Summer Placements

On a highly competitive basis, CAHR funds FSU students for human rights internships around the world every summer. Most of these internships are offered on a regular basis through FSU Departments (Arabic Studies, French Studies, International Social Work, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, & Law). Through these internships, FSU students pursue human rights work within their respective disciplines. They have served on international war crimes tribunals, in torture treatment centers, in centers treating child victims of sex trafficking, in orphanages and refugee camps, and on behalf of asylum-seekers and trafficking victims in the United States.

Leah Singleton
International Affairs
2017
Ghana
Human Trafficking Research

“My fieldwork this summer in Ghana serves as a catalyst for my current human rights right work and research. Interacting with community stakeholders opened my eyes to the complex nature of child labor and trafficking in a manner that stateside research could not.”

Mary Meade
International Affairs
2017
Washington, DC
Green America

“Being in Washington, D.C. this summer and working with an organization as well-established and diverse as Green America helped me realize that protecting our environment is paramount to the health and prosperity of humanity. Most of all, I realized that there are many facets to approach protection of these rights – from policy campaigns, to community education, to supporting eco-conscious business. My internship with Green America was my first real step to safeguarding environmental rights and I am excited to say that I have found my passion in this field.”

Adina Moore & Barbara Sonner
Art Therapy
2016
Greece
Indigo Rising Art Therapy Program

We owe a great big thank you to The Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at Florida State University! CAHR aligned with our vision for this project and offered tremendous support for this to take place!

Olivia Bibilonia
French & Francophone Studies
2015
Paris, France
France Terre d’Asile

“I am so grateful to have had this experience and I now feel like I would be a great asset to any company. FTDA taught me so much in such a short amount of time and gave me clarity on what I want to do in the future. For students it is sometimes difficult to learn certain skills in a classroom environment but thanks to my internship I feel more confident with speaking in French as well as my knowledge in International Affairs.”

Ashley Houlihan
Law School
2015
International Bar Association

“This summer I learned a great deal about the asylum process and various human rights issues, as well as a multitude of skills that will undoubtedly be useful as I pursue a legal career. My experiences at work and with both clients and coworkers were absolutely invaluable and I am thrilled to have had this unique opportunity.”

Rafaela Ross
French & Francophone Studies
2014
Paris, France
France Terre d’Asile

“Although I was living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, my favorite part about this summer was coming into the CADA everyday and listening to the not-so-attractive stories of these asylum seekers. The variation in their cases granted me a broad exposure to the many international issues currently faced by millions- issues that usually go unheard of by most on a daily basis.”

Carrie Tillett-Saks
Art Therapy
2014
Port au Prince Haiti
Mabe Orphanage

“Life is still difficult in Haiti. This project combined utility and beauty, which is sometimes forgotten. I look forward to FSU maintaining contact with Mabe and continuing to work with Mabe to provide each other with cherished experiences.”

Kathryn Haklin
French & Francophone Studies
2012
Paris, France
France Terre d’Asile

“The sense of humor exhibited by my students at France Terre d’Asile and their incessant motivation to learn French was truly inspirational to me as their instructor. The energy and positivity they showed me far succeeded my own. As any teacher knows, students have the unconscious power to inspire their instructors; sometimes this power is more forceful than any idea a teacher could communicate to a class. I am certain that my students at France Terre d’Asile taught me more about overcoming adversity, a life lesson far more valuable than any French grammar concept I could’ve taught them.”

Lisa Downs
Social Work
2009
Durban, South Africa
McCord Hospital

“Time after time I witnessed that it is not one problem that children and adolescents in South Africa are facing but the combination of many complex social issues that need macro scale interventions, and that the need for basic material things and the restoration of their child rights often outweighs the need, desire, or feasibility of therapeutic assistance. Looking at issues through the lens of community development and sustainable solutions is something that I am now very passionate about and an area where I would like to pursue further experience and training.”

