Before going on the internship, HNGR interns are urged to take Self-Defense (PE 138) and complete the research methodology course in their major field.
HNGR interns may also receive credit for literature reviews before leaving for the internship: they have the option of completing a 2-4 hour independent study in their major field prior to the internship in order to prepare a proposal for the independent study project undertaken during the internship. Whether or not interns choose to do this, they must take a 2-4 hour independent study in their major or minor, or under HNGR, during the internship.
During their junior year, HNGR students meet together in small groups, usually led by alumni of the HNGR Program, which provide the opportunity for discussion, spiritual formation, and fellowship. Small groups are a core aspect of students' preparation for their HNGR journeys. The goals of the groups are to nurture Christian character in the interns, to foster a sense of community among them, and to provide a safe place to share concerns and expectations about their upcoming internships. Outgoing interns also participate in a weekend retreat during the spring semester of their junior year.
In addition, all HNGR interns are paired with a refugee family living in the Wheaton area. Throughout their junior year, the students spend two hours each week developing relationships with the refugees and tutoring them in English. Volunteering with refugees gives outgoing interns valuable cross-cultural experience, and the small groups provide a forum in which to debrief these experiences.