iDE is a Winnipeg-based organization that looks at market-based solutions to poverty. There are three streams for practicum: (1) communications and social media, (2) business research or business planning, and (3) human resources. Students interested in business, economics, or agriculture, should consider this placement.
World Renew is a U.S. Christian-based NGO working with rural NGO and church partners in rural Cambodia. Based in Phnom Penh, they focus on building community capacity, while addressing the following areas: Health, Advocacy, Good Governance, Education, Agriculture, Food Security and Income Generation. Interested students do not need to be Christian. Students interested in learning more about participatory methods and community-based organizations should consider this placement.
Based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Echo Asia's goal is to serve as a resource for development workers and agriculturalists within Asia who wish to experiment with underutilized crops as they work to improve the lives of the poor. They maintain a collection of hard-to-find seeds that thrive under difficult growing conditions in the tropics and sub-tropics. Note: this is a structured three month internship program, in which the student spends a month reading and learning about these issues while in Chiang Mai prior to a two month rural placement. Students interested in sustainable agricultural development should consider this placement.
Located in Phnom Penh, Star Kampuchea is a small Cambodian partner of a much larger internet volunteer placement agency called UBELONG. In addition to placing volunteers, Star Kampuchea supports a few small NGOs working towards improving the capacities of civil society and advocacy organizations. There is a well structured support program for volunteers. Students who prefer working with a volunteer organization, living with other volunteers, and being situated in a large urban centre, should consider this placement.
CVF is the Cambodian arm of a much larger internet volunteer placement agency - IVHQ. One of its placement NGOs is the Youth Council of Cambodia (YCC) – an organization that empowers youth to be more involved in government policy and democratization. The placement agency also provides volunteers for English teaching, special needs childcare and computer support. Students who prefer a structured environment, working with a volunteer organization and living with other volunteers in an urban environment, should consider this placement.
This structured program will provide IDS or CRS students with an experience that incorporates English-language teaching in Bangkok with assisting community development programs in villages outside of Bangkok. The student would volunteer part of their time teaching English in Lertlah University in Bangkok or in other universities in rural Thailand, and part of their time volunteering with women's support organizations in rural villages. This opportunity is cost-effective because all living costs are paid for by Lertlah University. Students interested in the impact of English language learning and who want to know more about the Thai culture, should consider this placement.
FFA is an established volunteer placement agency, and has developed a variety of volunteer opportunities, mostly related to English language learning in schools but also teaching English to Buddhist monks. One of the schools which provides education to very poor students is supported by the Chinese government and would give a Canadian a unique experience in learning about non-Western countries working in Thailand. Students interested to learn more about Buddhism while teaching English, working with children and learning about the role of China in Thailand should consider this placement.
To learn more about these and other practicum opportunities contact Ruth Taronno.
The Menno Simons College practicum is a supervised work experience in a setting related to international development or conflict resolution. It is a chance to gain work experience related to your studies and integrate your work experience with the rest of your courses.
Some students complete their practicum in Winnipeg, while others seek placements around the world. A local placement is approximately 80 hours of 'on-site' work over the span of one or two school terms. An international placement involves a minimum of three months in another country.
All students will integrate theory with practice through seminar participation and academic assignments. The final grade of pass or fail is based on two aspects:
Upon successful completion of the practicum placement, students receive 3 hours of academic credit towards a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies or Conflict Resolution Studies. In the case of an international placement of extended duration, a student may be eligible to receive 6 credit hours (as determined by the Practicum Director).
A practicum is required for a 4-year and 4-year honours degree in International Development Studies and a 4-year degree in Conflict Resolution Studies. Students completing a 3-year Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies or Conflict Resolution Studies have the option of participating in practicum. In order to register for a practicum, students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and must have completed the following courses:
Prerequisites for CRS Practicum
Prerequisites for IDS Practicum
Local placements are available for both Conflict Resolution Studies and International Development Studies students. A local practicum can be completed on a part-time basis over one or two academic semesters. Students must volunteer with an organization for approximately 80 hours.
In addition to written requirements for all practicum placements, local practicums require participation in two practicum seminars.
Local practicums cover a wide range of organizations. For possible local placements, see the following lists:
International placements are available to both International Development Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies students. Menno Simons College students have traveled to over 50 different countries and have recently returned from placements in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, India, Nepal, Cambodia and Ireland, among others.
All costs are the responsibility of the student, including airfare, accommodation, insurance and immunizations. Some financial support is available for international practicums.
Pre-departure orientation and re-entry debriefing sessions are held for each Menno Simons College international traveler. The Practicum Director helps with logistical and cultural preparation for an international placement (see International Practicum Checklist).
Possible international organizations include those with on-going relationships to Menno Simons College such as: Mennonite Central Committee, Nairobi Peace Initiative, and Hands for Hope Uganda. Students may also find a position through an international volunteer agency or personal contacts.
For a list of international practicum ideas, click here.