From the Archives… Resource Spotlight: Idealist

Originally published April 13, 2009

It’s been awhile since I highlighted a resource for your internship search; it’s about time I changed that. The first resource that I touched on was [Hawk Jobs], UW-Whitewater’s internship/job database. In this post, I want to highlight Idealist, a project of the nonprofit organization Action Without Borders.

Nonprofit organizations, charities, NGOs, government agencies, and universities all use Idealist to post internships. You can search for internship opportunities based on organizations’ area of focus, ranging from children and youth to economic development. The internships listed are located all across the United States and around the globe, with the bulk of opportunities located in the US. You can even perform an advanced search for opportunities and subscribe to an RSS feed of that search. You can then use a feed reader to get updates on new items that meet your search terms.

You can also find volunteer opportunities on Idealist. Volunteer work can be just as valuable as an internship, and it might be the primary way to obtain relevant experience as an undergraduate in some fields (ex. human services).

As I mentioned before, in addition to finding domestic opportunities, you can search for internships and volunteer work all over the world. International experience not only has the potential to be great life experience, but it also enhances your marketability come time to find a full-time job after graduation. A new resource on Idealist is their International Volunteerism Resource Center (IVRC) where they provide information to help you make informed decisions about volunteering abroad. And since the idea of an internship doesn’t always exist in the same way in other countries, volunteering abroad can be an ideal way to gain international work experience. You can also access Idealist in 11 different languages, so you can practice your Spanish language comprehension if you’d like. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to use the site in French from now on.

Idealist is not only a search resource, but it’s an interactive website where organizations and individuals can connect, exchange information and ideas, and learn more about community action. They [support info centers] for a variety of [topics], such as Graduate School and Nonprofit Careers. You can also [connect with Idealist through social media:]


Idealist is in the list of General Internship Search Resources on our Student Internships site.