Academic Advocacy Internship

‘’The USASA Advocacy internship is designed to allow students to grow both personally and professionally, which is something I appreciated since it encouraged me to break out of my shell and gain confidence in myself while also teaching me professionalism and  work ethics.” 

USASA Advocacy Intern 2021


What is the USASA Advocacy Service?

The Advocacy Officers of the University of South Australia Students Association (USASA) are responsible for providing confidential and independent academic policy advice to UniSA students. This service supports students in processes relating to their academic performance and progress. The advocacy team recognised that amongst the student cohort they assist, there was an opportunity to further enhance student support and experience via an internship program.

What is the Internship about?

The internship is a 14-week program in which each week the interns must grow different personal and professional skills through the scope of a pre-designed internship manual. During the first ten weeks, interns sit in on advocacy appointments and meetings with permission from clients. During these meetings, they can learn what the advocates do, including professional communication and the implementation and understanding of the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (University of South Australia Academic Policies). They are also given the opportunity to watch the advocates in a non-judgmental environment respond to often distressing situations for clients, and how to ensure that they have the appropriate information to services such as counselling and the Student Ombudsman.

During the program, the advocates spend a significant amount of time allowing the interns to ask questions and debrief, as well as learn and take case notes for clients. During weeks nine and ten the interns begin to lead client meetings with the advocates support, and an opportunity for direct feedback on their skills and interactions. Weeks eleven to fifteen are completely practical and the interns undertake a small caseload supervised by the advocacy officers.

Internship Outcomes

  • Gain work experience knowledge from a client-based service
  • Develop policy review skills and proper application from dealing with real cases
  • Case analysis and review, including record-keeping of cases
  • Learn the importance of professional conduct
  • Professional and personal skills development
  • Comprehensive work environment experience

‘’It was an enjoyable experience working as an advocacy intern at USASA. I explored a different field and discovered what I really want to do for my future career. ”

USASA Advocacy Intern 2021

"Since I’m an international student, it was a great chance of learning about the policies and their importance for the University. I can say most of the information written in APPM was completely new to me. Now I know more about my rights as an international student and also the rules and I can explain those to other students"

USASA Advocacy Intern 2018

The USASA internship is highly valuable on top of your tertiary studies as it combines practical skills and theory by working with students, advocates and advising through policy’.

USASA Advocacy Intern 2017



It is strongly advised that students requiring assistance make an appointment to see an Advocate as soon as possible.

The University of South Australia Student Association acknowledges the Kaurna, Boandik and Barngarla First Nations People as the traditional custodians of the unceded lands now home to the University of South Australia’s campuses in Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Whyalla. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia. It was and always will be Aboriginal land.

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