Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about WorldWide Witness Internships? Here's some of the more common questions we receive. If you don't find what you need here, e-mail Dr. Gary Green with any other questions you might have.
- Provide opportunities for young people to hear God's call to long-term missionary services.
- Assist young men and women in developing ministry skills.
- Increase the vision for missions in our churches by equipping the next generations with first-hand experience in cross-cultural ministry.
- Give missionaries on the field energetic, short-term help with specific tasks on the field.
- Encourage mission-minded students to network and develop partnerships for long-term ministry.
Who decides where I do my internship?
Determining where you spend your internship is a process of prayer and dialogue. Once you have prayed about the internship option and submitted all of your application, the directors will spend time reviewing your application and petition. If you are a good “fit” for the location you petitioned and that particular site still has openings, then almost always you will be able to work in the location you petitioned. If, however, you are not a good “fit” for the location or other circumstances have developed regarding that location, e.g., the missionary will be on furlough, the church is suffering a crisis, the society has become too unstable, etc., and then the directors will visit with you personally to find the best alternative for you. In addition, if it becomes obvious during training that you are not compatible with other team members for your location, then the directors will work to help some or all the team members redirect their efforts to different locations.
What if I want to go somewhere that WWW does not have an internship?
At times students want to work where WWW does not have an internship. This might be due to a previous trip with a sponsoring church, family relations or personal interest. Since mentoring is a critical factor in a WWW internship, the directors will review the newly petitioned location to see if there is a mentor present on the field that can serve the interns. Also the directors will review the nature of the work and society at the location to make sure that both are compatible with student interns. If everything appears to indicate that the new location would be a healthy spiritual environment for the interns, then the supervisors will pursue setting up an internship. If not, then the directors will work in dialogue with you to find a better option.
What does the $40 application fee cover?
The fee is used to cover expenses incurred during training such as communication costs, retreat facility rental, training supplies, research costs for new locations, T shirts for interns, etc.
Who determines the number and timing of the interns?
Each missionary can specify the number of interns he/she is willing to host and the dates of their arrival and departure. The missionary application form has a space for this information. The directors and trainers of WWW then work to put this information into your hands. Once a site has the petitioned number of interns requested by the missionary, the directors cease to recruit for that location and try to redirect later applicants to other options. If there is a problem with the timing such as the need to attend a family event, a graduation or marriage, then your trainer will help you work this out in direct dialogue with your host. Most difficulties in timing can be worked out. However, since some missionaries must travel long distances and incur expenses and much disruption to their own lives to pick up students at the airport, some missionaries opt to be stricter on the dates they petition for arrival and departure.
What is the difference between a WWW internship and a WWW apprenticeship?
Internships are 6-10 week experiences in the summer of the student’s academic career. Apprenticeships are 18 month or longer experiences following graduation. More information on apprenticeships can be found on the WWW2 link.
What if the internship “goes bad”?
The directors of WWW are both former missionaries and respect the judgment of their cohorts on the field. If the host missionary decides that the internship needs to be terminated, that decision will be honored by the directors of WWW and you will be sent home early by the host missionary. If you find yourself in the unusual circumstance of being totally incompatible with the host missionary and decide to return home early, then the directors will likewise respect that decision. Less than 1% of students have ever returned home from an internship prematurely.
What is WWW’s policy on dating?
WWW holds strictly to a no dating policy. Only under unusual circumstances will WWW allow dating interns to go to the field as a couple. Commonly, the directors ask dating couples to choose different missionary sites. The policy also applies to the relationship between interns and locals.
The whole idea of fund raising is new and scary to me. What if I am no good at it and don't raise the money I need?
During the first five years of WWW, over 95% of all approved applicants did raise the funds necessary to participate in an internship. Most of these students had never raised funds either. We are committed to coaching and equipping you through the entire fund raising process.
I would love to go on an internship but need to stay home and make money. Is there any way that I can do both?
Since many students need to make money during the summer in order to continue their education in the fall, WWW allows you the opportunity to raise $200 for every week you are on the field to be used as a scholarship fund for when you return home. This money will be held by your overseeing church and be turned over to you after successful completion of your internship. This is the WWW policy but each church will also have policies that you need to investigate and respect. In most cases, raising scholarship funds will mean that you will need to file a W9 tax form and receive a 1099 tax form from your overseeing church at the end of the year.
How do I get the visa, passport and tickets?
Ultimately, you will be responsible for your documentation. The "paper chase" necessary for international travel is a part of mission work that all full time missionaries experience. Though it might not be the most enjoyable portion of your internship, it is a necessary step in order to better understand the life of a missionary. You will not, however, be abandoned in the process. Your continental trainer will be your adviser throughout the process.
I’m quite busy with many campus activities. How much time will training take?
Training in the spring consists of a one night retreat in January, weekly one hour training sessions during the remainder of the spring and attendance of a Maymester course (Summer Seminar in Missions). You will be able to choose from several mission courses that count as upper level Bible courses. Scholarships are available.
What is "Missions Focus"?
Missions Focus is three days of spiritual renewal and focused training for missionaries, an opportunity to hear challenging presentations from internationally renowned missions leaders, and a chance for fellowship with people from around the world who have a passion for missions. Participation in Focus is required for those attending a Maymester course during Summer Seminar in Missions.
How much time off will I have to see the country?
WWW recommends one day off per week. The directors also hope that you will have the chance to see more of you host country with locals or the missionary. Usually the missionary or local are very proud of their country and try to facilitate your ability to experience the local culture. Often hosts have taken students on short trips to see more of the country outside of the area of their internship. If you desire to take a longer trip of several days or weeks, the directors encourage you to do so after completing your internship. For example, students on European internships have completed their internship and then hiked Europe for a week before returning. Former students in South America completed their internship prior to spending time visiting Cuzco and Machu Picchu.