What is Semester in the City?
UNH undergraduates have the opportunity to spend a semester in Boston as Student Innovation Fellows participating in hands-on learning through high quality and well supported 30+ hour per week internships with a leading social change organization (nonprofit, business, or public sector) – in community development, social justice, health, education, environment, and other areas dedicated to the public good through Semester in the City.
Though a transformative 14-week program, students will address current social issues while developing essential skills and networks that prepare them for life and work after graduation.
Social Innovation Fellows will work four days a week with a leading social sector organization under a dedicated mentor. In addition, Fellows will participate in a foundational social change theory seminar, The Social Innovator's Tool Box (one evening a week), and engage in reflection sessions and workshops on Fridays. Participating students will earn a total of 16 UNH credits with no additional tuition costs. Credits earned through Semester in the City may also count towards the Fellow’s major and/or minor. Students are encourage to speak with their academic advisors about how Semester in the City can work in their studies at UNH.
SOCIAL SECTOR PLACEMENT
Semester in the City students will serve with leading social sector organizations four days a week, for 14 weeks. Every placement will be a little different, but in each case the student will have a dedicated mentor – a hand-selected high-performing, high-potential leader. Students will spend roughly 20 percent of their time shadowing senior leaders, 40 percent of their time doing front-line service for the organization, and 40 percent working on a special project. Social Innovation Fellowships will gain 400+ hours of work-based learning, allowing students to learn more about themselves and their passions while also building their skills and their networks.
THE SOCIAL INNOVATOR'S TOOL BOX
Fellows will be enrolled in a foundational course that meets one evening a week, “The Social Innovator's Tool Box”, which will introduce students to different approaches to social change and social innovation. Students will explore how impact investing, advocacy, action tanking, social entrepreneurship, and movement building can advance progress on issues students care about. The course will use case studies and discussions with leading change-makers – as well as the emerging academic literature on social innovation – to illuminate different pathways to change.
WORKSHOPS FOR SKILL-BUILDING AND REFLECTION
For 14 Fridays - as well as a three day orientation at the beginning of the semester and a two-day student-led research conference at the end - Semester in the City students will participate in skill-building and reflective workshops designed to accelerate self-awareness, problem-solving ability, and larger societal issues. As part of the Friday workshops, Fellows will engage in team-based community research projects and will meet with leading social innovators from diverse fields and backgrounds. Students will also participate in workshops designed to build proficiency in Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Collaboration.
A DIGITAL PORTFOLIO OF LEARNING
Fellows who participate in Semester in the City will create their own digital portfolio that showcases their best work – the final draft of a policy memo, a PowerPoint presentation sharing research data and theories informed by the data, and short videos of student presentations. Students can link their digital portfolios to their resume and potential employers will be able see real work products and a letter of support from a mentor, not just "same old" summaries of self-identified strengths.
Fellows will live together in Boston apartments. Each apartment building will have a Resident Advisor who will organize community activities and occasional field trips for Fellows. A Resident Director will be on call 24/7 and is responsible for oversight and management of the residences. Participants will pay College for Social Innovation directly for their housing in Boston, which will cost about the same as an average room of similar size on campus. Participants may use their financial aid to help cover the cost of room and board.
This program costs the same as one semester at UNH! You continue paying your standard tuition and mandatory fees and there are NO special fees. All financial aid will continue to come from UNH.
You will receive the same number of credits you would at the University of New Hampshire as a full-time enrolled student, which is 16 credits. You will also fulfill your Social Sciences Discovery requirement. In some cases, all or some of the credits will also count toward academic major or minor requirements and/or core distribution requirements. Speak with your academic advisor or department chair to learn more.
The application consists of several sections. You will be asked to submit:
- a resume OR a list of relevant activities
- an unofficial transcript
- 2 references
- responses to a skills assessment
You will also have an opportunity to indicate your placement preferences and tell us about the social issues that matter to you on your application and during the interview.
UNH applicants are encouraged to attend an information session on campus or to schedule a meeting with Paula DiNardo in the office of Study Away USA (schedule appointments via Wildcat Advising >> Study Away USA) to understand your academic options and other logistics (e.g., major credit, cost, housing).