Skip navigation

Global Internships


NIU - Human Connections Global Internship and Leadership Development Program

The NIU-HC Global Internship and Leadership Development program is an immersive cultural experience for students who want to contribute to the social sector and grow professionally. Students travel to Mexico to engage in economic and community development while gaining work experience and leadership skills. The program was born from the experiences of eight NIU students and their desire to ensure other students would be able to engage in similar experiences and share in the legacy.

The program is led by Renique Kersh, professor and associate vice provost for Engaged Learning, and Dennis Barsema, instructor in the Department of Management.

Human Connections is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local staff to provide enriching international programs for students. The HC staff works with interns throughout the four weeks as guides and community liaisons.

The program is broken into three parts:

  • A three-week preparatory course at NIU (1 credit)
  • Three-week internship in Bucerias, Mexico (3 credits)
  • Leadership development retreat during the final week in Mexico  

Upon completion, students will create and present a poster highlighting their internship experience.

The program is open to current NIU undergraduate students in good academic and disciplinary standing. All majors are welcome.

Program Dates

May 15-June 12, 2017

Student Blogs

Read about other student's experiences.

NIU Global Internship Program

The NIU Global Internship is partnered with Omprakash, a nonprofit organization that works to connect educational institutions with social impact organizations. Omprakash offers opportunities across over 150 global organizations in more than 40 countries.

The program works hard to resist problematic trends in “voluntourism” by challenging students to immerse themselves in communities and address personal biases and misinformed assumptions. The goal of these internships is to urge students to do more than simply experience a new culture. You will learn to thoughtfully consider the needs and struggles of diverse global communities through new relationships and dialogue.

The program is broken into two parts:

  • A one-week training course at NIU (1 credit)
  • Internship chosen from Omprakash network of organizations (credit varies)

Omprakash also provides students with personalized mentoring throughout the internship experience.

Upon completion of the internship, students will complete a collaborative, creative, research-based capstone project to share with their host organization, Omprakash and NIU.

Program Dates

May 15, 2017 (through summer 2017, internship dates may vary)

For more information, contact Renique Kersh at

Contact Us

Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
Altgeld Hall 100


Business Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.