Summer service internships – orientation camp | Aga Khan Academies

Summer service internships – orientation camp

14 June 2017

60 grade 11 students spent the first week of their summer holidays in Anantapur at a special orientation camp to launch their unique four-week service internships. In order to support the vision of His Highness the Aga Khan, the requirements of the IB Diploma program and to challenge our students to make a valuable contribution to society, the Academy runs a summer internship programme. These internships are always challenging, service based, and a combination of individual and collective projects that can be completed within the summer time frame. As students of the Aga Khan Academies network and broader IB context, they require meaningful exposure and engagement with social issues in their own country. Internships are one such way for students to gain this exposure to real-life situations as well as gain invaluable formal work experience.

Students will spend an intensive month in urban and rural areas of eight Indian states (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh), working with over 20 non-profit organisations focusing on education, rural development, women and child empowerment, disaster awareness, youth training, agriculture and nutrition. Several of these organisations are agencies belonging to the Aga Khan Development Network. Student placements at these non-profits followed a rigorous internal selection process involving written applications and interviews with the Academy’s senior leadership team, followed by another set of interactions with the organisation to match projects with skills.

The orientation camp took place from 3-9 June 2017 at campsites in Anantapur and was conducted by the Academy’s partner Rubaroo. Rubaroo’s mission is to make education more meaningful and democratic by building spaces where ‘young adults are nudged to explore and link their academic learning with realities around them’ ( As part of the orientation, students delved into debates, case studies and discussions on topics such as gender and patriarchy, discrimination, power and identity politics. They spent one day with host families in nearby villages, to better understand their way of life and ease them into the demands of their internships.

Student reflections

“The sessions at the OC were interactive and interesting. We discussed power, privilege and purity where we got a deeper insight into gender disparities, discrimination and social status in society. Furthermore, we talked about ‘system thinking’ where we understood how important it was to think from a bigger perspective and see how everything is linked with each other. After our stay in the village we were able to apply what we had learnt and the village processing session was intriguing. We discussed various aspects such as gender, development, child marriage and education; and also looked at solutions for these issues. It could be seen how each of the sessions was connected with the other.” - Alisha M.

“My village experience was memorable. The way the villagers showered us with gratitude and love was remarkable. Things were tough, the language barrier was high, but small talk and a smile on our faces made us one. At the end of the day, I felt I belonged to the village. They kept in mind my comfort at the cost of their comfort. There was this sense of belongingness that villagers established with us which I highly appreciate.” - Jemin P.