Press Releases
April 17, 2024

Students Gain Hands-On Experience Through USAID’s Internship Program

On April 17, 2024, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Community Support Program (CSP) celebrated the achievements of 87 university students and recent graduates from 11 Lebanese universities who completed internships at USAID-funded projects, civil society organizations, and private sector companies across Lebanon. USAID Lebanon Mission Director Julie Southfield and representatives from USAID Implementing Partners, participating municipalities, and 11 USAID-assisted universities attended the completion ceremony. During the ceremony, students received certificates of appreciation for successfully completing their training and making significant contributions to their communities.

During their internships, students and graduates provided support and technical expertise to municipalities, civil society organizations, agricultural cooperatives, and water establishments that are benefitting from U.S. Government assistance in a range of sectors including water and sanitation, agriculture and rural development, education, and women’s empowerment.  By the end of March 2024, 50 percent of the interns who completed their internships have earned full-time positions in the organizations where they worked.  64 percent of the newly hired interns are women.

USAID Mission Director Julie Southfield stated, “Through CSP’s Internship Program, USAID has not only helped launch the professional journeys of qualified students and graduates, but also provided essential financial support to cope with the ongoing economic crisis.  Most importantly these internships provided students with invaluable professional skills, including time management, problem solving, teamwork, and networking, which are critical for their future career.”

CSP Chief of Party, Rhett Gurian concluded: “These efforts have paid off. As of the end of March 2024, I’m proud to report that CSP has facilitated 231 internship placements, 58% of whom have been women. Equally important, 96 of the interns who have completed the program (or 56%) have gone on to find jobs. In Lebanon, where the employment rate among university graduates is hovering around 35%, this is a remarkable achievement.”

In 2020, the USAID Community Support Program partnered with USAID’s University Scholarship Program and Higher Education Capacity Development Program to offer paid internships for up to 300 undergraduate and graduate interns from 11 Lebanese universities: the American University of Beirut, American University for Science and Technology, Antonine University, Beirut Arab University, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Haigazian University, Islamic University, Lebanese American University, Sagesse University, Notre Dame University, and Saint Joseph University. These internships aim to provide valuable professional experience, enabling participants to kickstart their careers while generating temporary income amidst the ongoing economic crisis.

This five-year internship program, valued at around $800,000 in U.S. Government Assistance, aims to place up to 300 youth from socio-economically challenged backgrounds in internships that support local communities through USAID’s projects in Lebanon. Through this unique internship program, which will continue until the summer of 2024, the American people are demonstrating their continued commitment to supporting local development and higher education in Lebanon.



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