Digital Internships through the Department of Religious Studies 

The Department of Religious Studies offers a series of digital internship opportunities to undergraduate students. These internships, which are offered through the Iranian Studies Initiative, pair students with nonprofit NGOs that work on issues of women and children in this country and abroad. Our focus has historically been on Iran and the Middle East, however, in recent years we have expanded the program to include other countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as the diaspora communities in the US and Europe.

The internship will be for one quarter but may be extended for up to three quarters.  Each quarter students are expected to devote six (6) hours a week to the internship.  Students sign up for either RGST 98 (if they are second year students) or RGST 198 (if they are third and fourth-year students). They must also participate in one workshop during the quarter to increase their relevant technical skills, and in order to better help the agency to which they have been assigned. Students turn in weekly reports, as well as a final report of their internship. Upon successful completion of the internship, students receive four (4) credits and a letter grade. 


Frequently asked questions:

Q 1. Who can apply for the internship? 

A. Any second year or above undergraduate student at UCSB may apply for the internship. A GPA of 3.6 or above OVER THE LAST THREE QUARTERS is required. 


Q 2. Where would I be placed?

A. You will work digitally with a non-profit organization engaged in philanthropic activities and service to the community. You may be assigned to an international organization or to a local NGOs in Santa Barbara. 


Q. 3. What would my obligations and responsibilities be to the non-profit organization?

1. You may be asked to edit an English language journal of the organization, create a power point, update the website of the organization, interview people over the phone, or provide tutoring services for elementary and high school students whose parents are immigrants and have difficulty with English.  

2. You may be engaged in research on legal, mental health, or journalistic cases.  

3. If you are fluent in a second language, you may be asked to translate materials from English to that language.

4. You may be asked to digitize a list of journals, books, and music from the mid to late 20th century


Q 4. Would the internships be on-line or on site?

A. Our internships are entirely online.   If your hometown is in the greater Los Angeles area, San Jose, or San Diego, and we have identified a willing non-profit organization in your location, you may also apply for an onsite summer internship.   


Q 5. Would I be paid for the program? 

A. You will not be paid for the internship. But you will receive course credits (up to 4 course credits for 60 hours of work, plus participation in a workshops). You must register for the internship as you do for any other course. 


Q 6. When and how will I perform the assigned duties. 

A. Each week, your supervisor from the organization will give you a series of tasks that are to be completed that week. You then complete these tasks at a time that best suits you. You report back to your supervisor and she will then give you the next assignment. 


Q 7. Will I receive a certificate? 

A. The non-profit, or the Iranian Studies Program, will provide you with a letter of recommendation or a certificate of commendation upon successful completion of your work.


For any additional information please contact:

Janet Afary, Director of the Iranian Studies Initiative (