U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program (Unpaid) - 2018 Summer

Washington D.C.
Oct 06, 2017
Oct 06, 2017
Full Time

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.

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  • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student
  • A continuing student and taking at least half-time academic course load
  • Must be willing to work a full time schedule (minimum of 32 hours per week)
  • Must be at least a college Junior
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Requires either a Public Trust, Secret or Top Secret security clearance
  • To qualify you must:

    1. Be a United States citizen
    2. Be at least 16 years old
    3. Have at least a 3.0 GPA
    4. Be pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree.
    5. Be a college junior, senior, or graduate student.—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 half-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.
    8. Be able to receive and maintain a security clearance.

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


    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.

    Transportation: Transportation to and from Washington or overseas posts is the responsibility of the intern.

    Housing: Housing is not provided for domestic internships. Arrangements and associated costs are the responsibility of the interns.

    As noted above, participants in the Student Internship Program are considered “student volunteers” and are not considered to be Federal employees for any purposes other than injury compensation or laws related to the Tort Claims Act.

    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.

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    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    The complete applications of qualified applicants are forwarded for consideration to the bureaus to which they have applied. Representatives in these bureaus determine the extent to which an applicant's education, experience, training, and background indicates that he/she possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the internship.

    Representatives from the Bureaus and overseas posts may contact candidates directly for interviews. Others may make selections based solely on the quality of a candidate’s written application.

    Selected interns will be officially notified by the Student Programs Branch by e-mail and in writing, per the timeline provided in the Internship Brochure.
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