Kerala 2017 / Updates

Calling Socio-cultural Anthropology Undergraduates: Fully Funded Summer Internship in India

Professor Tania Li has received funding from the Dean’s International Initiatives Fund (DIIF) to cover air fare and living costs for 4 students to travel to Kerala, India, for internships at the Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST). The commitment is for two months, May-June (2 interns) and July-August (2 interns).  Six anthropology students took part in the internship in 2015 and four in 2016. You can see their reports at the Ethnography Lab here.

13305062_10154250518129596_2112982454791831624_oCREST provides skills training for youth in Kerala who suffer from stigma and social exclusion based on their caste and tribal identities. CREST works with high school students seeking application to universities, who need guidance and preparation for entrance exams. It also works with trainees who have graduated from state universities, yet face discrimination when they seek jobs in the private sector, especially prestigious jobs in multinationals. During a 4-month residential program at CREST, these graduate trainees improve their conversational English, upgrade academic and computer skills, and learn how to present themselves with confidence and polish. The goal is to enable trainees to compete with job applicants from more privileged backgrounds, and overcome the prejudice that still impedes their social mobility and full participation in India’s modern economic sectors. For more information on CREST see here.

The role of the U of T student-interns is to assist CREST staff by coaching and mentoring trainees individually, and by organizing creative and fun group activities to develop the trainees’ confidence, and overcome cultural barriers to communication. The academic objective is to learn about social exclusion in India through direct exchanges and discussions with trainees and staff in both formal, classroom settings and through informal interactions (playing badminton, sharing accommodation in the trainee dorm, going with trainees or staff to visit their families on weekends or short breaks).  Selected interns may receive academic credit for Internship in Anthropology, 491Y. While in Kerala, interns will work under the supervision of CREST staff; they will submit academic reports to Professor Li, and contribute blog posts for the Ethnography Lab website.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, please come to the info session on January 12, 10-11am, AP 330 (Ethnography Lab, anthro building).  Due to limited accommodation at CREST, the internship opportunity in 2017 is available only for women. Preference will be given to social-cultural anthropology majors and specialists who will have completed at least 13 credits by April 2017.    Applications are due by January 23. Your application must include name, student number, email address, POST, screen-shot of your u of t transcript to date, and a 300 word statement on what you think you can contribute to the internship, and what you expect to gain from it. Short-listed applicants will be notified on Jan 25, interviewed on Jan 27 and notified about acceptance on Feb 01.  Send applications to the internship coordinator at


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