Become an Intern



Join us for a special virtual intern panel on January 16 to hear from past interns about their experiences! Register here!

want to Learn more about the impact of being an intern? Read our intern stories!


The Western Heads East Internship Program is a challenging, dynamic, competitive, multidisciplinary and international learning opportunity for students to grow and assist with health sustainability initiatives in Africa. Since the project began, over 100 student interns from a variety of academic backgrounds have participated in the program. Interns have the opportunity to:

  • Practice sustainable business and social enterprise skills
  • Collaborate on new kitchen and laboratory facilities
  • Promote awareness to Western University's community about health sustainability in East Africa
  • Receive a course credit

Hear about the impact

  • Andrea Burke (Tanzania) - "I just fell in love with people’s stories. Now, I’m a researcher, in part, because I just loved the case study project that I did."
  • Ellena Andoniou (Tanzania) - "You're making an effort to help people help themselves. The hope is you enable a sense of empowerment for them to improve their lives."
  • Kathryn Morgan (Tanzania) - "I was humbled by the experience and appreciated that you can immerse yourself in the culture, whether that's food, the language or the people. It truly had a lasting impact on me."
  • Blake Barkley (Kenya) - "It broadened my horizon, both personally and professionally."
  • Mohammad Almaradweh (Kenya) - "This is a life-changing experience in terms of what you end up acquiring at the end of it: cross-cultural communication skills, being able to actually make a difference in where you are, and just overall new experiences that you would not be exposed to in Canada."
  • Anisah Hooda (Tanzania) - "The Western Heads East program is a great example of the power of social innovation and empowering women. Seeing it motivated me to continue my career and education in global health. My experience in Tanzania was very transformative."


If you would like to view the full list to compare our oppotunities with more information please visit  Atlas, Western's International Experience Portal. Enter "Western Heads East" in the keyword search to see the list of opportunities.


Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT)

SAUT is seeking WHE student interns to collaborate with students at SAUT to grow the campus Fiti Probiotic Yogurt Kitchen. Interns will be engaging with the campus community to increase awareness of the kitchen, health benefits of probiotic yogurt, and social enterprise. Interns will also work on the implementation of the business plan with the student leaders, support them in terms of development, and planning for future challenges, develop a marketing and promotions strategy to increase sales. Students will also collaborate on research and propose on Community-Engaged Learning projects with other faculties to extend the benefits of the program among other students inside the SAUT campus.

Read more about Remote opportunities or On-site opportunities

Education For Better Living (EBLI)

Education for Better Living (EBLI) is a registered non-governmental organization in Mwanza, Tanzania, which works to contribute to the reduction of teenage pregnancies and the rate of school dropouts. EBLI also contributes to economic empowerment for those who have dropped out of school to live a life free of coercion, discrimination, and gender-based violence (GBV). Interns will be collaborating with the organization by assisting with and promoting EBLI's current operations and social media plan creation for Instagram and Facebook to promote sexual reproductive health, raise awareness of gender violence and entrepreneurship; with a special interest on rise awareness and engagement to a young audience. The social media campaign will engage the general public, local schools, and other public institutions and organizations to position KuniSmart in Tanzania's competitive energy market. Students will also collaborate on health promotions, social enterprise and EBLI's operations that include a biomass charcoal facility that converts charcoal waste into bricks, which can be sold by young mothers.

Read more about Remote opportunities or On-site opportunities

Mikono Yetu Center for Creativity and Innovation

Mikono Yetu Center for Creativity and Innovation is a women-led, non-profit organization that seeks to empower women in Tanzania. Since 2005, Western Heads East has provided Mikono Yetu with student interns annually. Mikono Yetu seeks interns to collaborate on multiple projects. Interns will be assisting with the organization's current operations, writing articles related to women empowerment, economic independence and environmental challenges, as well as supporting initiatives addressing climate change intervention among rural communities.

Interns will also collaborate with copywriting tasks by developing content for social media and websites, marketing strategies and blog writing related to MikonoYetu. MsichanaTai organization and Fiti probiotic yogurt. Students will be also assisting with external communications and creating an intern handbook.

Students will also assist the operations of the Msichana TV channel and a group of girls who aspire to become journalists. Interns will be asked to facilitate workshops on video/photo shooting, social media content creation, public speaking, web designing and editing; as well as, write newsletter articles and social media postings about the Transformative Eagle Movement and the success stories of women and girls participating in MikonoYetu projects.

Read more about Remote opportunities or On-site opportunities

University of Rwanda

University of Rwanda (UR) is establishing a Fiti Probiotic Research and Production Centre at the university, which engages students and faculty in experiential learning, and research related to Fiti probiotic social enterprises, while also acting as a training and education center for community groups to become involved in the program. Interns will be helping the volunteer to establish the market to get to the stage of selling yogurt and obtain a certification with the Rwandan Standards Board (RSB). Interns will also create business resources and work with Nutrition and Dietetics students to support the community kitchen. Interns will also work with Living With Happiness Icyemezo (LWHI) & Rwanda Mother's Team (RMT) organizations to develop the Fiti Production Certificate program as an ongoing training program for the local community and develop case studies related to nutrition in women and children.

