What best fits your needs: an externship, an unpaid internship or voluntourism?
by Alberta Venture Staff
Illustration Christian Rosecat
When a spat between Bell Canada and two former unpaid interns went public this summer, internships became bar-stool chatter. Are unpaid interns just glorified free labour? And, if those who can afford to work as unpaid interns are those who come from money, are we excluding an entire class from a similar chance at real jobs?
Some economists argue that, regardless of the answer to that last question, unpaid internships are still more accessible to those with less money than costly post-secondary education. But forget all that, anyway, because there’s a new ’ship in the harbour: Externships. Alberta Abroad, a new government program, meshes Albertan post-secondary talent with year-long, paid international work. Compared with unpaid internships, and the growing fashion of voluntourism, the externship is positively perfect. Here’s why.