Summer Opportunities for Harvard Students

In Summer 2014, in collaboration with its partners, DRCLAS will offer the following student opportunities in Bogotá, which together constitute the Summer Internship Program in Colombia. The application deadline for DRCLAS Summer Programs is February 9, 2014 by 11:59 pm

  • Two internships at the Agencia Nacional para la Superación de la Pobreza Extrema (ANSPE), through the Centro Colombiano de Innovación Social. These internships are open to students from Harvard College or Harvard Kennedy School. If you are an undergraduate interested in this internship, please apply through the Institute of Politics (note earlier deadline of February 2). Details below.
  • Journalism internship(s) at Verdad Abierta/Semana, for a Harvard College student. Details below.
  • Two internships at the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MINTIC), for a Harvard Kennedy School student. Details below.
  • Clinical observation and medical Spanish learning opportunity through the DRCLAS/Universidad de los Andes (UniAndes) summer program (approx six Harvard College students). Details below.

Program Dates

This program runs for 8 weeks (1 week of orientation and 7 weeks of internship). Tentative dates for 2014 are June 9 - July 31, 2014.

Program Fee and Financial Assistance

Program fees include orientation, lodging, and tuition (if relevant). Air fare, meals, and incidental expenses are not included.

  • Undergraduate fee: $3,000 for internships* 
  • $4,500 for pre-med UniAndes program 

* Student(s) selected through the IOP will receive a stipend of $5,000 to cover the program fee and additional expenses.

If you are seeking financial support for your international activities, please investigate Harvard Funding Sources database. In particular, the Office of Career Services Summer International Internship, Service, Volunteer and Research Assistantship Grant may be relevant. In addition, for students with very high financial need, DRCLAS may be able to subsidize the costs of the DRCLAS program. All students requesting financial aid from DRCLAS must submit the completed Student Consent to the Release of Information form, which can be found at the end of each program's application. For HKS students, we encourage you to apply for additional funding available at HKS.

To Apply

  • Undergraduates only: Please fill out the CARAT application form online. In the CARAT online form, please include one reference who will be contacted to fill out a brief questionnaire (should be from Harvard community: TF, advisor, professor, etc.)
  • DRCLAS Summer Programs Supplement
  • Your personal statement (500-750 words)
  • Your resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Graduate students only: 1-2 letters of recommendation

Further Information

If you are a student seeking further information about summer opportunities in Colombia, contact DRCLAS Student Services Associate, Yadira Rivera, (617) 496-9153.

Institute of Politics Director's Internship at the Agencia Nacional para la Superación de la Pobreza Extrema

This opportunity is jointly managed by DRCLAS and the IOP. Students selected as IOP Director's Interns will participate in the DRCLAS Summer Internship Program in Bogotá. Students may use the IOP stipend ($5,000) to cover the DRCLAS program fee, which includes housing and orientation ($3,000). See the IOP web site for all details about the organization and application process. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE APPLYING TO THE IOP DIRECTOR'S INTERNSHIP, YOU ONLY NEED TO COMPLETE THE IOP APPLICATION, DUE FEBRUARY 2, 2014. 

Two internship placements are available. See the IOP web site for more details.

1) Knowledge Management Intern
2) Public Policy Intern

If you are a Harvard College student, apply through the Institute of Politics (IOP) Director's Internship Program.
If you are a Harvard Kennedy School student, contact Erin Goodman, Senior Project Manager at DRCLAS. 

Appropriation Office of Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (ICT), co-sponsored by DRCLAS
2 Internships Available 
Main Function: Advisor to the Director and sub directors of ICT Appropriation Office

Eligibility: We are seeking sensible, resourceful, innovative and collaborative individuals with a willingness to learn and construct collectively. Master’s student at Harvard Kennedy School with 3-5 years of work experience and oral and written fluency in English and Spanish.

The ICT Appropriation Office* of the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (ICT) of Colombia is looking for creative leaders with a strong desire to help solve social needs of population living in poverty and vulnerability.

Colombian Government ICT Plan

The “Plan Vive Digital” (Live Digital Plan) is the technology plan for years 2010 to 2014 in Colombia, which aims to give the country a technological leap by the mass use of the Internet and the development of the national digital ecosystem, stimulating and expanding infrastructure, creating new services at lower prices, promoting the development of applications and digital content and promoting users´ technology appropriation. It creates a virtuous circle in which there is more demand for users, more applications for them, more and better services at lower prices in a modern infrastructure.

The Plan responds to the challenge of this government to achieve democratic prosperity through the appropriation and use of technology. It is demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between Internet penetration, the appropriation of Information Technology and Communications (ICT), employment generation and poverty reduction.

