an internship, she said.

“The internships are either overseas, or can be domestically located if the position requires a student to have foreign language skills, area studies knowledge or a focus on working with people from other countries,” Fischer said.

The companies participating in the program will not be specified until applications are reviewed, Fischer said. IIP will help companies formulate internship opportunities and “maximize it for both the company and the student,” she said.

Fischer said they hope to receive applications from small and mid-sized companies in Wisconsin.

“The companies will benefit from having talented Badgers working for them and helping them think about how to increase their international engagement,” she said.

Fischer said international engagement can be achieved through developing or expanding an export strategy, better communicating with suppliers or buyers abroad or understanding the cultural and political landscape of the countries in which they do business.

The UW Office of Corporate Relations and the Office of Independent Partnerships both have business contacts throughout the state and are helping promote the program, Fischer said.

The application deadline is Oct. 31st for summer of 2015 internships,  Walberg said.

Walberg said the program is starting at UW but may expand to other campuses if it gets off the ground in Madison.