American college students have an unprecedented range of international opportunities available to broaden their world view and deepen their understanding of global issues, whether through formal study abroad programs, international internships, international volunteer projects or work abroad opportunities. However, students too frequently accumulate international experiences in an ad hoc fashion, absent from any clear relationship to their curricular choices and unrelated to their career goals. Substantial research has been conducted on internships as a form of experiential learning as well as study abroad as a basis for global learning. Both internships and study abroad have a long tradition in American higher education, however there is very limited research on the combination of these two activities in international internships. This study focuses on a cohort of students who traveled to Beijing, China in the course of one semester as they live and learn together, alongside students from multiple American universities, internship supervisors, and faculty and staff from the Chinese Studies Program. To better understand the features of the international internships that contribute to students’ intercultural development, this study examined the real and perceived development of a group of students (N=8) engaged in international internships utilizing Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning using a case study approach. Program conditions that nurtured students’ international internship experience included aspects of their international internship placements, facilitated contact with natives in and outside the work environment, academic coursework, and student self-initiated exploration. Analysis of the participant narratives indicates a web of interconnected features that provided the foundation for students to get out of their comfort zone, reflect on their experience, and gain confidence to navigate a new culture and language to enhance the international experience. The results open up new possibilities for inquiry into international internships programs and their connections to experiential learning and careers.