Storytelling Abroad Program

In partnership with the Swearer Center and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Storytelling Abroad Program provides up to four undergraduate Brown University students with a 10-week summer internship as journalists, documenting and creating content about Hong Kong Polytechnic students' service projects in Cambodia, Rwanda and/or Vietnam.


Every summer, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) organizes several overseas service projects for its students. Brown students will have opportunities to travel alongside Hong Kong Polytechnic University student teams as they serve in Rwanda, Cambodia and/or Vietnam. Storytelling Abroad participants will document, through photos, videos and/or interviews, the work performed by the students, the teachers and the impact on the community. Students then publish their work into a series of blog articles, social media posts, and videos, with the goal of creating a booklet, a series of videos, or some other medium to document the program.

This opportunity involves traveling to overseas sites in developing countries. Some of these sites are in rural areas with challenging environments such as mountainous terrain and with temperatures routinely rising above 100° F.  Projects that HKPU students will be working on include engineering/renewable energy, health care, eye care, nutrition and hotel or hospitality training.

The program typically runs for 10 weeks beginning the last week of May, and will require student travel between community service sites abroad and Hong Kong as they work on the media production.

Successful applicants will be offered:

  • A sponsorship of HK$10,140/month (approximately $1,200 USD/month)
  • Accommodation in Hong Kong
  • Basic expenses for the overseas service trips (e.g. visa, travel, accommodation and board)

Students are responsible for:

  • Arranging their own travel to and from Hong Kong at the beginning and end of the program (note that this travel happens before the stipend is paid).
  • Any vaccinations deemed necessary by their physician
  • Attending 3 workshops in the Spring semester at Brown University to prepare for their summer experience

Interested students are expected to be able to express themselves well in writing and/or multimedia (photography or video).  Experience in creative writing or media production is a plus, as is prior experience in traveling abroad, especially to developing countries. Students must be medically and physically fit for travel to such locations and have a valid passport that is not barred from traveling to the following countries: Rwanda, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and/or Vietnam. Students who have a track record in community engagement activities are preferred.


This program is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Please check back for updates on the next application cycle.


Steve Pokorny, Program Manager, Student Development: [email protected].​