Caux Interns Programme


Connecting. Growing. Acting.

We are currently restructuring our programme for 2016. Please be advised that the dates have changed: there will be ONE session from 15 July 2016 – 15 August 2016. Please note that the information provided on this website will be subject to change and does not fully reflect how the programme will look like this summer. Make sure to visit this page regularly for the latest updates.


What makes this an internship with a difference?

The Caux Interns Leadership Programme is for people who care about personal and global change; and who have the courage to challenge themselves to make a difference – that includes the Programme’s faculty. The faculty are the team that will guide and support you before and during your time as a Caux Intern.  They will consist of an international group of four to six people experienced with Initiatives of Change, facilitation and training for young people. Much of the training programme will be based around the exploration of tools that address both personal and global change. An inquiring spirit - looking for better questions, not bringing pre-formed answers – is central to the experience.


Why this programme?

Politics, International Relations, Just Governance, Ethical Leadership, Sustainable living are all only possible if trust can be built between individuals so that relationships and collaboration can flourish. So this programme is designed to invite more introspection, and develop a lifestyle of leadership that includes taking a hard look at ourselves and how we relate to people in everyday life.

The programme is structured around three cornerstones of workshops, departmental work, i.e. service, and space for reflection. And all this is experienced in community.


Aims of the Programme

  • To challenge programme participants to apply the simplest skills of life – in listening, intercultural awareness, teamwork and cooperation – with effectiveness.
  • To enable programme participants to develop their leadership and intercultural skills.
  • To share the Initiatives of Change values ‘in action’.
  • To contribute through departmental work to the effective and smooth functioning of the Caux Conferences, in a spirit of hospitality and service.
  • To feed into the long term sustainability of the Caux Conferences.
  • To provide a year by year process for engaging into the spirit and responsibility of IofC.


The Programme

The Caux Interns programme takes place at the Caux Conference Centre near Montreux/Switzerland. The International Caux Conferences attract hundreds of people from all over the world. As part of the community-building process, elements of the day-to-day practical work of the Centre are done by conference participants, interns and volunteers.  Interns have a unique opportunity to develop skills and receive training in leading international teams. Completion certificates are given.


Caux Interns
Hospitality is a core value of the Caux Conferences and of the Caux Interns Leadership Programme. The spirit in which we welcome people from all corners of the world, make them feel at home and include them in hosting the house, is central to the Caux approach.

This "community in service" is the place where we put into practice the values we talk about – teamwork, trustbuilding, inclusion, multiculturalism, and community-building. We experience it by becoming aware of the skills needed to create authentic communities. The departments where Interns will be involved, for 26 hours each week, include: Dining Room, Kitchen, Economat, Housekeeping, Technical, Conference Administration, Caux Café/Coffee Beans, Reception and IT. Interns may spend some time in different departments depending on the needs at any given time. A willingness to serve and help where needed is important.

If you believe that there’s a link between teamwork and leadership through service and intractable international conflicts, come and explore it with us! For more information about each of the different department roles, click here. Please be aware that the information on the various departments serves as an orientation for you and gives a first impression of how each department works but this can vary. Interns will be allocated to their home department according to their skills and experiences coupled with the needs of the different departments, rather than from just their own personal preference.

Leadership Training Course

Beyond the service contribution in the day-to-day running of the house, and the orientation sessions of the Programme, there will also be a parallel training programme, which is central to the Caux Interns Leadership Programme experience. This will primarily be structured around the Leadership Course, which is a series of 14 two to three-hour workshops. Rather than a training course that gives you volumes of ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ this training course is there for you to challenge yourself to explore your own life and experience more deeply, to challenge yourself, and unlock your creative potential!

