Foreign Service-Related Opportunities for Students
American Foreign Service Association Internships
Who: U.S. undergraduate and graduate students. International students with the ability to work in the U.S. are also accepted. Typically, interns are college Juniors or Seniors.
What: AFSA provides several internship opportunities at our offices in Washington DC. Internships can be found in the following departments: Awards, Communications, Editorial/Journalism, Elections, Labor Management, Publications/Advertising, and Scholarships. In addition to internship-specific tasks, all interns plan and attend AFSA events, conduct research, and attend meetings.
When/Where: Seasonal internships in Washington DC.
How: For more information on all AFSA internships and how to apply, please visit www.afsa.org/internships.
Funding: Stipend between $300 and $700 depending on time commitment
National Security Language Institute for Youth
Who: U.S. citizen high school students, age 15-18, with 2.5 GPA or above.
What: Opportunities to study less commonly taught languages in immersion programs abroad. Languages include Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.
When/Where: Summer or Academic Year/Selected countries worldwide.
How: Apply via www.nsliforyouth.org.
Funding: Travel, lodging with host families and language studies are funded.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for High School Students and Young Professionals, Germany
Who: U.S. citizen, national and Legal Permanent Resident high school students (age 15-18), with GPA 3.0 or above; and U.S. citizens, nationals and Legal Permanent Residents (age 18-24) with some relevant experience in their career field (work, internship or volunteer). What: Cultural exchange to study abroad in Germany. Meet with government officials while learning German language and culture. Live with a host family and make connections with State Department program alumni.
When: Academic Year/Germany.
How: Apply via www.usagermanyscholarship.org/app (high school) and https://cbyx.info (young professional).
Funding: Travel, lodging and academic studies are funded.
American Youth Leadership Programs
Who: U.S. citizen high school students, age 15-17, with at least one semester remaining upon return. Specific programs may be open only to students from a particular city, state or geographic region.
What: Leadership training exchange program to gain firsthand knowledge of foreign cultures and examine globally significant issues.
When/Where: Three to four weeks in summer/Worldwide.
How: Apply to individual programs via exchanges.state.gov/us/program/american-youth-leadership-program.
Funding: Travel, lodging and program fees are funded.
Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program
Who: U.S. citizen high school students at time of application, age 15-18.
What: Cultural exchange opportunities to enroll in local high schools and live with host families in selected countries.
When/Where: Academic year/Selected countries worldwide.
How: Apply via www.yes-abroad.org.
Who: U.S. citizen students or recent graduates age 16 and older.
What: Paid internship opportunities to work in federal agencies* and explore federal careers while attending school with possible eligibility for conversion to permanent employment in the Civil Service.
When/Where: Full-time and seasonal openings, announced on an ongoing basis/United States.
How: Apply to individual vacancies via www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads.
Funding: Internships are paid. Payment follows the General Schedule wage plan.
U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program
Who: U.S. citizen college students with 60 credits at start of internship who will be continuing their studies immediately after the internship.
What: Opportunities to gain practical, professional experience in a foreign affairs environment and insight into the substance and daily operations of U.S. foreign policy.
When/Where: 8-14 weeks, full time, in summer, spring and fall/Worldwide, at U.S. Department of State offices in Washington and other U.S. cities and more than 100 U.S. embassies abroad.
How: Apply via usajobs.gov. Deadlines may vary, but traditionally are mid-October for summer, March 1 for fall and July 1 for spring of the following year. Interested students should sign up for email alerts using the “Keep Me Informed” feature on careers.state.gov and clicking the “Student Programs” box on the menu. More information at careers.state.gov/intern/student-internships.
Funding: Internships are unpaid. Housing may be provided at some overseas posts.
Critical Language Scholarship Program
Who: U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students who have completed one year of course work at start of program.
What: Opportunities to study one of 14 critical languages in immersion programs abroad. Languages offered: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.
When/Where: Summer/Selected countries worldwide.
How: Visit www.clscholarship.org/index.php.
Funding: Program, housing and travel costs are covered.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Who: U.S. citizen undergraduates who are Pell Grant recipients and have been accepted into a credit-eligible study abroad program or overseas internship (including internships with the U.S. Department of State) lasting at least two weeks for students studying at a 2-year institution and four weeks for those at a 4-year institution.
When/Where: Spring, summer, fall or academic year/Any country except Cuba or those on the U.S. Department of State travel warning list.
How: Apply via www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program. Deadlines vary according to program.
Funding: Up to $5,000, with an additional $3,000 available for critical-need language study.
Boren Awards for International Study—Boren Scholarships (undergrads) and Boren Fellowships (graduate students)
Who: U.S. citizen undergraduate or graduate students.
What: Funding for study abroad.
When: For scholarships, semester, academic year and (for STEM fields only) summer. For fellowships, academic year.
