The Jackson Institute provides generous funding for the M.A. summer experience. Students pursue internships and research opportunities all over the globe.

Jackson M.A. students spend the summer between their first and second year to further their academic and professional program. Our students intern, conduct research, and/or take language courses (with permission).

The diversity of experiences our students take advantage of over the summer is reflective of their wide range of global affairs interests. They travel all over the globe, from Beijing to DC.

Jackson M.A. students can receive up to $5,000 in summer funding. Yale also offers grants and fellowships that most students apply to in February each year to fund their summer experience. This funding allows students the flexibility to think creatively about how to spend their summer months.

In Their Words

Lottie Boardman, Class of 2020 Thumbnail
Lottie Boardman, Class of 2020

"I was privileged to spend my Jackson summer interning at a community-based environmental NGO in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. While there, I assisted with my organization’s submission on the reform of the Territory's environmental protection legislation (including appearing before the relevant legislative committee), investigated potential reforms to the Territory's mine rehabilitation laws and researched the military's impacts on the Territory's environment.  My internship was a great opportunity to get a taste for environmental advocacy work and to be immersed in the politics of a fascinating place. While I had a pre-existing passion for working on climate change and social justice, my summer experience allowed me to start to think about these intertwined issues in a new context and has influenced my post-graduation plans. Logistics allowing, I hope to undertake a Yale Fox International Fellowship in Darwin, researching the intersection of climate change politics and Aboriginal rights in the Northern Territory."

Virginia Leape, Class of 2019 Thumbnail
Virginia Leape, Class of 2019

"I spent the summer working first in DC for a think tank on reconstruction in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen and then in Iraq on a research project on institution-building in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In country, I carried out more than 45 interviews with government, academia, journalists and the international community. The purpose of the project was to analyze the economic reform in light of the 2014 crisis and the 2017 independence referendum. After graduation, I hope to move back to the Middle East to work on regional policy analysis and this experience was invaluable in deepening my regional understanding, enhancing my understanding of state fragility and triggering an interest in biometric registration that I have since chosen to focus on in my second year at Jackson."

Patricia Austria, Class of 2018 Thumbnail
Patricia Austria, Class of 2018

"This summer, I was in Rome, Italy, working for the UN World Food Programme. I examined over 200 projects in 80+ countries to better understand capacity strengthening in humanitarian contexts—in particular, how to create systems for efficient and sustainable social protection. I drew on the lessons I learned at Yale, particularly a course on Moral Dilemmas in Humanitarian Action. After graduation, I hope to enter the field of social innovation, and doing so requires a comprehensive understanding of the modern trajectories of international development and the evolving roles of those that take part in it. Working at WFP gave me great perspective on the UN system and how modern tools and approaches are being used to tackle the world’s most pressing issues."

Manus McCaffery, Class of 2018 Thumbnail
Manus McCaffery, Class of 2018

"I was fortunate enough to work on two separate projects this summer, each of which corresponded to different areas of my academic and professional interests. With the help of an award from the Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale, I partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society and spent six weeks researching deforestation and biodiversity conservation in Honduras and Nicaragua. The team I worked with used ArcGIS as well as extensive field interviews to devise a strategy for maintaining forest connectivity in remote areas of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, where the habitats of animals like the jaguar are rapidly being deforested. Our final white paper has since been translated into Spanish and presented at international conferences. I spent the next 10 weeks working in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, where I researched for and consulted with Ukrainian politicians on oil and gas geopolitics involving Russia, the EU, and the U.S. That work mainly focused on natural gas policy and the work of the Ukrainian Energy Committee. Both projects are related to my interest in the causes and impacts of climate change and what can be done practically from a policy perspective."  

Sophia Berhie, Class of 2016 Thumbnail
Sophia Berhie, Class of 2016

“During my graduate studies, I completed a summer internship in the political-economic section of the U.S. Mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the embassy, I covered issues related to the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) and served as the deputy site officer in planning and orchestration of President Obama’s July 2015 speech to an audience of 4,000 at the African Union. This internship gave me the opportunity to apply the writing and analytical skills I honed at Jackson.”