Updated for 2023
Are you ready to step up for gender equality, education, and basic rights for all? It takes a courageous activist to defend the others, especially in countries where basic human rights are mostly ignored. If you feel the call to build hope, wage for peace, and fight the scourge of disease, take a look at an international internship that places you on impactful program that supports and promotes the rights of others, particularly women, children, minorities, and members of the LGBT community.
When you accept the first step in a career that aids others, either through social work or empowerment of human rights, you join millions of other caring individuals who are striving to achieve the civil and political rights and responsibilities enumerated by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a growing body of public international law.
Looking to gain insight into a career in law or social advocacy? Maximo Nivel is one international organization that can connect you with outstanding programs that let you work with change agents and other social workers who are focused on empowerment, gender issues, and social justice. Also, Projects Abroad offers a variety of human rights, law, and women’s right internships. Or, join African Impact in South Africa and work for women’s rights.
Intern Abroad HQ is actively recruiting for intern for 10 of its human rights internships around the world. Applications are now open for 2023-2024 internships. Click here to learn more and apply.
If you’re well-organized, self-motivated, and reliable, and have a compassionate interest in international human rights, then keep reading and consider an internship with one of the trusted, featured partners below.
Featured Internships Abroad
Maximo Nivel is a locally-operated organization founded in 2003, offering international education, study abroad, internships, and volunteer travel in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Maximo Nivel connects with more than 4,000 people each year to deliver high-quality, safe, and affordable opportunities abroad.
Maximo Nivel offers internships in human rights that focus on social justice and human empowerment. Internship placements are with community organizations, NGOs, and government agencies, and interns often work in the areas of community outreach, education, research, and fundraising. Intermediate Spanish speaking skills are required, though you can prep for your trip through the organization’s online Spanish classes or its Native Spanish program to bring your skills up to the appropriate level.
Travel to Guatemala for a human rights internship that focuses on gender equality, education, and indigenous rights and help provide a voice for those facing severe disadvantages. Work alongside social workers and gain hands-on experience in issues of empowerment and social justice. Tasks include community outreach, education, research, and fundraising. Your four-week practicum costs $1,495, but stay longer and accomplish more. Sign up here!
Sign up for a summer internship in Costa Rica and learn about social work in the areas of women’s rights, undocumented migrants, discrimination against refugees, representation of native peoples in politics, and inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Gain confidence as you improve your Spanish-speaking skills and assist with outreach, education, research, and fundraising. Depending upon your interest and ability, you may help with marketing support through website development, social media, and the creation of promotional materials. Consider a four-week program for $1,925, or an eight-week internship for $2,895. Read more and apply here.
Be a part of promoting human rights and political development in Peru when you select an internship with Maximo Nivel. Your work can help provide equal access to education and healthcare, and help alleviate discrimination against women, children, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ, and indigenous people. Further your career when you work with community organizations, NGOs, and government agencies that help you develop skills and gain experience in research, and fund-raising for human rights issues. A four-week practicum costs $1,525, and eight-week internship costs $2,245 with additional weeks only $185. Learn more and apply here!
Launch your human rights career through global networking and cultural exchange with Intern Abroad HQ, with coursework that includes guided reflection, combining personal development with professional competency building. Weekly reflection modules encourage you to gain soft skills that build your resume and lead to a resilient career. Programs are available year-round, with affordable destinations ranging from Ireland, to South Africa, to Greece, to Bali and beyond.
Intern in Cape Town and observe South African legal experts, learning from these professional mentors how to develop resourcefulness and vision. Tasks may include law research, clerical support, client meetings, or general case management. Stay in a popular student neighborhood, near to the University of Cape Town. Enjoy the attractions, vibrant entertainment, and a safe home away from home. You’ll need an undergraduate degree, or be currently enrolled in a related field. Program fees start from $1,110 for three weeks. Learn more and apply here!
