IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: FSD has closed their US-based operations. Learn more here

Colleges & Universities

Many top colleges and universities partner with FSD to supply students with structured internship and service learning experiences in the Global South. FSD collaborates with academic institutions to develop customized programs that enable students to acquire the skills, knowledge, and real-world experience needed to work effectively among local communities and in a globalized world. Together we are preparing our next generation of leaders and professionals to be engaged global citizens who are committed to social change.

Why Partner with FSD?

We work closely with you to deliver tailored programs that meet the needs of your student body and satisfy university regulations and requirements.

Our training and support of students is meticulous and grounded in 20 years of experience. We have deep, trust-based relationships with the organizations and communities in which your students will practice sustainable development and gain cross-cultural experience.

As a result, we have a track record of students adding significant value to their host communities, achieving bold learning outcomes, and having positive experiences that can be life-changing.

Standard Benefits of Partnership

24/7 Support and Incident Reporting

Your students’ safety is our highest priority. Students receive around the clock support from FSD’s on-site staff and 24/7 access to our US-based staff. Staff members are trained in emergency protocol and proactively mitigating risks. When a student has an issue in the field, from a minor illness to a major incident, FSD contacts you with detailed incident reports and updates. Incident reports are filed within 48 hours and in the case of a major incident, we contact you immediately.

Customized Programs & Training

We know that each university is unique, so we work with you to deliver a tailored program. We often work with faculty to use FSD programs as the practicum component for courses related to international community development. FSD staff are available to support curriculum development and give lectures and seminars on campus. We are also available to attend predeparture seminars to help ensure that your students arrive equipped with the information they need to have a successful experience in the field.

Program Debriefs

We are committed to improving the student internship experience and the impact students have in the communities where we work. After each session, we set aside time to talk openly with you about how the program unfolded and how to improve it. These debriefs are a time to explore how we can collaborate in the future to create stronger outcomes for both students and the community.

Discount Pricing & Flexible Start Dates

We waive our program application fee for students of university partners. In addition, we offer a progressive volume discount starting at 5% off the program fees for a group of 8 or more students. The maximum discount available to university partners is 10% off published program fees. For universities sending several students to the same site, we can accommodate flexible program start dates that align with your academic calendar.

What Sets FSD Apart?

  1. We are members of the community in which students work. Our program sites are staffed with locals who work year-round to better their community. We have strong relationships with our host families, community-based organizations, and other community members, making our programs safe, culturally immersive, and developmentally impactful.
  2. Our programs are structured and highly supportive. We provide ongoing mentoring, educational and cultural activities, logistical advice, and round-the-clock safety and security support.
  3. We offer rigorous, real-world training and applied learning to help students build sought-after professional skills. These skills include community engagement; project planning, management, and evaluation; budgeting and proposal writing; participatory development; and cultural integration.
  4. Adherence to Fair Trade Learning Standards. Our mission compels us to be equally focused on community outcomes and student learning outcomes. Therefore, the principles of Fair Trade Learning are baked into our programs.
  5. Our people-centered and asset-based approach to development. The philosophy, frameworks, methods, and tools we offer students deepens their experience through critical reflection on issues of power, privilege, social identity, and the role and efficacy of international aid.
  6. We are an international development organization rather than a typical study abroad or drop-in service project program. Our ongoing involvement in the community development process allows us to provide students with opportunities to engage in serious community development work alongside local professionals and volunteers.

Is your university interested in partnering with FSD? Please contact us at