Asian Rural Institute in Japan Summer Intern Program (Sustainable Agriculture & International Development)
Two or three students will be selected for this unique opportunity to complete an internship focused on farming/sustainable agriculture, intentional community, cultural diversity, international development and spiritual growth while living at the Asian Rural Institute in northern Japan. Selected students will also participate in orientation and reflection activities with students participating in the St. Olaf Leaders for Social Change Program.
Japanese language skills are not required
Info Session (interested students are strongly encouraged to attend):Thursday, February 21st from 11:30- 12:15 in BC 143
What Will Interns Do at ARI?
- Work assignments are often determined by previous experience or skills of the volunteer, but people of all walks of life are welcomed. Some specific working sections available to volunteers include livestock, crops and vegetables, office work, meal service preparation and food processing. Most recent interns have expressed an interest to be placed on the farm. See here for more information about work at ARI.
- The work placement is only part of the ARI experience. Interns also are impacted by the aspect of living in community, living in cultural diversity, living in simplicity, self-sufficiency in food production and many more. There are ample opportunities for discussion with other interns, volunteers and participants.
- All interns keep a "growth file" where they note what they learn, what they find confusing, what irritates them. The purpose is for interns to track their emotions during the time at ARI.
All work nearly 12 hours M-F, with half a day on two Saturdays a month. Everyone is involved in "foodlife work" twice per day, in addition to their assigned work. Even on non-work weekends, there will be chores, as the animals on the farm (chickens & pigs) need caring for, and everyone needs to eat. Interns should expect limited privacy and limited free time. They will have a roommate. Evening programs are optional. They involve various activities such as bible study, choir, movie nights, English classes, inter-religious dialogue.
For complete details, click here.
One very unique aspect of Asian Rural Institute as a school is that it is based on communal life, a life of sharing with people from all around the globe. Most of the ARI community members live together on or very near from the campus and each one is involved in the whole work of the school and farm. From the growing and harvesting of food to its cooking and eating. From cleaning toilets in the morning to leading prayer times in at evening. We take our turn doing each part. Through living together we are able to constantly have learning opportunities and in fact see our community as a community of learning. Coming together as people of fundamentally different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, we dare to live together, equally sharing experiences, overcoming struggles and enjoying each others’ presence. It is in this experience of community that lasting personal transformation can happen. It provides the nurturing ground for servant leadership growth.
ARI actively recruits people from the most marginalized rural communities from countries in Asia and Africa to participate in a nine month long sustainable agriculture training and leadership development process. Each year there are about 25 – 30 participants in the program, from 14 -16 different countries. Please see here for a list of 2012 participants.
St. Olaf Support
Sponsored by the Piper Center for Vocation & Career. Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak, Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Political Science, will serve as the faculty supervisor for the ARI interns. For more information please contact Nate Jacobi, Piper Center for Vocation & Career, or Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak, Political Science and Asian Studies.
Connection with Leaders for Social Change
ARI Interns will have the opportunity to learn and reflect with other students participating in the Leaders for Social Change Program. Specifically, ARI interns will attend at least one pre-program meeting in the spring, participate in a two-day orientation on June 3rd and 4th, communicate virtually with domestic LSC interns throughout the program and participate in an end-of-program day of reflection and final presentation on July 31st and August 1st.
Travel to and from ARI, housing, food and tuition for academic internship will be provide by St. Olaf through the Kloeck-Jenson Endowment for Peace and Justice and a grant associated with Environmental Studies (estimated value of approximately $4700/student). ARI interns will need to cover travel expenses after they arrive on site. ARI interns will not receive a stipend.
- Current sophomore or junior
- Interest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming
- Interest in development at the community-level
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Experience in international settings and/or working with people from diverse cultures
- Cultural sensitivity, open-mindedness
- Aptitude for farm work
- Interest in and commitment to simple living (some familiar things like coca-cola aren't available)
- Ability to work independently, to reflect on experiences
- Capacity to take initiative to involve oneself in the life of the ARI community
- Interest and openness to spiritual sharing and growth (do not need to be Christian)
- Japanese language skills are not required (English is the primary language of the farm)
Application Deadline and ProcessStudents will apply through Ole Career Central no later than 11:00pm on Wednesday, February 27th.
Application materials must be uploaded to students’ accounts in Ole Career Central. Then, students must access the Asian Rural Institute in Japan posting and hit “apply.”
- Resume – one or two pages
- Application Form – also available from the Asian Rural Institute in Japan posting in Ole Career Central (save/upload as "Other Document" in Ole Career Central)
- Faculty Recommendation – which will be submitted to the Piper Center and then uploaded to your account & submitted to your app.