Porter Environmental Interns Program
The "Porter Environmental Interns" program is a program that trains the next generation of environmental leadership working to improve environmental quality in Israel. The program enables master’s degree students from the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences Studies at Tel Aviv University to intern with environmental organizations and other public entities during their studies, while joining or even leading activities that strive to change national environmental policy, advance the environmental agenda or raise awareness among specific target populations.
How did it all begin?
The program has been around since 2008 , the product of a unique cooperative effort between the Porter School of Environmental Studies and the Shatil Organization, and thanks to the generosity of the Porter Foundation and the New Israel Fund in England.
As part of the program a dynamic, two-way communications channel was fostered between those who work day and night at the forefront of environmental activism and students who have acquired innovative academic knowledge and are in a process of writing their theses, which can sometimes be directly influenced by the students’ experiences in these organizations.
What’s in it for them?
The organizations participating in the program benefit from including these talented students in their activities over the course of the year, and sometimes choose to hire the intern as a paid member of the staff upon completing the program.
Students participating in the program receive a grant that covers their yearly tuition and thus they can devote 10 hours a week over the school year to intern with the organizations. During this time they become very familiar with the activities of the leading environmental organizations or public entities in Israel and with the people who are active in them, while facing challenges and dilemmas and acquiring experience in hands-on professional work.
In addition to the internship position, students take part in four enrichment encounters, each of which is half a day, where they can enhance their knowledge in topics relating to environmental activism in Israel, and learn about other spheres and various strategies for social-environmental change. At these encounters the emphasis is on building a personal-professional network among the interns themselves, while engaging in supervised peer-learning based on the experiences and challenges that are common among interns.
For additional details see the website of the Porter Environmental Interns Program.