Paid Internships in International Relations

Disclosure: International Relations Careers may be compensated by course providers.

There are many benefits to paid internships, including the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and earn a salary. Paid internships can also lead to full-time employment after graduation.

Some organizations offer paid internships as part of their college recruiting programs. These internships may be open to all students, or they may be targeted to specific majors or degree programs. Below we have created an extensive list of paid internships in International Relations.

Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Internships

CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA. The organisation offers paid full- and part-time internships in a variety of areas including research, public policy, writing and project development. Interns participate in in-house leadership trainings and develop key policy skills during their assignments. All future interns apply to a specific department or program. CSIS is accepting internship applications three times per year. Applicants for CSIS internships must be at least a college junior in good standing, an advanced student or a recent graduate. Interns must be eligible to work in the United States.

American Foreign Service Association Internships (AFSA)

The American Foreign Service Association was founded in 1924 and is the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA is offering paid internships that pay a stipend between $300 and $700. Undergraduate and graduate students with the ability to work in the U.S. are welcome to apply. Interns conduct research, attend meetings and events and fulfill a variety of other tasks. AFSA offers internships in four sectors including Communications and Educational Outreach, Journalism and Editorial, Labor Management and Outreach. Interns may be considered for full-time employment. All internships are seasonal and located in Washington D.C.

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is a nonprofit think tank founded in 1921, specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs with headquarters in New York City and an additional office in Washington, D.C., USA. Internship programs are offered for college and graduate students who are interested in international relations as well as those interested in a range of areas such as editorial, digital, and communications. Interns receive training in the field of foreign policy and international affairs as well as skills training in writing, research and program planning. Interns are paid a competitive hourly wage while gaining valuable experience through exposure to leading foreign policy experts. Summer internship opportunities are on a fully remote/virtual basis.

German Institute for Security and International Affairs

The German Institute for Security and International Affairs is a German think tank in international relations and security studies conducting independent, practice-driven research with headquarters in Berlin, Germany. SWP offers a limited number of three-month full-time internships for highly motivated students. Interns at SWP receive €300 per month. Interns must have a very good knowledge of English (written and spoken). The internship program is particularly focused on young academics in political science and related social sciences as well as undergraduate and graduate students under specific requirements. SWP allocates interns in 7 different research divisions who have their own specific requirements.

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) is an independent think tank that provides strategic advice to governments, non-governmental organizations and corporations. HCSS offers paid internships all year round. Interns conduct strategic research and multidisciplinary analysis of international and national security issues and broader geopolitical, economic, societal, and environmental trends. Candidates must be enrolled as a student at a university during the whole internship period. All internships are located in The Hague, The Netherlands.

UPR Info

UPR Info is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and two regional offices: in Bangkok, Thailand, for Asia and in Nairobi, Kenya, for Africa. The organisation strives to strengthen human rights through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). UPR Info supports the inclusive and effective participation of stakeholders throughout the UPR process, including United Nations (UN) Member States, NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and civil society, and to provide these critical actors with the capacity-building tools to improve human rights on the ground. Interns receive a fixed stipend for the duration of the internship. Applicants must be enrolled in a post-secondary degree program for the duration of the internship and meet the requirements for a valid Swiss permit.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States federal government primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. Interns generally work in one of USAID’s offices in Washington, D.C., supporting program work in economic growth, agriculture, education, health, environment, democracy and governance, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance. The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Upon completion of the program interns may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the Civil Service. USAID may offer paid internships in countries where the agency actively operates.

Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations

Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations is a foreign policy think-tank established in 2009, to engage India’s leading corporations and individuals in debate and scholarship on India’s foreign policy and its role in global affairs. Interns will be assigned to Editorial & Content, Operations, or Research Departments and work on various projects to support the institution. Applicants must be pursuing a Master’s degree or be in the fifth year of studies in a five-year degree. The minimum duration of the intern program is 90 days with the possibility of an extension. The internship is located in Mumbai, India. Interns receive a stipend of Rs. 5000 per month.

The Center for International Policy (CIP)

The Center for International Policy is a non-profit foreign policy research and advocacy think tank with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and offices in New York City, USA. CIP’s scholars, researchers, journalists, analysts and former government officials provide a unique mixture of issue-area expertise, access to high-level officials, media savvy and strategic vision. CIP offers 4 internship programs with particular requirements for each program. Full time interns will receive a $1,000 per month stipend meanwhile part-time interns will have their stipend prorated.

Independent Diplomat

Independent Diplomat (ID) is a nonprofit diplomatic advisory group.  Staffed by former diplomats, international lawyers and experts in international relations, ID offers strategic advice and assistance on diplomatic technique and strategy to governments, international institutions, non‐governmental organizations and political groups. ID currently has offices in New York, London, Brussels, Geneva and Hargeisa. ID internships provide an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates looking to gain hands-on training and experience by being closely involved in a fast‐paced international team working at the cutting edge of international affairs and diplomacy. The internships pay a monthly stipend and have a duration of no less than 4 months.