Join Intern Abroad HQ in Tanzania and assist the young homeless women on the streets of Arusha. Work with support groups within the local community, providing at-risk women with refuge, mentorship, and education. Women’s Education interns join a foundation for women which is dedicated to helping girls and young women achieve their goals. Placements are in Arusha, near some of Africa’s greatest national parks and game reserves, including Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Arusha National Park. Stay two weeks, or longer. Read more here!
If you speak an intermediate level of Italian, take a look at IAHQ’s social work internships in Italy, with placement opportunities in social assistance bureaus and cooperatives in Rome. While here, you’ll participate in various planning events to promote economic and social welfare of disadvantaged people. You’ll need at least one year of relevant college/university study in social work or a related field. Considered the birthplace of western civilization, Rome’s attractions are awe-inspiring and, thanks to its 3,000 years of global influence, its known as the Eternal City. You’re invited to stay four weeks or longer and program fees begin at $3,227. Learn more and apply here.
Founded in 2006, GoEco has placed more than 10,000 volunteers and interns on a variety of impactful trips around the world. GoEco offers more than 150 volunteer abroad programs and internships in 44 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. GoEco was recently recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by USA Today, the Today Show, Huffington Post, and many more.
Uplift and provide support for the impoverished and at-risk people of San José, Costa Rica on a social work internship with GoEco. Choose from opportunities that allow you to empower women, improve conditions for children of low-income homes, mentor young girls, care for the elderly, or contribute to the public education system. Stay a minimum of five weeks for $1,950. Learn more and register here.
Provide equal education opportunities to, and increase the employability of, the women of Nepal when you travel to Kathmandu for an empowerment internship with GoEco. Discrimination against women is rooted in Nepal’s patriarchal system, which often forces a woman to depend upon her father or husband. You’ll assist in removing some of the barriers women face by providing them with access to education through funding and flexible class schedules. Stay for two weeks, or longer, with fees starting at $1,100. Learn more and apply here.
Stand up for young girls in Tanzania as an intern with GoEco’s girl empowerment program. Help to provide educational opportunities and support for teens, and teach them to make informed choices that expand their lives. Many young girls in Africa are deprived of a basic education, living in abusive situations, or being forced into marriages and early pregnancy. Work to empower young girls to fulfill their right to education, and achieve their potential. Internships start at two weeks, with tays up to eight weeks. Program fees start at $1,430. Read more here.
Projects Abroad, founded in 1992, offers global service opportunities that encourage mutual learning and cultural exchange. It has placed more than 10,000 people to work in 50 countries around the world. Choose an internship and augment it with a language course and a program for professionals that range from social, environmental, and economic projects. They are currently offering ten human rights and law related internships around the world.
Individuals who are 16 or over with a strong interest in human rights can join the Human Rights internship in Argentina to gain practical experience raising awareness about justice and dignity for all in marginalized communities. You will work in the Projects Abroad Human Rights office in Córdoba alongside a dedicated human rights coordinator and local organizations to recognize and promote education about their rights. The internship is open to anyone, regardless of their level of experience or expertise. Participants will stay with a local host family, experience Argentinian hospitality, and live in a dynamic South American city. The internship runs year-round and you can join at any time for a minimum of two weeks. During your time as a Human Rights intern in Argentina, you will work on promoting and assisting basic rights, work on human rights programs in communities, and have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork and awareness-raising outreach. By joining, you can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable communities in Argentina.
The human rights internship in Mandeville, Jamaica allows you to help children and vulnerable groups understand their rights, and provide them with guidance and awareness to protect themselves. This internship is suitable for those with a background in law, psychology and social work because the focus is on protecting children from abuse, and assisting parents who have missing children. The program lasts one to 12 weeks or longer. Fees are $3,860 for four weeks and $6,900 for 12 weeks. Click here to sign up.
