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6 reasons to intern at an NGO

There is a long list of reasons to join an NGO, and that list gets even longer when you consider doing so internationally. As an intern abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to build up a strong network of connections around the globe. Whether you’re interested in the environment, human rights, entrepreneurship or education, there’s a perfect role waiting for you in a nonprofit organization.

Here are the top 6 reasons to join an NGO for your international internship.

1. Feel good about your contribution

One of the main reasons to join an NGO is to contribute to a cause you care about. Nonprofit organizations span a wide variety of areas. For those passionate about social justice issues, both at home and abroad, there’s no better career field. Whether you’re focusing on a community engagement role or you’re behind the scenes in research, you’ll go home at the end of each day feeling positive and empowered.

reasons to join an ngo

2. Gain hands on experience

Interning with an NGO or a Nonprofit allows you to take on roles that might not be given to interns in corporate settings. In most nonprofit organizations, interns are highly valued and relied upon. You’ll likely gain experience in many different departments, honing your skills in a variety of areas.

3. Network with interesting people

This field attracts some of the most passionate and interesting people from every industry. Many professionals who have dedicated their lives to the nonprofit sector have lived and worked all over the world, and thus have a unique worldview to share. As an intern, you’ll be surrounded by people who motivate and inspire you. What more could you ask for?

reasons to join an ngo

4. Room for growth

As an intern in a corporation you might feel like there isn’t much room for growth. However, this is not the case when you intern with an NGO. This is an industry that will allow you to play to your skill set.

5. Make an impact

The nonprofit world is one where you can truly say you made a lasting impact, even as an intern. These organizations work daily to improve the lives of those around them, many focusing on specific communities. Apply your skills and passion to a role with an NGO, and you won’t regret it.

6. Develop many skills

As an intern with an NGO or a nonprofit organization, you’ll undoubtedly wear a lot of hats. No two days in a row will be the same, keeping your role exciting and diverse. Of course, one of the main benefits of this is that you will develop a wide variety of skills. After interning in a nonprofit, you’ll have a strong background to apply for roles in many different industries.

Apply now for an international internship in NGOs and Nonprofits to kick-start a global career!


1. 130712-N-WD757-338, by Naval Surface Warriors, CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Beso, by Samantha Hare, CC BY 2.0

3. DSC_1095, by Prospect Park Alliance, CC BY-ND 2.0

Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!