Internships and Volunteer Opportunities for Canadians Abroad
International Youth Internship Program and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative
Are you thinking about going abroad and making a difference?
Canada has a proud tradition of supporting internships and volunteer opportunities in international development. The world needs pioneers who can think creatively about development challenges.
The International Youth Internship Program and International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative offer unique opportunities for Canadian youth to acquire employment skills, gain valuable international experience and engage as global citizens.
The Volunteer Cooperation Program offers skilled Canadians of all ages the opportunity to share their expertise abroad and help fulfill development needs of local communities.
These three programs are delivered by Global Affairs Canada in collaboration with Canadian civil society organizations that support international development, an important element of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Find out more about the programs and how you can get involved.
Figure 1 - Canadian Bar Association, IYIP Program
The International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) offers more than 1,200 Canadian post-secondary graduates between the ages of 19 and 30, the opportunity to gain professional experience in international development, and acquire the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for future employment. Participants will help to reduce poverty, promote human rights and increase sustainable development in 44 countries, while making a valuable contribution to Canada’s feminist international development efforts.
Figure 2 - VIDEA, IAYI initiative
The International Aboriginal Youth Internships (IAYI) initiative offers more than 500 Indigenous Canadian youth between the ages of 18 and 35, the opportunity to gain professional experience in international development, and acquire the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for future employment or to further their studies. Participants will help to reduce poverty, promote human rights and increase sustainable development in 16 countries while making a valuable contribution to Canada’s feminist international development efforts.
Figure 3 - Uniterra, a WUSC and CECI Program, VCP
The Volunteer Cooperation Program (VCP) offers more than 11,000 Canadian volunteers from all walks of life, the opportunity to lend their skills and expertise to local partners in close to 50 developing countries. In partnership with Canadian organizations, these volunteer placements help to deliver sustainable development results in response to the needs of local communities.
Find out which organizations are recruiting in your country of interest
Click on a country to see which organizations are currently working there through the IYIP, the IAYI or the VCP programs.
Discover what former interns and volunteers have to say about their experience
Milaine participated in a six-month IYIP internship with SUCO in rural Senegal. Working with the local organization AGRECOL Afrique, she applied her knowledge and management skills to strengthening organic agricultural practices in rural communities. Milaine went on to participate as a VCP volunteer with SUCO.
Aboriginal Youth Interns Centre de solidarité internationale du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Audrey, Samuël, Érica-Daphné and Gabrielle are former interns with the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean international solidarity centre. They participated in an Indigenous solidarity project with youth in Ecuador and gained valuable experience in such fields as sustainable agriculture and fair trade.
Noah, EQWIP HUBs
Noah volunteered with the joint Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International EQWIP HUBs project in El Alto, Bolivia. Working as a facilitation and training assistant, he provided entrepreneurship training, taught market-relevant skills, and helped to prepare Bolivian youth for future careers in business.
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