Many students come to Sijal not just with linguistic goals, but also with goals for their own academic and professional development. Their time in Jordan is both an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the language and culture, as well as to try their hand at working in different types of organizations. An internship or volunteer position can help forge deeper relationships with Jordanians, establish connections for future work opportunities, provide language practice, and give students hands-on experience within their desired professional field.
At Sijal, we view volunteering opportunities and internships as an integral part of your learning process and time in Jordan. Therefore, we strive to facilitate connections to the best of our abilities. Our process is simple: at the beginning of the semester, students interested in interning or volunteering fill out a form marking their interests, goals, and prior experience, and a member of the Sijal staff then sits with them personally to give recommendations for different organizations with whom they could work. We regularly write introductory letters whenever we have a personal connection within the desired organization and we are constantly working to expand our networks and expand the types of opportunities available to students.
To date, we have had students complete internships or volunteer opportunities at International Refugee Assistance Project, Collateral Repair Project, Syria Direct, Sawiyan, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), Migrate, Radio Al Balad, Family Flavors Magazine, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Studio X, Columbia Global Centers, 7ibr, American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), Global Nomads, Rainbow Street, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and more.
Ultimately, internships and volunteer positions are an agreement between the employer and the student. Some organizations have competitive internships and quite strict stipulations and conditions, while others might be more welcoming of students regardless of their experience or time constraints. Of course, Sijal cannot promise any student their desired internship; that responsibility logically falls on the student, their background and their performance when applying to the organization. However, Sijal stands ready to facilitate connections to the best of our abilities and furnish students with the resources they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom.