Internship Details and Planning

HNGR has sent more than 800 students to more than 70 different countries, partnering with more than 300 different organizations.

40 years

Host Organizations and Placement

HNGR's global partners include non-governmental organizations that are both internationally and domestically initiated. They are usually faith-based entities, and all are committed to holistic transformational development. Ideally, HNGR seeks to place interns with community-based initiatives that have grown around a local vision and have indigenous leadership. All HNGR internships include supervised study and service related to specific development issues, all in the context of cross-cultural experiential learning.

Interns are placed through an intentional, discernment process that seeks to integrate the student’s particular interests and the resources and opportunities provided by host organizations.  The placement process begins during the fall semester of the junior year and concludes sometime around mid-late spring semester. Over HNGR's 40-year history, the Program has placed interns in the countries listed below. This is a historical list; for security and other reasons, the HNGR Program does not currently send students to all the countries shown.

Asia  Bangladesh | Cambodia | China | India | Indonesia | Malaysia | Nepal | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Sri Lanka | Thailand | Timor-Leste
Africa Burkina Faso | Burundi | Cameroon | Central African Republic | Cote d’Ivoire | DR Congo | Ethiopia | Ghana | Kenya | Liberia | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mozambique | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | Senegal | Sierra Leone | South Africa | Swaziland | Tanzania | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe
South America Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Peru | Uruguay | Venezuela
North/Central America Costa Rica | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua
Caribbean Dominican Republic | Haiti | Jamaica
North Africa/Middle East Egypt | Jordan | Morocco | Palestine | Saudi Arabia | Syria
Eastern Europe/Central Asia Albania | Azerbaijan | Bulgaria | Kosovo | Moldova | Romania | Russia | Tajikistan | Turkey


Advising and Supervision

During their internships, students are answerable to and under the direct supervision of their host organizations. HNGR Program staff provide additional supervisory support and are in regular contact with students.

A faculty or staff member of Wheaton College, ideally the student's academic advisor, also visits the student at the internship site, generally during the third month of the internship. The purposes of these visits are academic advising, mentoring, and to facilitate collaboration between the intern and his or her field supervisor. In most cases, the independent study project is the main emphasis of the visit, as the study is an important outcome of the internship, and will ideally prove beneficial to the organization.


HNGR gives students the opportunity to live with a local host family in order to build understanding and friendship. The homestay experience is considered one of the core aspects of the internship, and provides students with incredible insight into their host culture. In a few locations it is not practical to have students in homestays; in such cases, interns live in rooming houses or other situations which provide cross-cultural integration.


HNGR interns are responsible for all their expenses, including international and local transportation, lodging, meals, and other costs. However, a six-month HNGR internship generally costs less than one semester on campus, and if the student is eligible for financial aid on campus, in most cases they are eligible to receive the same amount of aid during the internship. For more detailed information, see the Tuition, Fees, and Funding page.

Language Learning

Language acquisition is foundational to HNGR’s curriculum, and a highly desirable outcome of the field study and overall program. The HNGR Program provides students with the opportunity to study languages and cultures often under-represented in conventional study abroad programs, and emphasizes language study as a crucial aspect of the curriculum. 

If the language spoken at the internship site is offered at Wheaton College, interns are expected to attain a minimum of intermediate level proficiency (courses 101, 102, and 201) before departing for the field. During their field study, interns may study a language through any combination of formal in-country language school, in-country university language study, and formal or informal tutoring. The Program encourages and helps to facilitate the availability of textbooks, audio materials, and/or tutors. Language acquisition during the internship is also facilitated by a home-stay with an indigenous family and involvement in an independent study of significant length. Language study is individually tailored and dependent on the context of specific internship sites.

Registration and Planning

Because HNGR is a Wheaton program, all courses taken as a part of the program—whether before, during, or after the internship—count towards the Christ at the Core curriculum or the student’s major. Increasingly, more and more majors are requiring internships as a part of the degree and the HNGR internship fulfills these requirements. Below is a list of majors with unique registration requirements for HNGR as well as some timeline concerns that arise with particular disciplines. However, all majors at Wheaton College can and have participated in the HNGR program:

Major Registration Contact Person
Applied Health Science Students must submit a Departmental Recommendation Graduation Requirement Adjustment to request fulfillment of the AHS Internship requirement for graduation Mary Erickson
Anthropology HNGR fulfills the Cultural Immersion experience requirement Brian Howell
Biblical and Theological Studies The January senior seminar at HoneyRock will interfere with the returned intern retreat; plan accordingly Lynn Cohick
Christian Education Register for HNGR 496; submit academic petition form to registrar to meet CE requirement Dan Haase
Geology The required Black Hills field experience is offered every other year and may interfere with the HNGR internship; plan accordingly. Stephen Moshier
Interdisciplinary Studies HNGR can be a discipline on the IDS Application. The HNGR ISP can contribute to IDS 495 in their final spring semester, but it should be a unique product. Jeffry Davis
International Relations IR waives the internship requirement for students who complete a HNGR internship, but IR majors will need to take an additional 4 hour upper-level IR course; this can be filled with the HNGR ISP. Leah Anderson
Psychology Registration during HNGR should read: HNGR 496, PSYC 496, HNGR 484. To register for PSYC 496 instead of the HNGR ISP, fill out the internship form. Cynthia Neal Kimball
Sociology The senior capstone requirement consists of one course in the Fall and Spring semesters of senior year, conflicting with the Fall semester when HNGR students are abroad. The first section of the capstone, then, must be taken during junior year. Students should try to take Theory and Statistics as pre-requisites before the first capstone course. They then take the final section in the Spring either before they leave for HNGR or when they return from HNGR.  Amy Reynolds


Media Center