DEVS 412: Internship in Development Studies

Grounded in experiential learning and building on DEVS 311: Development and Social Change Practice, the DEVS 412 internship offers students a unique in-depth practical learning experience in a social change context. Students may extend their placement from DEVS 311 or undertake a new placement. Internships take place over the spring and summer terms. While in internships, students will write reflective papers in order to deepen learnings and to reflect on the impacts of social change and development. For the fall term, students participate in a weekly seminar and complete assignments that explore the convergence of experiential learning, social justice, and development studies, including creating a podcast, an oral presentation, and a reflective research paper. Internships are frequently used towards an honours thesis or major research paper.

Course Registration

Registration in DEVS 412 is by permission through the course instructor. Students should contact the instructor by the end of the winter term of the academic year in order to seek approval for enrolment in the course and for advice and support regarding internship plans. Although the internship takes place over the spring/summer term, students will be registered for the course in the fall term. A final grade will be submitted at the end of the fall term (in conjunction with final grades for other fall term courses) following completion of the internship, weekly seminars and associated assignments. This is a required course for Development Studies Honours students, however, it is strongly encouraged that Development Studies Majors students undertake this internship as it provides valuable insight into the practice of Development. The course is also open to students from other departments or programs having completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study.

Internship Arrangements and Costs

The internship placement takes place over the spring and summer term, lasting 2 to 4 months. Finding an appropriate internship placement is the responsibility of the student and must be approved by the course instructor. Students should contact the course instructor in the fall or winter term, prior to the spring/summer internship, in order to gain support and advice about selecting an internship. Students may pursue internship placements locally, at other locations within Canada, or internationally. Students may also undertake their internship by distance in order to ensure accessibility, due to health restrictions, or other barriers (i.e. financial restraints, safety, COVID 19, etc.).

All costs associated with the internship placement are the responsibility of the student, however, there are undergraduate research funding opportunities that students have received in the past if research is linked to the internship (i.e. Irving Research Mentorship Award, RBC Foundation Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Awards, McBain Riley Global Engagement Award).

The deadlines to apply to these funding opportunities are usually in January and are independent of DEVS 412 so students should plan early and look into these options in the fall term. Students are permitted to receive compensation from host organization for work they do during the internship placement, therefore, summer employment with a social change organization or institution (i.e. Coady International Institute, etc.) counts as an acceptable internship. Additionally, research assistant positions can also be acceptable examples of internships.


Places to check for internship options:

Coady Institute
International Development Research Council (IDRC)
Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC)
Cooperation Canada
World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
Youth Challenge International (YCI)
Charity Village
Talent Egg
Student/Youth Job Bank

Examples of past internships include:


“Research as Experiential Learning: the Necessity of Reflection, Critical Hyper-Reflexivity, and Ethical Considerations” – Research Internship with Dr. Kim Burnett
~ Nathalie Gatti – 4th Year Development Studies Honours

“Empowering Climate Resilience: Crafting Policies to Foster Autonomy Amongst Climate Migrants from Bangladesh" – Research Internship with Dr. Sutapa Chattopadhyay
~ Jaya D’Souza – 3rd Year Public Policy and Governance

“From Precarity to Autonomy: SOGIE South Asian Migrants in Rome, Italy” – Research Internship with Dr. Sutapa Chattopadhyay
~ Hannah Fraser – 3rd Year Public Policy and Governance


“Two-Eyed Seeing and Regenerative Agriculture: The Case of Sweet Mountain Farm” – Sweet Mountain Farm - Antigonish County
~ Alex MacIsaac – 4th Year Development Studies Honours


“The Art of Positive Proximity: How Arts Programming Makes Tiny Towns (and Minds) Bigger” - Antigonish Culture Alive – Antigonish, NS
~ Addy Strickland

“Increasing Mental Health Awareness through Environmental Education – Tim Hortons Foundation Camps” – Campbellsville, Kentucky
~ Meghan Miles

“The Importance of Equal Access for Youth to Recreation: An analysis of the Power of Camp - Tim Hortons Foundation Camps” - Parry Sound, Ontario
~ Julia Archambault

“The Role of L’Arche: Using Social Change to Challenge Ableism through Promotion of Inclusion, Awareness and Care and Support” - L’Arche Antigonish
~ Oduboye Matuluko

“Research as Experiential Learning: the Necessity of Reflection, Critical Hyper-Reflexivity, and Ethical Considerations” - Radio Ada, Ghana
~ Natalie Krieger


“Critiquing Consent Culture: Is Education Enough?” – Violence Prevention of Avalon East, Newfoundland
~ Caitlin Harty

“Institutional Memory – The Balancing Game Between Amnesia and Eidetic Memory: Is It That Important?” – Coady International Institute
~ Alicia David

“Role of Women in the Advocacy for Communal Resources” – Radio Ada, Ghana
~ Karen Nembhard

“Development from the Heart: Heart Languages in Development Work” – Radio Ada, Ghana
~ Kylah Lohnes

“NGOs and Social Movements: Helping Without Overpowering – Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), Ghana~ Megan Longhorne

“Linking Participatory Action Research and Social Change: Reflections and Learnings from Gbane” – Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), Ghana
~ Corrina Degen


“An Analysis of Strengthening Local Power in the Malawian Context – Interned with the Malawi Farmer to Farmer Project” – Ekwendeni, Malawi
~ Brooke Harrison

“Reflections and Theories of Community Radio as a Conduit for Development” – Radio Ada, Ghana
~ Kirsten McAdam

“Creating Spaces for Empowerment: Community Radio, dialogue and democratic process” - Radio Ada, Ghana
~ Sarah McLeod

“Silver linings: Artisanal livelihoods in Taxco, Mexico” – TradeWinds – Taxco, Mexico
~ John Dobson


“Shifting Paradigms and Power – How the Northern Farm Training Institute Creates Change and Changemakers by Empowering Community with Adult Education Practices” – Hay River, Northwest Territories
~ Maggie Edwards

“Risk to Resiliency: The History of Inuit Culture and the Empowerment of the Next Generation” – Arviat, Nunavut
~ Katie Gunn

“Participatory Community Radio in Ghanaian Social Change Activism” - Ghana Community Radio Network, Ghana
~ Max Mitchell

“Helping or Hurting: The Effects of Western Volunteerism in Post-Colonial Ghana”
~ Billy Tracy

“Farmer Suicides: Conceptualizing Gene Giants and Biopiracy in Rural India” – Navdanya, India
~ Becca Bishop

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – Paq’tnkek/Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre Partnership
~ Mariah Richard


Student testimonials:

“The DEVS 412 course was a great way to connect my research project to important discussions surrounding experiential learning. I really enjoyed the seminar-style classes, Sheena create a safe space for open discussions and I learned a lot from both the literature we engaged with and hearing about other student’s projects. It was also a great way to share my work with others and present my research findings through multiple channels such as podcasts and presentations.”

~ Jaya D’Souza 3rd Year Public Policy and Governance