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    The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is an unpaid experience offering U.S. citizen students a chance to participate in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy.  Additional information can be found at https://careers.state.gov/intern/student-internships/

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    The Department of State tries to provide student interns with opportunities both educationally and professionally substantive in nature.  The purpose of the program is to provide students with insight into the work of U.S. foreign policy and the administration of the U.S. Department of State and its diplomatic facilities around the world.  Specific duties and responsibilities vary according to the domestic office or overseas post of assignment.  Former Department of State Student Interns have written reports on human rights issues, participated in trade negotiations, assisted with U.S. citizens services or visa work, helped Americans in distress abroad, supported and helped to coordinate international conferences and visits of high-level officials, researched economic or environmental issues, monitored and evaluated media reporting, supported educational and cultural exchange activities and identified U.S. experts to speak overseas, and worked on web pages and electronic journals.

    Other examples include interns with scientific and technical backgrounds working on issues such as arms control, genetically modified organisms (GMO's), infectious diseases, and remote sensing. Also, students interested in management and administration may use their expertise working on projects involving budgets, human resources, information systems, or general logistical support to posts abroad.

    Student interns may be required to do some routine administrative work.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0099 General Student Trainee

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    Conditions Of Employment

    To qualify you must: 

    1. Be a United States citizen.
    2. Be at least 16 years old.
    3. Be in good academic standing with at least a 3.0 GPA or higher.
    4. Be pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree.
    5. Be a college junior, senior, or graduate student with at least 60 credit hours—You are considered a college junior if you will be starting your junior year immediately following the completion of your internship. 
    6. Be enrolled in an accredited college or university on at least a part-time basis.
    7. Be a continuing student—This means that you will be returning to or have the intention at the time of application of returning to your course of study the semester/quarter, immediately following the completion of your internship.  Proof may be requested.
    8. Be able to receive and maintain a security clearance or public trust certificate.


    Please see the below "Requirements" section for a list of qualifications.


    Applicants should be pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree, on at least a part-time basis, with at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. College juniors, seniors, or graduate students with at least 60 credit hours are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Note: Applicants are considered a college junior if they will be starting the junior year of college immediately following the completion of the internship. Applicants must also be a continuing student with the expectation and intention of returning to their course of study the semester/quarter, immediately following the completion of the internship.  Proof may be requested.

    Additional information


    The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) advises that routine SECRET level clearances normally require 120 to 150 days to complete.  Investigations may take substantially longer if you have a history of extensive overseas travel, education, residence and/or employment; or if you have dual citizenship, foreign contacts, immediate family, relatives, and/or a spouse or partner who is a citizen of a foreign country.  In addition, if DS identifies a security, suitability, or medical issue, your investigation may require additional time to process and review.   These issues could include, but are not limited to, a current or past history of drug or alcohol abuse, indications of a mental or emotional health condition, or indications of financial problems.  You should consult the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Access to Classified Information (http://www.state.gov/m/ds/clearances/60321.htm ) to review how these considerations could affect your application.  Such issues may not necessarily preclude DS from granting you a security clearance, but they will likely lengthen the time required to complete the clearance process. 

    We cannot guarantee that every potential intern will be able to obtain a security clearance before the start of an internship, if at all.  Because the timeframe between conditional selection for an internship and entry on duty is relatively short (six to eight months), DS may not be able to adjudicate a non-routine case in time for the student to participate in the scheduled internship.  In addition, where the applicant has strong foreign ties to a particular country, approval for an internship in that country may be problematic.  We therefore encourage students to seek internship assignments in countries where they do not have substantial foreign ties. 

    It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

    REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION - The U.S. Department of State provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Office of Employee Relations, Disability/Reasonable Accommodations Division, at (202) 261-8163 or reasonableaccommodations@state.gov.  The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

    This position is not an appointment. Participants are uncompensated student volunteers in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3111 and are not considered federal employees for any purpose other than those listed in 5 U.S.C. 3111(c).  Any description of “excepted service” within this vacancy announcement is intended solely for categorization on the USAJOBs website and should not be construed as providing any rights or benefits in accordance with that appointment type.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Students will be evaluated by the bureaus they have applied to based upon a completed application denoting the applicant's education, experience, training, and background.

    Bureau offices and posts may make their final decision based upon a phone interview or by simply reviewing application materials.  If during the evaluation period, you are contacted by more than one office in the U.S. or overseas, based upon bureau entries listed in your application, please make note of your final decision so that if you have to communicate this to us, you can.

    Selected interns will be officially notified by the unpaid Student Internship Program team by e-mail per the timeline provided via https://careers.state.gov/intern/student-internships/.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance


    Drug test required


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    Required Documents

    Once you have completed the online questionnaire and Statement of Interest, you will be prompted to attach your transcript to your application for it to be considered complete.  Applications submitted before the deadline without the required document attached will not be considered.
    The required document is a current or most recent school transcript which must be included in your online application via the instructions below.  Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable.  However, if you are selected for an internship, you may be required to provide an official transcript before starting your internship.  Should your official transcript indicate that you are not an eligible student, your internship offer will be rescinded.

