International Field Program | Milano School in NYC

Public Engagement

International Field Program

  • Gain hands-on experience in the field while following a rigorous course of study, combining pre-departure preparation, in-country seminars, professional internships, and independent research with faculty supervision.

    Since its inception in 2002, hundreds of students have participated in our signature International Field Program (IFP) in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The IFP is a platform for emerging practitioners and researchers to gain experience in the field within an academic environment. The IFP’s extended field stays are unique among international affairs programs in the United States. In the course of nine weeks, students work and conduct research with community-based organizations, NGOs, international organizations, and governmental agencies. The topics range from community development, policy advocacy, citizen journalism, and post-conflict state-building to urban planning and long-term monitoring and evaluation.

    The IFP faculty is comprised of prominent scholars and leading experts on the topics and regions of engagement. These faculty-led customized programs offer students access to a wide network of on-the-ground collaborations with academics, NGO professionals, community activists, and government agencies relevant to the issues being examined. The dedicated IFP faculty prepare students to engage critically with current international debates and practices around issues of social and economic rights; urban and community development; new media and technology; environmental justice; migration and refugees; governance; conflict; and peacebuilding.

    The IFP is designed to extend learning beyond the classroom. Students get first-hand field exposure to a multiplicity of perspectives, ideas, and people through orientation, field trips, guest speakers, professional internships, faculty-supervised projects and research, and day-to-day interactions.

    The 2016 IFP is now open to students from outside The New School! We are pleased to be accepting IFP applications from students in the CT/NJ/NY area.

  • Country Sites


    Argentina represents an interesting case of a middle-income developing country recovering from a recent economic crisis--the culmination of a long period of neoliberal policies and social impoverishment. Within this context, the Buenos Aires IFP delves into the complex issues surrounding a multi-million cleanup effort of the Matanza-Riachuelo river basin, the most contaminated river basin in Argentina. The objective of the Buenos Aires IFP is to assess the different impacts of the project in the diverse municipalities and low income communities of the area, including how conversion to less-polluting processes might affect production, tax revenues, and the landscape. Last summer's work in Buenos Aires can be seen in this blog.
    Faculty Coordinator: Alberto Minujin


    Beset by decades of internal conflict and a complex array of economic forces that shape the capacity for action, Colombia has managed to create a wide range of innovative and effective policies and institutions to address social problems. By working in collaboration with a local university and with the municipal governments of small towns, students in the Colombia IFP have the opportunity to work on concrete, ongoing projects in a challenging institutional and social context. The overarching theme of the Colombia IFP is participatory development in a "post-conflict" setting. Students participate in a diversity of initiatives ranging from supporting sustainable community development among residents of newly constructed housing projects to pursuing adventure/eco-tourism as an alternative and inclusive economic strategy.
    Faculty Coordinator: Chris London


    Cuba is witnessing profound change and the need to redesign its economic and political paradigms, following the ongoing economic overhaul begun by Raul Castro in 2010 and the current diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the USA. This shifting environment positions Cuba as an ideal site to explore issues related to socialism, economic transformations, race relations, gender and sexuality, informal economies, poverty, food security, and urban planning as they unfold. Students will take classes with leading Cuban intellectuals along Cuban students and will achieve hands-on experience through workshops and direct engagement with projects run by Cuban NGOs and community-based organizations. Selected students will have field placements with foreign NGOs working in Cuba.
    Faculty Coordinator: Gabriel Vignoli


    Ethiopia is a country wrestling with economic development and human rights, infrastructure construction, and foreign aid issues. This site allows participants to work on projects and internships involving monitoring and evaluation, urban planning, climate adaptation, land management, natural resource accessibility, women's micro-saving groups, and child welfare. Last summer's work in Addis Ababa can be seen in this blog.
    Faculty Coordinator: Mark Johnson

    South Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa is a region urbanizing rapidly and from very low income levels. As a result, many cities in the region face important challenges in terms of urban poverty, access to jobs, housing and household services. In collaboration with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and the African Centre for Cities (ACC), the purpose of the South Africa field program is to actively engage students with research on topics concerning urbanization in African cities, privileging the opportunities for field work and collaborating with important professional and academic partners. Last summer's work can be seen in the 60 days, 1 city, 11 maps project, and the work with SDI is described in the City Communities blog.
    Faculty Coordinators: Achilles Kallergis and Laura Wainer


    Through a variety of projects and internships with municipalities, research institutes, and NGOs, participants explore the dynamics of the Turkish model of democracy. Turkey melds Islamic culture with liberal and secular political principles and is currently under strain from creeping authoritarianism of the government, neo-Ottoman nationalist agenda, and regional conflicts. Identity and security concerns for marginalized groups including Kurds, Armenians, Alevis, women and children, and refugees will also explored. Focusing on human rights, urban development, and democratization and governance in multiethnic communities, students will participate in an internship or project-based work, independent research, weekly seminars, and various group activities.
    Faculty Coordinator: Everita Silina

    Apply to the International Field Program

    To apply for the IFP, you must complete the online application and, at the end of the process, upload the following four documents

    1. A recent résumé or CV
    2. An academic or professional writing sample
    3. A brief essay for your first-choice IFP country
    4. A brief essay for your second-choice IFP country

    Have these documents ready before you begin filling out this application. Without these document files available and ready for upload, you will not be able to complete the application process.

    1. The brief essays (approximately 500 words) should explain:
    2. Your reasons for wanting to participate in that particular IFP site — what relevant experience or coursework draws you to spend the summer in that country?
    3. What prior experiences (research, internships, community service, travel, extracurricular activities, etc.) have you had that make you a strong candidate?
    4. What do you expect to gain from the experience, and how does the IFP fit into your study plans and goals?