CIEE Global Interns Supporting Social Enterprise

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Summer Global Internship

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College Study Abroad

Global Internships are an important part of the work we do at CIEE to help individuals build bridges across culture and contribute positively to the world. 

Working abroad is the chance for students to step outside of their environment to listen, learn and respond to the needs of others. It is a way to share American culture and values with new communities of people and learn of theirs in exchange.

The work that Global Interns do may seem small, but it is far from insignificant.

Over time, the contribution of global interns in the communities where they work creates a cascading positive effect that spans the globe. CIEE changes lives, our alumni change the world.

In that spirit, we are excited to share stories of alumni who used their Global Internship projects to make a positive difference in their host communities. 

Global Interns are part of a larger movement to build a better tomorrow

Arti Patel studies Human Biology and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. She hoped that her internship at the South African Urban Food & Farming Trust (SAUFFT) in Cape Town would help her gain a concrete understanding of urban food systems and distribution.

“I learned a great deal about how what most people consider to be the ‘informal economy’ of Cape Town is actually a highly formalized system with great potential to feed the malnourished and neglected populations.”

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Arti’s work included interviewing local chefs, economic advisors, and street vendors to learn from their perspective and better support their efforts for mutual aid.

“Rather than make connections between the various social determinants of health in a theoretical context, I was able to apply my public health knowledge while exploring this unique city. I truly believe that I could not have had a better Summer Global Internship experience than working for SAUFFT.”

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Arti Patel during her internship at the South African Urban Food and Farming Trust in Cape Town.

Global interns make a difference, especially at small nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, where participants can build solutions for social challenges.  

Kylie Bern, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, interned at Modjaji Books, a South African small-scale independent publisher. Started in 2007 by Colleen Higgs, it is an independent press that publishes the writings of Southern African women. Many Modjaji titles have gone on to be nominated for and to win prestigious literary awards both in South Africa and internationally.

“I always thought that interns were the 'little guys' — the ones who fetch lattes while their bosses attend important meetings and make phone calls. This internship, thankfully, is nothing like that.

"At Modjaji, I feel as though I am a part of something. I feel as though my time is of value and my words are heard. I have accomplished more work than I ever thought possible. And the best part is, it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy it so much. I have proofread novels, which proved more difficult than expected since they use UK English here (ex: color is spelled colour), I have written newsletters and blurbs, posted new books to Modjaji’s website and composed author profiles.”

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Kylie Bern with other Global Interns, including Arti Patel, hiking Lion's Head Mountain in Cape Town. 


The CIEE Global Internship Conference is your chance to discuss the impact of global internships and more with leaders in global work exchange and international education. It is a space totally dedicated to global internships, where knowledge is shared, ideas are born, connections are made, and dialogue is elevated to advance student success, public diplomacy, and economic development.

Join us in Berlin at the 11th Annual CIEE GIC: Global Experiential Learning in a Borderless World on June 21-23, 2023. Register here

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