INTERNSHIPS IN KENYA
Complete an internship in Kenya, one of the most naturally stunning countries in Africa, full of natural wonders. From tropical beaches, spectacular scenery to rich culture to unparalleled wildlife, Kenya has abundant natural beauty. In this beautiful country, you can meet the traditional Maasai on their ancestral lands and a internship in Maasai Land can learn much from these highly traditional people. Interns who travel to Kenya will spot the incredible wildlife and admire the stunning valleys.
Adventure in Kenya includes exploration of beautiful villages and diverse cultures. IFRE's programs to host interns in Kenya are located in Mombasa and Nairobi, two vibrant cities. In the IFRE Kenya internship program, you serve the local communities; share your experience and compassion through an internship in a Nairobi orphanage and with local youth while exploring a great African country. An enriching internship abroad experience is waiting for you! Hot and humid, Nairobi is the modern capital city of Kenya aka the "Green City in the Sun” referring to the lush greenery throughout the city.
To get a head-start on your Kenya internship program, take a few moments to contact us by email for more information, including travel dates, fees and more. We look forward to hearing from you.
Start Dates: Our programs start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.
Ifre’s fees for volunteer programs and internship programs are the same. Ifre volunteers offers the world’s most affordable internship programs. When you join our internship program, you pay your fee directly to host families and projects. In this way, we ensure that your money goes for you or the people who need it (not for the organization's profit).
Ifre internship fee comprise of two separate fees. An application fee of $299 USD (covers advertising, staff/office expenses, etc.) and a nominal weekly program fee (covers room/board, field support, etc). You can visit the following link for details on fees and dates:
Additional costs for interns:
International flights, visa application/extension, daily personal expenses on beverages/entertainment daily transportation, laundry, telephone, immunizations.
In Kenya, income level creates a large gap amongst school children’s quality of education. Most upper-class children receive exemplary English instruction. However, children of poorer families and communities, who cannot afford expensive English instruction, lag far behind. This lag creates an even larger rift as children progress through their schooling and eventually into the workforce. Opportunities exist for those with strong English skills. IFRE strives to bridge this chasm to offer quality English instruction by collaborating with local rural schools. Intern teachers in Kenya are a prized and welcomed resource! As a teacher intern, you will work in the rural schools mostly work under the direction of the head teacher.
NO specific skills or qualifications are required. However, some kind of teaching certification or education degree is appreciated. A major in science, math or computer oriented classes is also preferred if you have no teaching education/credentials. Interns must have passion and interest to help children and improve their education.
Intern teachers in Kenya focus mainly on teaching English to local children in primary, middle or high schools. If you are skilled, you can teach math, science, or other subjects. Most classrooms are crowded in Kenya. The number of the students ranges from 40-60. Most schools have a local English teacher in Kenya. He/she is the main English teacher; so much of your time will be spent working as assistant to the local English teacher. However, if you are confident, the local teacher finds you capable or if you have teaching experience, you may teach independently. In Kenya, there is a planned English curriculum, so you will need to follow the course outline. Intern teachers generally teach 3-4 hours a day.
Kenya is a developing country and a majority of the citizens live below the poverty level. Many rural families receive less than basic health treatment and facilities are substandard. Basic Kenya healthcare is deficient amongst the poorest citizens who already do without so much. Loved ones are lost each day to afflictions that could be remedied with simple but essential healthcare.
To address these issues, Kenya government has established many rural health centers and government hospitals. As these facilities are cheaper or affordable for poor families, they are always over-crowded with patients. There is a consistent shortage of resources and manpower, specifically doctors. Available doctors often have no facilities at which to care for the sick.. The outlying areas and villages desperately need medical interns. As a medical intern in Kenya, you often work in these rural conditions. Usually an intern acts as an assistant to available doctors, helping with whatever task necessary. Work responsibilities vary with education, skill and experience. There are so many areas in which the medical community and Kenyan citizens need help.
Interns/interns who are interested in joining our internship health program must possess health care certification, such as an ID as a medical student, EMT or paramedic certification, or nursing or physician's credentials. We do not permit interns without medical credentials to work in this program due to the potential risk. The hospitals require a copy of your resume, clearly documenting credentials and education, before your arrival to the project. Projects will also require an official copy of your credentials.
Job responsibilities for medical project interns/interns vary dependent on education, skills, experience and qualifications and on the community’s current needs. Interns/Interns are not permitted to perform major exams or surgeries. Most often interns help doctors or work as their assistants. As a medical intern in Kenya, you could be placed in a large hospital or small rural health center. Most of the hospitals (regardless of size ) have many departments: Emergency, Gynecology, Pediatrics Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Hematology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Internal Medicine, Clinical Pathology etc. so a intern may be placed in any department, but skills/qualifications will also be considered. Interns may take patients’ blood pressure, temperature, height, weight and carry out health center tasks. You also assist in health camps, distribute medicines, provide tips to patients on health, nutrition and sanitation or provide counseling to patients. You may provide treatment for minor injuries or wounds and document patient records. The tasks and activities vary day by day!
