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:
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 the probiotic yogurt, and social enterprise. Interns will also work with SAUT students to set up an awareness committee to continue the awareness campaign throughout the year. Read more
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 dropout. 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). Read more
JKUAT is seeking WHE student interns to collaborate with colleagues and students at JKUAT to grow the Fiti Research and Health Centre. Interns will work with JKUAT to increase awareness of the Fiti Centre, the health benefits of probiotics, and to conduct an education/awareness campaign on general nutrition. Read more
Mikono Yetu Centre for Creativity and Innovation is a women-led, non-profit organization which seeks to empower women in Tanzania. Since 2005, Western Heads East has provided Mikono Yetu with student interns annually. Interns with Mikono Yetu have worked on a variety of projects supporting Mikono Yetu's initiatives and the Fiti probiotic program in Mwanza. Read more
University of Rwanda (UR) is prepared to establish a Fiti Probiotic Research and Production Centre at the university which will engage students and faculty in experiential learning and research related to Fiti probiotic social enterprises, while also acting as a training and education centre for community groups to become involved in the program. In 2018 three interns completed a feasibility study with UR to prepare for implementing the Fiti Centre, and 2019 internship goals will primarily focus on growing the Centre within the UR community and into the broader Kigali community. Interns will work with UR to increase awareness of the Fiti program, the health benefits of probiotics, and conduct an education and awareness campaign. Read more
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.
You must work 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.
Please note: We recognize that obtaining a faculty advisor, reference letters and arranging course credit is a process. Please submit your application even if you have not yet secured these things. WHE staff will work with you to assist in these processes.
Intern applicants can apply for Global Opportunities Awards and other scholarships and funding.
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.
If you are unclear on the specific project, goals or research in which you wish to be engaged, arrange to meet with Jessica Cordes, 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.
2018 Intern, Mikono Yetu
2018 Intern, JKUAT
2018 Intern, University of Rwanda
2017 Intern, Mikono Yetu
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?
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
WHE interns are responsible for obtaining an academic advisor and for arranging course credit for the internship experience. Some examples of common course credits interns receive are: experiential learning, directed reading, independent studies, 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.
A $55 application fee will be charged to your student account (there will be a box for you to check within the online application).
A $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.