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The Italy Center internship program offers students a unique opportunity to strengthen their commitment to social justice and serving others, encouraging them to take their knowledge outside the classroom and truly engage in the world around them.
During their internship abroad, students will gain insight into Italian community service culture, as well as an overview of the local employment market. Interns will acquire precious work experience for their future career, making their resume more competitive on both the American and international job market.
During my internship in the University of Bologna’s agricultural science department, I learned about different methods of urban environmental sustainability. From “living” walls, to community gardens, through this internship I learned new ways to try and reverse the damage generations of humans have caused. In every city, there is still a peaceful natural world out there, a world that we need to protect. Through conservation and sustainability efforts made through organizations like the University of Bologna, the earth will eventually be able to re-nourish itself once again.
Autumn Homer, Stetson University, SP ’15
Although Piazza Grande provides a number of social services, its philosophy is one that targets many of the more nuanced and underlying causes for homelessness; therefore it distinguishes itself as an organization in active pursuit of social change. Piazza Grande presents a multidimensional approach to homelessness that prioritizes social integration and demonstrates an unwavering commitment to strengthening community bonds. As a nonnative Italian, it challenged me to be particularly observant of cultural nuances, to remain open minded to organizational approaches that differed from those of my home country (the United States), and to immerse myself in a diverse environment.
Sarah Tarter, Santa Clara University, FA ’16
I learned many important things from my work with Marzia and the girls in Pilastro. I learned that underprivileged communities like Pilastro do not have the resources to teach girls important lessons of positive body image and eating disorders. Learning about these concepts at a young age is very important for children and teenagers. They must learn to accept themselves and others, and realize that all people are beautiful, no matter their body type. Overall, I am leaving this internship with an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness. I am so glad that I got to be a part of Marzia’s new project and have a positive impact on these girls’ lives. I believe this is the first small step to making a big difference in Pilastro, and ultimately the world.
Ashley Pinnola, The College of New Jersey, SP ’16
Reuse with Love has been more successful in finding the balance between effectively providing a social service, while also promoting respect for human dignity. My experience at Re-Use has shown me that there’s more to life than just a job. It has challenged me to seek out career opportunities that not only allow me to grow, but that allow me to pursue a greater purpose of serving others.
Emilee Adams, Spring Hill College, SP ’17
Frequently Asked Questions about Internships
When do I register?
Students interested in doing an internship while abroad must contact the program coordinator at least 2 months prior to their arrival in Italy.
Would I be awarded credits for doing an internship abroad?
Yes. The internship program (HUM490) is a 3-credit course. In terms of service, you will acquire 70 to 90 service hours during the semester.
Do I simply register for this course or is there a selection process?
Once you express interest in enrolling in the HUM490 course, you will enter the selection procedure. You will be asked to submit an info sheet via e-mail, and afterwards to take part to an informational talk with the program coordinator over skype. During your semester abroad, you will also need to enroll in an Italian language course (Elementary-Intermediate-Advanced), as well as in the HUM490 course.
How much time will I need to devote to my internship?
The internship course typically requires 8-10 hours’ work per week at the placement site (two half days). You will need to make up for hours you miss, just like in any other employment scenario. Additionally, you will be required to attend 6 class meetings, and write a 10-page long academic paper at the end of the semester. The program coordinator will work with you to make sure your internship hours do not clash with your other academic commitments.
What types of placements are available?
The internship program is not available to all academic majors. The vast majority of placements are within the human rights and social justice realms. Occasionally, with advanced planning, students have been placed in the law or business sector, or within arts agencies in the city.
How do I choose an internship?
Students do not typically choose an internship. This is because certain sites are only available during a specific semester, others have language requirements, or presuppose some technical background. However, you will get to discuss your passions, interests and talents with the program coordinator over skype as part of the selection process. Before committing to the course, the program coordinator will review potential placements with you, in order to determine with you the best fit for your experience abroad.
I am still not sure whether I want to do an internship, or whether I have the right skills. Should I express interest anyway?
Reaching out does not automatically commit you to an internship. Part of the program coordinator’s job is to assist you make the best out of your time abroad. This is a fluid process that is tailored to fit your needs and skills around the community. Email exchanges and/or a chat with the program coordinator will help you review all service options available in Bologna, course requirements, and the impact that service might have on your academic workload. It is always a conversation worth having.
Contact Dr. Nardini for details