There is a severe and widespread HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya. Each year HIV/AIDS claims the lives of thousands of Kenyan children and adults. It is estimated that about 900,000 Kenyans are infected with HIV/AIDS. The good news is there has been some improvement in recent years. Drugs have become more readily available and distributed, but there have also been significant behavioral changes in the population due to education and outreach with programs like IFRE’s.
Collaboration with local groups and organizations help foster awareness among local communities. IFRE’s interns, hospitals, NGOs and local groups are helping to prevent loss of life and are improving the lives of those already infected. As an intern in our Kenya HIV/AIDS project you can support the ongoing efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide the manpower needed to comfort HIV/AIDS infected patients in Kenya.
There is no specific education, experience, skills and/or qualifications needed to join our fight against HIV/AIDS in an internship project. However, interns are expected to be flexible and patient as well as passionate and have love for the poor and HIV-infected people of Africa.
Many local organizations working on HIV/AIDS program are focused on two areas. First focus area includes: treatment, psychological counseling and support to whose people infected with HIV/AIDS. Interns within the scope of the first focus area generally visit with HIV/AIDS patients (along with a local worker) and distribute food, clothes, medicine and give mental counseling and support. You may provide basic but valuable tips to patients on health, nutrition and sanitation and you may be involved in keeping patient records.
The second focus area includes: HIV/AIDS awareness or outreach programs to increase the community’s understanding of HIV/AIDS, ways to prevent the spread of the disease and how to protect themselves from contracting the disease. Interns supporting the second focus area normally participate in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and/or community outreach. Interns focused on outreach and awareness programs often visit many schools, villages, churches and present information and media, posters, distribute pamphlets, distribute condoms etc.
How does IFRE help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?
Once your internship program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. Interns staying at the Nairobi homebase see our coordinators and staff daily. However, if you are staying far from the homebase, our staff will visit interns every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and you are always welcome at the office. We recommend that the interns stop by the office once a week, if they are staying/working in the local area, to give feedback on their home stay and project. Many minor issues can be avoided with a just little extra communication before they develop into major issues. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a great distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.
We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It’s our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.
You can earn academic credit for most internship projects in Kenya. The best way to receive academic credit is by pre-arranging the project with your college/university. It is up to an intern to communicate with faculty/academic advisors regarding college credit for internship work PRIOR to applying to IFRE. Your college/university may require additional information prior to approval and may require students to submit pre/post research or other requirements.
Alternatively, you can earn academic credit through Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). SCCC offers college credit for a variety of international programs (study abroad, volunteer abroad, intern abroad, language studies and even cultural-exchanging home-stays). IFRE recommends contacting Professor Steve Tash (we can provide contact details) to further explore this option of receiving academic credit for your international internship. IFRE is not associated with SCCC and it is up to the intern to arrange to transfer SCCC course credit to their university/college of choice.
IFRE manages living accommodations, provides meals and supervision for interns for the entirety of their stay in Kenya. During the internship period, most interns stay in our safe and secure Nairobi homebase. IFRE’s Nairobi homebase is located in a beautiful area nearly 30 km from the Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta) International Airport in the Thome 1 Estate in the Kasarani division of Nairobi. This estate is very safe and manned with onsite security. It is a clean, sparsely furnished home but will meet all your needs as an IFRE intern. It is close to the local bus station.
In the Thome 1 Estate you can see beautiful British style houses that belong to some wealthy families of Kenya. Many business families, high ranked government officials and people with high social status live in this village. The nearby local bus (matatu) station is only one km away from the homebase and it is easily accessible by walking. This matatu runs to downtown Nairobi and it is approximately 15 km from IFRE’s homebase in Kasarani. The matatu (van/bus style taxi) fare should be approximately $1 one way. Useful amenities within 2 km of the IFRE homebase are an internet café, restaurant and supermarket. The local police station is also located within approximately 2 km from the IFRE homebase.
Occasionally, depending on intern traffic, available projects or distance to a intern’s assigned project, we may also place our interns with carefully pre-screened host families. Our host families are socially respected and are experienced with hosting international interns. They have strong interest in our interns’ safety and well being and demonstrate this with caution and care. In most host family situations, interns will share a room with another intern of the same gender. Another viable option is an at-orphanage stay. Many orphanages in Kenya have set aside special rooms to house international interns. Interns who have stayed with a host family or at an orphanage describe an enriched experience because of having done so. Once you have applied for program placement, you will find the specific details of your accommodations in your personal placement documents for your project.
Interns have free time for the duration of their project, weekends and the Language and Culture program. While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff, members and coordinators can provide priceless assistance in making appropriate arrangements for travel in Kenya. It’s the time for self discovery and learning. It’s time to explore this foreign culture and exotic land. It’s definitely time for a safari in Kenya! Our IFRE local coordinators/staff are available to give you free advice, travel tips and helps to book your travel.
Kenya has coastal beaches and game reserves, not to mention an amazing assortment of safari adventures in Kenya to enjoy. In your free time, you can explore the amazing wildlife, fascinating landscape and colorful cultures and customs. Alternatively, you can simply hike in the village. Please discuss your options with our local project staff to find the best way for you to spend your free time in Kenya.