ASA offers high quality of Internship opportunities to the undergrad and graduate university students of universities who are interestedinternship from in-country and abroad. Being one of the early practitioners of microfinance in the world, ASA has gone through a series of evolution in it’s lifetime. This has become an alluring interest for m any foreign and in-country students.

Along with the experience in the “home of microfinance” ASA developed a core and unique microfinance model. To provide assistance to the interns, a department of ASA Exposure & Internship Unit has been introduced. 

ASA has taken up microfinance program in 1991 with a view to give an effort in the field of poverty reduction in Bangladesh. Since then ASA continued to carry on the microfinance program from small scale program to reaching in a large scale microfinance industry. It has become the major task of ASA today with admiration by many global leaders and nations for its effectiveness in impact creation to the million poor peoples’ lives in-country and abroad. Today the replication of ASA microfinance model has attained an increasing chase both at the national and international levels. By now twenty thousand ASA employees working in the areas of all administrative units of Government administration of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has succeeded to prove them-selves to be highly dedicated, disciplined and self-motivated towards their daily routine works as to assist the poor.

Until today a series of ASA’s microfinance upheavals, while banking with the poor, have become an alluring package for many foreign and in-country visitors. As to learn and exploring the growth and progress of ASA’s present microfinance service delivery methodologies and procedures the interest of the individuals ,practitioners ,MFIs and donors from around the globe are repeatedly mentioned in workshops, seminars and symposiums held about microfinance anywhere and in any country. Listening to such an attitude towards ASA microfinance by others causes us to receive evoke and inspiration to undergo all kind of turmoil and challenges in developing new products and marketing them for the people who wants and need those products. ASA microfinance program has thus achieved the quality of one of the brand lending methodologies for the poor in simultaneous to the formal banking sector that which are operating and newly venturing into various parts of Bangladesh.

ASA has proven its efficiency in managing money through banking activities with the poor. Such lending efficacies of its program have resulted in creating such an innovative, specialized, standardized and a cost-effective ASA Microfinance Sustainable Development Model. And thus the successes of ASA microfinance model have gained the global acclaim today.

ASA codified the rules and methodologies of micro-lending activities in an operational manual known as “ASA Manual”. It gives the guidance to the employees to implementing the program in day to day delivery of services to the people who need and want it. Such codification effort of ASA has ensured positive impact in running the microfinance enterprise effectively. A set of single line command package manual for all concerned in ASA have been developed for conducting the program identical.

More than twenty year’s experience of ASA in the field of microfinance activities has en-reached the organization to a brand in micro-lending function. As a quality program, ASA feels proud in sharing her knowledge with others such as individuals, groups, NGOs, MFIs and many undergraduate/graduate/post-graduate students of various universities from around the world.  A large number of exposure visitors and interns from within the country and abroad make visit to ASA to see microfinance operation every year. These visitors interact with the top level ASA management staff in its head office and the staff of the branch offices as well as interacting with the ASA borrowers while visits the groups. They also visit different Income Generating Activities (IGAs) of the borrowers during their visit to ASA branch offices.

ASA’s Internship Course have been developed for the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students of in-country and abroad who comes to learn practical aspects of ASA’s microfinance operations for poverty alleviation.

The office of Exposure and Internship Unit welcomes the students to visit and learn how ASA and its microfinance sustainable development model is operating in Bangladesh.

The rules of Application Process are:

  1. A prescribed Internship Application Form to be filled in and sent after signing the scanned copy of the same to ASA Exposure & Internship Unit by the intern;
  2. All costs are to be borne by the intern including local transportation, accommodation, food, etc.;
  3. A set of ASA Publications/Literature are given to the intern on arrival to read. After they finish read the literatures, they are to return them to the officer of E & I Unit;
  4. The intern is provided with a desktop computer for his/her uses in need.
  5. A necessary schedule of work details is developed and provided to the intern ;
  6. A written report on a specific topic to be submitted after completion of works in ASA;
  7. ASA provides all sorts of cooperation to the interns;
  8. While traveling to and fro/ back and forth for internship in ASA, if any damage or loss of limbs or life or any other such things happens to any intern at work, no claim will be considered;
  9. Interns are expected to honor our national norms and practices, culture, religious values and the socio-economic background while at ASA for work. Any violation to the above mentioned areas or others done by the interns and they are found or seen by ASA and /or reported to ASA will be seriously taken into consideration and will be dealt with. Such situation/incident caused by any intern(s) will lead to immediate termination of the contract and the intern will no longer be treated to continue work at ASA.

ASA internship course has been designed to accommodate the volunteer students only. All through the year, the university undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students from within the country and abroad can join in ASA internship course at any stipulated time illustrated below. Both the field work and the observation along with courtesy meetings with top level management personnel at head office operation are recommended vehicles and venues to ruminate about ASA microfinance sustainable development model. Background matching and interest of the students are considered in accepting applications for internship in ASA. A very few selected candidates from ASA University Bangladesh and other Universities are accepted to do this course.

The Internship Types and their Duration are:

Summer [ 5-8 weeks ] (early May to late August)
Fall  [ 5-8 weeks ] (early September to late December)
Spring [ 5-8 weeks ] (early January to late April)

ASA standard is to offer 5 to 8 week’s internship course. ASA may be flexible in extending more weeks to some of the candidates based on their need and request.

Organized by

It is arranged and organized by the Office of ASA International Affairs Unit, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Working Places of an Intern in ASA

  1. Meeting with Honorable President and the Founder of ASA(Depending on his availability)
  2. Need-based meetings with the ASA executives;
  3. ASA Head Office
  4. Field Work: Field stay and daily branch visits
  5. Need-based holding of forums and open discussions

Program: Schedule of Activities

The course is designed as per need of the students. Details on eight week’s schedule of activity have been given below for better understanding of the readers:

Week-01 & Week-02

ASA head office-based activities in the beginning-

  1. Orientation on ASA Structure/ Organogram
  2. Reading of ASA Literature
  3. Meeting the department heads
  4. ASA Urban Branch Visit
  5. Develop the individual project questionnaire for interviewing the borrowers & stakeholders

Week-03 -Week-06

  1. Branch Visit: Students go visit and stay for works in the field offices for practical learning.
  2. Daily Report Writing: Students continues to prepare report write ups based on their branch visits.

Week-07-Week-08

  1. The students stay in Dhaka and come to the ASA head office for rest of the days to work on their

draft reports as to finalize and submit the same. The interns complete project reports before their departure from ASA, Bangladesh.

  1. As to complete reports they hold frequent summary sessions and personal meetings with the head

office research section staff/ personnel on their return from the field works.

Note: The activity schedule for more weeks may be extended based on the nature of the students’ project requests.

The internship placement requirements are as follows:

Costs

All costs such as air/bus/train fares, personal care item costs, accommodation, food and local transportation costs, etc. are borne by the intern.

Registration Fees

ASA charges registration fees of US$100 only to each foreign intern. Each foreign student is to pay this one-time fee on his/her arrival to ASA, Bangladesh.

A Resume / Curriculum Vitae

A short resume/CV along with a reference letter from the respective Course Coordinator/Dean/Registrar of the institution will be required from the student to send with the request email/letter to ASA as attachment.

Invitation Letter from ASA

On getting a positive decision on request of the student (s), E & I Unit will send an invitation letter to the respective student as to pursue obtaining visa.

Passport

At least six (6) months validity of the passport should remain even after completion of internship in ASA, Bangladesh. If renewal of passport is required before leaving for ASA, Bangladesh, the applicant should get it done.

VISA

All students, based on the nationality, need visa to visit ASA, Bangladesh. Obtain your visa from the Bangladesh Embassy/ High Commission of Bangladesh or the Consulate working in your country.