Sign up for an internship in social work with Projects Abroad and engage with the big challenges that affect communities around the world. Your internship could give you experience with issues such as alcoholism, abuse, and family problems. You may choose to work with families affected by HIV/AIDS. As you assist people who need support overcoming serious challenges, you’ll be gaining relevant work experience to pursue a career in social work. Take a look at the variety of programs available with Projects Abroad:
- Social Work in Ecuador
- Equine Therapy in Argentina
- Social Work in Ghana
- Equine Therapy in South Africa
- Social Work in Mongolia
- HIV/AIDS Internship in Nepal
- Psychology Internship in Jamaica
- Psychology Internship in Mongolia
- HIV/AIDS Internship in Ghana
Internships are a great way for you to learn and grow in your field as you gain a deeper understanding of the type of social issues prevalent in a developing country. This internship is a different and memorable way to complete any practical requirements you may need for your social work degree. Stay two weeks or longer, and consider adding a language course for full immersion. Learn more and apply here!
African Impact is a responsible, sustainable volunteer travel organization that has won multiple industry awards, including being voted the world’s Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by volunteers on GoAbroad four years in a row. Since 2004, they have hosted over 35,000 participants on 20 projects across 7 countries. The organization believes in the spirit of Africa and that the volunteer experience is just as important as the impact made. It is also recognized as a trusted specialist on volunteering and interning in Southern Africa. African Impact offers internships, as well as group, family, and high school projects. The minimum age requirement for their projects is 16, making African Impact a great option for teen and high school volunteers.
African Impact manages its own projects and is able to provide tangible, real achievements on a regular basis. The organization has a clear Child Protection Policy and ensures that volunteers complete a criminal record check prior to involvement. Experienced staff is on the ground to support volunteers day-in-day-out and the organization does not use volunteer support in replacement for a local person.
In addition to making a positive impact, African Impact also believes that volunteering abroad should be enjoyable. The organization offers a range of activities for volunteers, including teaching children in South Africa, assisting with wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, working in hospitals or clinics in Kenya, and carrying out dolphin and marine research in Zanzibar.
Volunteering with African Impact allows individuals to gain new skills, knowledge and practical work experience, while also making a lasting impact on local communities and conservation efforts. The organization believes that volunteering in Africa helps to change perceptions and stereotypes about Africa and its people, while providing local communities with an exchange of culture, mindsets and ideas.
The Gender Equality Internship in Zambia is an opportunity for individuals interested in social work, NGO management, human rights initiatives, or female empowerment to play an integral role in initiatives that aim to enable women to follow their dreams, pursue their passions, and live the lives they deserve. As a gender equality intern, you will support young girls facing social isolation, high rates of gender-based violence, economic vulnerability, and lack of appropriate health services through workshops, mentorship, and support in areas such as education, health, safety, early pregnancy, self-confidence, and income generation. You will have the opportunity to gain exposure to international development issues, be supported by an internship supervisor to acquire and develop new skills, help develop new programs and monitor the impact of existing initiatives, work alongside other passionate volunteers and interns, and live in Livingstone, near one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls. Click here to apply and learn more!
The Female Empowerment Project in Zambia is an opportunity to work towards the United Nations’ (UN) Global Goal of Gender Equality in the traditional African town of Livingstone. Through African Impact’s initiative, The Girl Impact, you will support, educate, and encourage adolescent girls as they become empowered young women in their community. You will also bring local boys and men to the forefront of the conservation as you encourage the gender equality movement and overcome male/female stereotypes. As a volunteer, you will make a positive impact in the lives of adolescent girls by giving them skills, support, and inspiration, support open discussion and help change attitudes surrounding the ‘conventional’ role of men and women, work with local boys to introduce, educate, and raise awareness on gender equality, be part of a program that sees direct measurable results and work daily towards the UN’s Global Goal of Gender Equality, encourage business skills and income generation ventures at a women’s group, immerse yourself in local Zambian culture, and visit Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. You will live in the heart of Livingstone at a private volunteer house within the Victoria Falls Backpackers Zambia, which has shared dormitory-style accommodation, communal areas, and daily housekeeping. Click here to learn more and apply!
