If you are passionate about international relations, there are many great internship programs available, and the best part is that you can choose the country that most interests you. Whether you want to work in Europe, Asia, or South America, there is a program for you.
What Is an Internship in International Relations?
International Relations internships are positions that provide international experience to those interested in a career in diplomacy, international organizations, or global policy. These internships can be found in many settings, including
- United Nations
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- International financial institutions
- Multilateral organizations
- Bilateral organizations
- National governments
- Think tanks
- Policy advocates & research offices
- Chambers of commerce
- Consulting firms
What Do International Relations Interns Do?
As an international relations intern, you will have the opportunity to learn about and assist with diplomatic relations between countries. You may also help with international trade negotiations and global research issues or write policy briefs. In addition, you will have the opportunity to
- Attending and participating in meetings
- Drafting correspondence and reports
- Conducting research on international issues
- Assisting with event planning
- Providing administrative support
The best internships in international relations are located in the following ten cities.
- #1: Brussels, Belgium
The first country on our list is Belgium. Belgium has a long history of international diplomacy, and it is home to many international organizations, including the European Union and NATO. If you want to learn about international politics and policymaking, there is no better place than Brussels.
- #2: Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is an excellent choice for internships in international relations. Cape Town is the capital of South Africa and home to many international organizations, such as the United Nations. If you want to learn about international politics or diplomacy, Cape Town is the place for you.
- #3: Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is home to many international organizations, such as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. This is the place for those who want to learn more about international law or humanitarian work.
- #4: New York, USA
New York is another great option for internships in international relations. New York is a global financial center, and the United Nations is headquartered here. The city offers a great opportunity to learn about international business, finance, and diplomacy.
- #5: Paris, France
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but it is also a great place to intern in international relations. Paris is home to many international organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Criminal Court.
- #6: Santiago de Chile, Chile
Another great option for international relations internships is Santiago de Chile. It has a growing economy and is an important player in South American politics. If you are interested in Latin America, Santiago would be a great place to intern. Likewise, if the right place to learn about international development or environmental policy. It is home to many international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
- #7: Shanghai, China
Shanghai is a great choice for those interested in East Asian International Relations. It is the financial center of China and home to many international organizations, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Cooperation (APEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). For more opportunities in China, check out our website!
- #8: Singapore, Singapore
Another great option to intern in Asia is Singapore. It is known for its efficient government and its international financial center. Singapore hosts many international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
- #9: The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague is known as the international city of peace and justice. It is the right place if you are interested in working for an international organization or company. Some intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Court of Justice and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are headquartered here.
- #10: Washington, D.C., USA
Of course, we cannot forget Washington, D.C., when it comes to internships in international relations. It is home to many international organizations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization of American States (OAS). Not to mention, many international embassies are located here.
Types of Internships Available in International Relations
- Political internships
- Economic internships
- Legal internships
- Communications internships
- Research internships
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships Abroad In International Relations
Now that we have covered some of the best places to intern in international relations, it is important to mention that there are both paid and unpaid internships available. Unpaid internships are often more common in the nonprofit sector or government agencies. However, if you are interested in interning in the private sector, you may want to consider a paid internship. Paid internships are more common in the business world, such as in international banking or consulting. Still, there are also paid internships available in international organizations. Let’s see some of them:
- American Foreign Service Association Internships: The FAFSA now allows students to apply for paid internships with a stipend of between $300 and $700. Undergraduate and graduate students who can work in the United States may apply. Interns undertake research, attend conferences and events, and perform various other duties.
- Center of Strategic and International Studies: The CSIS is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., with branch offices in more than 15 states across the USA. The organization offers paid full- and part-time internships in various disciplines: research, public policy, writing, and project management. Interns are provided with leadership training and develop essential policy abilities during their programs. The monthly stipend ranges from $500-$700.
- Council on Foreign Relations: The CFR is a nonprofit think tank with headquarters in New York City and Washington, D.C., USA. Internships are available in international studies, foreign policy, and international affairs for students majoring in these fields. Interns learn about the field of foreign policy and international affairs, as well as writing, research, and program planning skills through classroom instruction. They pay competitive hourly rates and offer a monthly stipend of $600. Summer internship opportunities are exclusively remote/virtual.