Megan Russler
French & Francophone Studies
2008
Paris, France
France Terre D’Asile

“In conclusion, this internship enriched my studies and my life in several ways. Firstly, I now have a more concrete knowledge of how France Terre d’Asile works in order to assist asylum seekers into France; secondly, I learned that people of all different nations still believe and see France as the country of the Rights of Man and risk their lives to find a safe haven there.”

Alyssa McClish
Art Therapy
2007
Bangkok Yai, Thailand
Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights

“My journey to Thailand was amazing. It was an intense learning experience for me as a student and as a world traveler. Empathy, a desire to try new things, and a love of diversity and culture were just a few of the things I gained during my time in Thailand.”

Mohamed Haidara
Law School
2006
Sierra Leone
Principal Defender at the Special Court

“Whether the accused are guilty or innocent is a matter of law and fact which is to be determined by the Court, but there is no doubt in my mind that they should receive fair and transparent trials. In my opinion, defending any of the accused is also defending our Criminal Justice system which is a great cause. My experience thus far is that members of the Defense Office and the Defense Teams have the best interest of the accused and they seek to further those interests on a daily basis.”

Meredith Howard
Social Work, MSW
2005
London, UK
Woman’s Trust

“I feel much more experienced in working in a professional environment. I am educationally prepared to continue on with my professional career and after this summer I feel more experienced in administrating an organization.”

Athena Taylor
Social Work, MSW
2005
London, UK
Positive East

“My internship gave me insight into the inner workings of my field. I began realizing how active listening, active feedback, reflection and empathetic responding allowed me to undertake proper psychosocial assessment. This experience has allowed me to feel more confident about my future placements because I feel I was well trained from FSU and from my internship.”

Amanda Hood
International Affairs
2005
Quetzaltenango & Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemalensis Language School & Cross Cultural Solutions

“I have fond memories of the beautiful countryside. Guatemala is full of natural beauty and culture, but when people ask me why would I return again. I say to them, “I love the people, they are warm, exciting and full of life even when they are struggling more than you can ever imagine”. It was an emotional experience both good and bad. I spent a great amount of time thinking about my approach to human rights and views of the world. I came home with a great affirmation in people and the ability to persevere in all life’s struggles.”

Payal Shah
Law School
2005
London, UK
International Bar Association

“Before coming into this externship, I knew I wanted to focus on international law, but I was not completely sure if I wanted to focus more on the business aspect or human rights aspect, but now I definitely know I want to do human rights work. There are so many different actors involved in human rights, ranging from innocent civilians to high government officials, and it also requires a knowledge and understanding of different cultures, religions, and languages, which makes it all the more fascinating and delicate.”

Alicia Richardson
Law School
2005
Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center

“It is difficult to sum up everything that I experienced and learned in my externship. Overall, I just feel grateful to be given the opportunity to learn and work at FIAC. I am very grateful to everyone involved. I know that I can apply everything that I learned and take it with me on my next venture.”

Celine Hunt and Amity Moncrief
Art Therapy
2005
Bangkok Yai, Thailand
The Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights

“Although we had translators, we had to depend mostly on the art in communicating with and understanding the children. We also had the opportunity to observe an accomplished art therapist interact with CPCR staff members, conduct case study reports, and perform a family art therapy assessment. Observing her in action and conversing with her about art therapy was extremely helpful for our professional development.”

Julie Lemmer
Law School
2005
Los Angeles, CA
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

“Over the course of the summer, I helped with three T visa applications. The first was a sex trafficking victim from Taiwan. I was very excited to be able to interview the client myself, in Chinese. I wrote her declaration and did the research on Taiwanese country conditions as well as helped write and coordinate supporting declarations from her case worker and others. I also helped with the T visa applications for two domestic servitude trafficking clients from Mexico.”

Sabrina Reisinger
International Affairs
2004
Ayacucho, Perú
Yanamilla Maximum Security Penal Facility

“There is something about being in scenarios like this- doing service, being in another country. It changes you. It is an invaluable adventure and enriching journey, each interaction of the smaller moments that build the days… The time I spent working at the prison has enriched my life in ways I am still discovering.”