At my work (3M - number 7 on here: http://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/), we get our IT interns to generally come in and do support / content management related activities to begin with, but with the expectation that they'll move beyond that after 2-3 months and then spend 20-40% of their time doing project work equivalent to what a new graduate / any other employee would do. In recent years we've had interns working on developing website translation software that they proposed themselves (saving us several hundred thousand dollars per year), software license management / reduction and loads of other things.
Find out from the company at the start whether they're expecting you to have an open-ended project activity or whether you really are just the tea boy / doing incident management / desktop support. Emphasise to them that the internship you're looking for is a key part of your education and also your decision as to whether you would consider a graduate position with them. Companies spend a fortune on recruiting grads, so if we can just hire the interns we've had once they've graduated, it saves us time, money and potentially the disaster of hiring an unknown who turns out to be useless.