Internships at the United Nations

Several UN organisations offer internships aiming to provide a first-hand impression of their day-to-day working environment. Although it does not lead to a UN career per se, an internship can help you gain valuable initial work experience and exposure to an organisation you may want to work with in the future.

Depending on the organisation, internships can be full-time or part-time and based in headquarters, country or field offices. They are generally unpaid but some organisations offer monthly allowances to cover living expenses (see list below).

Certain UN organisations have strict policies regarding subsequent employment of interns, adhering to a 6-month 'cooling-off periodInterns are not eligible for appointment to any position within the same organisation for a period of 6 months following the end of their internships. '. Others, like UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund , encourage you to apply for consultancies, short-term or staff positions following your internship.

Requirements

Internships are generally open to current university students or recent graduates with English language proficiency. Work experience is not required but may be beneficial.

You get a chance to experience first-hand what working at the United Nations really is like.

Overview of internships

The list below indicates the requirements and main characteristics of internships offered by some UN organisations.

More details can be found under the respective links in the table.

IFAD

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate
  • Aged 30 or under
  • Fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 3-6 months' duration
  • Monthly allowance
  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis
  • Cooling-off period**

> More about IFAD
> More about IFAD's internship programme

UNAIDS

Minimum requirements

  • Student* fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 6 weeks to 6 months duration

> More about UNAIDS
> More about UNAIDS' internship programme

UNDP

Minimum requirements

  • Student*
  • Fluent in English, French or Spanish

Characteristics

  • Duration varies

> More about UNDP
> More about internships with UNDP

UNFPA

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate
  • Fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 2 to 6 months' duration
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

> More about UNFPA
> More about UNFPA's internship programme

UNHCR

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate

Characteristics

  • 2 to 6 months' duration
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

> More about UNHCR
> More about UNHCR's internship programme

UNICEF

Minimum requirements

  • Student*
  • Fluent in English, French or Spanish 2-6 months

Characteristics

2 to 6 months' duration

> More about UNICEF
> More about UNICEF's internship programme

UNOPS

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate
  • Fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 2 to 6 months' duration
  • Monthly stipend, if applicable

> More about UNOPS
> More about UNOPS' internships

UNRWA

Minimum requirements

  • Vary according to tasks and duty station

Characteristics

  • 3 to 11 months' duration
  • Applications are received on a rolling basis

> More about UNRWA
More about UNRWA's internships

UN Women

Minimum requirements

  • Student* fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 6 weeks to 6 months' duration

> More about UN Women
> More about UN Women's internship programme

UN Secretariat

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate
  • Fluent in English/French

Characteristics

  • 2-6 months
  • Cooling-off period**

> More about the UN Secretariat
> More about internships at the UN Secretariat

WFP

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate, fluent in English

Characteristics

  • 2-6 months
  • Monthly stipend

> More about WFP
More about WFP's internships

WHO

Minimum requirements

  • Student* or recent graduate
  • Aged 20 or over
  • Fluent in office's working language

Characteristics

  • 6 to 24 weeks' duration
  • Applications are accepted in February and September each year

More about WHO
More about WHO's internships

*Currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or PhD degree programme or in a relevant field (depending on the organisation).
** Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position within the same organisation for a period of 6 months following the end of their internships.

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