You are eligible to apply if you are:
- A full- or part-time continuing college or university junior, senior, or graduate student. An applicant is considered a junior if he/she will have completed all sophomore credits (60 or more semester hours or 90 quarter hours) by the time the internship begins and will be entering at least the junior year immediately following completion of the internship.
IMPORTANT: If you are applying for an internship after receiving an undergraduate degree, you must indicate in your Statement of Interest and on the Employment Data Form that you will be a continuing student immediately upon completion of your internship. If this is not indicated, it will be assumed that you are not a continu-ing student and your application will not be considered. If registered for a graduate program, you may have to show proof of acceptance.
- A U.S. citizen, and;
- In good academic standing in an accredited institution.
In accordance with the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program, the Department encourages women and minority students with an interest in foreign affairs to apply for these positions.
Duties of an Intern
The Department is looking for students with a broad range of majors, such as Business or Public Administration, Social Work, Economics, Information Management, Journalism, and the Biological and Physical Sciences, as well as those majors more traditionally identified with international affairs.
Intern duties and responsibilities may vary according to post or office of assignment. For instance, interns may write reports on human rights issues, assist with trade negotiations, assist with citizens services or visa work, help Americans in distress abroad, or organize conferences or visits of high-level officials. Others may research economic or environmental issues, write news stories, work on web pages or help produce electronic journals. Those interested in administrative management may use their expertise working on projects involving budgets, human resources, information systems, or general logistical support to posts abroad. Some may be involved in educational and cultural exchange activities.
Interns are also instrumental in the recruiting of U.S. speakers and specialists for overseas programs.
Internships are excellent preparation for future careers in international affairs, both for the Civil Service and the Foreign Service.
Types of Internships
- Domestic - About half of the internships are in Washington, D.C. From time to time, intern positions may be available at Department offices in other large cities in the United States.
- Overseas - The remaining internships are at our embassies and consulates abroad. Not all overseas posts are able to participate in the program, and participation may vary from year to year. For more information, please refer to the participating offices and bureaus page.
IMPORTANT: Applicants who wish to intern abroad must present evidence of medical insurance coverage that is valid abroad, to include medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage. This proof must be presented to the Intern Office or bureau coordinator before travelling to post.
Length of Internships
Students must be available to begin their internship within the date on our Application Processing Timetable (Intern Enter on Duty). Interns usually serve for one semester or quarter during the academic year, or for a minimum of 10 weeks during the summer; they are expected to work a 40-hour week.
Salary and Benefits
- The majority of all internships are UNPAID. When funds are available, a few paid internships (less than 5% of about 800 internships) are granted, primarily to students who can demonstrate financial need by including in their internship application package one copy of their last Financial Aid Transcript or one copy of the Student Aid Report generated from their submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (OMB 1840-0110).
- Paid interns receive a temporary appointment at the GS-4 through GS-7 grade level, based on education, work experience, and availability of funds. If the appointment is for 90 days or more, the intern earns annual and sick leave at the rate of four hours per bi-weekly pay period plus paid Federal holidays during the period worked. Paid interns contribute to Social Security.
- Although unpaid interns are not Federal Government employees, and are not entitled to any employee benefits, they are protected in the event of job-related injuries under the Federal Torts Claims Act.
- Many educational institutions grant academic credit for internships and/or offer financial aid for internships.
Housing is not provided in the Washington, D.C. area and arrangements and associated costs are the responsibility of the interns. A listing of suggested housing alternatives in Washington, D.C. is mailed with the selection package. Abroad, every effort is made to provide housing at no cost to interns, but circumstances may vary at different posts, so this cannot be guaranteed. The bureau descriptions include guidance on bureau housing policies.
The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, constitutionally protected activity.