Undergraduate Internships

Latin American and Latino Studies Internships, LAS 400

Description and Rationale:
The Latin American Studies Internships are designed to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of Latin American societies and improve their Spanish or Portuguese linguistic skills by volunteering for an organization that serves the Hispanic community either in the Louisville area or elsewhere. Students must volunteer 80 hours of documented work as volunteer interns and submit a work diary that indicates the date of service, number of hours, and activity carried out on a particular day. Additional materials, such as brochures, video tapes, promotional materials, lesson plans, translations, etc, may be submitted in a final portfolio. The LAS Internship requires: an application form, project proposal,  progress reports to the LALS Director, a final five page report based on the student’s work at the internship site, and a signed letter of evaluation and Project Evaluation Form.

To date, students have conducted internships at the following sites: Adelante Hispanic Achievers, the Americana Center, Amigos en Louisville, Arcadia Community Center, CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Hope Clinic, Hispanic Latino Coalition, Just Solutions: Mediation Services of the Council on Peacemaking, the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, the Klein Family Learning Center, the Louisville Free Public Library - Iroquois Branch, Sister Cities of Louisville, among others. Students have also conducted internships abroad in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Panama. For a complete list of organizations that have served as internship sites, visit the LALS webpage.


Instructions for the Completion of the LAS Undergraduate Internship:

1. Initial Consultation:

The semester before enrolling in the internship, preferably during Pre-Registration week, the student should consult with Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies, to select an appropriate venue for the internship and provide application forms and guidelines.

Contact Information:

Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies; rhondabuchanan@louisville.edu Department of Classical and Modern Languages;

Bingham Humanities 329C; 852-0502/852-2034

LALS Webpage: http://louisville.edu/latinamericanstudies/welcome


2. Registration Procedure: The student should complete the LAS 400 Application Form and return the signed form with all signatures to Dr. Buchanan. After all signatures have been secured, the student may register on-line for the internship under LAS 400 Latin American Studies Internship.

3. Proposal: After the initial consultation with the LALS Director, the student should contact the organization to arrange a meeting with the site supervisor and prepare a proposal that includes objectives and benefits to the student and the organization. The student should submit a two-page proposal (typed and double-spaced) to Dr. Buchanan and the site supervisor. Dr. Buchanan will serve as the faculty advisor for the internship, and as a liaison with the site organization. She will also evaluate the student’s performance at the end of the internship, and assign a grade.

4. Progress Reports and Work Diary: Once the student has begun the internship, he or she should keep in touch with Dr. Buchanan by email and send a progress report every 7-10 days. Each entry should be dated and the number of hours completed should be indicated. A paragraph describing the activities accomplished on each date should be included. If a problem arises, students should inform Dr. Buchanan immediately. As the internship progresses, entries should be saved as a document. When the internship is completed, that series of progress reports should be printed out as the work diary.

5. Final Evaluation: The internship hours should be completed no later than the last day of the semester. During the final week of the internship, the student should prepare a formal five-page typed report (double-spaced) that summarizes the experience and addresses the objectives that were outlined in the initial proposal and specify how these were met. More than likely, students will do much more than initially proposed, and these activities should also be summarized. Finally, the report should address the particular benefits that the student and the organization gained from the experience. The student request that the supervisor write a letter of evaluation on company letterhead and send it a sealed and signed envelope, along with the signed Project Evaluation Form to: Dr. Rhonda Buchanan/Director of Latin American and Latino Studies/Department of Classical and Modern Languages/University of Louisville/Louisville, KY 40292.

Students should turn in the final report, the work diary, the signed Project Evaluation Form, and any other portfolio materials to Dr. Buchanan, who will then post the final grade.

6. Evaluation procedures:

1. 10%             Submission of the Application Form and the Project Proposal.

2. 10%             Progress reports provided the faculty adviser via email every 7-10 days.

3. 20%             Work diary that serves as a record of the number of hours completed.

4. 10%             Portfolio containing evidence of work completed during the internship

5.  30%            Final five-page report.

6.  20%            Letter of evaluation from site supervisor and signed Project Evaluation Form.

Grade Scale:

A         91-100%

B          81-90%

C         71-80%

D         61-70%

F          0-60%

Final Instructions:

    The student should make two copies of the work diary, portfolio materials, the final report, and the signed Project Evaluation Form. One copy of all materials should be submitted to the faculty adviser, and a second copy to the Director of LAS no later than the last day of classes. If the student registers for the internship during the summer, all materials should be submitted by August 15th.  At least one week before completing the internship, students should request that the site supervisor write a letter of evaluation on company letterhead, and sent to the faculty adviser. The faculty adviser should make certain that the Director of LAS has a complete set of all evaluation materials, including a copy of the site supervisor’s letter, the application form and the original proposal. Faculty advisers should keep copies of all these records and submit the grade on-line by the end of the semester.

    Contact Information:
    Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Spanish
    Department of Classical and Modern Languages; Bingham Humanities 329C;
    LALS Webpage: http://louisville.edu/latinamericanstudies