create change that matters. 

your study abroad, reimagined

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Welcome to a first-of-its-kind social entrepreneurship experience

gain the skills that are essential for success, whether you’re in university, a remote village or the corporate boardroom:

 
 

DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE AS YOU EMPOWER OTHERS TO ACHIEVE THEIRS

 
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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

 

our programs

Join us in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for 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 Social Entrepreneur Corps programs here since 2005.

Key Program Components


Homestay and Cultural Immersion

If you want to learn how to empower people you need to understand their challenges, how they live, how they work, what they aspire to and their cultural context. You’ll be in local home stays and engage in deep cultural immersion daily.

social entrepreneurship education

Learn how to create "systems changing social impact at scale." Get away from abstract theories. Gain expertise on how practical, community-driven change truly happens. We know social entrepreneurship because we are (award winning) social entrepreneurs.


SOCIAL INNOVATION DESIGN

You’ll work on real-world, systems-focused social innovations with our leadership. Recent innovations include a technology distribution initiative, a community banking and youth empowerment project, a water purification initiative, a “soup kitchen” for disadvantaged children, a cross-border artisan marketing innovation, and an app for tracking community engagement and impact.

Spanish Language

Are you landing with no Spanish or maybe you’re fluent already? It doesn’t matter. We tailor your language learning for your level and help you learn how to use the language in real life and real work situations that are respectful of local customs and norms.


ADVENTURE

You want adventure? You’ve got it. You’ll get the chance to maybe climb an active volcano. Or even “ski” down another. Climb the highest peak in Central America? Up for some zipping over a nature reserve? Or how about swimming in a waterfall?There’s no shortage of hiking and beauty.

 

consulting for organizations

Build you consulting chops providing insights and deliverables for local organizations and small businesses creating impact in their communities. Recent consultancies focused on eco tourism, environmental projects, artisan organization support, education center expansion and vital technology distribution methodologies. This is consulting that matters.

 
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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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.

 

 
 

See what you can do

 
 
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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.

Social Innovation Project: Boxed Impact

Our participants have consulted with local community members to gather feedback on the impact and feasibility of Boxed Impact, a project that proposes to utilize socially conscious travelers to deliver highly impactful technologies and education materials to communities in need.

 
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Organizational Consulting Project: Fundacion Utopia

Our participants are working with Fundacion Utopia, an organization that is committed to linking local agriculture to the city of Riobamba in order to support local farmers and provide healthy options to those who participate in their organic basket days. They are helping Fundacion Utopia’s message reach as many people as possible by helping them with their marketing, web presence and promotion, business model and finances.

 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT OUR WORK


My words cannot do justice to the whole experience. You won’t know what it’s all about until you experience it for yourself.
— Yangyang G., Duke University
The team approaches their work with professionalism, broad-spectrum skill sets and a tenacious work ethic. Their grassroots knowledge coupled with their deep business background and willingness ‘to get their hands dirty’ is hard to come by.
— Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker
Since I did not know Spanish previously and had never been to a developing country, I thought I would be lost in such a foreign environment. But this program, the leaders and the Guatemalan people were so kind and compassionate that I felt comfortable and happy every step of the way.
— Madeline B., University of Oklahoma
Social Entrepreneur Corps leadership’s passion for impacting lives all across the world shines through. Thank you for inspiring people around you to learn more, give more and care more for others. It’s an honor to work together in the service of others.
— Kevin Bingham, Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital People to People Skills Based Volunteering Sponsor Partner Organization
Choosing to participate in this experience was one of the best decisions of my life.
— Meghan C., University of Notre Dame
Our belief is that student transformation comes when they are fully immersed in an issue and community. The Social Entrepreneur Corps model achieves this as well as any program I know. Through intensive language instruction, home stays, and student involvement in the MicroConsignment Model, their programs have had a huge impact on our students and the communities they serve.
— Eric Mlyn, Ph.D., Executive Director, DukeEngage, Duke University
 

PARTNERSHIPS

Highlighted university partnerships


Highlighted local partnerships

The Social Entrepreneur Corps model epitomizes sustainable development.
— Rachael W., Columbia University (five years post program)
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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.

View all FAQs