Where: Worldwide excluding Western Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
How: Apply via https://borenawards.org/scholarships/how-apply/boren-scholarship-how-apply and https://www.borenawards.org/boren-fellowship-application-check-list. Note that Boren Fellowship applicants commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.
Funding: Scholarships, up to $20,000 for study abroad; fellowships, up to $24,000 for overseas study, up to $6,000 for domestic language study.
Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program (undergraduate)
Who: U.S. citizen full-time undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.2 or above.
What: Six-week program designed to provide undergraduates with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs and a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs.
When/Where: Summer/Washington, D.C.
How: Apply via www.rangelprogram.org. Deadline is early February.
Funding: Tuition, travel, housing, two meals per day and a stipend of $3,200.
Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program
Who: U.S. citizens who plan to attend graduate school and who are interested in a Foreign Service career. Members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need are encouraged to apply.
What: Funding for two years of graduate study in a field related to the work of the U.S. Department of State and two paid summer internships, the first on Capitol Hill and the second at a U.S. embassy. After graduation, fellows must fulfill a five-year service commitment as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State.
When: First internship takes place the summer before the start of graduate school in the fall.
Where: U.S. graduate school of candidate’s choice. Internships in DC and abroad.
How: Apply via www.rangelprogram.org.
Funding: Costs of graduate study (tuition and living expenses) are covered, up to $37,500 per academic year. Internships are paid.
Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and Graduate Foreign Affairs Scholarship (undergraduate and graduate students)
Who: U.S. citizens planning to attend graduate school in a field related to the work of the U.S. Department of State and who are interested in a Foreign Service career. Members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need are encouraged to apply.
What: Funding for senior year and the first year of graduate school, two paid summer internships with the U.S. Department of State. After graduation, fellowship recipients must fulfill a five-year service commitment as an FSO with the State Department.
When: Two paid internships, the first of which is prior to the start of graduate studies in the fall.
Where: U.S. graduate school of candidate’s choice.
How: Apply via www.twc.edu/thomas-r-pickering-foreign-affairs-fellowship-program.
Funding: Up to $37,500 per academic year. Internships are paid.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Who: U.S. citizen graduating seniors, Master’s students, doctoral students, and young professionals.
What: A wide range of fellowships for academic study, research and teaching English abroad.
When/Where: Varies according to program/Around the world.
How: Current students must apply through their school. See: eca.state.gov/fulbright/fulbright-programs for a full list of programs and us.fulbrightonline.org for a list of Fulbright on-campus advisors.
Funding: Varies based on program.
Presidential Management Fellowship
Who: U.S. citizen graduate students in the final academic year of their degree or U.S. citizens who have completed a graduate degree within two years of the application deadline, who have a clear interest in public service.
What: The premier federal government leadership development program, designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders.
When/Where: Two years, full time/Washington, D.C., and Department of State offices around the United States.
How: Apply via www.pmf.gov and www.usajobs.org. Application opens for two weeks during September.
Funding: Two-year appointment as a salaried federal government employee.
Diplomacy Fellows Program
Who: U.S. citizens interested in a career as a Foreign Service officer who have a graduate degree in a field relevant to work of the U.S. Department of State and who have participated in and successfully completed one of the following programs within five years of the vacancy announcement:
• American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Diplomacy Fellows.
• Boren Graduate Fellowship Fellows.
• Fascell Fellows.
• Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellows.
• Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows.
• Presidential Management Fellows at the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development.
• Harry S. Truman Scholars.
• Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholars.
• Charles B. Rangel Fellows.
What: Diplomacy Fellows are advanced directly to the Oral Assessment in the Foreign Service Officer selection process. See careers.state.gov/work/fellowships/diplomacy-fellows.
Virtual Student Foreign Service
Who: U.S. citizen recent high school graduates starting college or university in the fall and current undergraduates.
What: Opportunities to work on projects at various federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense, USAID, etc.
When: 5-10 hours weekly throughout the academic year.
Where: Students remain on campus and work online.
How: Apply via www.usajobs.gov. Students apply for up to three specific projects. For details, see www.state.gov/vsfs. Applications are due in July for the following academic year. Interested students should sign up to receive the program announcement using the “Keep Me Informed” feature on careers.state.gov and clicking the “Student Programs” box on the menu.
Who: Minority college students. TLG (Thursday Luncheon Group) aims to increase participation of African Americans and other minorities in foreign policy. HECFAA stands for the Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies.
What: TLG and HECFAA support minority college students who are interning at the U.S. Department of State. (Read more about AFSA's involvement in this program here).
When: Summer internship.
Where: U.S. Department of State.
How: Apply via careers.state.gov Announcements tend to occur in mid-September and should be submitted by November 1. The TLG president is Mr. Stacy Williams, who is the main point of contact for this internship program. All inquiries should be directed to him. The email for HECFAA is HECFAABoard2@state.gov.
Funding: Both programs include a stipend for the student.
The White House Internship: A Public Service Leadership Program
Who: U.S. citizen undergraduate students, graduate students, or veterans with a high school diploma or equivalent.
