Global Citizen Internships

Enabling committed, talented, and passionate Environment undergraduate and graduate students to apply their knowledge in a work setting at Canadian registered charities and non-profit organizations with local and global reach.

30+ placements across Canada since 2019

Students have worked with non-profits in Ontario, Yukon, Alberta, and Vancouver. 

Infographic Map of Canada

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)

Past Global Citizen Internship placements have supported the SDG areas of: supportive housing, affordable housing, ecosystem restoration, Indigenous conservation, renewal energy, sustainability, food security, climate resiliency, Indigenous community engagement, international development, addiction treatment, conservation and climate change research, and more. Learn about past student placements!


It's a triple-win!


Students win

Because they learn to apply their knowledge in real-world settings, directly serving local communities while building critical leadership skills.


Nonprofits win

Because they benefit from the creativity of Canada’s most talented and ambitious students.


Society wins

Because these synergistic collaborations yield new solutions to our biggest environmental challenges.

Get involved

Become a donor

Make an impact

  • Create opportunities for students to bolster the important work of registered charities and non-profit organizations while gaining relevant work experience and an appreciation for the charitable sector. 
  • Support non-profit partners of varying sizes, advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and making a difference in local and global communities by bolstering affordable housing, providing services for vulnerable populations, conserving ecosystems, and supporting organizations in their transition to more sustainable practices.     
  • Make a multi-year commitment of $30,000+ to aid in building long-term partnerships with non-profit partners who will benefit from student placements.
  • Make a gift of $10,000 or less through our online gift form below. Your gift, combined with the generosity of others, makes a significant impact


  • Celebrate the impact of your investment through the Global Citizen Internship testimonials and videos from student interns and their nonprofit employer
  • Receive the opportunity to name your internship for pledge or cash commitments of $30,000+ 

  • Donors with named internships will also be invited to attend our annual awards banquet to meet with their student recipients and non-profit partners

Past donors

Thank you to all of our Global Citizen Internship supporters. Their dedication to creating valuable opportunities for our students are a testament to their inspiring conviction to create a better, more sustainable and just future through higher education and practical experience.

  • CAIVAN Communities
  • KEEN Footwear Canada
  • Sheryl Kennedy
  • Timothy Meyer Family Foundation
  • Suncor Energy
  • University of Waterloo Faculty, Staff, and Retiree giving community

Become a partner

The benefits

  • Recruit top talent
  • Hire subsidized talent using GCI grant proceeds
  • Increase your organization's capacity for impact 

Partner responsibilities and eligibility requirements

  • GCI partners must be Not-for-Profit Organizations (“NPO”) or registered charities qualifying as a tax-exempt organization pursuant to paragraph 149(1)(l) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”) with demonstrated need for subsidized co-op placements.
  • Use grant proceeds only in support of the co-op work placement provided to one or more University of Waterloo students. Unused grant proceeds will be returned to the University of Waterloo by the NPO.
  • Keep adequate records to document the use of the grant and the activities supported by the grant.

  • Provide appropriate supervision and mentorship to University of Waterloo co-op students, including providing feedback regarding students’ performance throughout the students’ work term and submit a performance evaluation for each student no later than 14 days after the work term ends.  

  • Consent to promotion of your organization's involvement with the GCI program.

Resources for employers

Charitable and non-profit partners

NPH - Niagara Peninsula Homes

We are a non-profit organization governed by a community-based Board of Directors. We currently offer property management services in Niagara and Hamilton areas and are members of The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, The Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, Central Ontario Co‑operative Housing Federation and the Institute of Housing Management.

Our mission is to create, nurture and serve vibrant and diverse communities. We empower people within communities to help themselves through a process of training, planning and evaluation.

Food System Roundtable of Waterloo Region

The Roundtable is an educational non-profit with the mission of championing a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system in Waterloo Region. Through research, education and partnership-building, our goal is to increase awareness and understanding of local food in our community, bringing food system-related issues forward to promote action.

House of Friendship

House of Friendship is a Waterloo Region-based nonprofit organization that provides food, housing, addiction treatment and neighbourhood support to individuals and families. With the tremendous support of this community, we help more than 42,000 individuals each year.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a safe, suitable, and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity has hosted several Global Citizen Internship placements at 12 different locations including: Halton-Mississauga, Vancouver Island, Ontario Gateway North, Sault Ste. Marie, Alberta, Yukon, Toronto, Bracebridge, Kingston Limestone Region, Waterloo Region, Wellington, Dufferin, and Guelph.

Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise (ICE)

Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise (ICE) is a pan-Canadian not-for-profit platform that promotes Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s energy futures economy. We do this by advancing Indigenous leadership and broad-based collaboration with energy companies, utilities, governments, development firms, cleantech innovators, the academic sector, and capital markets.

Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR)

Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) is a social enterprise nonprofit that’s committed to helping the local business community, and Waterloo Region as a whole, become environmentally and economically sustainable and strong.

Our mission is to lead the transformation to sustainable systems of energy, mobility and construction to help build a cleaner, more diverse economy, and a more just and equitable community.

The Resilience Institute (TRI)

Wicked challenges, like climate change, require multi-pronged and transdisciplinary approaches for successful adaptation and mitigation. Our work focuses on co-developing initiatives that weave local and cultural knowledge with scientific and technical expertise and foster multi-generational engagement.

Nature Conservancy of Canada - Ontario Region

Since 1962, Canada’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), has been protecting Ontario’s most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Along with its partners, NCC has helped to protect more than 94,000 hectares in Ontario. From the north shore of Lake Superior to Pelee Island in Lake Erie, NCC works to protect the province’s most significant natural landscapes.

Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) Canada

Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) is a non-profit organization supporting older persons and children in their care. It was started in Uganda in 2003 and has grown to become one of the most effective mission organizations supporting older persons in Uganda and Ethiopia.

ROTOM Canada’s mission is to empower older persons and their dependents to attain health and well-being through increasing accessibility of water, food, education, healthcare, shelter, and other necessities.

Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre

Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre (NWEC) is a small, grass roots, women’s training organization with a big heart. NWEC operates as part of the registered charity, upSKILL Niagara. NWEC offers group and individualized programs that empower members to engage in entrepreneurship, training and wellness journeys to create lasting, life-changing transformations.

As a social purpose enterprise, NWEC relies on the generous support provided by Government and Community Organizations, Businesses, Donors, Volunteers and NWEC members.

Employer partner experiences 

Sustainable Waterloo Region

Black and white photo of a woman

It was our honor and we are so grateful to have had Asiyah and Nouran be part of our team through the University of Waterloo Global Citizenship program. We couldn't do the work we do without the support of subsidized co-op students. Thank you for seeing the value of students and helping not for profits like ours move forward towards a better future.”

- Tova Davidson, Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region

*Sustainable Waterloo Region was able to double their impact by securing matching government funding to provide, not two, but four internship positions. 

Reach One Touch One Ministries Canada

Photo of a woman

 “Having Satveer has been an exceptional experience. We are incredibly grateful to the Global Citizen Internship program for providing us with this opportunity to hire a co-op student. In no uncertain terms, this opportunity has been a game changer for us. With Staveer’s help our social media followers increased: Instagram 44%, Twitter 40% and Facebook 80%. As a result of the increase in public awareness though our social platforms we saw a 5% increase in donations. We sincerely hope we will have another opportunity in the future, given the incredible difference this opportunity has made to our organization.” 

- Susan J. Elliott, Chair/CEO, Reach One Touch One Ministries Canada

Nature Conservancy of Canada

As a result of support from the Global Citizen Internship, we were able to hire Shayne Poleyko, a University of Waterloo student in the Faculty of Environment, for 16 weeks to work with NCC’s stewardship team in Midwestern Ontario. Shayne was a thoughtful, hard-working employee and directly supported our stewardship work in the Maitland River Valley and on Cockburn Island. Working closely with me, Shayne helped to control invasive plants, such as Common Buckthorn and Phragmites, on our conservation lands. In addition to this, we completed surveys for threats to biodiversity on Cockburn Island, maintained our trail networks and monitored our newly restored fields at our Ashton Potter property. Shayne was a great help with fieldwork as well as with administrative tasks, like data entry and research. Thanks again for all the support!

- Kaitlin Richardson, Coordinator, Conservation Biology-Huron Fringe, Nature Conservancy of Canada 

Habitat for Humanity Canada

A man in construction equipment

“Habitat for Humanity has benefitted significantly from the contributions, student interns under the Global Citizen’s Internship program, brought to our organization through their hard work, energy and most importantly their knowledge and skill. Several initiatives and priorities were either initiated or executed including the research and submission of business cases, establishment of property evaluation and procurement strategies or planning and development of specific affordable housing projects. These accomplishments are attributed much in part to the very generous contributions of Global Citizen Internship program donors. Thank you.”  

- Terry Petkau, Director, Safety Awareness & Construction, Affiliate Engagement, Habitat for Humanity Canada

A woman smiling

Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre

Thanks to the Global Citizen Internship program, we will be able to continue to develop our sustainable funding initiatives so we can plan to continue supporting women on their employment and entrepreneurial journeys in the future. We are thankful that women like Sheryl Kennedy, continue to be supportive of women-specific programming that helps to uplift women every day.

- Brenda Martin, Program Manager, Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre


Reach out to Vestiana Powell, Advancement Coordinator, Faculty of Environment Advancement Team for information on becoming a new non-profit employer partner and employer responsibilities.

