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create change that matters

your study abroad, reimagined

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JOIN US FOR THE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME

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SUSTAINABLE IMPACT

Learn from Greg Van Kirk, World Economic Forum “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” about social entrepreneurship and how to put it into practice

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design thinking

Deepen your problem-solving skills through our empathy-based approach to social innovation (co-created by local leaders & community members)

 
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purpose

Our programs are designed to help you reimagine what you can do in your life; you'll learn how to build with purpose and embrace the growth mindset while crystallizing your vision in a collaborative environment

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consulting

Consult for local grassroots organizations, and gain critical experience & expertise that will help you in your career

 
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adaptive leadership

Enhance your adaptive leadership and collaboration skills working in environments with extreme constraints

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empathy & adventure

Stay with local homestay families, climb a volcano, and go zip-lining over a cloud forest

 
This program offered me true insight into the imperfectly frustrating and beautiful work that is real, sustainable impact. I come away inspired and hungry.
— Joe J., University of Connecticut participant
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THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

 

Neil Blumenthal, CEO of Warby Parker, on why the unique immersive experience of Social Entrepreneur Corps is key to career success

 
 
I am forever changed by the relationships I created and what I experienced while in Social Entrepreneur Corps.
— Kelly M., Miami University
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our programs

Choose from a variety of destinations and dates

 
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4 WEEK program in the dominican republic, SUMMER 2019

Develop your social entrepreneurship, consulting, and community building skills in the Dominican Republic

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4 WEEK program in guatemala, SUMMER 2019

Develop your social entrepreneurship, consulting, and community building skills in Guatemala

 
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8 WEEK program in ecuador, SUMMER 2019

Develop your social entrepreneurship, consulting, and community building skills in Ecuador

individual innovator program 2019

Get hands-on social entrepreneurship experience (designed for young professionals, year-round, 6-week min)

 

get THE EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION OF A LIFETIME

Our full-time leadership team works year-round in communities in these countries to create systemic change and design opportunities for you to engage. We've been leading programs here since 2005. Ready to join us?

 

 work on our award-winning microconsignment model

 
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Social Innovation Spotlight: The MicroConsignment Model

Participants help our team improve, scale and provide new technology offerings through our globally-recognized MicroConsignment Model. Recent participants worked on a new solar lighting solution, marketing for improved cook stoves and water filters, and the design of a wholesale distribution strategy. In Nebaj, Guatemala, students trained female entrepreneurs to master the process of giving eye exams and selling them in rural communities enabling these women and families to gain financial independence. Learn more about the MicroConsignment Model in this TEDxBYU Talk by Greg Van Kirk.

 

WHY WORK WITH US?

Since 2005, 1500+ participants have joined our programs in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

Your experience is designed and led by globally-recognized social entrepreneurs who have built social innovations and consulted in 20+ countries in the Americas and Africa. Our leadership has been awarded “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Economic Forum, “Community Partner of the Year” by Levi Strauss and Company and the Ashoka Globalizer Fellowship.

We’ve created social innovations ranging from “The MicroConsignment Model” where millions have benefitted worldwide, to a restaurant in the Guatemalan highlands that began with a $4,000 investment and has generated over $3 million in revenues.

We know how to create social impact and want you to join us to help do more! This is an internship experience like no other. You’ll apply your head, hands and heart to create real change.

 

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GET ANSWERS

We love questions and are always happy to provide the answers. Here are some common questions people have before signing up:

Do I need to speak Spanish? Absolutely not. You will be immersed in the language and develop your proficiency while you are in-country. Depending upon the program, you will carry different numbers of Spanish class hours. Knowing Spanish up front is not a prerequisite for success by any means. Social Impact teams are strategically organized to leverage the language skills of more Spanish-proficient interns. Additionally, your team will be accompanied throughout your work activities by bilingual SEC staff who will support the translation needs of the group.

What are the prerequisites for program applicants? Below we have provided guidelines for general applicant qualifications. In addition to this information, please visit the specific program page that you are interested in to learn more about the suggested applicant qualifications for that program.

For all program participants a history of achievement is important. As well, given the nature of the program, an applicant’s personal qualities play a large role in determining whether or not he/she is accepted.

Participants will be living and working in challenging environments and as such the “intangibles” are fundamental to participant success.

Participants in all Social Entrepreneur Corps programs should:

  • Recognize that they are going to have a profound impact but are not going to “change the world in a day”

  • Possess a positive outlook on the prospects for assisting local people to solve local problems

  • Be hard-working, open-minded, open-hearted, collaborative and teamwork-oriented individuals

  • Be individuals who take initiative and are resourceful self-starters

  • Take their work and responsibilities very seriously but not take themselves too seriously

  • Be very desirous of learning about development, relief and social entrepreneurship

  • Be willing and able to live for a time in a challenging developing country environment

  • Be willing and desirous of “getting your hands dirty”

What’s covered in country? In short, everything is covered except for the cost of your flight. Our team will meet you at the airport when you arrive in-country and take care of all of the costs along the way. Optionally, you can bring a little bit of money to spend on souvenirs and treats. However, all you need to bring is an open mind, open heart and a sense of adventure and passion.

Can impact really be achieved in a short time? Yes. You will work with a local team who understands needs and priorities. You will help design social innovations and work on short-term consulting projects leaving frameworks for success for local leaders. The SEC team has deep, award-winning experience and expertise in this work and has been working in Latin America for over 15 years. See our 2018 Impact Report here and our partner organizations we consult with here.

What types of projects will I be working on? You’ll have a chance to work on several projects as you immerse yourself in local communities:

  1. A social innovation project where you'll gauge and prototype the implementation of a social innovation technology (water filter, vision technology, energy solution, etc.) or a new model (youth empowerment program, environmental solution, education program).

  2. An organizational consulting project where you'll provide strategic & tactical advice to a local organization, education/health organization and/or local social enterprise and consult on everything from marketing to performance evaluation to program design.

See the projects we’ve worked on in the past here and projected social innovation projects and organizations we will be working with in 2019 here.

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