University Programs - Group Engage

Group Engage is similar to Intern Abroad in that it supplies students with significant development training and project development experience. However, the program offers greater structure and allows students to work in direct collaboration with their peers on pre-defined, community-driven projects. Project interests are defined by the group and matched to community needs, offering significant human and financial resources that produce lasting community impact. Group Engage is only available to university partners.

Program Snapshot

  • 6 to 10 weeks in the field
  • 40 hour/week schedule
  • 3 to 5 students place with one host organization
  • 2 students per host family
  • Comprehensive development training prior to community engagement
  • Community-driven project work is collaboratively preplanned by host organization, students, and the FSD site team
  • Seed grant for project initiation and eligibility for additional project funding from our Intern Grant Fund
  • Group is led by an experienced student leader and/or university representative that adheres to a specific set of responsibilities for representing the group

Group Engage students who are effective in the field generally meet the following criteria:

  • A proven ability to work under challenging conditions
  • Ability to work in collaboration with their peers, FSD site team, and their host organization on community driven project work
  • Ability to follow the direction set by the group leader
  • Past experience abroad or work experience with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to reflect on their experience with their support network to diffuse challenges of working in the developing world
  • Deep desire to live and work in a completely foreign climate, culture, and paradigm
  • Openness and curiosity toward undergoing a potentially life changing shift of perspective and the emotional sophistication to handle the process
  • Strong interest to learn local languages to enhance community immersion
  • Inquiry and interest about destination and its cultural background
  • Understanding that their work will not have impact they may have romantically envisioned (this point addresses the fact that many interns want to “change the world” in ten weeks)
  • Ability to sustain a 40 hour work week for the full length of the program
  • Recognition that cultural competency is essential to creating sustainable development solutions
  • Intermediate level of Spanish for Latin American placements

Please contact Devin Graves at or (415) 283-4873, ext. 204 if you wish to discuss how your school could work with FSD.