Established in 2014, the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program (USFSIP) is a merit and need-based opportunity that offers two paid summer internships that expose undergraduate students to U.S. diplomacy and the Department of State at large. The program is both professionally and academically beneficial as it provides writing training, diplomatic history, and hands-on experience to the daily operations of U.S. foreign policy.Learn more about this agency
USFSIP consists of participation for two consecutive summers. In the first summer (2019), participants come to Washington, D.C. for three weeks of training including: U.S. diplomatic history, Department writing, and professional development. Following the training, interns work for seven weeks on policy desks in regional and functional bureaus at State. The second summer (2020) is a ten week assignment to a U.S. embassy overseas. In the intervening year, USFSIP interns must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA and take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) to gain a better understanding of the Foreign Service assessment process.
Specific duties and responsibilities will vary according to the domestic office or overseas post of assignment.
Previous Department of State interns have summarized embassy reporting on current developments, written reports on human rights issues, drafted briefing papers for foreign policy meetings, helped review and vet proposed assistance projects and recipients, researched economic and environmental issues, monitored and evaluated media reporting, supported educational and cultural exchange activities and worked on web pages and electronic journals.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
To qualify you must:
- U.S. citizens enrolled in undergraduate degree program on at least a half-time basis
- Cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above
- Must be in their sophomore or junior year in a baccalaureate degree program when applying
- Must have firm plans to continue their education after the first USFSIP summer
- Must be available during program dates June 3, 2019- August 9, 2019 (Summer I)
- Must be able to obtain and maintain SECRET security clearance and remain in good academic standing (3.20 GPA or higher) for the duration of program.
QualificationsPlease see the below "Requirements" section for a list of required qualifications.
Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above. Students must be rising juniors or seniors when they begin the program, i.e., in their sophomore or junior year when applying.
The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is not a job program. It consists of two temporary appointments for experiential learning. USFSIP is NOT a Pathways program for paid students and recent graduate trainees.
All applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation for the necessary security clearance. Interns going overseas for the second summer of this internship program may be required to receive a higher level of clearance than previously required for the first summer in Washington.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) advises that routine SECRET level clearances normally require ~150 days to complete but 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. 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 selectee will be able to obtain a security clearance before the May 27th deadline. If a selectee is not able to secure a secret clearance by deadline- selectee cannot participate in program.
Other Internship Opportunities
If you wish to be considered for other internship opportunities within the Department of State, you are required to complete a separate job application per program. You will not be considered for another program without completing an application for that particular program.
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.
This agency 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
A selection panel will review the applications of qualified students who submit a complete and timely application package via USAJOBS. They determine the extent to which an applicant's education, experience, and background indicates that he/she possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the internship. The panel will review applications based on merit and financial need. Selection criteria are tied to the following dimensions sought in Foreign Service candidates: Cultural Adaptability; Information Integration and Analysis; Initiative and Leadership; Judgment; Oral Communication; Written Communication; Planning and Organizing; Working with Others.
Once selections are finalized, student files are forwarded to Department of State bureaus for internship placement. Representatives from the Bureaus may contact candidates directly for more information or possible interviews. Others may make selections based solely on the quality of a candidate’s written application.
Selected students may expect to receive notifications from the last week of October until December 1st. All selections are conditional and subject to receiving a security clearance by May 27th and maintaining the necessary academic standing.
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Diplomat in Residence or Washington Based Recruiters to discuss their interest in this program or State Department careers generally. (http://careers.state.gov/connect/dir)
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Part III – Required Documents
The third part of the application process is the submission of required documents. These documents MUST be included in your online application for it to be complete. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. These documents are any domestic or overseas transcript(s).
Transcripts: Your current or most recent transcript must be included in your online application per the instructions below. Usually one transcript is sufficient, but if an additional transcript is needed to document your stated GPA, you must supply it here. Both official AND unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. However, if you are selected for an internship, you will be required to provide official transcripts by December 1st. Your official transcript must show that you are a current and continuing student.
Part IV- Optional Documents
The fourth part of the application is the optional submission of the Student Aid Report (SAR) and resume.
SAR: If you have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you must submit a PDF copy of your latest Student Aid Report (SAR) showing your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). We must confirm the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) listed on the application.