Personal Laptop/Desktop Computer

It is recommended that students bring their personal laptops. If it is not possible to anyone(s), a desktop computer with access to internet facility will be provided to the students while at work in the head office of ASA.

ASA Internship Application Form

Undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students are eligible to apply for internship.

The family or university health insurance should cover the student’s duration of stay in Bangladesh. ASA will ensure the safety of each student. Each student must sign the agreement found herewith the format attached:

Please Click Here to Download the Health Insurance Application Form

Click Here to Download the Application for Assumptions of Risk and Release of Claims

VACCINATIONS AND MEDICATION:

Students should visit his/her doctor and /or a Travel Medical Clinic to ensure that he/she has proper vaccinations and medications for his/her time in Bangladesh. All students should bring DEET mosquito repellent to use after dusk. In every guest house or hotel, students may ask for and use the mosquito net if they wanted. The following links are useful resources for vaccination and travel health information:

  • http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationBangladesh.aspx
  • http://cdc.gov/travel/contentTravelClinics.aspx

Packing

Pack enough items to maximize your comfort, but do not over-pack to weigh you down.

Notify

Your guardian(s), school advisor and bank.

Remember

Remember the summer internship is faced by interns with hot, humid and rainy weather here. Fall interns will enjoy the weather here in Bangladesh. And the interns during spring will be requiring light winter clothes. In this connection, the students are also advised to read paragraphs on clothing, medicine cabinet, additional/optional items, electronics, money, other emotional considerations, inappropriate conduct, etc. described below:

 CLOTHING:

  • Think Business Casual
  • A few slacks
  • A few light-weight shirts with any length of sleeve (with buttons and collars preferably)
  • If you do not feel you have enough suitable clothing, you can buy Bengali or Western clothing in the local market
  • Business people (including ASA staff) wear comfortable leather shoes. The general population wears flip-flops or sandals. The poorest go barefoot. Wear what you have and what you are comfortable with.
  • Shower shoes that double for house shoes
  • Hats and sunglasses are good protection for the field, even if you’re the only person wearing them.
  • One long-sleeve or wrap for airplane or Head Office (if the A/C gets too cold – doesn’t tend to be a problem, though
  • Loose, light-weight pajamas

 

MEDICINE “CABINET:”

This is not prepared by a medical doctor. Ask for recommendations from your own medical     professional.

  • Personal prescription medications filled through your length of stay
  • Contact lens supply, if applicable
  • Mosquito repellent with DEET
  • Topical Hydrocortisone cream (anti-itch)
  • Sunblock!! Please, please wear sunscreen in the field. “Breathable” sunblock is better in the humidity. Any sunblock will do.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medicine for Traveler’s Diarrhoea
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
  • Bandages with antiseptic swabs and Neosporin
  • One roll of toilet paper (usually provided)
  • Travel Kleenex
  • Feminine products, if applicable
  • Personal care items: face wash, toothpaste, floss, deodorant…
  • Extra plastic bags
  • Matches
  • Tweezers
  • Water purification tablets (bottled water is plentiful, but good to have just in case)

 

ADDITIONAL / OPTIONAL ITEMS:

  • Treated mosquito netting (though these should be provided where needed)
  • Benadryl
  • Cold/flu medicine
  • Saline powder packets for oral rehydration
  • Vitamins (ask your doctor if these mitigate effects of other drugs)
  • Candle
  • Sewing kit and safety pins
  • Travel-size Tide packets for hand-washing personal items (you can send all or some of your clothes out to be hand-washed or you can wash them yourself)
  • Travel-sized baby powder
  • Facial cleansing cloths
  • Small hand lotion (humidity is usually enough)
  • Chap stick can be helpful if you sleep under a fan

ELECTRONICS:

Electricity is spotty in Bangladesh, especially at night. With patience, you will have the electricity you need, but remember you’re in a developing country. Voltage here is 220-240; plan accordingly. All of the following items are optional on a need/desire-basis.