Become a student intern

Placement process

  • Graduate student postings will be advertised on Environment web pages and social media channels.
  • Undergraduate students apply for designated “Global Citizen Internship” work placements on WaterlooWorks.
    • Complete the standard WaterlooWorks interview and ranking process.
    • Once matched up with a Global Citizen Internship non-profit or charity employer, $10,000/per four-month placement of donor funds is dispersed to support your salary.
  • As a beneficiary of this program, you will be asked to share the impact of your experience in writing and video with the donor and our community through Waterloo’s Office of Advancement. 

Program benefits

  • Help partners impact the communities they serve and advance UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Learn how to work within volunteer-led organizations with resource constraints  
  • Apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-life work settings
  • Get hands-on experience in your field of study
  • Create connections through networking with employers and coworkers
  • Learn more about yourself and your overall career direction and gain an appreciation for the work of the non-profit sector
  • Develop a better understanding of the social and environmental issues facing communities locally and globally
Remote video URL

Student experiences

Natasha Ing, Planning ‘2022
Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region intern 2019
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Areas

SDG 1 - no poverty
SDG 9 - Industry, innovation and infastructure.
SDG 10 - reduced inequalities


Natasha Ing Headshot

“Without the generosity of the Global Citizen Internship, I would never have had the opportunity to contribute to such meaningful work in a field I am passionate about, and I am thankful for all the connections I have made along the way. I am extremely grateful for the support of donors who continue to support students’ professional growth and help kickstart our careers. I am excited to see where the next stage of my career takes me.”

Natasha Ing worked with Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region as a Student Planner. This was a major milestone in both her personal and professional career as it was her first taste of urban planning in the real world. Habitat for Humanity welcomed Natasha into their family, mentored her, and encouraged her to have confidence in her abilities. Since then, Natasha has completed co-op terms with transportation planning and land development consulting firms, a non-profit social planning organization, and held several leadership positions through on-campus organizations.

She is currently working as an Urban Planner with Arcadis (formerly IBI Group) and is pursuing her Masters of Cities Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Adam Pfeifer, Environment & Business Student
Nature Conservancy of Canada intern 2022
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Areas

SDG 13
SDG 14
SDG 15
Adam Pfeifer on a hike

"The highlights for me would have to be the people and the work experience in this position. I want to continue doing exactly what I did here into my future, so I’m just excited that I got an internship while I’m still in university doing exactly what I want to do. It’s my number-one passion to engage with other people who are as into the environment and learning as I am, and to get involved with the conservation side.”

As a Conservation Technician, Adam’s work in the field focused mostly in the Minesing Wetlands where he supported NCC and their partners with restoration and protection programs. Along with NCC partner, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, and volunteers, Adam helped to stabilize a creek bank by installing old Christmas trees as wind deflectors. Christmas trees are anchored to the bank and fill with sediment over time, creating a naturalized, meandering channel bank. The Minesing Wetlands are also home to many rare and at-risk species. Adam worked alongside NCC partner, the Georgian Bay Land Trust, to remove invasive phragmites from important fish breeding habitats in a location known to have more than 10 different species of at-risk birds.

Natalie Ho, Planning Student
Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre (NWEC) intern 2021
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Areas

SDG 10 - reduced inequalities


Natalie Ho

“I would like to thank the Global Citizen Internship program donors for their generosity. I feel very honored to have received this internship, and I believe it allowed me to work on my professional skills.”

Natalie completed her internship at Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre (NWEC) where she worked as a Community Engagement Assistant. In her role, she created visual resources and assisted with the planning and executing of NWEC’s Giving Tuesday campaign by creating multiple graphics. Her biggest project of the term was creating a sustainable fund initiative through an alumni engagement plan. For Natalie, working at NWEC opened her mind to the different aspects of the job and built her self-confidence as she further enhanced her leadership and communication skills.

Riley Cooper, Urban Planning student
Food Systems Roundtable of Waterloo Region, Ontario intern 2021
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Areas

SDG 12


Headshot of Riley Cooper

“I am greatly appreciative of the support that the Global Citizen Internship provided me during my co-op term. Thank you for helping to make a difference in my education and the future of sustainable urban farming!”

Since beginning her studies at the University of Waterloo, Riley has gravitated towards urban farming and sustainable food systems which combine her love for plants and nature with her passion for urban environments and communities. She was eager to begin her co-op placement in Fall 2021 with the Food System Roundtable of Waterloo Region as a Food Systems Web Portal Content Designer/Developer. She believes that this role has provided her with essential experience increasing her knowledge and understanding while supporting her dream of making healthy, affordable, and local food accessible to urban communities around the world.