If you did not complete a FAFSA- you will not need to submit a copy of your SAR. However, we highly encourage you to focus-in on the Statement of Financial Need/Adversity to tell us your story.
Resume: Carefully crafted resume Including clubs and organizations, research experience, work experience, volunteer experience, internships, and etc…
Special Note on Resume: Attaching a personal resume to your USAJOBS profile is not sufficient. You must build a resume in USAJOBS to be considered.
You can attach the required documents by either:
- By uploading them (preferred method); or
- By using the application generated fax coversheet (it will include a barcode and system generated phone number).
If attaching your required documents 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 documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate cover sheet.
Please note the following:
- Applications received without the required documents are automatically disqualified for consideration.
- 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 THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached.
If a document is faxed successfully, you will receive a system-generated e-mail confirming receipt.
Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.
Technical questions about attaching required documents 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 email@example.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.
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. Learn more about federal benefits.
Participants in the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program are considered temporary employees. As such, they are eligible to accrue leave and sick time but not eligible for Federal Employee Health Benefits or TSP coverage. Their internship service is not creditable for retirement benefits unless and until the intern is subsequently appointed into a Federal career position. USFSIP covers reasonable travel expenses to and from the internship and assists with housing.
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.
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 for guaranteed consideration. If you should run into any technical issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Help Desk at 1-866-656-6830 or mgshelp@Monster.com to ensure your application’s submission. Please read all instructions carefully. There are four parts to the online application process:
- Applicant Profile — for applicants new to USAJOBS
- USFSIP Application —including Statement of Interest, Statement of Financial Need/Adversity, and three essay questions
- Required Documents — transcript(s)
- Optional Documents— Student Aid Report (SAR) and resume
*Special Note on Documents*
If you have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you must submit a PDF copy of your latest Student Aid Report (SAR). We must confirm the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) listed on the application.
If you did not complete a FAFSA- you will not need to submit a copy of your SAR. However, we highly encourage you to focus-in on the Statement of Financial Need/Adversity to tell us your story.*
Part I – Applicant Profile
Applicants new to USAJOBS must create an applicant profile by providing biographic and prior Federal government employment information. 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.
Special Note on Resume: Attaching a personal resume to your USAJOBS profile is not sufficient. You must build a resume in USAJOBS to be considered.
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 a questionnaire regarding your personal, professional, academic, and extracurricular history.
- Identify up to two bureaus in which you would prefer to be placed during your Washington internship assignment. Please keep in mind, placement is based on the need of the bureau so there is no guarantee of preferred placement.
- Answer three short-essay questions, one from each group. You will be scored on both your writing skills and your answer content.
- One-page Statement of Interest that describes your objectives and motivation in seeking this internship. Please explain how your participation in this program would benefit your profession development and what you hope to gain from the internship. (Maximum 2500 characters, spaces included).
- ½ page- 1 page Statement of Financial Need/ Adversity. Please tell us about any financial hardship or impactful adversity you may have experienced affecting your overall financial standing. Please include any financial assistance (scholarships/grants, etc.) you may have received. (Maximum 2500 characters, spaces included).
- Note: Your statement of interest is important. It should demonstrate your ability to write concisely and clearly and it should tell your story.
Please see above for Part III and IV.
Agency contact information
USFSIP Program Manager
AddressU.S. Department of State
2401 E Street, NW
Washington DC, District of Columbia 20522
Applicants may view the status of their application on the Gateway to State site. CLICK HEREand enter your login information. Click "Applications," under the "Application Status" heading select "More Information." On the following screen, you will be able to verify your application status.
Application Timeline for 2019-2020 cycle
Application Deadline (including all supporting documents): September 11, 2018
Selectees notified of selection by Student Programs Office via e-mail: Mid-to-late October
Non-selects notified by e-mail by Student Programs Office via e-mail: Mid-to-late October
Selectees complete and submit security clearance paperwork and submit official transcripts: Late October- Early November
Interns Enter on Duty: June 3, 2019- Travel to DC is expected on Sunday, June 2, 2019.
Internship Ends: August 9, 2019- Travel home is expected on Saturday, August 10, 2019.
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/509592700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.