International development is a field that focuses on improving the lives of people all over the world. Whether you are interested in working with refugees, helping build schools and hospitals, or promoting economic development, there are many opportunities available in this growing field.
Types of International Development Internship Programs
There are many different types of internships available in international development. Most programs focus on specific countries or regions, while others are more general in nature. Some common areas of focus for internships in international development include international relief and development, poverty alleviation, human rights, economic development, environmental protection, and education.
Community Development Internships
These internships focus on improving the lives of people living in poverty. Interns may work in slums, helping to provide basic services such as clean water and sanitation. They may also help build schools and clinics or promote economic development projects.
Environmental Conservation Internships
These programs work to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. Interns may work on projects such as reforestation, wildlife conservation, or pollution control. They may also help educate local communities about environmental issues and the importance of conservation.
Refugee Relief Internships
These programs support refugees who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or natural disasters. Interns may work in camps, providing aid and assistance with daily living tasks such as cooking and cleaning. They may also help distribute supplies, such as food and clothing.
Tips to Find an International Development Internship Abroad
- Research different organizations. There are many different types of organizations working in international development, so it is important to find one that aligns with your interests. You can research organizations online or reach out to professionals in the field for recommendations. For instance, if you want to work with refugees, look for humanitarian assistance organizations. International NGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children often have internship programs available. Another option is to search online job boards such as Idealist or UN Job List.
- Apply early. Many organizations begin reviewing applications months in advance, so it is crucial to start your search early. Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete the application process and secure funding, if necessary.
- Be flexible. International development internships are often located in developing countries, which can be difficult to get to and may have limited infrastructure. Be prepared for a challenge, and remember that you will be working in an unfamiliar environment.
- Consider your skillset. International development is a broad field, so think about the skills you offer and how they can be applied in this context. As we discussed above, there are many different types of internships available, so you should be able to find one that matches your skillset.
- Network. This is also a small field, so networking is crucial. Attend events, reach out to professionals in the area, and connect with others who share your interests. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you find your dream internship.
Top Cities for International Development Internships
The following cities are home to many international organizations and NGOs, making them great places to find an internship in international development.
- New York City, NY
- Washington, DC
- Berlin, Germany
- Madrid, Spain
- Beijing, China
- Shanghai, China
- New Delhi, India
- Brussels, Belgium
- London, UK
- Paris, France
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Cairo, Egypt
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
While interning in one of these cities, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with some of the leading organizations in the field. You will also be able to network with professionals from all over the world and learn about different cultures. International development internships are a great way to start your career in this rewarding field.
Check out International Development Internship Programs
Many organizations (NGOs, government agencies, multilateral organizations, and private companies) offer internship programs specifically for students and recent graduates interested in international development. These programs can provide you with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field. Some examples of organizations that offer internship programs include:
- World Bank
- Water for People
- International Rescue Committee
- Save the Children
- World Vision International
- Mercy Corps
- International Monetary Fund
- Amnesty International
- Catholic Relief Services
- Action Against Hunger
Each organization has its own application process, so check their websites for more information.
International Development Interns’ Duties & Responsibilities
- Researching potential projects and partners
- Assisting with project proposals
- Conducting literature reviews
- Preparing reports and presentations
- Providing administrative support
- Developing marketing and outreach materials
- Conducting data analysis
Interns may also have the opportunity to travel to project sites and participate in fieldwork, depending on the organization they are interning for. It is a great way to gain first-hand experience working on international development projects.
What to Expect from an International Development Internship
International development is a vast and complex field with many facets but rewarding. You may be working long hours under challenging conditions. However, you will also have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people worldwide.
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships
Many internships in international development are unpaid, but some paid options are available. Unpaid internships are often with NGOs or other organizations that have limited funding. However, these internships can still be very valuable as they will give you the opportunity to gain experience working in the field. If you are considering an unpaid internship, check with the organization beforehand to see if they can provide any financial assistance.
Paid internships are more common in the private sector but are available with some NGOs and government organizations. These internships usually require more skills and experience than unpaid internships. If you are considering a paid internship, research the organization beforehand to ensure they are reputable and that the salary is fair. The average salary for interns in this field is $15 per hour.
Applying for International Development Internships Abroad
If you are interested in interning abroad, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will need to ensure that you have the proper visa for the country you wish to enter. Also, you will need to research organizations that operate in the country where you wish to intern.
When applying for internships abroad, include a CV and cover letter tailored to the organization and position you are applying for. In your cover letter, highlight any relevant skills or experience that would make you a good fit for the position.
Once you have found an internship that you are interested in, the next step is to apply. The application process will vary depending on the organization but usually includes an online application (CV & cover letter), an interview, and possibly a written test.
After you have submitted your application, the organization will review it and decide whether or not to offer you an interview. If you are offered an interview, prepare in advance by researching the organization and practicing your answers to common interview questions.
The final step in the process is to accept or decline the offer. If you reject the offer, do so politely and give a valid reason for your decision.
Skills Needed for International Development Internships
There are a few essential skills that are needed for internships in international development.
- Excellent research skills. It includes the ability to find and use relevant sources of information and data.
- Strong writing and communication skills. International development is a complex field with many different stakeholders, so it is important to communicate effectively.
- Strong analytical skills. This includes the ability to analyze data and information to identify trends and patterns critically.
- Be able to work independently and as part of a team. International development projects are often collaborative, so it is important to work well with others.
Costs of International Development Internship Programs Abroad
The cost of living in different countries varies greatly. In some countries, you may be able to live relatively cheaply, while in others, the cost of living will be much higher. When considering an internship abroad, research the cost of living in the country you wish to intern so you can budget accordingly.
Also, it would help if you considered the cost of travel to and from your internship. If you are interning in a country far from your home, the cost of airfare can be very expensive. Many organizations will provide some financial assistance for travel costs, so be sure to ask about this when applying for an internship.
You may also need a visa to enter the country where you will be interning. The visa cost varies depending on the country, but it is usually around $100. Some organizations will cover the cost of your visa, so be sure to ask about this when applying for an internship.
- International development internships are a great way to gain experience in the field and learn about different cultures.
- There are both paid and unpaid internships available, but the majority are unpaid.
- When applying for an internship abroad, research the cost of living and travel so that you can budget accordingly.
- Also, be sure to ask about visa costs and whether or not the organization will cover them.
- Finally, remember to tailor your CV and cover letter to the position you are applying for.
If you’re interested in international development internships in China, you can find many opportunities on our website. There are a number of international NGOs with offices in China, such as World Vision International and Amnesty International, that offer internships.