Internships at BRAC
Program Dates: September - December (fall); January - March (spring)
Location: Bangladesh, unspecified destination(s)
What's this program about?
This program is hosted by BRAC, and offers five-day/week, full-time internships. The objective of the internships is two-fold:
Originally named the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC was founded in 1972 in the immediate aftermath of the Bangladesh war of liberation as a refugee resettlement and humanitarian relief organization. Today it is the largest national Non-Governmental Organization in the world, and is active in (among other areas) micro-finance, social development, education, public health, and training and capacity-building. It sees women as principal agents of social and economic change in Bangladesh, and thus works primarily with women at the grassroots level. It has programs in every region of Bangladesh, in 99% of the sub-regions, and in 60,000 of the 86,000 villages in the country. It has a full-time staff of 25,000 - and additionally employs 34,000 part-time teachers in its primary education program. It is mostly self-financed, through activities like textile manufacturing and marketing, handicraft sales, horticultural greenhouses and retail nurseries, health products manufacturing and marketing, dairy production, and silk processing. While BRAC is headquartered in Dhaka, all BRAC projects are in the rural regions. The BRAC Training Division operates 12 Training and Resource Centers (TARCs) across the country. The TARCs run year-round training courses for BRAC staff, program participants, and other development organizations and agencies.
What can students study?
Interns will work with members of the BRAC Training Division, and the Research and Evaluation Division to develop individual research projects. Specific topics will depend on the interests and skills of the intern. These placements will allow interns opportunities not only to observe BRAC projects, but also to engage in significant research on the impacts and effectiveness of those programs at the grassroots level.
Orientation and Language Training
The first week of the program will be devoted to orientation trips and seminars, at BRAC headquarters, and exposure tours to BRAC project sites in the rural areas. Throughout the internship, instruction in the Bangla language (arranged by BRAC University, either in Dhaka or at the TARC) will be available. The objective is to equip MSU interns with rudimentary language skills, such that they have some basis for communication in Bangla, and a base on which to improve their Bangla fluency through their own initiatives. The work of the internships will be conducted entirely in English, and the level of English-language fluency of staff at BRAC headquarters is very high. As the language of instruction at BRAC University is English, all BRAC University faculty are fluent in the language.
James Madison College students will enroll in MC 400 and MC 401, for a total of 12 credits. This will satisfy the JMC Field Experience requirement.
Social Science students will enroll in SSC 493 for a total of 12 credits.
Arts & Letters students will enroll in AL 493B for a total of 12 credits.
Course prerequisites may apply; see Course Descriptions (on the MSU Website) or program leader for details.
What are the requirements?
Requirements: 2.0 GPA, Internship, Resume, Personal interview. Students must have at least junior status (preference given to those with senior standing), and must be enrolled for MSU internship or field study credit. Please speak with your college or department internship coordinator to discuss credit arrangements and academic requirements. If you're uncertain who that is, please speak with your academic advisor.
All applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance in the program, and reference letters from academic instructors will be requested. Applicants must also demonstrate their eligibility to earn academic credit for the experience.
Additionally, students must submit an essay with their application stating why they wish to participate in this program.
Applicants' participation may be denied or their participation approval may be revoked if their conduct before departure raises doubts as to their suitability for program participation.
Where will students live?
MSU students will have continuing accommodation in Dhaka, either in home-stays, or in BRAC-arranged apartments. When in the field, students will stay at local TARCs, or in other BRAC facilities. All meals are included, both in Dhaka, and at the TARCs. Each TARC has comfortable, well-furnished rooms (with shared bath), and excellent dining facilities. They also have computer labs with good internet connections. BRAC will provide transportation (in BRAC vehicles with BRAC-employed drivers) to BRAC offices in Dhaka, and to rural project sites as the need arises.
Who can tell me more about the program?
Grant Littke email@example.com
James Madison College
329 Case Hall
Phone: (517) 353-6757
Oumatie Marajh firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Social Science
201C Berkey Hall
Phone: (517) 353-9202
Bethany Judge email@example.com
College of Arts & Letters
200 Linton Hall
Phone: (517) 355-6519
More information: http://studyabroad.msu.edu/programs/bracintern.html