Thinking about an internship? Many of you will complete an internship while pursuing your degree at Western Michigan University, either with an organization in our region or abroad. In addition to the educational and professional opportunities that internships present, employers tell us that they like to see internship experiences on applicants' resumes.

Hannah Heenan, global and international studies major

"Gulu is located in Northern Uganda, and the Saharan sun shines bright. Here I am carrying the jerrycan filled with water back and forth from a construction site. The children also getting water were shy at first, but as we realized we were both there for the same purpose, we made it fun, dancing to the sound of the squeaky pump, and their laughter abounded as I stumbled to communicate in Acholi, the local language," Hannah Heenan.

Internship Course

Are you planning to participate in an internship soon? Majors and minors in global and international studies are eligible to enroll in GIST 4980, a three-credit internship reflection course that may be applied towards your degree. Employers tell us that they like to see internship experiences on resumes! Contact your advisor if you'd like to be enrolled in the course.

Application process

Please send the following to

  • A one page cover letter addressed to the Global and International Studies Internship Committee stating why you are interested in working for the organization. Be sure to research the organization prior to beginning the cover letter.
  • Resume - You must work with the Career Services Writing Center before submission! 

Please do not apply directly to the organization if you wish to receive credit for this internship. Deadline to apply for Summer II 2017 internships is Friday, June 30. Deadline for Fall 2017 internships is Friday, August 25, 2017.

Global Studies internships        INTERNSHIPS ABROAD          Other Internships


  • Cultivate professional competence that will aid in securing employment after graduation.
  • Explore a career field while obtaining first-hand experience working in a job environment of interest.
  • Gain a deeper appreciation of concepts that we examine in the classroom.
  • Offer services, skills and fresh ideas to a work site or cause that is meaningful to you.
  • Receive mentoring from experienced professionals.

Grants and funding

Most internships are not paid, so it's wise to explore outside funding opportunities. Some examples include:

Please feel free to make an appointment with us to explore internship opportunities and to talk about your academic and career interests!

Career and Student Employment Services office has more advice and information on internships.


The internship will involve assisting CELCIS instructors with in-class activities and providing additional help to CELCIS students during instruction as needed.

Colleagues International
Kalamazoo-based non-profit organization which seeks to promote citizen diplomacy through professional and student exchange programs. The idea behind the organization is that everyone should have an opportunity to help shape U.S. foreign relations.

Samaritas (formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan) is a non-profit organization that provides resettlement support for refugees in Michigan. As the largest resettlement agency in the state they have resettled thousands of people from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Michigan Immigrants Rights Center
MIRC is a non-profit resource center for advocates seeking equal justice for Michigan's immigrants. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities are fully integrated and respected.

Clean Water for the World
Clean Water For The World is a non-profit organization which provides inexpensive dependable safe drinking water systems at no charge to communities that don't have access to clean water. Clean Water For The World has delivered and installed these drinking water systems in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Ghana, Kenya, and Ecuador.

Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes
Loaves and Fishes is a non-profit organization working towards a hunger-free community by developing and executing programming that provides food to those who need it.