World Council Seeks U.S. Candidates to Intern in the Dominican Republic

International Credit Union Leadership Program facilitates idea exchanges for young credit union professionals

October 18, 2012

In June 2012, World Council's International Credit Union Leadership Program participants and their Guatemalan hosts delivered services to rural members through a credit union's mobile branch. 

MADISON, Wis. — World Council of Credit Unions is calling for U.S. credit union applicants for the organization's International Credit Union Leadership Program, next taking place in the Dominican Republic in January 2013. The program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, is part of the larger U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program.

The International Credit Union Leadership Program, which promotes internships for young credit union professionals from various countries, is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skill development, enhance cultural diversity and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to credit union development and management on a global basis. In addition, participants will focus on finding new ways to attract younger members to their credit unions.

In the program's first phase, 10 Guatemalan participants interned at credit unions in Iowa and California. As part of the reciprocal exchange, nine U.S. credit union professionals then interned in Guatemala. Nine representatives from the Dominican Republic are now currently studying credit union best practices in Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Recruiting has started for the fourth phase seeking 11 U.S. credit union professionals to intern at credit unions in the Dominican Republic. The internships, which run January 13–26, 2013, offer an excellent opportunity for emerging credit union leaders to better understand how Dominican credit unions serve underserved populations and support their communities through member education and other special initiatives.

The program provides each participant with free lodging through a local host family, a food stipend, local transportation, travelers insurance and a modest communications stipend. Applicants must be able to participate in the full two-week program in order to qualify for selection. It is the applicants' responsibility to arrange for time away from their credit unions prior to their participation. The sponsoring U.S. credit union is responsible for covering an airfare cost of US$1,350 as a sign of commitment to the professional development of their staff.

The selection criteria for U.S. program participants are:

  • Be 40 years of age or younger on Sept. 1, 2011
  • Demonstrate personal commitment and the ability to significantly influence credit union operations
  • Show leadership, entrepreneurial skills and demonstrate how personal initiative has contributed to credit union development
  • Exhibit the potential to advance the national or international credit union system through initiatives that would also foster community development
  • Be actively involved as an employee or board member of a credit union or organization affiliated with World Council through the Credit Union National Association or a state credit union league
  • Be available to travel on the specific dates outlined by the program
  • Have intermediate-to-advanced Spanish language skills

All participants are required to submit an application with an essay and pass a phone or web interview process.

More information and a program application form are at Applications must be submitted by Nov. 16, 2012, to Michael Suing, World Council program specialist, or by fax at +1-608-395-2001. Applicants should confirm the receipt of faxed submissions by email. Candidate interviews will take place by phone or a web-based program the week of Nov. 26.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

NOTE: Click on photos to view/download in high resolution.

Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: (608) 395-2000