Community Service Internship - Logistics

All Global Studies majors must complete a supervised 135 hour community service internship (or volunteer program). Students are encouraged to do it abroad, either during a study abroad experience or over a summer. Students may also do a local internship.

The objective and philosophy of the assignment

The intent of this internship is to expose students to social problems that are shared throughout the world, and to give them real experience working with organizations that are attempting to solve those problems.

Students should work with a non-majority culture or lower socio-economic group, preferably using a language other than English. The work should involve direct contact with the clients of the agency and should not be primarily clerical or logistical.

Choosing a Relevant Internship

  • A relevant service internship will be one that brings your studies into sharper focus by bridging the gap between scientific theory and community needs in practice.
  • In keeping with the global focus of the study, you are encouraged to participate in a service project abroad. If this is not possible, you should look for a local host organization that is engaged in ameliorating a universal social problem or need.
  • Ideally, your choice of a service internship should reinforce the continuity of your education by capitalizing on your research interests up until now while also looking forward to your Capstone seminar research and potentially to your career beyond.
  • In short, your internship should be embedded in and integral to your academic interests, the expertise you are cultivating via your education, and the issues you are passionate about.
  • NOTE: You are not covered by SSU's workers' comp policies during an internship.  If you have any concerns over this issue, you should talk to the agency for whom you plan to work and ask about their policy before signing up.

Signing up

    You do NOT register for this class in the usual way. Instead, you do the following:

  • Download and print an internship form here: (or pick one up from the Global Studies Coordinator, Rheyna Laney)
  • Fill out the internship form in consultation with the agency you are going to work for and the Global Studies Coordinator, Prof. Rheyna Laney. Prof. Laney will pass the form along for signatures to the Chair and Dean. It will then be submitted to Admissions and Records.
  • Later in the semester, you will notice that Admissions and Records has added the course to your course load.
  • Grade option: CR/NC only.


  • The priority deadline to submit 'Contract Courses' is usually the last day to add/drop a class. Check the academic calendar for the exact date. The final deadline is usually about two weeks later (again, check the calendar).


    1. Daily journal: During this internship, you must keep a daily journal of your experiences and observations which you will submit to the Global Studies Coordinator at the end of your internship. Use this journal for your reflections on, among other things, how your internship is expanding your horizons and leading to greater self-awareness in ways you did not expect.
    2. Four-page essay: At the end of the internship, you will write an essay describing your duties, experiences, and personal observations, including how this experience has added a new dimension to your global studies education.
      • Students should use the guide below when writing the essay.
    3. Letter from your supervisor at the agency, written on the agency's stationary, verifying that you performed the 135 hours satisfactorily.

A good essay will:

Social service mission:
  • Describe the agency’s mission and thoughtfully evaluate its goals.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship of the organization and community
  • Contextualize the agency’s goals within a broader framework, e.g. social justice, political ecology, economic development, gender equality, or empowerment.
Personal Growth and Expansion of Perspective
  • Demonstrate awareness, respect for, and thoughtful consideration of the people being served, including their culture, knowledge and personal strengths.
  • Understand the societal forces that explain why they are in need, and how utilizing local knowledge, resources, and ingenuity will help them meet their needs.
Self-Initiative and Potential for leadership through social service
  • Include a description of the internship work that clearly demonstrates “showing initiative” in a way that is relevant to the organization and community.
  • Articulate a clear vision and explanation of your leadership through your contribution to the agency and/or its improvement.
  • Reflect upon how community service cultivates the values and ‘moral intelligence’ leaders need in making tough choices.
  • Reflect on the effect your community service has had in developing your insights for a life of meaningful leadership.
Professional Growth and Lifelong Learning
  • Thoughtfully assess the contribution/gains resulting from the volunteer experience.
  • Describe your professional growth and relate how the experience enhanced or contradicted your studies and thus focused your expertise in preparation towards your future work.
  • Demonstrate reflection, and indicate understanding of the need for active planning of one’s professional development