Summer Service

Interns for Justice

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. 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.

If you are considering taking summer classes and participating as an Intern for Justice, Portland placements allow students to participate in a summer course. However, it is important to consider your ability to balance coursework with being fully present to the needs of the community and agency in which you are serving. If you are not serving in Portland, depending on your start date, you may be able to participate in the first summer session.

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 electronic conversations (forum style) with peer interns
  • Mid- and end of internship evaluations

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


  • Summer stipend to assist with living expenses
  • Moreau Center support throughout your summer internship
  • An opportunity to discern possible careers or further engagement in the field
  • Professional and personal formation

Application and Timeline

  • Interns for Justice applications are now closed. Applications for summer 2021 will be available in late January.
  • Interviews will take place mid March
  • Preparation seminars will take place during the month of April

Contact: Sophie Charles, Moreau Center Program Manager for Service & Justice

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

L'Arche Bologna


Summer 2020, the L'Arche Community in Bologna will be unable to support Moreau Center service. We will resume this program in 2021.

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 in France by Jean Vanier 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: Tyler Wagner, Program Manager for Immersions

To apply, complete the L'Arche application!

students with adults in costumes at L'Arche Bologna