Cultural Orientation Volunteer



Start Date


End Date


Time Commitment

A few hours per month


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


1210 South Bascom Avenue
San Jose
United States



Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is a leading non-sectarian non-profit organization providing emergency relief, protection, rehabilitation assistance, resettlement services, and advocacy for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict. The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home. Domestically, our 28 offices across the U.S. work with refugees to help them gain self-sufficiency, and ensure new arrivals have food, shelter, and clothing



As one of the IRC’s 28 domestic offices, the San Jose office serves refugees, asylees, special immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, and victims of human trafficking in Santa Clara County. Since opening in 1975, the San Jose office has resettled over 20,000 refugees, who in turn have helped to build a stronger community. A committed staff of professionals and volunteers provide essential case management and immigration services to immigrant families, providing them with the resources and tools to rebuild their lives with safety and dignity.


SCOPE OF WORK: All newly arrived refugees to IRC San Jose attend a series of Cultural Orientation (CO) classes. The CO volunteer will be responsible for helping instruct the CO classes. CO classes are targeted to adult refugees and class size or composition will vary. Class will also take place in home, if clients are unable to attend. Additionally, the Cultural Orientation volunteer will help develop evaluation tools for all CO classes. 


·        Provide weekly logistical assistance for CO classes, including setting up the physical classroom space, preparing materials, helping with documentation, and transportation training.

·        Facilitate monthly CO classes in a multicultural setting.

·        Develop and help implement basic evaluation procedures for each CO class.

·        For each training complete monitoring and evaluation forms to assess client comprehension.

·        Contact clients to provide reminders prior to each training session.

·        Other relevant duties as assigned.


·        Demonstrated ability to work effectively with partners, colleagues, and clients in cross-cultural, team based environment.

·        Experience teaching or training preferred.

·        Excellent intercultural communication skills and experience working with diverse populations.

·        Strong attention to detail and commitment to client confidentiality.

·        Able to commit to class hours and travel to clients homes for class.


Training Provided

How To Apply


Complete an online application and upload your resume and cover letter in a single PDF file to the application. Please tailor your cover letter to the position to which you are applying and include the following:

·        Up to 3 positions of interest, ranked in order of preference

·        Time availability for your internship, i.e. the number of hours you are available each week, specific days and times, and your anticipated start and end dates for interning

·        Immediate interview availability, if different from internship availability

·        Any requirements for filing your internship for school credit, e.g. total number of hours to be completed or filing deadline

For more information on the application process and timeline, visit our internships page.