Read more about Remote opportunities or On-site opportunities

Aga Khan University

The Aga Khan University (AKU) is committed to the development of human capacities through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, and application through service. It seeks to prepare individuals for constructive and exemplary leadership roles, and shape public and private policies, through strength in research and excellence in education, all dedicated to providing meaningful contributions to society. The AKU and Western Heads East partnerships seek interns to work with faculty mentors in mental health awareness promotion initiatives in the Kenyan context (i.e., posters, newsletters, staff forums). Interns will collaborate and assist the institution on develop strategies to share the mental health consequences of the pandemic, decriminalizing suicide, destigmatizing health resources and support mental health services.

Read more about Remote opportunities or On-site opportunities

Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) is a non-profit organization whose mission supports youth to build skills, confidence, and independence to reach their potential. YOU have been a national leader in social enterprise since opening our first one in 1996. Now YOU operates four social enterprise businesses to offer on-the-job skills training to youth. YOU currently operate youth employment training social enterprises, one of which is the YOU Made it Café. Interns will be assisting with the development of the Fiti Yogurt program at YOU, implementing a small-scale business plan and developing an scale up bussiness plan for YOU meals assistance programs. The business plan will include developing the new product menu plan while incorporating YOU jams and other probiotic products on the menu. Interns will also develop effective packaging and labeling marketing materials towards promoting greater overall community health. Students will also work on product development, nutrition promotions about probiotics, developing a youth education plan about Fiti's health benefits for future community outreach.

Read more about remote or on-site opportunities

Before You Apply

Research internship commitment & funding

Please note that all Western Heads East (WHE) internships require a minimum 90 day commitment. 

Read the Western Heads East Intern Commitments for information about the Western Heads East Internships. Please be sure you have reviewed the online application process on Atlas at Western International. This would be the starting place to get all of the details for the application.

Western Heads East highly recommends working with your faculty to arrange course credit for this experience. Your faculty's academic counselling office should be able to assist with determining course credit. Before approaching academic counselling, you should be able to describe your internship project, and relate the project to your academic program. It is best to meet in person rather than sending an email. Note that course credit is not required, but recommended to add to the learning during your internship.

Intern applicants can apply for Global Opportunities Awards and other scholarships and funding.

Research internship destinations

Research the available projects and destinations and decide the universities and projects with which you are most interested in collaborating. Consider language requirements, living costs, and course availability in your field. 

Contact past interns or meet with our Western Heads East & International Internship Coordinator

If you are unclear on the specific project, goals or research in which you wish to be engaged, arrange to meet with Maria Rodriguez, Western Heads East & International Internship Coordinator.

You can learn more about what the experience is like from past intern blogs . In addition, some past interns have made themselves available to answer questions you may have about the WHE internship experience.

Anisah Hooda
2018 Intern, Mikono Yetu
Mwanza, Tanzania

Wenna Deng
2018 Intern, JKUAT
Juja, Kenya

Nordiah Newell
2018 Intern, University of Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

Toby Le
2017 Intern, Mikono Yetu
Mwanza, Tanzania

How to Apply

Questions on Applications

1: What excites you the most about this international internship with our East African partners and the Western Heads East Program?

2: Describe the specific research or academic outcome (e.g. independent studies, case studies, thesis) that this internship will help you fulfill in your current program of studies at Western.

3: Outline how the outcomes of this research project or internship goals will benefit the local community.

4: Please list any extracurricular and volunteer activities that you have been involved in over the last two years.

5: What have you done to prepare yourself to live in a culture different than your own? How do you think you will cope with the differences? 

6: It is very important that you do research on the host organization/institution you would like to collaborate with before submitting an application. Western International must see evidence that your internship program of choice is appropriate for your academic program. Please discuss your academic reasons for selecting the placement that you did (first choice only).

7: Living overseas and being away from family and friends can be stressful. Please tell us about a stressful experience in your past and how you dealt with it.

8: How did you hear about the Western Heads East Program?


Complete an application in Atlas

Applications for Western Heads East internships are completed through Atlas, Western's International Experience portal.   Search using the keyword filter and typing in "Western Heads East" to see all available positions. Please note: Students may submit only ONE application through the Atlas system for an international program for the upcoming year. Additional program options can be listed in the Program Selection session of the application. Please do not submit multiple applications.   Online Application  Apply Now button

Completing a course credit

It is recommended to obtain an academic advisor and arrange course credit for the internship experience. Some examples of common course credits interns receive are: experiential learning, directed reading, independent studies, guided research, etc. Important to note, if undergraduate students are interested in publishing about their work, early applications (November-December) are highly recommended to leave adequate time for ethics approval.

Application and placement fees

$55 application fee will be charged to your student account (there will be a box for you to check within the online application).

$165 Placement Fee - applies to all WHE internships due to the in-house coordination with East African partners on internship placements, objectives, preparation, support, and post-internship responsibilities. This fee is only applied after a student has accepted their internship placement offer.