Fall 2024: Refugee Field Work Intern (Unpaid)

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IRC - International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is one of the world’s largest international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (INGO), at work in more than 50 countries and more than 25 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. A force for humanity, IRC employees deliver lasting impact by restoring safety, dignity and hope to millions. If you’re a solutions-driven, passionate change-maker, come join us in positively impacting the lives of millions of people world-wide for a better future.

*Please note: this is an unpaid internship. The in-person position is anticipated to start in August – September 2024.* 

Founded in 1933, the IRC is a leading organization providing relief, protection, and resettlement services for refugees and victims of oppression throughout the U.S. IRC in San Diego has resettled over 31,000 refugees to San Diego County over the past 48 years and provides numerous program services. In San Diego, the IRC opened its doors in 1975 and has grown to serve approximately 7,000 refugee and immigrant individuals from 115 countries of origin each year through 5 different departments.

SCOPE OF INTERN WORK: The Refugee Resettlement intern will be instrumental in helping newly arrived refugees, and other refugees who are facing significant barriers to connect to appropriate services in San Diego. The intern will support Caseworkers, refugee clients directly, and will assist with ongoing projects within the Resettlement Department. The Resettlement Department consists of two programs: Reception & Placement, and Afghan Integration Resettlement Services. Interns can request to work with specific programs, or to assist both.


  • Drive and accompany clients to appointments, such as the DMV, health check-ups, legal consults, school enrollments, etc.

  • Assist Resettlement Caseworkers with airport pickups for newly arriving refugee families.

  • Assist with setting up the apartments of families scheduled to arrive to San Diego, including shopping for a set list of items.

  • Take clients to the bank to open accounts or withdraw money.

  • Help clients enroll in services, in-person or remotely.

  • Accompany clients on bus/metro trips to help them learn routes on the San Diego public transit system.

  • Develop guides and learning materials for client use (examples: healthcare navigation, food banks, local community guides, etc.)

  • Organize long-term projects or resources that will benefit the livelihoods of refugee clients.

  • Provide ongoing office support for the Resettlement department including preparing case files, writing and emailing on behalf of clients, maintaining supplies, and welcoming guests.


  1. Student will learn about service plans, and the essential steps of setting up new refugee families for success in San Diego.

  1. Student will learn about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and the resettlement process.

  1. Student will learn more about the populations of refugees in San Diego.

  1. Students will learn about the essential functions of a non-profit office needed to help programs continue to run.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Must be currently enrolled student in an undergraduate or graduate degree program or graduated within one year, preferably studying fields such as Human Rights, International Relations, etc.
  • 1+ years related work or volunteer experience with a non-profit strongly preferred.
  • Must be a self-starter, enthusiastic, and possess a positive attitude.   
  • Excellent organization skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills, empathetic, and ability to effectively collaborate.
  • Ability to lift 30+ pounds.
  • Willingness to drive a moving van.
  • A strong interest in working with a diverse, low-income population is required.
  • Proactive, motivated and flexible; able to remain calm and adapt within a fast-paced work environment.
  • English fluency required. Language skills a plus (Farsi/Dari, Kiswahili, Arabic, or Russian strongly preferred).

This position reports to the Resettlement Supervisor and the Volunteer & Donations Specialist.

Compensation: This is an unpaid internship opportunity.

Working Environment:

  • The Resettlement Administrative Internship is in-person at the San Diego office.
  • San Diego Office hours are scheduled Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm PST. Selected interns can choose their hoursbased on this window of availability.
  • Preferred schedule is 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at least two days a week.
Standard of Professional Conduct:The IRC and the IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – our Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality.

Commitment to Gender, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion:
The IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. The IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of the IRC persons in any work setting. We aim to increase the representation of women, people that are from country and communities we serve, and people who identify as races and ethnicities that are under-represented in global power structures.

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