America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Intern, Volunteer, or Study Abroad?

By Alexandra Johnson, Outreach Intern 2013

For 2014, AUA is expanding its Summer Service Internship program, offering more placements and adding Tajikistan to our roster of programs. As we reach out to prospective internship applicants, here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions about the program. For more, take a look at a recent piece in The Examiner featuring an interview with AUA Director, Ben Orbach.

Is The AUA Summer Service Internship Program like a Study Abroad Program?

There are some features in the Summer Service Internship Program that are similar to what you would find in a study abroad program at your college or university, such as language classes, food, housing, cultural excursions, and the for-credit option. However, our program is open to anyone over the age of 18, whether they are students, professionals, recent high school graduates, or retirees. Additionally, the focus of the program is service work in the Muslim world, rather than academic study. Our interns serve in local communities, helping to advance human development goals while forming people-to-people partnerships. This is experiential rather than simply classroom learning and many past interns have expressed how much richer their time in the Muslim World was as a result.


How Is The AUA Summer Service Internship Program Different from Volunteer Service?

The people who serve in the Summer Service program are interns with the organizations and schools hosting them rather than normal volunteers. Our program differs from a simple volunteering commitment because each intern works with AUA and our partners individually to develop a specialized work plan with goals, mentoring and deliverables to guide their time in the field. These plans often involve a level of commitment and accountability on the part of interns that go beyond what a typical volunteer role would require.

What is the Application Process Like?

Complete our application and e-mail it to Stefanc (at) as a single Word document or .pdf. A member of AUA’s staff will contact you within 24 hours to arrange a personal interview about your volunteer plans. Applications must be recieved by April 1, 2014.  If you would like a program fee discount of $250, apply by December 20th, 2013.  We encourage applicants to complete a Mosaic Grant Application as well (part of the same application linked above) should they like to receive a monetary award to lower the overall program fee.  Mosaic Grants range from $500-$1000.

We welcome questions, and would like to invite our blog audience to an AUA 2014 Summer Service Internship Informational Webinar this Friday, November 8th at 12 pm EST! Please RSVP to if interested.


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This entry was posted on November 7, 2013 by in Volunteer Related.
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