Finding Internships on Idealist.org
With offices in the United States (New York, NY, Portland, OR, and Washington DC) and Argentina (Buenos Aires), Idealist.org is an interactive website that consists of over 57,000 non-profit and community organizations in over 180 different countries. Idealist.org was developed as a project through Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization established in 1995 to connect individuals and institutions interested in making their communities and world a better place in which to live.
Idealist.org is a favorite of mine when searching for non-profit agencies and finding opportunities focused on making a difference in our world. Students often are amazed at internships, volunteer experiences, and jobs they find on the site. You can search within 100 miles of a specific location by designating country, state, city, and mileage specifications and you can broaden or narrow your search by adding or deleting specific criteria. By clicking on Organizations and then country, you can get a full list of organizations participating, and listing numerous opportunities.
Several years ago our college sponsored fours students to attend the Action Without Borders conference at UC Berkeley. I also had the opportunity to attend and found it to be an amazing experience with non-profits attending from all over the world. There were a number of workshops dealing with many of the social issues we are faced with today.
Being from a small town in northeastern New York, one thing I had never dealt with or even thought much about was homelessness and its causes. One of the workshops at the conference dealt with homelessness and had actual homeless participants who told their story and helped the audience understand some of the reasons and causes of this horrendous problem.
We learned that the problem was most often not about an unwillingness to work but reflected a far deeper issue that's hard for us to imagine or comprehend.
One of the saddest facts that I learned in the workshop was that a large percentage of homeless people had once functioned quite well in society and many had held respectable jobs. Unfortunately, at some point, they may have faced a financial setback or perhaps became ill and lost their jobs. Many of the homeless are military veterans or people suffering from mental illness who are unable to care for themselves or keep a full-time job.
Students often are able to find internship or volunteer opportunities on Idealist.org that they can not find elsewhere. Idealist.org offers a dynamic website that allows you to perform detailed searches for positions listed from all over the world. Individuals can select their area of focus, location of interest, along with key words to create a search. The Advanced Search section permits those interested in entering their specific skills, languages, compensation needs, and start and end dates. If you’re interested in making a difference in the world, check out Idealist.org’s extensive listing of opportunities.
Action Without Borders and Idealist.org work to educate individuals about the various needs that are out there and they work to offer internships, volunteer opportunities, and jobs that provide people with a way to help. Many college students are looking for a way to give back and the opportunities offered through Idealist.org gives them many options to choose from.
The organization offers thousands of opportunities in the nonprofit sector for those looking to make a difference in the world. You can read Ami Dar’s (founder of Action Without Borders) fascinating story on how he came to create this wonderful organization, which is based on his belief that, "For the first time in history we have the means to reach out across every border and difference that separates us, and find new ways of working together."
For those interested in joining the Peace Corps, listen to Bonnie Thie, the country director of the Peace Corps' China program. This is only one of the "New Service" podcasts available on the site. Many return volunteers share their story which gives an even more in-depth look at the opportunities that are available.