Plan My Gap Year, a respected organization that receives great reviews from past volunteers, works with communities in need around the world and empowers volunteers to travel, understand, and make an impact. Founded in 2011, Plan My Gap Year sends more than 4,000 travelers overseas each year on safe and extraordinary adventures throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America.
Make a positive difference in the lives of underprivileged children in Faridabad, a city near Delhi. As a childcare volunteer in India, you’ll work at a daycare center, helping the kids with homework, coordinating fun activities, and engaging in cultural exchanges. Many children at the facility have been abandoned or neglected, or can’t get enough care from their family due to poverty. Your help gives these children the support they need to reach their full potential. Duration is two weeks or longer. Fees start at $360 for two weeks. Learn more and register here.
When you intern in Sri Lanka with community renovation, you uplift more than the painted facade of the temples, walls of hospitals, and schools – you improve the community’s spiritual infrastructure. Volunteers carry out renovation work in schools, government hospitals, and Buddhist temple that struggle to find the money and labor within Ambalangoda. Renovation work completed to date include heavy support in the building of an eye clinic at the government hospital, constructing flower tables at the Buddhist temples and re-plastering and re-painting classrooms in schools. Your physical efforts can go far in improving the social welfare of the entire region. Fees start at $390 for two weeks. Learn more here!
According to the World Health Organisation, the suicide rates in Sri Lanka are among the highest in the world, but it’s still a struggle to integrate mental health into the public health system. If you’re studying mental health or psychology, this program in Sri Lanka gives you the opportunity to gain a broad overview, understanding and insight into mental health care and needs within a different culture. Your time is spent at two hospitals where the mental health consultant doctor sets up their outpatient clinics. This placement lasts two weeks or longer with a fee of $450. Click here to sign up.
Love Volunteers is a trusted organization that’s placed more than 20,000 travelers on highly-rated volunteer projects worldwide. Founded in 2009, Love Volunteers offers transparent, low-cost fees, with programs starting at only $250. Love Volunteers works in 43 countries worldwide, with more than 200 different projects to choose from.
Join a social development project that creates and improves relationships between the young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through a combination of youth-focused education and arts projects, this program’s goal is to change the attitudes of historically conflicting ethnic groups in Brcko, where unemployment rates are nearly 40%. This anti-segregation project aims fosters connections and increases the self-confidence of teens, allowing them to dissolve generations of deep-seated racial prejudices. Stay on this internship with low fees starting at $569 for four weeks. Read more here!
Provide humanitarian aid to the people of Perutí, an indigenous village in the Misiones jungle of Argentina. This program originally focused on providing clean water for the community, but stayed to help the small, poverty-stricken community of 85 families. More than 75% of the children here suffer from malnourishment. As an intern working with Love Volunteers here, you’ll help to provide educational support, improve the health and long-term wellbeing of the community of Perutí, and participate in cross-cultural exchange activities. This placement lasts two to 12 weeks with a fee starting at $779. Learn more and register here.
Help fight for social justice as an intern with a Cambodian human rights NGO that dedicates itself to the task of helping those in need. You’ll help to support people who face discrimination and human rights violations, including families forcefully evicted from their homes, and women and children who have suffered domestic violence. Help to build a fairer, more just society for the impoverished people here, increase gender equality, and the understanding of human rights. Stay four weeks, or longer, with program fees starting at $609. Learn more and sign up.
Agape Volunteers specializes in volunteering, community development and conservation, and adventure travel throughout Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. It offers meaningful, low-cost programs ranging from medical volunteering, teaching at public schools, coaching in sports and music, HIV prevention and outreach, and working with wildlife and conservation. Participants are covered by the Agape Travel Policy, provided at no extra cost, and there are no registration or administration fees charged to travelers, making Agape Volunteers one of the most affordable options if you want to volunteer or intern in Africa.
