Michigan State University
Michigan State University
African American and African Studies
Internship Abroad
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Internship Opportunitites

The Research-Service Internship (RSI) program provides an opportunity for African American and African Studies students to become engaged with a community organization and to obtain practical experience. Through the internship, the student will become knowledgeable about the organization's mission and objectives, and become involved as a participant in the organization's efforts to implement projects and programs to enhance the goals of empowerment of African descendent, Diaspora and Africans peoples locally, nationally, and internationally.

“Research and Action in the New South Africa,” in particular, provides a unique international internship/service-learning and field research development course experience in South Africa. Students will be immersed in real life contexts where they will directly examine, explore and engage the "African World" lived-experience in practice. The country provides a dynamic site for examining the intersections of race, identity and historical legacies that inform the country's current rapidly transformational political, cultural and economic structures.

Graduate and advanced Undergraduate students will engage in internship/service-learning activities with non-governmental and secondary educational partners. Partnering with the University of South Africa (UNISA) and other institutions, students will have the opportunity to conduct advanced filed research (undergrads and grads) or pre-dissertation research (grads). In Pretoria, Johannesburg, Midrand, or Soweto, students will work with South African communities to contribute to important cultural, economic development and social justice policy.

In years past, students have been placed at either the African Union International School (AUIS) or the Archie Mafeje Institute for Applied Social Policy Research (AMRI).

African Union International School (AUIS)

AUIS is a unique Pan-African co-educational institution dedicated to grooming a new generation of African Leaders. The school accepts full-time K-12 students from the 53 states of the African Union and from the worldwide African Diaspora. AUIS seeks to instill in learners the competency and the commitment to become Servant Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs, striving for a united and prosperous Africa as well as a just and peaceful World. 

Conveniently located in Midrand, 30 km from both Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa, the African Union International School offers full boarding facilities in a peaceful environment, very conducive to learning. The average class size is 10 pupils. This allows individualized attention and student-centered instructional techniques:

  • A Classical African Studies Module that provides to students a profound knowledge of the history, geography, culture as well as current issues and challenges of Africa and its Diaspora. This module is at the heart of our African Centered Education pedagogy. It seeks to put the African student at the center of the educational process and not at the periphery.
  • English as a Second Language Module that covers all aspects of each language: Grammar, reading, writing and speaking. Students are divided in small groups according to their levels, allowing individualized attention. The Center offers Language courses in a friendly but serious environment. English being the most prominent medium of instruction in South Africa, its mastery is critical to the academic success of the student.
  • Creative Writing Module that nurtures the writing of poetry, short stories, dramas, movie scripts or novels. Improvement of writing skills in general, or a full entry into the exciting world of writers, poets, script writers, dramatists and multimedia writers, spheres that expose students to world languages and literature.

Archie Mafeje Institute for Applied Social Policy Research (AMRI)

AMRI is a policy research institute based at University of South Africa. It is dedicated to promoting the legacy of Archie Mafeje in terms of innovative knowledge production for applied social policy in pursuit of progressive change in African society through the provision of fresh thinking and novel policy ideas for the fight against poverty, inequality, social disintegration, lack of social justice, weak citizenship, collapse of institutions of community and family and other societal ills. It conducts research and facilitates scholarly and policy debates based on a rigorous understanding of African social formations and a clear definition of societal transformation aimed at social justice and poverty eradication in Africa. In particular, AMRI is concerned with change that results from knowledge garnered from the experiences and thought patterns of ordinary Africans.