Serving (in) Europe


Graffiti Brick World Language
Graffiti outside of a refugee resettlement organization in Valencia, Spain. (Rachel Ingal, '21)

As Europe finds itself at the center of multifaceted and complex challenges from climate change, to migration, to widening socioeconomic inequality, all of which threaten the principles of integral human development, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, in partnership with Caritas Europe, seeks to engage undergraduate students in the work being done to address these challenges via eight-week internships with Caritas organizations across Europe.

In the spirit of Pope Francis’ call to go to the geographic and existential peripheries, the Nanovic Institute, through this program, seeks to bring students to the geographic peripheries of Europe; rural or neglected urban communities, countries on the “edges of Europe”, as well as to the existential peripheries; drawing students into conversations about human dignity, the common good, and the reality of these ideals in our world today. 

Through these service-learning internships as well as a 1.0 credit pre-departure seminar, regular reflections, and a post-service retreat, students will seek to achieve real objectives for the community and a deeper understanding of the issues and the culture in which they sit. Caritas partners will serve as facilitators of the “transformative experience of being there” and will guide students in completing necessary and useful projects during the students’ eight-week summer placements. 

The Nanovic Institute will cover transportation, lodging, and a modest living stipend for interns while on site.

Interested students are encouraged to attend an information session Monday, October 25 at 7 p.m. in the Nanovic Institute.  Applications are due by Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 11:59 p.m.  

Apply Here

Host sites and internship details:

Students can apply to work with one of four Caritas branches:

Each site will have different needs, but students can broadly expect to assist with project monitoring and evaluation, implementation, and service alongside community members and volunteers. 

There are up to four internship positions available with each organization. Students will be selected based on their previous professional or academic experience, their commitment to understanding key social justice issues and humanitarian work in the world today, and any relevant language skills. Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the current work of the Caritas organization they would like to intern with and speak to how their skills align with the work being done by that organization in their application. Students may only apply for one internship site.

EURO 33012 Serving (in) Europe Pre-Departure Seminar: 

All accepted interns are required to enroll in EURO 33012. Led by Nanovic Institute Director professor Clemens Sedmak, this 1.0 credit seminar will explore integral human development through the lens of humanitarian aid in Europe. Students will become familiar with the major moral and social challenges facing the continent and develop the skills necessary to effectively contribute to meaningful social change in an international setting. The course will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. in the Nanovic Institute.

Internship and post-Internship requirements: 

Interns are expected to be fully committed to the projects they are assigned when on site. Each group of interns will be assigned a mentor from the host Caritas organization and should participate fully in the reflections, cultural activities, and opportunities for community engagement provided by the mentor. Students will also complete weekly written reflections and may contribute to the Nanovic Navigator student blog. Upon completion of their internship, students will meet for a half day reflection retreat at the start of the following academic year. The Nanovic Institute expects participants to assist with the evaluation and improvement of the internship program, as well as the recruitment of new student participants. 

Questions? Contact Student Programs Assistant Manager, Anna Dolezal.