‘Inspire’ is an internship programme developed by Foundation Group for European Development in cooperation with local partners. The programme provides internship placements for higher educated students in foreign countries (the focus this year is Italy).


  • Give students the opportunity to use their knowledge and expertise for the development of underdeveloped areas in Europe.
  • Combine the content of the academic education with experiences in other cultures.
  • Promote international collaboration.

Experiences of a traveller
You are travelling through the south of Italy walking into a village. Where is everybody? Why are there hardly any children? After a while you find out that young people are leaving the village to build a future elsewhere. At the same time you experience that this village has high potential: it looks like it has been well maintained, has many archaeological treasures and a its very own museum, in winter there is the possibility to ski nearby and in summer the climate is amazing. There are seven churches and a cathedral with large cultural-historical value. Naples and the Vesuvius volcano are close, as the Via Appia, Mirabella and Pompeii. Lots of history in this village! But apparently not a lot of future?

What could a student possibly mean to a village like this? What could a village like this mean to a student? Could there be a challenge here?

The village: Frigento
The website of our foundation


the website of the village of Frigento

The challenge
What Frigento needs, (and a lot of other villages in the south of Italy) is intellectual support, young entrepreneurship, inspiration and knowledge. In short; everything students have in abundance. There are no ready answers to be picked up. However, there could be old habits and possibly resistance from the inhabitants. Students will have to study many aspects in the village and village life. The perfect opportunity for students to develop both professionally and personally. The confrontation with unknown political, social and cultural habits can shape students’ character and aid in enlarging and deepening their perspective of the world.

Are you brave enough to leave your comfort zone? Are you ready to discover personal talents in a relatively non-challenging and easy-going environment of The Netherlands?

The assignment
In collaboration with; other students, local partners like companies and municipalities and the University of Naples you will be researching the opportunities and possibilities for Frigento to become a possible touristic hub. Mapping the village, inhabitants, social-economic circumstances, history and culture. You will be doing this for your education during an internship and/or graduation assignment. You will be analysing, giving advice, developing scenarios, collaborating, part of the village community for some months and you will learn Italian along the way. For both the next group of students and for your education you will finish your time in Italy with a report on your results, findings and your recommendations. You will be working and thinking interdisciplinary, you will be integrating your expertise with that of your fellow students and the experience of the inhabitants. You are the experts and you are in charge. It’s not about simple solutions, but about defining realistic and achievable options. You will learn to think in scenarios, you will connect small-scale projects with promising intervention models. Which forms of entrepreneurship and public services could be successful? What is the role of real estate and how can this be further developed? Which existing activities are promising and how do we connect the local employers and governments? How do we position the inhabitants? What are the possibilities on a social-cultural development view? Your recommendations do not only have to be applicable in other villages and above all, they have to be sustainable.

In short: Real life, Real need, Real audience.

The Foundation Group for European Development is in charge of connecting students to Frigento, putting together a local team for English speaking support and professional guidance with a project manager and mentor. The Foundation will select the best possible teams of students based on their background, education, interests and experience. You take care of the consultation with your university or school and make the correct agreements. It is up to you to research whether you could use funds or if you are eligible for scholarships to cover the costs of this internship. The internship is not paid for and does not come with any form of salary. Having another form of income is therefore advised.

Which students are eligible for this programme? University and Higher Education students who are in the final phase of their education. Your education will have to be relevant to this assignment, the directions we as Group for European Development think are relevant, are; Social-Economic, Agricultural, Business Economics, Social/Anthropological, Technical/Architectural, Management and Managerial, City planning, tourism, Languages and Media studies.

The internship period will take about three months, is flexible and can be adapted individually. You are responsible for your own housing and transport, but the foundation will support wherever needed. After all, it is your project and your challenge.

Signing up and the intake will happen by personal contact. You can make an appointment with the project leaders of Group for European Development by phone or e-mail. After this an individual application will take place to see if you are the student we are looking for.

The following planning is guiding unless noted otherwise:

  • Providing information and selecting students: telephone appointment and individual meeting
  • Application
  • Preparation, information and composition of teams
  • Internship period: to be agreed
  • Costs: € 3,999.- per person. (Travel expenses, housing expenses and living expenses are for participant)
  • Size of teams: 3 to 8 students

About Group for European Development
We are a foundation with a non-profit objective, registered at the Chamber of Commerce. Controlled by people with an extended experience in developing education in collaboration with professional practice and experience with programmes in developing countries. Our performance is based on a professional project management of the foundation. Group for European Development collaborates with foreign Universities and wants to improve European integration through training programmes for students.


  • Website foundation:
  • Phone: Tuesday – Thursday from 15.00 to 20.00
  • Project manager Jacomien Kooiker            +31 6 26094277
  • Board Leo Lenssen                                     +31 6 23661001
  • Caroline Van Deelen                                    +31 6 41088989
  • Paul Van Kuijeren                                        +31 6 11466901

E-mailaddress: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Warm regards,

Jacomien Kooiker

Founder and project manager Group for European Development