Internship Details and Planning

HNGR has sent over 800 students to more than 70 different countries, partnering with 330+ different organizations.

Host Organizations and Placement

The HNGR Program has sent over 850 students to more than 70 countries with 330+ host organizations. HNGR's global partners include non-governmental organizations that are both internationally and domestically initiated. They are usually faith-based entities, and all are committed to holistic transformational development. Ideally, HNGR seeks to place interns with community-based initiatives that have grown around a local vision and have indigenous leadership. All HNGR internships include supervised study and service related to specific development issues, all in the context of cross-cultural experiential learning.

Interns are placed through an intentional, discernment process that seeks to integrate the student’s particular interests and the resources and opportunities provided by host organizations.  The placement process begins during the fall semester of the junior year and concludes sometime around mid-late spring semester. Over HNGR's  history, the Program has placed interns in the countries listed below. This is a historical list; for security and other reasons, the HNGR Program does not currently send students to all the countries shown.

Asia Bangladesh | Cambodia | China | India | Indonesia | Malaysia | Nepal | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Sri Lanka | Thailand | Timor-Leste
Africa Burkina Faso | Burundi | Cameroon | Central African Republic | Cote d’Ivoire | DR Congo | Ethiopia | Ghana | Kenya | Liberia | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mozambique | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | Senegal | Sierra Leone | South Africa | Swaziland | Tanzania | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe
South America  Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Peru | Uruguay | Venezuela
North/Central America Costa Rica | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua
Caribbean Dominican Republic | Haiti | Jamaica
North Africa/Middle East Egypt | Jordan | Morocco | Palestine | Saudi Arabia | Syria
Eastern Europe/Central
Albania | Azerbaijan | Bulgaria | Kosovo | Moldova | Romania | Russia | Tajikistan | Turkey

Advising and Supervision

During their internships, students are under the direct supervision of their host organizations. HNGR Program staff provides additional supervisory support and are in regular contact with students. In addition, a faculty or staff member of Wheaton College visits the student at the internship site during their internship for mentoring and academic advising. 


HNGR gives students the opportunity to live with local hosts in order to build understanding and friendship. A homestay experience is considered one of the core aspects of the internship, and provides students with incredible insight into their context. In a few locations, it is not practical to have students in homestays; in such cases, interns live in rooming houses or other situations which provide cross-cultural integration.


HNGR interns are responsible for all their expenses, including tuition, international and local transportation, lodging, meals, and other costs. However, a six-month HNGR internship generally costs less than one semester on campus. If the student is eligible for financial aid on campus, in most cases they are eligible to receive the same amount of aid during the internship. For more detailed information, see the Tuition and Funding page.

Language Learning

Language acquisition is foundational to HNGR’s curriculum, and a highly desirable outcome of the field study and the overall program. The HNGR Program provides students with the opportunity to study languages and cultures often under-represented in conventional study abroad programs, and emphasizes language study as a crucial aspect of the curriculum. 

If the language spoken at the internship site is offered at Wheaton College, interns are expected to attain a minimum of conversational proficiency (i.e. two courses above language competency) before departing for the field. During their field study, interns may study a language through any combination of formal in-country language school, in-country university language study, and formal or informal tutoring. The Program encourages and helps to facilitate the availability of textbooks, audio materials, and/or tutors.

Registration and Planning

Program coursework counts towards the Christ at the Core curriculum, the student’s major, and/or the HNGR Certificate. Increasingly, more and more majors are requiring internships as a part of the degree and the HNGR internship fulfills these requirements. Below is a list of majors with unique registration requirements for HNGR as well as some timeline concerns that arise with particular disciplines. However, all majors at Wheaton College can, and have, participated in the HNGR program:

MajorRegistrationContact Person
Applied Health Science Students must submit a Departmental Recommendation Graduation Requirement Adjustment form to request fulfillment of the AHS Internship requirement for graduation. Scott Ickes
Anthropology HNGR fulfills the Cultural Immersion experience requirement. Anthropology majors should enroll in ANTH 385 instead of HNGR 385 for Field Research, to earn 4 credits of anthropology elective toward the major. Brian Howell
Biblical and Theological Studies The January senior seminar will interfere with the returned intern retreat; plan accordingly. David Lauber 
Christian Formation & Ministry Register for HNGR 496; Submit Departmental Recommendation Graduation Requirement Adjustment form to registrar to meet CFM requirement. Dan Haase

Environmental Science

The HNGR internship may count as the internship required for an Environmental Science degree. Chris Keil
Geology The required Black Hills field experience is offered every other year and may interfere with the HNGR internship; plan accordingly. Chris Keil
Interdisciplinary Studies HNGR can be a discipline on the IDS Application. The HNGR ISP can contribute to IDS 495 in their final spring semester, but it should be a unique product. Jeffry Davis
International Relations IR waives the internship requirement for students who complete a HNGR internship, but IR majors will need to take an additional 4 hour upper-level IR course; this can be filled with the HNGR ISP. Kristin Garrett
Psychology Psychology majors should discuss with dept. internship advisor (Dr. Hannah) whether to register for a PSYC 495 Independent Study or a PSYC 496 Internship during the semester of the HNGR internship. If registering for a PSYC 496 Internship, this course will replace the independent study course and NOT the HNGR 496 Internship. The student will still complete an independent study project, but the grade will be assigned for their PSYC 496 Internship course. In short, fall semester registration should be as follows: HNGR 496 Internship (4-8 hours), PSYC 496 Internship (0-4 hours), HNGR 484 GCP. To register for PSYC 496 instead of the HNGR ISP, fill out the internship form available in the Registrar's office. Darlene Hannah
Sociology Students should plan to take, Stats(f), Social Research(sp), and Theory (f) in their sophomore and junior years before leaving for their HNGR placement.  After returning from HNGR, students should plan to take the senior capstone in the spring.  There is also a year-long thesis requirement for all seniors; some students choose to merge their ISP and thesis project. Students can elect to take the 2-credit fall thesis course as a tutorial while abroad, or may use their ISP credit (if in the sociology major) to replace their fall thesis requirement. Amy Reynolds