York’s international interns pass the torch

Last year was one to remember for 26 York University students. As members of the first group of international interns, they had the unique opportunity to work in a variety of international placements in 16 locations for three months beginning in May. The students were at York for a reception held on Thursday, March 31, to share their experiences, some advice and good wishes with this year’s group of interns.

 Above: This year’s outgoing York International Interns.

The York interns gained valuable work experience in often unique and multicultural settings. Now in its second year, the York International Internship Program (YIIP) has increased the variety and quantity of internship placements, 42 interns will work in 23 locations around the world. Their destinations range from Ottawa to Buenos Aires.

The YIIP is unique in Canada in that York University organizes the placements with host organizations such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and York provides a $3,000 stipend to each student. The stipend program is unusual because the more common practice for most international internship programs is that host organizations must provide funding and students cover their own costs.

Left: Danielle Allen (top right wearing a red shirt), a York International Internship working with the Canadian Urban Institute in the Philippines in 2004

During the reception, last year’s interns, or “YIIPers”, shared their enthusiasm for what one intern described as “the best experience of my life.”

This group has already displayed how much these internships have meant to them through comments they posted last summer on the program’s e-mail listserv. A selection of YIIPers also presented papers about their experiences at the Experiential Education & Internationalization Symposium in Nov. 2004.

For more information about YIIP and other international programs offered, visit the York International Web site.