Program Details

The Human Rights Internship Program is a year-long program designed to help students prepare for and debrief from their internship experience, apply lessons learned to their coursework and future career plans, and share their experience with the broader University community. 

Autumn Quarter is devoted to Report Back Panels by returning interns and the application process for the next summer. The application process is highly competitive with an average of four applications for each available slot. Students need not identify a specific placement prior to application but should be able to articulate their topical and/or regional human rights interests. Applicants should think creatively about their prospective plans. A committee of faculty and staff review all applications; approximately half the applicants will be invited to interview. Interviews are held just before Thanksgiving and applicants notified of the results in mid-December.

Successful applicants spend Winter Break developing a list of potential host organizations. Interns will be assigned to the Internship Coordinator or a student peer leader from the previous year’s cohort who counsel them through the search process. Throughout Winter Quarter, interns brainstorm ideas, contact organizations, and follow up on leads. Ongoing Report Back Panels allow the previous cohort to share their experiences with new interns and the campus community. New interns participate in several mandatory group sessions, and interns are expected to file regular reports about their searches. Many interns choose to work with organizations that have hosted Chicago students in the past, while others identify new placements. By the end of Winter Quarter, all interns have a confirmed placement or several strong leads.

In Spring Quarter interns develop a work-plan in collaboration with their host organizations, identifying projects which fulfill both the student’s and the organization’s goals. Additionally, interns work to finalize travel and housing plans. Final mandatory training sessions are held. Each intern, upon completion of the workplan, is issued a check for $5,000 to cover summer expenses.

Throughout the Summer, HR interns keep in touch and submit regular reports to their peers, the Internship Coordinator, and HR Program Executive Director through a private listserv. At the end of their internships, students write a 10-15 page report detailing their internship experiences and present their oral Report Back to the campus over the course of the next academic year.