Twenty-two students from 11 universities traveled to Budapest, Hungary last week to participate in the Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance (OSIRG) – an experience that Rumbidzai Masango (MPA ’15), one of last year’s students, described as “mind-blowing.” This is the third year that the Open Society Foundations (OSF) is partnering with the School of Public Policy (SPP) at CEU to organize this elite and highly competitive internship program.
During their two weeks in Budapest, the students participated in workshops and simulations; attended lectures; and were introduced to important tools to prepare them for 8- or 12-week intensive internships at national and international NGOs and think tanks around the world.
Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito, associate professor and founding director of the Program on Global Justice and Human Rights at the University of the Andes (Colombia) and founding member of the Center for Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia), is the clinical seminar director. “He has developed an exceptional curriculum – one that gives students a chance to really grapple and engage with important topics,” commented SPP Founding Dean Wolfgang Reinicke. “I am especially impressed with the high caliber of the OSIRG faculty,” he continued.
OSIRG faculty include professors from SPP, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of the Andes, Harvard, and the University of Pretoria; journalists; civil society activists; and lawyers. Together, they provide a rich and diverse set of perspectives on issues such as the future of human rights, discrimination and inequality, working with communities and educating for social change, environmental justice, negotiating international criminal law, storytelling as a human rights tool, and measuring impact. “They bring not just a wealth of expertise, but also relevant personal experiences,” said Rodriguez-Garavito.
Director of the Open Society Foundations-CEU Liaison Office Zoltan Kristof Varga praised the students. “They are engaging enthusiastically and thoughtfully in the sessions,” he said. SPP MPA students Nuruddin Ahmed, Suluck Fai Lamubol, and Shaileshwori Sharma are among those who were selected to participate in the OSIRG internship. Ahmed, who will be interning at the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, DC this summer, describes the OSIRG workshop as a “melting pot for people from different countries and different disciplines, and also a melting pot of ideas.” He went on, “I consider myself fortunate to have this chance to interact with people who I am confident will make a lot of difference in the world.”