Note - this is somewhat related to these two questions
Should I reply to unsolicited recruitment emails?
Request to interview for a job I'm not qualified for
I am a largely self taught programmer who has recently started going to school to get a more formal education in the topic. Most of my work has been independent projects on things I'm interested in, with some occasional freelance stuff for people I know.
I recently got an email from a senior recruiter at a pretty well known company, saying they had seen my GitHub repositories and were interested in speaking with me. Reading their email, and researching the company itself, I'm pretty sure that I'm grossly underqualified to get the job. This is largely based on my own self-assessment. My experience with "good" programmers has largely been through Stack Overflow and Programmers.SE - and I've concluded that I'm overwhelmingly not on their level. However after taking some of my (intermediate level) classes I've found them to be very easy, perhaps meaning that I'm better at this than I thought I was. The recruiter (based on their LinkedIn page) appears to have a very solid background in computer science, which I suppose could make them more qualified than me to judge someone's skill level.
So here's my dilemma. I'd be very interested in working for this company - they're doing some cool stuff with cool technologies that I have some (very small) experience in. However I'm likely going to be out of my depth, and I'd like to finish school first. Is there a graceful way to reply, thank them for their interest, explain my situation, and then ask if I could arrange some sort of internship there for the summer, possibly leading to employment after I graduate? Would this be inappropriate to do?