We understand that contacting prospective employers might be intimidating, but most would be pleased to speak with someone who is driven and displays a genuine interest in their field. Even if you are able to acquire a placement via someone you know, getting out there and creating those contacts on your own can help you expand your network.
Determine who the best person to contact is. Send a pleasant email introducing yourself, along with your CV, to someone in a managerial/senior capacity (remember, Linkedin is your friend here).
We're not suggesting you tell them your whole life narrative, but just a little about what you're studying, any extracurricular activities that may be related to their career, and why you'd want to do some work experience with their organization.
And don't send a generic email to 15 different locations — employers can recognize a copy and paste job a mile away, and it will seem as if you haven't given your application any attention.
If you haven't heard back from them after a number of emails, you may call them.