- Department of Foreign Affairs: The DFA is the Irish government department responsible for promoting Ireland’s interests and values in the international arena. The DFA offers paid internships in a variety of disciplines, such as communications, economics, international relations, political science, and public administration. Interns work on research projects, policy analysis, and event planning. Interns may work in one of the four units of its Political Division, including the Human Rights Unit, Conflict Resolution Unit, Middle East and North Africa Unit, and Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Unit. The monthly stipend ranges from €500-€600.
- Indian Council on Global Relations: The ICGR is a leading international relations think tank based in Mumbai, India. The council offers paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students interested in international law, economics, editorial, and development studies. Interns work on research projects, attend seminars and conferences, and write articles for the council’s website. All applicants must be enrolled in a Master’s program or have completed their fifth year of study in a five-year degree. The monthly stipend is Rs. 15,000 (approximately $200).
- German Institute for Security and International Affairs: It is a German research organization in international relations and security studies with offices in Berlin, Germany. They have three-month full-time internships available for international students in more than seven distinct research departments. The internship program focuses on young academics in political science and related social sciences, as well as undergraduate and graduate students under specific criteria. Interns receive around €650 per month.
- International Monetary Fund: The IMF is an international organization that works on global economic growth and financial stability. It offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in international economics, finance, or development. Interns work on research projects, attend seminars and workshops, and provide administrative support. The internship program lasts for three months and pays a monthly stipend of $700.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization: NATO is an international organization that promotes cooperation among its member states in the fields of security and defense. It offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in international relations, political science, economics, or communications. Interns work on research projects, attend conferences and meetings, and provide administrative support. Interns are paid a monthly stipend of about €600.
- The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies: The HCSS is a leading international think tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. It offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in international security, diplomacy, or conflict resolution. Interns may engage in strategic research and multidisciplinary analysis of international security issues, as well as geopolitical, economic, and environmental trends. On average, interns are paid €700 per month. The international relations field offers a wealth of internship opportunities for students seeking to gain experience in international affairs.
- The National Committee on United States-China Relations: The NCUSCR is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote constructive dialogue and understanding between the people of the United States and China. It offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in international relations, Chinese affairs, or communications. Among its programs are the Public Diplomacy internship, which places interns in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; and the Congressional internship, which places interns in the offices of Members of Congress who serve on key committees related to U.S.-China relations. Interns are paid a stipend of $600 per month.
- United Nations Development Programme: The UNDP is the United Nation’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build better lives. It offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in international development, economics, or public policy. Interns may work in the following departments: policy, research, and analysis; external relations and communications; or program/project management.
Requirements for Applying to International Relations Internships
To be eligible for international relations internships abroad, you will need to consider the following aspects:
- Have completed at least two years of undergraduate study in a relevant field
- Excellent research, writing, and communication skills
- Proficiency in English. (Although some internship programs may require proficiency in another language, such as French, Spanish, Russian, or Chinese.)
- Experience working or interning in international affairs
- Be able to obtain a visa for the country in which you will be interning
- Interest in global issues and international relations
How Long Do International Relations Internships Last?
The length of international relations internships varies depending on the organization, but most internships last between three and six months.
What Hours Do Interns Work?
Internship hours also vary depending on the organization, but most international relations interns work full-time, Monday to Friday.
Are There Any Age Restrictions for International Relations Internships?
There are no age restrictions for international relations internships. However, most internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students.
What is the Application Process for International Relations Internships?
The application process for international relations internships varies depending on the organization, but most organizations require an online application, CV/resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation.
What is the Selection Process for International Relations Internships?
The selection process for international relations internships also varies depending on the organization. Still, most organizations use a combination of criteria, including academic performance, relevant work/internship experience, language skills, and personal interests.
When Are International Relations Internships Offered?
International relations internships are offered year-round, but most internships occur during summer.
How Much Do International Relations Internships Pay?
The amount that international relations internships pay also varies depending on the organization, but most organizations offer a stipend of $600-$1200 per month.
What Are the Benefits of Interning Abroad?
There are many benefits to interning abroad, including:
- Gaining international experience
- Improving language skills
- Building your network
- Learning about new cultures
- Enhancing your resume/CV.
There are many great opportunities for international relations internships abroad. With so many options available, it is essential to do your research and find an internship that best suits your interests and needs.