Internship Program

Interns have a critical role in maximizing City of Refuge’s ability to serve Columbia’s 8,000+ refugees! All interns provide support in day-to-day functions such as connecting refugees with basic needs and services, sorting donations in our City Boutique, providing logistical support for English classes, and keeping our building running smoothly. Additionally, interns can pair their unique skills and passions with experience in one of four emphasis areas: Refugee Care, Refugee Development & Health, Refugee Education, or Nonprofit Operations & Business. An internship with City of Refuge is unpaid, but can be a life-changing position as you learn about the refugee experience, cultivate professional skills and an understanding of nonprofit operations, and consider how you can be an advocate for refugees wherever you go! See the descriptions below for job details and apply today!

  • Respond to and serve as an advocate for refugees needing assistance with various social benefits forms, registrations, bills, applications, material needs, etc.
  • Serve refugees needing assistance with various areas of daily life, such as transportation, reading and explaining mail, dealing with community entities, educating about practical needs, or any similar issues that arise.
  • Coordinate and facilitate regular health screenings, health education, preventative healthcare programs (Food Pantry, Basic Needs, etc.), and access to healthcare resources
  • Support Director of Refugee Development to improve refugee sustainability initiatives
  • Tutor students of various ages from refugee backgrounds by participating in at least one of the following educational programs: English Buddies, Homework Helpers, Youth Impact Group
  • Create and facilitate education-based opportunities and events, research refugee educational needs, advocate for and develop programs that grow refugee education, facilitate childcare programming and early childhood education
  • Develop competency in small business management, including operational tasks, strategy, resource allocation, data input, and business practices
  • Plan and coordinate annual and pop-up events, cultivating and expanding donor base and support network through outreach
  • Assist in regular upkeep & improvement of COR’s operations, including facilities, grounds, and vehicle maintenance
  • Maintain and improve network security, troubleshoot technical issues, and build COR’s capacity by implementing informational technology solutions and advancements
  • Manage print materials, and create content for social media platforms, informational & promotional materials, and digital storytelling

Job Responsibilities

As a baseline, all interns at City of Refuge will be expected to perform the following:

  • Assist in the operations of City Boutique, including sorting donations, running the register, cleaning, transporting excess donations, etc.
  • Learn and develop competence in all Front Desk duties, including welcoming guests, connecting refugees with staff or assisting with Basic Needs, Food Pantry, and Wardrobe
  • Maintain a welcoming and functional space by regularly cleaning common areas, bathrooms, and kitchens for guest and staff use
  • Willingly step into other needs as they arise, which may include assistance with childcare, transportation of guests, event work, or manual labor tasks
Emphasis options give our interns the ability to grow in skills and knowledge that match their area of study. Check out the additional job responsibilities for each of these emphases above to see which one fits you best!

Application Process:

  1. Read through the job description, commitments, and requirements found on this page.
  2. Submit an application by clicking “APPLY NOW” below!
  3. Complete the interview process to find the right fit.
If you would like to have your internship linked through your college or university, you can also find us on Handshake!
Apply Now

Dates and Commitments:

Session Commitment: One academic year is highly preferred. Single semester internships may be considered for some positions.

Academic Year: 2024/2025 dates TBA
Fall: 2024 dates TBA
Spring: January 15, 2024 – May 10, 2024
Summer: May 27, 2024 – August 9, 2024

Orientation: All interns are required to attend orientation. Date/time will be discussed during hiring.

Weekly Commitment: City of Refuge office is open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, and most internship hours will occur during this time. A minimum of 6 hours per week is required, with individual shifts lasting at least 2 hours. Scheduling will be discussed during the hiring process.


  1. Learn how a nonprofit operates through hands-on participation
  2. Gain understanding of the refugee process and experience
  3. Grow in professional skills and abilities
  4. Be empowered to use your gifts and knowledge to add value to COR
  5. Interact with and be exposed to a multiethnic environment
  6. Become an ambassador for COR and advocate for refugees


  1. Self-starter, dependable, flexible, communicative
  2. Desire to work with people of varying cultural backgrounds
  3. In pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, certificate program, or higher, with a minimum GPA of 3.2
  4. Must be able to lift up to 50lbs if necessary
  5. Must pass criminal background check during onboarding
  6. Commit to internship dates & weekly hour requirements, or make arrangements for special circumstances
  7. Present and conduct oneself in a professional and culturally appropriate manner, to provide a safe & welcoming environment

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