About the Agency
The U.S. Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency responsible for advancing freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The Department’s employees, Foreign Service Officers and Specialists, Civil Service professionals and Foreign Service Nationals work at more than 270 embassies, consulates, and missions. Together, they help to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.
The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is an unpaid, intensive internship offering U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students a chance to participate in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, working closely with representatives of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign and Civil Services. The program is both professionally and academically beneficial, providing participants with hands-on experience and insight into the substance and daily operations of U.S. foreign policy.
About half of U.S. Department of State Student Internship participants serve in Washington, D.C., with a limited number of opportunities available at Department field offices and facilities in other cities in the United States. Approximately half of these opportunities are offered in many of the over 270 U.S. embassies, consulates and missions to international organizations around the world. The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is also the only program within the agency that offers U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas.
Applicants are allowed to select two bureaus or overseas posts in which they would like to work. U.S. Department of State Student Internships generally last 10 weeks. Participants must be able to work a full time schedule (minimum of 32 hours per week).
The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is NOT part of the Pathways Program. Unpaid internships in the U.S. Department of State Student Internship program cannot be non-competitively converted to Pathways Internship appointments, nor can they be non-competitively converted to career positions in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign or Civil Services.
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 Experience Interns should also expect to do some routine administrative work.