FSI Faculty Mentor:
Michael McFaul, Director and Senior Fellow, FSI
TajRupt is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with a mission of developing critical thinking skills among the youth in Tajikistan. Established in 2016, TajRupt operates an Extracurricular Resource Center (ERC) in the northern city of Khujand where local high school and university students participate in a civic education curriculum in extracurricular format. The curriculum incorporates themes across public policy, media freedom, international affairs, and gender equality, and seeks to empower the students to become leaders of change in their local communities. To learn more about TajRupt, please visit www.tajrupt.org
The fellow will work at TajRupt’s Extracurricular Resource Center (ERC) – an English language hub pioneering youth civic education and extracurricular activism in Khujand, Tajikistan. The goal of the ERC is to develop critical thinking skills among high school and university students through an after-school curriculum that is structured into 10-week sessions. The curriculum incorporates in-class lectures on public policy, media freedom, international affairs, and gender equality, as well as student-led social impact activities and campaigns – empowering the students to become activists within a 10-week period. More information about TajRupt’s curriculum can be found on our website (www.tajrupt.org).
The summer fellowship program is designed to enable the students in Khujand to nurture critical thinking through the process of learning from fellows who are enrolled in liberal arts curricula in the United States. Concurrently, the fellows gain an opportunity to become immersed into the local context of Tajikistan, balancing formal responsibilities with informal community activities alongside the local students. The fellowship program was launched over the course of summer 2018 with three fellows – two undergraduate students from the University of Chicago, and one graduate student from the Evans School of Public Policy at University of Washington. The research projects pursued by the fellows explored the status quo of civic education curricula across the Central Asian region, resulting in a project of digital expansion of access to TajRupt’s curriculum.
The fellowship program is structured as an applied experience. Hence, there are three components to the fellowship: teaching, research, and organizational strategy. TajRupt places focus on civic education as the mechanism for emergence of youth-led civil society with democratic values. As such, the fellow will gain hands-on experience as an instructor of TajRupt’s flagship civic education course (CivicEd) in English, co-teaching foundations of public policy incorporating case studies and current events alongside TajRupt staff. Furthermore, the fellow will have an opportunity to design and lead a ‘study group’ – a seminar-style course focused on a particular field. Previous study groups have explored subjects such as culture and society, economics and statistics, and literature and linguistics.
The second component of the fellowship involves policy-related research. The fellow will be expected to pursue immersive research in an area pertinent to the Eurasian region under the guidance of a faculty mentor at the FSI. While at TajRupt, the fellow will be provided with support in conducting the research including data collection, interviews, etc. Lastly, the fellow will also be expected to work alongside staff on defining TajRupt’s organizational strategy and direction. This can involve liaising with regional partners as part of TajRupt’s digital expansion effort, contributing to grant-related work, and formulating proposals for new initiatives.
The following is a summary of key tasks that the fellow will be involved in:
- Co-teach a section of TajRupt’s English language CivicEd course incorporating topics across public policy, media, global affairs, and gender equality alongside the local staff;
- Design and lead a study group exploring a subject area (arts, economics, literature, etc.);
- Conduct immersive research pertinent to the Eurasian region (ex: societal consequences of migration, economic impact of the Eurasian Economic Union, etc.);
- Contribute to defining TajRupt’s organizational strategy by liaising with prospective regional partners, conducting grant-related work, and formulating proposals for new initiatives.
The fellow will be mentored by the organization’s founder, Azizjon Azimi, who is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University. The mentorship program will kick off in the spring quarter with on-campus onboarding activities, followed by virtual sessions involving TajRupt staff members from Tajikistan before arrival. During the fellowship period, the fellow will also engage with local staff members through an informal mentorship program.
Eligibility and Skills Required:
The internship is open to continuing undergraduate students. Students from any department are welcome to apply. Applicants must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
- Demonstrated passion for the education sector;
- Professional interest in foreign policy, international affairs, and related fields;
- Previous leadership experience (extracurricular activities, sports, community service, etc.);
- Ability to work under a flat team structure and to proactively take initiative;
- Strong communication skills and open-mindedness to soliciting and providing feedback;
- Flexibility and adaptability to a different cultural context.
Knowledge of either Russian or Farsi (intermediate or above) is highly encouraged in order to ease the fellow’s immersion into the local area.
The internship is located in Khujand, Tajikistan
The student will need to receive an intern visa for the 10-week fellowship. TajRupt will facilitate the process by working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, as well as the Embassy of Tajikistan in Washington, D.C. The fellow will have to travel to the Embassy in Washington, D.C. in order to receive the visa.
FSI is committed to providing its opportunities to students regardless of financial constraints. FSI’s Global Policy Interns are provided with a stipend to cover travel and living expenses during the summer. These stipends do not exceed $6,400 per person. Students must submit a budget with their estimated costs along with their application. If you have financial constraints that you think may prevent you from participating in this program, please contact FSI academic program manager Patrick Laboon directly.
Applicants will be asked to submit:
- Application Form
- Name of faculty reference (letter of recommendation not required)
- Unofficial Transcript
Please note: You may only apply to one FSI Global Policy Internship.