What: Work in the White House with assignments that include conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.
When/Where: Washington, D.C., Fall, Spring or Summer.
How: Apply via https://www.whitehouse.gov/participate/internships/apply. For Spring 2018, the application is posted on July 26 and due August 25. For Summer 2018, the application is posted on November 29 and due January 12, 2018
Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Internship
Who: Students at an accredited College or University.
What: An internship concerning diplomatic history. Interns listen to records of oral history for stories that could be noted on Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History. Interns also regularly conduct interviews with Foreign Service Officers and Ambassadors.
When/Where: Primarily during the summer and academic year. Located at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.
How: email Executive Director Judith Baroody with the following: Resume, Cover Letter, A 3-5 page writing sample. Deadlines for applications are: early December for the Spring semester; mid-March for the Summer semester; and mid-July for the Fall semester.
Funding: Unpaid except for a stipend to cover transportation costs
DACOR Bacon House Foundation
Who: Graduate or Undergraduate students studying at an accredited college or university in the Washington DC area.
What: Current internships include the Program Internship, which takes reservations for programs, checks members in at events, writes summaries for the Bulletin and provides general office support, and the Events Internship, which assists with event planning, scheduling and management, and provides general office support.
When/Where: Full Time. Washington DC. NOT REGULARLY HIRING.
How: Apply by sending an email of inquiry to email@example.com with resume attached.
U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program
Who: U.S. citizen undergraduate sophomores or juniors with at least a 3.2 GPA and an interest in international affairs.
What: A two-year Foreign Service internship that takes place in the summer. The first Summer, students are in Washington DC and work on a policy desk while receiving classroom education about US foreign policy. The second Summer is spent at an Embassy abroad.
When/Where: Two years, full time/Washington, D.C., and Department of State offices around the United States.
How: Apply via www.usajobs.gov. Application opens for a week during late September. More information at https://careers.state.gov/usfsip/.
Funding: Two-summer appointment as a salaried federal government employee.
American Enterprise Institute
Who: Experienced undergraduate and graduate students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. The most successful candidates have at least a 3.5 GPA.
What: AEI is a research based think tank in Washington DC. Internships are both on the research side (Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics) and business side (Executive office, Accounting, Communications).
When/Where: Fall, Spring and Sumer. In Washington, D.C.
How: Apply via https://aei-openhire.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.welcome&category_id=36328&company_id=16410&version=1&startflag=1&levelid1=36328.
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Who: At least a college junior. Advanced students and recent graduates also accepted. At least a 3.0 GPA.
What: CSIS is an internationally-focused think tank in Washington DC. Interns assist in research for individual scholars, attend events, prepare briefing material, create PowerPoints, etc.
When/Where: Internships are seasonal and located in Washington DC.
How: Apply via https://csiscareers.silkroad.com/.
Funding: Unpaid except for financial aid stipends
Council on Foreign Relations
Who: Undergraduate and graduate students with majors in international relations, political science, economics, or a related fields.
What: CFR interns help citizens better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Internships include working for the Executive Office, CFR.org, the Studies Program, Publications, Communications, the Meetings Program, the Corporate Program, and Foreign Affairs publishing.
When/Where: Year round on a semester basis. Located in New York and Washington DC. Each semester requires a part-time commitment of at least sixteen to twenty-one hours per week.
How: Apply via https://www.cfr.org/career-opportunities/volunteer-internships.
Organization of American States
Who: Undergraduates in at least their second year of college. Graduate students also accepted. Must have a 3.0 GPA. Fluency in French, Spanish, or Portuguese required.
What: Internship with OAS, which is an international political organization that aims to resolve and prevent conflicts. Internships help to support Democracy, Human Rights, Multi-dimensional Security and Integral Development in the Americas.
When/Where: Seasonal internships in Washington, D.C. and Central/South America.
How: Apply via http://www.oas.org/en/saf/dhr/internships/indexEN.asp Application for Washington DC Summer internship begins on January 28.
The Aspen Institute
Who: Graduate or Undergraduate students.
What: Opportunity to work at an educational and policy studies organization. Responsibilities can include research, data entry, editing, administrative work, etc.
When/Where: Seasonal internships. Mostly in Washington DC, but potential for internship in New York or Aspen, Colorado.
How: Apply via https://www.aspeninstitute.org/careers/career-opportunities/.
Funding: Paid. Depends on specific internship
Center for International Policy
Who: Undergraduate and graduate students.
What: Depending on the specific internship, interns will help progressive organizations integrate foreign policy issues into their program activities, conduct research on US military arms sales, advocate for peaceful resolutions to conflicts.
When/Where: Seasonal internships in Washington DC.
How: Apply via https://www.ciponline.org/get-involved/internships. Application for spring are reviewed in November, application for Summer are reviewed in March, and applications for Fall are reviewed in June.
Funding: Full-time interns receive nominal stipend. Approximately $500 per month