  • Hilarious but true… you will find almost every kind of plug here: European, African, American… bring a travel adapter set and use what you need.
  • Laptop: It will be most helpful to bring your own, though we can provide you with computer access to the Head Office if needed. If there’s internet, some places will have wireless access while others will have a LAN cable for hook-up.
  • Phone, iPod, camera, etc. with chargers are okay to bring, just tuck away when not in use.
  • If any item (such as camera) uses “normal” rechargeable batteries like AA, bring your rechargeable set, but bring normal batteries for additional backup.
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • USB flash drive – helpful to transfer data
  • Outlet splitter or small surge protector strip

 

MONEY:

Bring cash and exchange while in Dhaka. You can check XE.com for exchange rates. Bring more if you’re planning on spending extra money on a lot of souvenirs or if you have other trips planned. If needed, you can use your ATM card at one of the local banks.

 

OTHER

  • Entertainment that does not require electricity: book, journal, deck of cards
  • 2 notebooks and pens (You’ll write a lot and will not always have your laptop in front of you.)
  • Towel (high-absorbency, quick-drying towels are expensive, but useful)
  • Exfoliating shower gloves – great for getting the grime off and a big help when water is in short
  • supply and your shower is ever reduced to a bucket or faucet
  • Umbrella
  • Watch
  • Snacks: trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, peanut butter (You will get more than enough rice, fish and meat at meals and more than enough tea in between, but snacks are not popular.
  • Bringing a couple items should be sufficient.)
  • Propel sells individual powder packets for large bottles of water; this helps with hydration and replenishing of electrolytes. You should get enough water (and tea) if you don’t bring these.

 

EMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION:

Spending time in a developing country, especially if for the first time, can be emotionally exhausting. Talk to other travelers who have made similar journeys. Ask questions about what to expect and how to react.

Think about your values and remind yourself why you are going. Talk with fellow interns and with local people throughout the program; as long as you maintain a respectful quality to your conversation, you can cover fascinating and raw topics. Be aware that other people may be much better or much worse “adjusted” than you. Tell other people when you need their support and expect to offer yours in return.

Feel free to speak with ASA staff and we will work with you regarding any needs you may have. Also, speak with someone at home before you leave about your expectations; it will be easier to refer to these conversations than to fully explain yourself from a far.

Take pictures and Journal. Keep in touch with loved ones back home. Talk with one another.

 

INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT:

The use of illegal substances and drugs is prohibited while on the program. Any intern who chooses to use illegal substances or drugs during his or her stay will be removed from the program and he/she has to go home at his or her own expense.

Alcohol is illegal for locals and not served in Bangladesh except for a few upscale hotels that cater to Westerners. Interns are free to visit these hotels on their own time, though any intern who appears intoxicated during ASA-related duties or while on ASA premises will receive one warning; a second infraction will result in the student being removed from the program and will go home at his or her own discretion.

IF ANYTHING, JUST REMEMBER:

  • Learn as much as possible.
  • Ask questions.
  • Tell us if you need anything.
  • Keep in touch with ASA.
  • Simply say “No” to uncomfortable situations, too much food, or to anything else you don’t want.
  • Drink lots of bottled water. (Also use to brush your teeth and to rinse your toothbrush!)
  • Eat fully cooked food from trusted resources, not from street vendors.
  • Stay active.
  • Do not drive unless you’re in an unavoidable emergency situation.
  • Stay away from animals.
  • Be smart.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Love people and trust that you’re here for a reason.
  • Take joy in your work.

 

TESTIMONIES AND FEEDBACK

Each student will be asked to submit his or her testimony and feedback report for the continued improvement of the internship program at ASA.

 

For More information in general: Please contact-

ASA, 23/3, Bir Uttam A.N.M Nuruzzaman Sarak, Block-B,Shyamoli, Mohammadpur
Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh
Telephone: 9116375, 8119828, 8110934-5, 8151113
Fax: 880-2-8111175, 9121861
Email: moidbaksh@asabd.org