International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Refugee Housing Internship




Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is a leading, non-sectarian, non-profit organization providing emergency relief, protection, rehabilitation assistance, resettlement services, and advocacy for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.  Domestically, our 22 offices across the U.S. ensure new refugee arrivals have food, shelter, and clothing, and work with refugees to help them gain self-sufficiency.



This year, the IRC in Oakland will be resettling international refugees from Eritrea, Bhutan, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia. The Resettlement Services Program is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and offers support, guidance and counseling though all stages of resettlement, including securing housing and setting up their household. Meeting refugees housing needs are a critical part of their resettlement process in the United States. Refugees’ housing situation affects their ability to be employed, their access to public services, and integration with the community. The Housing Intern will support the Caeworkers in planning and delivering essential housing program activities and items, including apartment setup, donation acquisition, and homes visits for refugee and asylee clients.



  • 10 hours per week, to be completed days during IRC’s regular business hours of 9 am – 4 pm Monday - Friday
  • Desired start in late May – early June 2013 with commitment of 3- 6 months.
  • Must have car – IRC will reimburse all travel and parking related expenses
  • IRC is committed to working with student schedules. As such, we are flexible with to accommodate time off for midterms and school holidays, and altering time availability with changing class schedules.



  • Shop for necessary items in preparation for new refugee arrivals
  • Assist with setting up apartments and creating a welcoming and safe home for new refugee
  • Research and procuring in-kind donations as needed to supplement refugee needs
  • As available, assist Caseworkers in picking up refugee as they arrive in the US for the first time
  • Helping refugees to understand their new, modern apartment
  • As available, assisting Caseworkers with home visists to check in on refugee families.



  • Gain first hand experience and knowledge of the refugee resettlement process. This includes learning: the processes and protocols required of an international refugee nonprofit, the challenges newly arrived refugees face, and the network of public assistance programs offered in Northern California.
  • Gain nonprofit professional experience. Interns are seen and utilized as an extension of IRC staff, and all leave their internship with transferable skills that can help launch a career within the nonprofit sector.



  • We require that candidates have the following qualities:
  • Solidly reliable with strong attention to timeliness
  • Excellent communication skills (both interpersonal and with supervisors)
  • Possess a great attention to detail and be truly organized
  • Have a strong sense of personal initiative and be able to work independently in a fast-paced office.
  • An interest in international and refugee issues
  • Computer literacy with PC systems
  • Minimum of 2 years of completed undergraduate experience


This position reports to the Resettlement Case Manager



Apply by sending your resume and a cover letter as a single Word document to Volunteer & Internship Coordinator Rachel Taber at Title  email “Refugee Housing Intern Application”.


* Cover letters should clearly state your time availability, which includes 
1) a specific,  projected start and end date,
2) the number of hours you are available each week, and
3) the days and times in which you are available.



IRC leading the way from harm to home.