Isla Internships

Isla - Live Learn Intern

About

Isla builds upon the organizational capacity-building work of our local partners – non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, and other institutions - in Uganda, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and India by placing university students and professionals in sustainable development internships. Isla interns execute the scope of work developed by the host partner organization, thus improving the partner's capacity to serve their beneficiaries and communities, and advance strategic objectives and priorities. Isla interns improve their skills while helping their host organization improve operations and outcomes. Placing talented people inside idealistic organizations, Isla creates opportunities for greater global understanding, cooperation, and community service. Isla-serve.org

To learn more about specific internships, please visit our website.

Founded
2008

Reviews

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Jaclyn
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Jaclyn Williamson and I am a graduate student of the Colorado School of Public Health currently earning my Master's in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Global Health and Health Disparities.

This summer I was hired as a Global Health Development Intern with the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment (FCDE) through the ISLA internship program. I was based in the FCDE Office of Kasese, Uganda.

In this position, I provided strategic support in grant preparation, program development and implementation, and NGO capacity building to a network of 4 FCDE local partner organizations (LPOs) combatting global health issues.

I was responsible for creating, conducting, and analyzing the results of multiple needs assessments across varying target populations to assess social, behavioral, environmental, cultural, and biological factors contributing to health outcomes. I also prepared an FCDE Seed Grant Proposal to secure grant funding for multiple projects associated with global health, including HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment adherence, mosquito net use and malaria prevention, sexual reproductive health, rights, and services, and Hepatitis B awareness and testing.

I was most drawn to Uganda because I desired to work on global health issues and international development. As a Global Health Development intern, I gained experience in real-world applications of program planning, implementation, and evaluation, in an international setting.

The overarching lesson of my time in Uganda is the importance of utilizing human resources and human capital, and being adaptable to cultures so different from your own. My success in my projects in Uganda relied entirely upon trusting and allowing the influence from the affected and target communities that I hoped to reach. I attribute the success of my projects to the Ugandan natives who welcomed me into their lives and gave me an entirely new perspective on global health issues.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I had the opportunity to intern with ISLA again, I would extend my internship beyond the 8-weeks I was able to work this summer. I would definitely plan to stay the entire 10-weeks or beyond!
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Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The experience provided by Isla internships was lifechanging for me. I was given the same job as an entry level global health program director and was asked to rise to the task. at the time I was a college student applying to grad schools for an MPH. I had very little experience working in global health however, I took free classes online (recommended to me by the CEO of Isla) and did months of preparation to get myself ready to give the best impact possible. In 90 days I successfully completed my task but it took all the time I could possibly give. I worked weekends and nights preparing materials and reading up on new research for my program. With all that said, I wouldn't have had it any other way! If you are serious about jumpstarting your career, this is a great place to do it.

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Laureta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great internship program for anyone trying to learn about a different culture and background. The people are so warm and inviting I wouldn’t mind going again just to visit all the wonderful people I met on my trip there! So many cool places to go visit. The locals are very friendly and mostly can speak and understand English. You can not get lost because there are people everywhere which you can ask for directions and help and they will gladly do so. Try to get an “in” to where the locals go like the bars and cafes because that’s where you really get to understand the culture. The food is by far the best I have ever had because it’s so fresh and organic you won’t ever eat veggies and fruits the same after you have had these. I went to some weddings and some parties and they really know how to have a good time!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try all the different foods from all the cities, they kind of all vary from city to city.
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Miles
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What can I say the program in Uganda left a deep impression on me. What makes this program special is that you have agency. There is a support network in place but mostly it felt like you had to handle things on your own and forge you're own connections which is why I highly suggest this program to someone who wants real experience and not the voluntourism experience so prevalent in these sort of programs.

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Sidharth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completed my FCDE internship over the summer of my sophomore to junior year in college, and it was honestly a life changing experience. Everyone at the FCDE/Agape office were so receptive and willing to listen to my ideas, and I left Kasese truly feeling as if I had made an impact. The internship program is very well organized, and my home stay was awesome! I still keep in touch with them. The other really cool thing about FCDE is that you don't necessarily need previous experience; this internship is a good platform for all levels of experience to work upon.

What would you improve about this program?
The weather can be a bit daunting at times, so I wish I would have brought lighter clothes to wear!

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