If you have an interest in social work or health care, consider the role of an HIV intern in Kenya. You’ll be assisting in local clinics and community outreach programs, carrying out tests, counseling sufferers on home visits, and engaging in community education projects. Agape provides its participants with the chance to participate in an internationally-recognized HTC course that trains you in safe practice when dealing with sufferers, including for testing. You’ll also learn the key ideas in HIV counselling and community education, then spend time administering tests and helping to analyse results. Read more and apply here!
When you join Agape Volunteers in Kenya, you’ll provide sustainable aid to more than 700 families living in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Established in 2012 by Agape Volunteers and its partner Marifiki, this refugee program encourages volunteers to visit on a weekly basis and provide food deliveries, help to construct fresh water supplies, and lend a hand constructing buildings, including houses. The organization also founded and supports a school at the camp, the Southern Cross Academy.
This support is needed because, for more than a decade, Kenyans have suffered from the humanitarian crisis that followed the 2007-08 presidential election that placed Mwai Kibaki as the elected official. This election lead to targeted ethnic violence, which resulted in casualties of more than 1,300 people, and the displacement of half a million more. The Kenyan government and the United Nations established IDP tent camps to house these internal refugees.
Your role, as an international volunteer in Kenya with Agape Volunteers, is to spend time at the IDP, offering assistance with medical outreach work, distributing supplies, or helping with the building and maintenance of ongoing construction projects. Learn more and get started here.
A Broader View places about 2,000 volunteers on placements and internships each year, working on projects in more than 27 countries throughout Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Founded in 2007, its placements range from one week to three months, and are customized to the traveler’s interests and background. A Broader View partners with local NGOs, private institutions, and community organizations to support and guide volunteers on carefully selected projects. Volunteers may choose from programs in education, healthcare, wildlife, childcare, and beyond. As an 501(c)3 nonprofit USA-based organization, your program fees are tax deductible.
When you choose a women’s support internship with A Broader View, you’ll find it has several programs that focus on aiding young and destitute women in poverty communities. It helps women by providing support, guidance, and life-skill training. As an intern, some of the tasks you’ll help with include working with grassroots women’s group, teaching English, helping to initiate income-generating activities, and creating sustainable solutions for their daily challenges.
Choose from the following Woman Support programs:
- Volunteer Colombia Cartagena: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer Guatemala: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer India: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer Nepal: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer Nicaragua: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer Peru: Women’s Empowerment
- Volunteer Tanzania: Women’s Empowerment
You will assist with training woman in several life and income generating skills and to carry out research to find alternative solutions to fight poverty. There are no specific requirements needed except willingness and enthusiasm to help women. The mission on this program is to help foster the growth of independent, self-sufficient, decision-making women, by encouraging self empowerment. Learn more about duration and fees here.
Cross-Cultural Solutions, founded in 1995, places volunteers and interns on meaningful and impactful programs in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. A world leader in the field of international volunteering, Cross-Cultural Solutions’ programs focus on child development, girls’ and women’s empowerment, and global health. CCS is recognized as an important leader in volunteer services with more than two million volunteer hours served and 35,000 alumni, and in 2003, it received Special Consultative status by the United Nations.
When you choose a Cross-Cultural Solutions’ social work internship, you will be able to spend six weeks in Ghana or Costa Rica, where you’ll learn about sustainable change, community empowerment, and education. You also will have the chance to work alongside community-based organizations, schools, homes for the elderly, clinics and hospitals, and local NGOs.
As a child health intern in Ghana, you’ll be placed in a Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Center to assist with the health outreach, and educational services to rural communities. Areas of influence include nutrition, malaria prevention, and reproductive health. Your research will be conducted alongside professionals, and with their guidance, you’ll gain experience supporting rural clinics, conducting health workshops at schools, and shadowing home visits to at-risk families. Other tasks could include conducting child health follow-up consultations, focusing on the home environment and malaria- risk indicators. Stay for two weeks, or longer, for $2,750. Read more here.