The course aims to:

  • Explore the relationship between individual change and societal change – the link between the personal and the global
  • Encourage personal and collective initiatives that are grounded in an application of personal values and standards
  • Develop an understanding of the nature of change, and the conditions that create change
  • Provide concrete tools for effectiveness in teambuilding and communication

The facilitation and training will draw on:

  • Interactive tools and models that deepen insights into the different themes (identity; the nature of change; listening and communication; cooperation and trustbuilding; intercultural dialogue; personal values and moral standards)
  • Group facilitation methodologies, including World Café, the Technology of Participation (ToP) and Open Space Technology;
  • Exercises in teamwork, cooperation, communication and listening skills
  • Discussions in large and small groups
  • Sharing of life-stories
  • Daily times of quiet reflection

Interns will also have the opportunity to meet with conference participants. You should note that opportunities to attend the conference sessions will be limited by commitments in the workshops and the departmental work – if you want to experience a conference fully, you might consider taking part as a conference participant directly after the Interns Leadership Programme (for the first session) or immediately before the programme (for the second session).

For a flavour of the Interns experience, have a look at this webpage created by one of the interns from 2013 (link is external)

Optional workshops

There will also be a number of optional workshops, and details of the plan for these will be updated as they are refined for 2016 – watch this space!


Dates for 2016

We are currently restructuring our programme for 2016. Please be advised that the dates have changed: there will be ONE session from 15 July 2016 – 15 August 2015.

The dates are subject to change. Interns are required to arrive and depart on these dates. Some exceptions will be made to accommodate people travelling from far away but only if agreed before booking, email us on We will address this on a case by case basis when the intern is accepted to the program. Please be aware that full commitment and presence during all workshops and workshifts is required. Therefore, before you apply, make sure that you are available during the entire session.



Applicants must be at least 18 years old by June 2016 but no more than 30 years old, and with a good command of English and preferably another language. French is especially useful (and is a requirement for work in the reception), but not a mandatory requirement for applications. Previous leadership and organisational experience is an advantage, as are skills related to the areas of service. Make sure to mention all your practical skills and experiences in your application. That said, one of the riches of the programme is the huge diversity of experience, education and background, injecting unexpected elements.

There are also some basic expectations that all applicants should have of the programme.

Please read these before you consider applying:

  • Early starts are often unavoidable. Breakfast is at 8.00am and all participants will be expected at an 8.30am daily briefing every morning, except days off. Some days will include activities before breakfast and those involved in the breakfast service, for instance, begin at 6.30am. Be prepared for the early morning mountain air!
  • Caux is a dynamic community and interns should come expecting to engage with the breadth of the programme as fully as possible. Days off are a great opportunity to explore further afield, but Interns are expected to stay in the vicinity of the Caux Conference Centre. If you intend to use the opportunity to travel, we strongly suggest you schedule it before or after the programme.
  • On the hours: we’ll aim to have no more than 35 hours of compulsory programmed activities in a week, including workshops and department work. Still, you should be flexible and willing to support your or other departments whenever needed in Caux, as it is a community of service.
  • Living in Community: you will be sharing a single-sex room with other Interns. It adds to the experience of living in community and the application of all that we discuss throughout the day in the programme.


Selection Timeline

Sorry, applications 2016 are now closed. Selected applicants will be interviewed before being accepted to the Programme.


Contribution to Costs

Board and lodging are fully covered, but participants are expected to fund their travel costs to and from Caux and to have adequate travel/health insurance for Switzerland. As the Caux Conference Centre is charitably funded through the contributions of many volunteers' time, talents and money, any financial contribution you are able to raise for your stay will be greatly appreciated.

If you or someone you know is able to contribute to the cost of an accepted intern whom otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend the program, please contact us. Diversity of background is of the highest importance to us and in no way do we want to limit anyone's ability to participate due to their financial situation.

  • For all confirmed participants, there will be a 250 CHF registration fee. Payment options can be found here.
  • Once your application as an intern has been accepted, please register through this page.
  • For questions regarding the payment of your registration fee or on how to register please contact the registration office.



If you would like to support the Caux Interns Programme with a donation, click the button below or download a one page donors' brochure here.




Sorry, applications 2016 are now closed!


How to join the Caux Interns Leadership Programme Faculty?

Have you been a Caux Intern before? Become part of the Interns Leadership Programm faculty!


Further Information & Contact