Summer Service | University of Portland

Summer Service

Interns for Justice

Check back in 2024 for more info about the Interns for Justice Summer 2024 programs

The Interns for Justice (IFJ) program is an 8-10 week summer service opportunity for University of Portland students. Throughout the summer, interns serve with organizations that work alongside traditionally underserved or marginalized populations. Interns build deep relationships with the people and communities with which they serve, critically examine root causes of poverty and injustice, and intentionally reflect on lived experiences.

Program Details

1. The program kicks off with a gathering of all interns and orientation which occurs in the second half of spring semester.

2. Students lead the process of selecting a host organization. Considerations include:

  • Population: The intern will decide with whom they would like to stand in solidarity for the summer. Past populations have included children and youth, people with disabilities, individuals experiencing homelessness, older adults, people with mental illness, the incarcerated, immigrants, survivors of domestic abuse, and more.
  • Location: Students can elect to serve and live here in Portland, in their hometown, elsewhere in the United States, or in another country. Interns can also serve virtually or a hybrid of in-person and virtual. Please note that the Moreau Center will not be subsidizing the cost necessary to travel to a service location.
  • Service: Students have served with social service agencies, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), prisons, hospitals, Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality, faith based non-profits, and post-grad service sites. Students will be directly working with people.

3. Students commit to serving 200 hours (approximately 8-10 weeks) over the summer months. Your start date will depend on the timeline decided upon with your specific service site. You will be asked to indicate on your application when you are available to serve.

4. Students follow a summer syllabus, which includes:

  • Developing goals and a Learning Agreement
  • Ongoing personal reflection and social analysis, to be completed in the form of a journal or blog 
  • Selected readings
  • Two or three virtual meetings with peer interns
  • Two or three check-ins with Moreau Center advisor
  • End of internship reflection/evaluation

5. The Interns for Justice experience will conclude with a gathering of interns in the first half of the fall semester.


  • Volunteer stipend of $2500
  • Moreau Center support throughout your summer internship
  • An opportunity to discern possible careers or further engagement in the field
  • Professional and personal formation

For more information, please read the Interns for Justice position description.

Contact: Moreau Center for Service and Justice (

To view reflections from previous participants, visit our Interns for Justice blog.  


L'Arche Bologna


This program is temporarily on hold, due to the L'Arche community's continued focus on the health of their community not allowing short-term volunteers to serve.

Immerse yourself in a L'Arche community in Bologna, Italy, for eight weeks beginning just after Spring semester. This program will run from approximately mid-May to mid-July.

L’Arche is an international community of adults with and without disabilities living together. It was founded 50 years ago as an ecumenical and inter-religious community with roots in Catholic tradition. Young volunteers from around the world choose to live and serve in L'Arche communities for a period of time to learn the "art of presence" and the beauty of friendship with adults with disabilities through community life. Students may prepare meals, help the residents to take care of themselves, coordinate activities for residents, and participate in community formation, among other duties.

The city of Bologna is one of 10 official "sister cities" to Portland. Through the Bologna-Portland Association, students will also have an opportunity to learn about and discover their sister city in Italy. Italian language is not required, but applicants are strongly encouraged to enroll in a beginner's Italian language course. Familiarity with Spanish or French is also useful.

Accommodations and food are provided in the L'Arche community; however, students are responsible for airfare and any other expenses.

To view student reflections from past L'Arche Bologna experiences, visit our blog

Contact: Moreau Center for Service and Justice (

students with adults in costumes at L'Arche Bologna