1) Digital Culture Intern

Support the area of Digital Culture advising on how to strengthen the community of digital social innovators and responsible Internet users in Colombia. This intern will support the following tasks:

- Drafting and preparation of documents about Colombian best practices that contributed to solve poverty and create welfare through ICT
- Identify possible contests and international scenarios where some of the successful achievements can be presented
- Other functions will be identified in the summer

2) Adoption Processes - Public Policy Intern

Support the team that manages the ICT policy for Indigenous People, Handicapped People and other groups of vulnerable Colombians. This intern will support the following tasks: 

- Drafting and preparation of documents about Colombian best practices that contributed to solve poverty and create welfare through ICT
- Identify possible contests and international scenarios where some of the successful achievements can be presented
- Other functions will be identified in the summer

Note: No funds are available from the internship host to pay salary or travel and living expenses. However, students may indicate financial need in application, which will be considered for DRCLAS funding. Students are also encouraged to apply for funding through HKS.

Semana/Verdad Abierta
The Summer Journalism Internship facilitates the placement of 1-2 Harvard College students to spend 8 weeks in Colombia. The program is managed by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and counterparts in Colombia. Students will participate in the DRCLAS Summer Internship Program in Bogotá. The internship consists of reporting and writing on issues related to the Colombian internal conflict and transitional justice policies, supporting the production of special multimedia stories and translating some sof them from Spanish into English. 

Eligibility: Continuing Harvard College students in good academic standing with Spanish language capacity to enable them to communicate effectively and contribute successfully (intermediate level). Applicant should have previous journalism experience. Advanced writing ability in Spanish. Familiarity with technology (web design, etc.).

Colombia Global Health Internship

The Universidad de Los Andes (UniAndes) is the most prestigious private University in Colombia. Students will participate in a multi-day orientation organized by DRCLAS in Bogota, before beginning the program at UniAndes. This program will allow students to shadow clinicians in various hospitals and various sectors of the population, all focusing on women's, children's, and maternal health.

            Understanding the dynamics that determine who gets sick, when, how, and why—and the subjective experience of becoming sick or getting better—is both complex and high-stakes. The goal of this internship is to provide students with an opportunity to experience and engage critically with a range of approaches to analyzing these dynamics, and to acquire a wider perspective on global health in general. Students will be immersed in Colombian folklore and culture throughout the duration of the internship; this will afford an opportunity for students to gain a richer understanding and appreciation of Colombia and its people, as well as to become sensitized to the ways in which values and social relationships affect how health is distributed and experienced by people in different contexts.

            Students will rotate at several institutions affiliated to the Medical School of the Universidad de los Andes, including the school’s main teaching hospital, the Fundación Santa Fe, a children’s hospital, the Instituto Roosevelt, and a public hospital, the Hospital Centro Oriente E.S.E., which jointly serve  patients from a broad spectrum of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They will also participate in community health interventions through the “Progresa Fenicia” program, an integral, multidisciplinary urban development program led by the Universidad de los Andes that has an important public health component. As a result, students will get to know many different patients, healthcare professionals, and institutions, and be exposed to a wide variety of clinical cases and community health issues.

We hope this will afford innumerable opportunities for students to both gain first-hand experience in health services in an international setting, and to critically reflect on how institutions and social forces shape health-care delivery and health itself. Weekly sessions for guided discussion will help integrate theory and personal experience, and promote critical reflection. The format of these discussions will vary from week to week: Generally, students will engage in a guided discussion connecting weekly readings with their experiences during that week’s rotation. Other sessions will involve guest lectures and Q&As with University faculty, program managers, or policymakers. Several sessions will be student-led.

Finally, students who so desire will have the opportunity to work as research assistants for the medical school’s Public Health Research Group on a study about health in Colombian prisons. We hope that together, these experiences and activities will combine to help achieve the internship’s two overarching objectives: To immerse students in Colombia’s culture and folklore, and promote a richer appreciation of the social forces that affect health and healthcare delivery in the country; and to broaden students’ perspective on global health and medicine, and challenge them to engage creatively with urgent social issues impacting health.

Host Institutions 

Universidad de Los Andes School of Medicine/Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá
Instituto Roosevelt
Hospital Centro Oriente/Proyecto Fenicia

Program Dates

Tentative dates: June 9-July 31, 2014

Program Costs



Up to 6 rising juniors or rising seniors in the pre-med or global health secondary field tracks at Harvard College. Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Spanish required.

Program Outline

Week 1: Orientation (DRCLAS and UniAndes)
Weeks 2-4: Clinical rotations at Fundación Santa Fe and Instituto Roosevelt
Weeks 5-7: Social medicine/public health rotation at Hospital Centro Oriente/Proyecto Fenicia
Week 8: De-briefing and lessons learned, at Fundación Santa Fe


Applicants must provide proof of vaccination against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, tetanus and meningococcus. Applicants also must provide proof of health insurance.


Please contact Erin Goodman,