Internships, traineeships and junior programmes in international cooperation

Making the world a better, fairer place – Do you want to pursue this goal in your professional life? Are you looking to take the next step after leaving school, or to gain work experience during your studies? The following Swiss-based and international organisations give you the opportunity to develop your talent.

The programmes and positions are as varied in their length, actual activities, preparation and supervision as they are in their requirements of applicants. While it is possible to do an internship during or immediately after studying, trainee programmes generally require some years of work experience.

Inform yourself thoroughly and target your applications so that this, possibly first, experience in international cooperation has a long-term impact on your career. If you are unsure, it can be helpful to talk with a counsellor about your motivation, aspirations, concrete plans and chances.

Getting into NGOs


Amnesty International Switzerland

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue


COMUNDO Bellinzona

Enfants du Monde


Geneva Call

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Handicap International

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC


Médecins Sans Frontières

Mission 21

Organisation Suisse d’Aide aux Réfugiés

Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation

Public Eye

SNV world

Swiss Academy for Development

Swiss Church Aid


Terre des hommes Foundation


World Business Council for Sustainable Development: internships

Junior positions

These organisations regularly offer junior positions, although they are not always explicitly described as such.


Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Public Eye

Swiss Church Aid

Fondation Terre des hommes

Croix-Rouge Suisse


Trainee Programmes

Caritas Switzerland

Malteser international


Mission 21


Swiss Study Foundation - Mercator Program Center for International Affairs

At a glance

Would you like to take a glance at junior programmes and posts that NGOs offer? Find a non-exhaustive list here.
See list (in French)

Getting into state actors

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

Concours diplomatique

Concours consulaire

Stage académique

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, FDFA

Programme de relève DDC/CI

Stage académique

Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA), SDC

Programme vert, junior professional promotion for experienced people with the required profile but lacking professional experience in humanitarian aid.

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO


Département fédéral de l'économie, de la formation et de la recherche DEFR

Organe d’exécution du service civil ZIVI, Civilian service abroad

Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Deutschland

Getting into multilateral institutions

United Nations UN

UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund , UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme , UNFPAUnited Nations Population Fund , UN WomenUnited Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women , UNVUN Volunteers

Overview of programmes and positions for young professionals

Junior Professional Officer Positions for Swiss nationals

UN Youth Volunteers Programme

UN Volunteer Specialist positions



International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Development banks (International Financial Institutions)

World Bank and IFCInternational Finance Corporation , IDBInter-American Development Bank , EBRDEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development , ADBAsian Development Bank , AfDBAfrican Development Bank

Overview of programmes and positions for young professionals

Junior Professional Officer Positions for Swiss nationals


Green Climate Fund

Other multilateral institutions

EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Starting out with private sector actors and foundations

Blue Orchard: internships and junior positions

Financial Systems Development Services AG (FIDES): internships and junior positions

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture: internships

World Economic Forum: Global Leadership Fellows Programme


Support for social entrepreneurs

Ashoka Suisse

Schwab Foundation

For the unemployed in Switzerland

Programme Syni

Professional internships in the federal administration SOMS

This might also interest you:

Discover IC Panorama

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Remain updated about the current trends in Swiss international cooperation thanks to cinfo’s newsletter.

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