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs is a diplomacy think tank with a focus on foreign policy and economic diplomacy based in the Himalayan region in Kathmandu, Nepal. Interns receive practical experience theoretical facets of international relations and foreign policy-making. Applicants must be in the final year of bachelor degree or enrolled in a master’s degree or PHD. The duration of the internship programs can be from three months to six months long. Summer internships are also available. Full-time interns receive a minimum stipend.

Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG)

Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) is an independent, nonpartisan, educational membership organization that promotes global engagement and the leadership, visibility and participation of women in international affairs. Part-time internships are unpaid, however full-time interns who commit to 3.5 months (15 weeks) during the academic year or three months (13 weeks) during the summer are eligible for a $1000 stipend upon completion of the internship. Applicants must be enrolled in or recently graduated from a Bachelor’s or Master’s program and be eligible to work in the United States.

Fund for Peace (FFP)

The Fund for Peace is an American non-profit, non-governmental research and educational institution founded in 1957 with headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA.  FFP offers paid internships every semester. Interns receive significant responsibility, exposure to international and NGO communities and gain practical experience in the international relations field. FFP offers both part-time and full-time internships. Part-time interns receive a stipend of $350 per month while full-time interns receive a stipend of $700 per month. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. Interns may be considered for full-time employment.

National Democratic Institute of International Affairs (NDI)

The National Democratic Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with headquarters in Washington D.C., USA, that works with partners in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions. NDI operates in six different regions and offers paid internships in the regions where the institute operates. Interns gain experience in different areas of work regarding the process of establishing democratic institutions and processes. Applicants for NDI internships must be undergraduate, graduate or recent graduate student. Interns must be eligible to work in the country where the internship is located.

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. UNICEF operates in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF offers a variety of intern positions in multiple areas within the mandate of UNICEF, including Operations, Program and Policy, and External Relations. Interns partake in research projects, databases management or communications. Applicants must be at least undergraduate, enrolled or graduated in the past two years. The stipend interns receive varies depending on the office and their capacities. The standard stipend given to interns at the UNICEF Headquarters in Geneva amounts to $ 1,500.

United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)

United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) is a UN-founded knowledge management and learning institution located in Turin, Italy. The college offers courses, seminars and strategic exchanges and a limited number of internship vacancies focusing on Leadership and Management, Peace and Security, and Sustainable Development. Applicants must hold a university degree Master’s or Ph.D or be in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree. Interns receive a stipend of € 450 per month. Internships are located in Turin, Italy and Bonn, Germany.

 Child’s right connect

Child’s right connect is an independent, non-profit network made up of more than 90 national, regional, and international organisations. Applicants must be university level students and should demonstrate a keen interest in working on children’s rights at an international level. The organization offers 6-month internships with its Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland starting in January and July each year. Interns receive a monthly stipend of CHF 1,200. Applicants must be Swiss citizens, EU citizens with a Swiss guarantor or those already in possession of a Swiss/EU work permit.

UK Mission to the WTO, UN and Other International Organisations (Geneva)

UK Mission to the WTO, UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva is a UK government body focusing on UK participation in the UN and other international organisations. Interns work on a variety of areas covering trade, human rights, health, humanitarian, development and disarmament issues. Applicants must be university graduates in a relevant field of study. The mission does not offer assistance with consular or visa services. Interns receive a stipend of CHF 1,250 per month.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a German, legally independent political foundation. The foundation stands for green ideas and projects, is a reform policy workshop for the future and an international network with offices in 32 countries. Applicants must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program or recent Bachelor’s degree recipients. Interns receive a monthly stipend of $700 for full-time positions and proportionally less for part-time. Internships are located in Washington, D.C., USA. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. The foundation covers the costs associated with a visa application.

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is a UN agency which provides humanitarian and development solutions towards achieving peace and sustainable development. UNOPS areas of work include Project Management, Procurement, Human Resources, Infrastructure, and Financial Management. Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s University Degree, enrolled or graduated in the past three years. Interns receive a monthly stipend and a $ 500 for travel costs depending on the location of the vacancy. Internships are located worldwide.

American Foreign Service Association (AFSA)

The American Foreign Service Association, is both a professional association and exclusive representative for the U.S. Foreign Service founded in 1924 with headquarters in Washington D.C., USA. Interns will gain knowledge about the Foreign Service and insights into the workings of the State Department and other foreign affairs agencies. Most internship programs are offered three times a year in four different areas of: communications and educational outreach, editorial/journalism, labor management, outreach (part-time). Applicants must be undergraduate, graduate or recent graduate students. Depending on the area of internship and hours worked, interns receive a stipend varying from $350 to $850. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

The Department of Foreign Affairs is a department of the Government of Ireland that is responsible for promoting the interests of Ireland in the European Union and other international organisations, with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. DFA offers internships in the Political Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Applicants must hold a first or upper second class honors’ undergraduate degree. Interns may work in one of the four units of the Political Division: Conflict Resolution Unit, Human Rights Unit, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Unit, Middle East and North Africa Unit. Interns receive a fixed stipend depending on the area of work. Only EEA citizens are considered eligible for the internship program.