Ethics of Internships

On November 26, UFV held a panel discussion entitled Ethics of Internships. The event was hosted and organized by Dr. Cherie Enn’s (an Associate Geography Professor at UFV) and seven students from the Global Development Studies class (GDS 400). Dr. Enn and students worked hard during the fall term to organize the event and invite speakers. Funding support came from the Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

The panel included both UFV students and internship hosts, those of whom held a range of differing views when it came to the complexities of international and domestic internships.

“Presenting at the Ethics of Internships event was a great way to reflect on our experiences and roles as GDS students and interns. Discussing the opportunities and challenges surrounding internships through a parody encouraged us to critically reflect on why GDS students do internships and how to ‘practice development’ in a positive way,” said Gina Dhinsa, a Global Development Studies student at UFV.

Audience members were also able to collectively guide the discussion by anonymously texting in questions to the panel, which was very informative for those considering an international or domestic internship.

One event attendee noted: “One of the panelists specifically mentioned that, ‘the experts are the people who live there. We can lead them, but they are the owners.’ This idea made me pause for a moment. It made me realize how important it is to listen to the people you are helping. They are the ones who can really tell us what needs to be done in their region. Being in the Internship Program is about looking at the world around you, realizing what you can do to better the lives around you, then putting that belief into action.”

The discussion touched on the impact of race within internships, women’s rights and LGBTQ+ overseas, eastern-western culture clashes, mental preparedness, issues of poverty and perceived poverty, perspective & paradigm shifts, and power dynamics and privilege within internships.

The panel included:

  • Mary Notman, Founder of KidzCare Tanzania
  • Eyerusalem Abebe, UFV Alumni and Operations Manager at Run for Water
  • Judith Kasiama, Advocate for Inclusion and Diversity
  • Taelyr Keeley, Student in UFV’s Global Development Studies program
  • Dr. Robert Harding, School of Social Work and Human Services Professor
  • Jennifer Mpungu, Migration, Resettlement and Newcomers Program Coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee in BC
  • Simarjeet Singh, PhD Candidate and Research Scholar at Panjab University in Chandigarh

Interested in learning more about practicums or internships?

UFV offers both domestic and international opportunities. One of the international opportunities offered is with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Program (QES). Approved students receive funded internships to either East Africa or India.

Interested in Global Development Studies?

The Global Development Studies Program at UFV is a broadly interdisciplinary program designed to equip students with the critical academic knowledge, skills and experience required to function effectively as development professionals (in Canada or abroad) or to continue on to graduate or other professional studies.

Please contact Elise Goertz, Practicum and Internship Coordinator in the College of Arts, for more information.