U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program - 2018 and 2019
The U.S. Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency. We work to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world to benefit the American people and people everywhere. The Department’s employees work at more than 270 embassies, consulates, and missions around the world and at domestic offices in Washington D.C. and across the United States.
The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is a paid, intensive internship offering U.S. citizen undergraduate 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. Training modules on diplomatic history and writing skills provide additional benefits compared to the typical internship.
Students will have the opportunity to submit requests for their preferred State Dept. bureau for their first summer internship. This does not guarantee placement within any specific bureau, but it will serve as a starting point for placement. During the first internship, students will submit a list of embassies overseas in which they request to serve the following summer. No danger or high threat posts will be permitted. While USFSIP seeks to factor student preferences into internship placement, participants should be prepared to be assigned elsewhere as needed.
The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is not a job program. It consists of two temporary appointments for experiential learning. USFSIP does not confer eligibility for non-competitive hire to career positions in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign or Civil Services. USFSIP is NOT a Pathways program for paid students and recent graduate trainees.
- U.S. citizens enrolled in undergraduate degree program; cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above.
- Must be in their sophomore or junior year when applying.
- Must have firm plans to continue their education in the year after the first summer.
- Must apply for and receive a security clearance prior to the start of the program and remain in good academic standing (3.20 GPA or higher) for the duration of the internship.
To qualify you must:
- Be a United States citizen.
- Have at least a 3.20 GPA.
- Be a rising junior or senior (currently a sophomore or junior) in a baccalaureate degree program.
- Be enrolled in an accredited college or university on at least a half-time basis.
- Have firm plans to continue your education after the first USFSIP summer.
- Be able to receive and maintain a security clearance.
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.
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 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 selectee will be able to obtain a security clearance before the May 1st deadline, 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 selected 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 or working on that country may be problematic. We therefore encourage students to seek internship assignments for countries with which they do not have substantial foreign ties.
Other Internship Opportunities
If you wish to be considered for other internship opportunities within the Department of State, you are required to complete a job application separate from the one that you must complete for the USFSIP. 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.
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 merit-based selection criteria reflects the range of skills needed for success in the Foreign Service. These 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. In addition, the selection committee will take into consideration whether a student faces financial need or other adverse circumstances.
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 1st and maintaining the necessary academic standing. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Diplomat in Residence for their region to discuss their interest in this program specifically or State Department careers generally. (http://careers.state.gov/connect/dir)
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