      Transcripts can be added to the job application by one of two methods:

    1. By uploading them (preferred method); or
    2. By fax, using the application generated fax coversheet (it will include a barcode and system generated phone number).

    If attaching your required document by fax, it is extremely important that only the system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used.  The cover sheets are coded to insure that your document is automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate cover sheet.
    If a document is faxed successfully, you will receive a system-generated e-mail confirming receipt.
    Please note the following:

    • Documents mailed or faxed directly to the U.S. Department of State, or any Department of State office either before or after the vacancy announcement has closed, will not be accepted.
    • Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement.  It is the responsibility of the student to verify their required document has been successfully received prior to the closing date of the job announcement.  Applicants can do so by going back into their application and verifying that documents have been attached.

     Technical questions about attaching the required document to your application, either via upload or fax using the system-generated coversheet and phone number, should be addressed to the Help Desk at 1-866-656-6830 or mgshelp@monster.com.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    The U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to work in U.S. Embassies and field offices throughout the world, as well as in various bureaus located in Washington, D.C. This program is designed to provide substantive experiences in a foreign affairs environment.

    Unpaid interns will not receive compensation for their internship. Interns are responsible for travel to and from their assignments.

    Participants in the Student Internship Program are considered “student volunteers”.  As such, they are not considered to be Federal employees for any purposes other than injury compensation or laws related to the Tort Claims Act.  Service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits.


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    Applications must be submitted electronically through the "Gateway to State" system.  To begin the application process, please click on the "Apply Online" button to the right.

    You have until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process. This includes submitting your online application as well as any required documents as defined in the Required Documents section.  Candidates are encouraged to complete their applications well before the application deadline to be assured of consideration.
    Please read all instructions carefully.
    There are three parts to the application process:

    • Applicant Profile (For applicants new to USAJOBS)
    • Internship Application, including Statement of Interest as part of the application questionnaire
    • Required Documents—Official Transcripts

    Part I-Applicant Profile

    Applicants new to USAJOBS must create an applicant profile by providing biographic and prior Federal government employment information, if any.  You must answer all "required" fields in order to proceed through the application process.  (If you are not new to USAJOBS, you can proceed directly to the intern application.)  All applicants must also "build" a USAJOBS resume.  You must complete these two steps in order to be able to move forward to the application in the Gateway to State.
    Note: Attaching a personal resume to your USAJJOBS profile is not sufficient.  You must build a USAJOBS resume. 
    Part II-Internship Application
    The second part of the online application process is specific to the internship program.  In this section, you will be required to: 

    • Answer questions regarding your personal, academic and employment credentials.
    • Identify up to two bureaus for which you wish to be considered for an internship assignment. 

    Note:  Applicants interested in working at overseas posts or branch offices outside of Washington D.C. must first indicate the bureau with responsibility over that location.  For example:  An applicant interested in working at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia will select WHA or the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.  Later in the application, applicants will be given a chance to identify the specific country in which the embassy or consulate is located.

    • Answer the question regarding the statement of interest that describes your objectives and motivation in seeking an internship. 

    Note: Bureau representatives rely heavily on statements of interest in making their selections. Therefore, your statement of interest should be concise, well written, and it should tell your story.  Explain how your academic courses and other personal experiences relate to the bureau(s), office(s), or overseas post(s) to which you are applying.  You may discuss what you will bring to the work of the office or post, and what you hope to take away from the internship experience.  You might highlight any disadvantages you may have overcome or relevant unique experiences.  Also, you can expand on any of your answers to questions asked in the application, such as language ability or other special skills.

    Agency contact information

    Student Programs Office








    U.S. Department of State
    2401 E Street, NW
    Room H-518
    Washington DC, District of Columbia 20522
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Department of State - Agency Wide, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    Application Status

    Applicants may view the status of their application on the Gateway to State site. CLICK HEREand enter login information. Click "Applications," under the "Application Status" heading select "More Information." On the following screen, applicants will be able to verify their application status.

    Internship On-boarding Deadlines 

    Application Deadline (including all supporting documents): March 2nd 

    **All supporting materials must be submitted to make the application complete.

    Applicants Receive Email Notification of Selection/Non-selection:   late-April

    **This email will come directly from the Student Internship Program

    Security Clearance Application & Official Transcripts Deadline: early-May

    Seasonal Security Clearance Deadline: mid-November

    Interns Enter on Duty: September through December  

    **Final date for domestic students to enter on duty is November 16, 2020 and for overseas students is November 23 2020 for overseas.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/558776400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.