Intercordia Canada

Name of Organization: Intercordia Canada.

Address of Organization: 10271 Yonge St., Suite 300 Richmond Hill, ON, L4C 3B5.

Website: Website

Contact Person: Joe Vorstermans.

Phone: 905-884-3747.

Email: Email

Work of organization: Intercordia Canada was founded by Canadian Jean Vanier and is rooted in his vision and life. It is an engaged learning program that partners with Canadian universities/colleges and numerous grassroots international organizations around the globe to offer students an accredited learning experience designed to educate the heart and the mind for social engagement. We encourage cultural /religious/socio-economic sensitivity in students and a unity of mind and heart, which prepares them to work for positive change in our world.

Intercordia Canada believes that through academic learning and first hand experience, living and working with others who are different, respect for diversity can be learned. When students become conscious of belonging to a common and shared humanity through an experience of living with people who are different, for which they are well prepared, they will be able to experience true personal transformation.

Kinds of internships: Our placement partners are involved in operating medical clinics, centres for street youth, AIDS education and health services, cooperative farming enterprises, schools, centres for reconciliation, workshops for the disabled, and orphanages. Our international placement partners are small, grassroots organizations directed and staffed by local people who are responding to the needs and challenges of their community.

We have 15+ opportunities in 9 countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Each international partner is responsible to select the host families, integrate the students into their work and provide support during the students three month sojourn. The international partners work in close collaboration with Intercordia staff to ensure that the students have a safe and challenging experience that is congruent with the mission and goals of Intercordia. Each placement partner has been screened and selected by Intercordia and are visited regularly for evaluation by Intercordia staff.

We are continually working to expand our placement pool to be able to offer students opportunities that are responsive to their skills and desires and are at the forefront of the human rights challenges of the 21st century.

Desirable skills: Any student enrolled at a partner university who is in good academic standing and has the maturity and capacity to participate in all aspects of the Intercordia experience.

Number of internships: Unlimited.

Location of internships: Eastern Europe, Africa, Cantral and South America.

Duration of internships: 6 weeks to one year.

Costs: $4,800 upwards depending on the length of the internship.

Accommodation: All students stay with local host families in socio economic conditions normal for the community and culture.

Insurance: Medical/travel insurance is provided.

Medical coverage: Students are covered under Student Guard Insurance and receive medical treatment congruent with services in Canada. If these cannot be provided "in country" then students are flown back to Canada.

Training: The On Campus Seminar Program is divided into two parts: A preparation component that normally takes place between October and March and a reintegration component that takes place following the return of the students from their three month international placement. The preparation component is made up of four sessions. The themes are:
1) Who Am I? What is my place in the world today?
2) Who is the Other? How can I make a relationship with someone who is different?
3) Developing awareness and skills to adjust to a foreign culture and the challenge of culture shock.
4) Health and Safety information for living well in a foreign culture, in challenging conditions.

As well students receive support with their fund raising initiatives and share meals and activities to help them to get to know one another. The reintegration seminar supports students to share their stories of living and working abroad and through reflection and journaling exercises students are invited to integrate the learning of the past year more fully into their lives. The reintegration seminar is also a time for learning skills to readapt into Canadian society and evaluating the program.

Evaluation: Students participate in an "in country" debriefing session with the international partner and through a reflective process which students are involved in throughout the preparation phase, during the placemeent phase and during the reintegration seminar, students are reflecting and writing about their experiences. These reflections could be made avalable to the College at the discretion of the students.

Volunteering: No.

Faith statement: Intercordia Canada believes that spirituality is one underlying foundation for the journey towards being fully human. It can guide how a person chooses to live in relation to others and the world around them as they search for, create and celebrate meaning in their lives. A vibrant life of the spirit is not closed in on itself, nor does it undertake to evangelize others in ways that are disrespectful. Since no single spiritual tradition conveys the totality of the human experience, each person's spiritual experience can be enriched through learning and dialogue across difference, and especially through interaction with those who suffer due to oppression. The distress in our world caused by unjust oppression, ethnic and religious hatred, poverty, environmental destruction and personal grief, offers an opportunity for each of us to seek greater understanding of the causes and meaning of suffering. A genuine spirituality not only addresses the quest for personal health and wholeness, but also seeks both redemptive meaning and a course of liberating action in the midst of personal and communal suffering.

Application form: Applications are available online here.

Deadline: No.

Contract: See here. Please print, sign, make a copy and return to Intercordia.