Caux Interns Programme page featured image


Building a dynamic network of young changemakers

The Caux interns leadership programme is an opportunity for young people to experience the full richness of the Caux conference centre: to contribute their service to the conferences, and through the training program to engage with the needs of the world, developing a deeper sense of where they can contribute. Forget what you would expect from a ‘normal’ internship and traditional ideas of ‘leadership’ – this programme asks you to challenge everything, starting with yourself.

Aims of the Interns Programme:

  • To provide training opportunities and courses to interns in leadership and intercultural skills.
  • To provide an introduction to Initiatives of Change (IofC), and exposure to these ideas ‘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.


Caux international conference centre, 1000m above Montreux, Switzerland.

The Programme

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, led by Caux interns. Interns have a unique opportunity to develop skills and receive training in leading international teams, as well as participate in conferences and follow workshops offered specifically for the interns team. Completion certificates are given.

Service (approx. 26 hours/week)

Interns in the kitchen serviceInterns in the kitchen serviceHospitality is a core value of the Caux conferences and of the 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, trust-building, 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 include: dining room, kitchen, economat, housekeeping, technical, secretariat, allocation, reception and flower arrangements. Interns may spend some time in different work areas depending on the needs at any given time. A willingness to serve and help where needed is important. For more information about each of the different department roles, please click here.

Training (approx. 10 hours/week)

Training sessionTraining session

Beyond the service contribution to the day-to-day running of the house, there will also be a parallel training programme, which is central to the interns’ experience.This will primarily be structured around the Inside Change course, which aims:

  • To explore the relationship between personal change and societal change – the link between the intimate and the global
  • To encourage personal and collective initiatives that are grounded in an application of personal values and standards
  • To develop an understanding of the nature of change, and the conditions that create change
  • To provide concrete tools for effectiveness in teambuilding and communication
  • To develop an understanding of the concept of freedom that is empowering for action in the world

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; integrity—personal and social responsibility)
  • 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 training programme and the departments – if you want to experience a conference fully, you might consider taking part as a participant directly after the interns 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

The Caux Café Project

Caux Café audienceCaux Café audienceBuilding on a trial in 2012, in 2013 the Interns will be responsible for the running of the Caux Café. There is a lot of serious business in Caux, but many of the most important encounters take place in an informal environment. As well as the meal-times, which are more than just a pause for physical sustenance, Caux creates other less structured spaces. The Caux Café is one example, open after dinner and through the evening. The Interns team as a whole will take on responsibility for the Caux Café. This means ensuring the basic operation - the food and drinks, music, cleanliness, etc - but gives the scope to plan creative, relaxed evenings for conference participants, including the other young people in the Centre. That should sound like fun, but it’s easier said than done, so be prepared…

Dates for 2014

Session 1: (Arrive 22) 23 June, 2014 - 21 July, 2014 (Depart 22)

Session 2: (Arrive 16) 17 July, 2014 - 14 August, 2014 (Depart 15)


interns on the terraceinterns on the terraceApplicants must be at least 18 years old by June 2014 but no more than 30 years, and with a good command of English and preferably another language. French is especially useful (and is a requirement for work in the reception). Previous leadership and organisational experience is an advantage, as are skills related to the areas of service. 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:

  • The interns programme is for people who care about personal and global change; and who care enough to challenge themselves – that includes the faculty. Much of the training programme will be based around the exploration of tools that address both these dimensions of change. An inquiring spirit - looking for better questions, not bringing pre-formed answers – is central to the experience.
  • Early starts are often unavoidable. Breakfast is at 8.00am and all interns will be expected at an 8.30am daily briefing every morning, except days off. Some days will include activities before breakfast and those involved on 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 it is an expectation that interns will, in general, remain on the conference centre campus at other times. If your priority is a summer holiday base to see the sights of Switzerland, you have come to the wrong place.

Selection Timeline

Interviews of a short-list will take place in February 2014, and the final selection will be made by mid-March, 2014.

Contribution to Costs

Board and lodging are fully covered, but Interns are expected to fund their travel costs to and from Caux. As the Caux 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 that otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend the program, please contact us. Diversity of background is of the highest important to us and in no way do we want to limit anyone's ability to participate due to their financial situation.

For all Interns who are selected, there will be a registration fee of 250 CHF for the Interns Programme.

Once your application as an intern has been accepted, you may pay this fee by clicking the button below or by direct transfer to a Caux account.


Foundation CAUX-Initiatives of Change, CH-6002 Lucerne:

  • Postfinance: 60-12000-4
  • Bank Account (CHF):
    - Credit Suisse, Lucerne, 249270-61-5
    - IBAN CH38 0483 5024 9270 6100 5
    - Swift code CRESCHZZ80A


To donate, click the button below or download a one page donors' brochure here.


Further Information and Application


Application Closed for 2014!




Caux 2014: Check out our summary of articles and information from the international conferences in Caux 2014


Coming up soon: Dates and conference themes for Caux 2015