If you have an interest in child education, you can use this internship in Costa Rica to explore Latin America, learn about different cultures, and develop your social work skills. Work with social service organizations alongside full-time daycare providers in Guanacaste to implement the daycare curriculum. Other tasks may have you reviewing the curriculum projects, and making improvements and adjustments. You also learn how to assess the development of children, measuring language and literacy, numeracy skills, social and emotional development, and creativity skills. Programs are available for four to 12 weeks, with program fees starting at $3.990. Learn more here!
Global Vision International (GVI) offers award-winning, high-impact programs in the areas of community development and conservation around the world. Founded in 1997, GVI has placed more than 24,000 volunteers and interns on projects with local partners, as well with international organizations such as Save the Children, The Red Cross, WWF, SANParks, and The Jane Goodall Institute. Its projects are designed toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, allowing volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to contribute to responsible projects.
Explore the world and immerse yourself in new cultures with a women’s empowerment internship through GVI. The organization offers several initiatives that allow you to contribute to a sustainable cause, while developing yourself professionally through hands-on gender equality and women’s rights initiatives. Check out the following programs:
- Women’s Empowerment in Cambodia – Work on increasing gender equality awareness in Cambodia while teaching English.
- Cape Town Women’s Empowerment – Travel to sunny South Africa and help us make a difference and increase long-term gender equality efforts in Cape Town.
- Women’s Empowerment in Laos – Join a dedicated team of international interns in Laos and contribute to sustainable women’s empowerment programs
When you select an internship with GVI, you’ll receive comprehensive staff mentorship, as well as feedback and evaluation on your self-directed project. This real-world experience working with women in disadvantaged communities prepares you for many challenges, and includes Emergency First Response (EFR) Training. At the completion of your internship, not only will you have developed as a leader, you’ll have a new sense of teamwork and problem-solving skills. Use GVI’s professional recommendation on your resume, and check out the opportunities for staying in the field with GVI following your internship. Learn more and sign up here!
The Intern Group designs international internships, giving its participants a chance to explore new countries and develop global networks as they build their career. Founded in 2011, The Intern Group places more than 2,000 travelers abroad annually with programs in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The Intern Group provides access to development workshops and tools, professional career training, social and cultural events, quality housing, and 24/7 support.
Join an international NGO internship in Australia, focusing on challenges from human rights and social work to community development, environmental activism, or political and economic development. This is a great opportunity for students with a background in psychology, sociology, or international relations. This program lasts six weeks or longer and program fees begin at $4,617. Click here to sign up!
Become a champion of human rights for young girls and women with an internship with an NGO in Colombia. You’ll learn about social work in the areas of community development, healthcare, education, social service, activism, and political and economic development, when you volunteer to help others. Create new global networks, polish your Spanish-speaking skills, and learn valuable lessons about people and yourself. Fees for this placement start at $3,620 for six weeks. Read more and apply!
If you have a background in mental health, psychology, or social work, consider a social work internship in Madrid that allows you to work alongside people of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses. Your resume will stand out in the market of psychology from the hands-on work you’ll experience in Madrid, working with major international social work organization. Fees for this program start at $4,570 for six weeks, with stays up to six months. Read more and apply today!
Ready To Go?
On an international, professional internship abroad, you’ll embark on your own life-changing experience when you are personally involved in the helping to generate social change in the world. An internship in human rights and social work gives you more than an opportunity to improve someone else’s life – you’ll also gain a better understanding of where your educational and professional future can go.
Want to know more about opportunities available to you worldwide? Check out these articles:
Volunteering Abroad for Refugee Relief
Indigenous Community Volunteering
Career Break: Professional Internships for Young and Mid-Career Travelers