CSA interns gain first-hand experience working in a rural Dominican community, where they work side by side with the local people. By taking part in meaningful projects which utilize your skills and abilities, as a CSA intern you will have the unique opportunity to improve your Spanish and develop professionally. The work is always hands on, allowing for rich cultural exchanges and relationship building with the Dominican people.
Interns commit to living and working in a local community for a minimum of 3 months, where they will have a critical role in a community development program. Your role will be developed specifically for you, based on your personal and professional interests and skills.
CSA staff carefully coordinates all aspects of the intern project, from the initial planning, supervision of work during the intern’s time in country, and follow-up with the community after the intern departs. Many interns arrange to receive academic credit through their university for their internship experience. Professional supervision to meet university requirements for field experiences is available upon request.
Selection of Intern Projects
CSA is dedicated to supporting and empowering local, grass-roots community organizations. CSA personnel work with community leaders to identify local needs and priorities, then from these conversations develops projects based upon the abilities and interests of our international interns. As such, the contribution of each individual intern is part of a larger program, ensuring its short and long-term value to the community.
Interns with CSA may do such things as conduct community evaluations, work with a women’s cooperative, create materials for HIV/AIDS education, teach English to children and high school students, supporting summer literacy programs for children, train young adults to be peer educators, among many other possibilities according to the intern’s skills and interests.
While a students and young professionals from a wide range of backgrounds can take part in a CSA internship, special programs have been designed for the follow fields:
- Social work students can take part in a CSA internship as part of their required field work hours.
- Education students can gain student teaching experience or teach ESL.
- Medical students in their 3rd or 4th year can participate in a medical rotation in a rural clinic
Food and Housing
Interns will stay in solo or pairs in homestays with local families who will provide all meals during time in program.
Interns will take part in a 2 week orientation which will provide you with a background of Dominican culture and history. You will become familiarized with your project and finalize your work plan. Finally, the orientation includes a minimum of 12 hours of 1 on 1 Spanish instruction (can be waived for native speakers).
Outline of Timeline (dependent on duration of internship)
Weeks 1 – 2: Orientation to Dominican culture and Spanish language classes
Weeks 3 – Week 12: Execution of internship plan
Final week: Project wrap-up, evaluation
Requirements for participation
- Intermediate to high Spanish language ability (will be tested through phone interview)
- Proactive individual, ability to work independently
- Flexible attitude
- Interest in community development
- Willingness to live in rural community