What is the difference between a volunteer and an intern?
Formally, an internship requires the intern to have studied or be studying the subject in question. In practical terms, much depends on the educational establishment of the intern. Some universities and colleges will accept pretty much any kind of volunteering in a vaguely relevant field as an internship, and not require much more than a quick note confirming the dates of the volunteer’s participation.
Others require a more formal structure, a minimum number of hours worked, an expert as supervisor and reams of paperwork at the end of it all. If the internship requirements of your university are quite flexible, extend your search to volunteer programs as well – some may well be suitable as an internship. Start by understanding your university’s requirements for the internship, and make these clear to the volunteer program from the start, to ensure they will be able and willing to meet them.