Throughout the year, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees receives inquiries from students interested in doing an internship with us. We're excited by all the enthusiasm for North Korean human rights issues that this represents, and we wish that we could take on some of these impressive candidates.
The truth is, we are still a very small organization, in a very small office (think shoebox and then imagine us in a corner of it!), with very limited resources (and space). There are also some very specific requirements that we would need from potential candidates, because we are a Japanese organization, operating in Japan.
So, here goes. Here are our...
Requirements for Overseas Interns
Japanese ability. Because we are based in Tokyo and our office operates in Japanese, this is a must. Minimum qualification of Level 2 or Level N2 (Level 1/N1 preferred) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is required, with strong speaking, reading and writing skills.
Adequate financial support. Japanese immigration law prohibits interns from working (part-time or otherwise), and any internship with Life Funds would be unpaid. You must therefore be able to cover the entire cost of your living expenses in Japan in addition to your airfare. Many potential interns underestimate just how expensive a city Tokyo is (for example, spending $200 a month on train fare is not at all unusual). Therefore, applicants must be able to show proof of sufficient funds in advance. For a one-month internship, that works out to $3000, enough to cover living expenses (accommodation, meals, transportation, etc.) as well as healthcare. You must also have a round-trip air ticket.
Korean and/or Chinese ability would be a major advantage. Our office uses both these languages in addition to our working language of Japanese.
Strong English-language writing skills
So there you have it! We do appreciate all of the very talented people who are interested in interning with us, and we are working on finding ways to make use of more of your talents.