Summer Internship and Global Learning Opportunties

It’s the time of year when students’ thoughts begin to drift toward the end of the semester and the summer vacation that comes along with it. Many high school, college, and graduate students are trying to decide how to spend that time away from class. A google search for “internships” or “international affairs internships” or “internship abroad” turns up millions of hits — we’ve tried to narrow that field down to some of the best.

After the jump, you’ll find a list of internship opportunities, global learning programs, and additional resources to use for a more in-depth search. These are all organizations that we feel are trustworthy and worthwhile, but make sure to do your own research, too!

Internship Opportunities

Amnesty International – Internship Opportunities: AIUSA offers unpaid summer, fall, and spring internships in New York, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago to rising college juniors (and above).

Arms Control Association Internships: The Arms Control Association and Arms Control Today offer research and journalism internships in Washington, D.C. This internship program is best suited for undergraduate students.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Internships: APEC internships are open to graduate-level students who are nationals or permanent residents of APEC member economies. The Secretariat seeks candidates from a variety of academic disciplines, specifically those who have a strong interest in the work of international organisations and, in particular, international affairs and international economics.

The Carter Center Internship Program: Semester-long internships are open to college and graduate students and recent graduates in areas such as health, peace, and operations.

Center for Strategic and International Studies – Internships: CSIS offers full and part-time internships in the fall, spring and summer for undergraduates, advanced students, and recent graduates who are interested in gaining practical experience in public policy.

Central Intelligence Agency – Student Opportunities: The CIA has competitive internship opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students in a range of fields, including analytical; business, IT, and security; clandestine service; language; and science, engineering and technology. The student opportunities page also includes information on scholarship and Co-Op programs, as well as ongoing opportunities.

Council on Foreign Relations Internships: CFR offers volunteer internship opportunities for college students, graduate students, and graduates focusing on international relations and who are pursuing a career in foreign policy or a related field. Interns are recruited year-round on a semester basis to volunteer in both the New York and Washington, DC, offices, and all internships are filled on a rolling basis.

Doctors Without Borders – Paid Internship Program: A very competitive program, Doctors Without Borders offers internships in many departments, including HIV/AIDs, Human Resources, Marketing, Medical Editing, Planned Giving, Public Events, Press, and Web. Internships take place in New York.

European Union – Washington Delegation Internships: Open to college/university students and recent graduates, internships with the Washington Delegation are unpaid and preference is given to applicants who are available full-time. Internships are offered during the fall semester, spring semester, and summer.

Human Rights Watch Internships: Internships are available to both undergraduate and graduate-level students, both within the U.S. and abroad.

International Monetary Fund Internships: The IMF offers approximately 50 paid summer (May – October) internships each year to highly qualified PhD students.

Korea Economic Institute Internships: Applicants to KEI should be graduate students (or exceptional undergraduate students) with a background in political science and/or economics as well as an interest in Asia-Pacific issues, especially Korea. Internships are offered for the fall, spring, and summer

NATO Internships: The application window for a NATO internship is from April-July for the following year. Internships last 6 months, and begin in either September or March. Application requirements include an online application form, CV, and letter of motivation.

United Nations Internships: The UN Programme on Youth provides list of internships available with the United Nations. Please visit each link for details and applicant criteria.

United States Commercial Service Internships: The U.S. Commercial service offers student volunteer internships at U.S. Field Offices, Headquarters, and International Field Offices. This page provides more information about applying to the different locations.

United States Department of State – Student Programs: This page offers information for high school, college, and graduate/post-graduate opportunities within the State Department, including internships and a summer clerical program.

United States Office of Personnel Management – Student Jobs (  This website is the portal to all job and internship applications for the federal government. Internships can be found by searching the site for “internship,” while this page also offers information on the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), summer jobs, and volunteer experiences.

USAID Internships: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) offers paid and volunteer-based internships, both domestically and abroad, for college and graduate students.

White House Internships: Applicants for a White House internship must be U.S. citizens who will be at least 18 years old on the first day of the internship, and must be enrolled in an academic program. A completed application for this competitive program includes two essay questions, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.

World Affairs Councils: Like the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, many World Affairs Councils across the country offer internships at their organization. This link goes to the World Affairs Councils of America list of member Councils.

World Bank Internships: The World Bank offers paid internships in the summer (June-September) and winter (December-March), primarily in Washington, D.C. Applicants are required to be graduate or PhD students who have ideally completed one or more years of graduate-level education at the time of the internship.


Summer Travel and International Learning Opportunities

American Middle East Institute – Arabic Immersion Program: Pittsburgh-based AMEI offers this opportunity to 15 motivated students, in partnership with Washington & Jefferson College. The program begins with an Arabic-immersion session at W&J, followed by two weeks in Oman.

Amizade Global Service-Learning: This Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization offers opportunities for individuals and groups to travel abroad to participate in service-learning opportunities. There are also accredited study-abroad opportunities, offered in partnership with WVU.

Global Scholar: An intensive two-week academic enrichment program that offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to sharpen their understanding of international affairs in a university setting. Global Scholar Prep is held at American University in Washington, D.C.

National Geographic – Student Expeditions: Students completing 9th through 12th grades are eligible to participate in National Geographic Student Expeditions. There are three types of trips offered: expeditions, field workshops, and community service programs.

Summer at Georgetown: Georgetown University’s Summer Programs for High School Students include a range of activities, including Institutes on International Relations and National Security/Counter-Intelligence; Fundamentals of Business: Leadership in a Global Economy; and summer courses on a range of international topics.

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh Summer Seminar on World Affairs: Open to rising high school juniors and seniors, the Council offers this week-long program at Duquesne University. Participants hear from regional experts and tackle substantive foreign policy issues during the Seminar.

World Learning: A partner of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh’s Global Travel Scholarship Program, World Learning offers travel learning opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. The Experiment in International Living offers 3-5 week programs for high school students in 30 different countries, while SIT Study Abroad offers college students more than 70 semester, academic year, and summer programs around the world.

Additional Resources

American Foreign Service Association – Student Resources: The AFSA provides students with information on careers in Foreign Service, internship opportunities in foreign affairs, and other ways to become involved with international relations.

EuroBrussels – Internship Level Jobs: This site lists European Affairs internships/traineeships that are not affiliated with the EU Institutions. Interested applicants will need to contact the organizations or read the requirements to verify whether U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

European Union Institutions – Traineeships for Students: A listing of internships at the Institutions of the EU in Brussels. There may be a limited number of internship positions available for non-EU students.

European Youth Portal – Traineeships: This site lists European Affairs internships/traineeships that are not necessarily affiliated with the EU Institutions. Interested applicants will need to contact the organizations or read the requirements to verify whether U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

Foreign Policy Association Global Job Board: The FPA provides an extensive list of job and internship opportuntities, searchable by level, location, and sector. A great resource for internship- and job-seekers alike.

Global Career Blog (Passport Career): Although the main Passport Career site requires registration (and payment) the blog is available to everyone, and is full of advice for job-searching and working abroad.

Human Rights Internship Resource Library (University of Iowa Center for Human Rights): A great list of internship opportunities within the field of human rights, organized by region.

Internships – The Best Places to Start (BusinessWeek): Although dated (this chart is from 2009), BusinessWeek offers a look at some of the best corporations to consider for internships. Anyone interested in international business should check out this list.