Internship Frequently Asked Questions
What qualities do you look for in internship candidates?
- skills and ability required to successfully perform the work assignment, based on work or volunteer experiences and academic background
- interest in international development work and career goals
- language capacity
- suitability / readiness for living and working in a cross-cultural environment
- flexible, independent, self-directed, and motivated
How important is language capacity?
Fluency in the native language (usually Spanish) is a preferred advantage, however, the main consideration will be the applicant's ability to complete the work assignment. Fluency in the language is not a requirement for any of the internships. The advantage of knowing the native language will only be in relation to the language capacity of other applicants for the same position.
What expenses are covered?
All direct expenses are covered including items such as: round-trip airfare, housing, health insurance, and other related direct costs such as work visas and vaccinations.
How much money will I need to contribute?
MEDA does not require interns to contribute any money toward the internship. All costs will be provided through GAC funding, or by MEDA. Please note: The housing and living allowance is modest, and designed to provide enough money for safe and comfortable living conditions. Participants should not expect to have savings accumulated from the living allowance at the end of the assignment.
When does it start?
MEDA typically hires Interns for departures in January and July. Please visit our Careers page to see any available opportunities. Once hired, all Interns attend an orientation session in Waterloo, Ontario. Interns will depart to the field to begin the work assignment following the orientation.
How flexible are the departure and return dates?
The Orientation Session is mandatory and once the date is set, it will not be flexible.
- Departure: Several factors will influence when you will be able to depart for your field assignment including: the host country's schedule, airfares, work visas, and your schedule.
- Return: Many of our interns have taken the opportunity to travel after completion of assignment before returning to Canada. This is undertaken at their own expense.
What type of orientation / training do you provide?
An Orientation Session will be provided prior to departure. During this session, you will receive a thorough introduction to: MEDA, our philosophy and methodology; your specific assignment and history of MEDA's work in the country; training in specific research and reporting techniques; review of intercultural effectiveness; and other general background on travel and work overseas.
How are overseas living accommodations arranged?
We put our interns in contact with the host MEDA Country Manager and previous interns to explore options for living accommodations. Although MEDA provides support, it is ultimately up to the intern to arrange a place to live. All of our interns have found places to live through contacts that MEDA has provided.