The United Nations (commonly referred to as the UN) offers various internships to graduate and post graduate students. The objective of the internships is to give you an opportunity to get first-hand experience with the daily work environment of the United Nations. Several internships are offered by organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations. Both part time and full time internships are available during the summer, fall and spring terms. These programs expose you to the work of the United Nations and enhance your knowledge and understanding of the objectives, principles and activities of the United Nations.
United Nations Internships Offered
Internship Program at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Internships at UNDP are open to outstanding graduate students pursuing a degree program in environmental studies, public administration, economics or business administration. The candidates need to have excellent language skills.
The UNDP internship program can take place in the country office or regional center of the UNDP. The length of the program varies, according to the academic needs of the intern and UNDP and the availability of work. Internship programs are available for full time or part time year round.
The UNDP internship is unpaid. The nominating institution or the government needs to bear the costs. It may even offer financial assistance to the students. Otherwise, the student needs to make his or her own arrangements for travel and accommodation.
UN Women Internship Program
The UN women internship program is open to outstanding graduate students who are enrolled in a Master or doctorate program. This United Nations internships is designed to help students to get practical experience in women development studies and in many other aspects such as law, multilateral technical aspects and international studies.
UN Women internship programs vary in terms of contract. Some of them focus on regional, thematic, sectoral or country specific topics. As an intern, you need to design, implement and evaluate UN women supporting programs. Also, it is an unpaid internship.
Apart from regular internship programs, the UN women announce specific internships throughout the year.
UN Women Communication Intern for Website and Media
This United Nations internships offer full time support to media specialists and web editors. Those who have completed a degree in journalism or communications and have enrolled in a Master’s degree can apply for this program. Preference will be given to candidates who have knowledge in web based platforms and latest technologies. Fluency in popular languages such as English, Spanish and French can be an additional advantage.
As an intern, you will need to assist in writing content for the website of the UN Women, attend events and assist in writing blurbs and translations for the homepage. You will also need to post feature stories and news on the website.
United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) Internships
The United Nations Population Fund offers internship programs that help you get an opportunity to get exposure to the operations of the UNFPA. Those who have interest in the development field and have fluency in English, Spanish and French, and the ability to work in new environments are desired. As an intern, you will need to work under the supervision of a senior staff at the headquarters of UNFA in New York.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Internships
UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) offer internship programs that help you get insight into the activities of the United Nations. You also get an opportunity to help the UNFCC in various professional fields.
Those who have completed an undergraduate degree and pursuing a Master degree in economics, public administration, human resources, event management, natural sciences, international law, environmental sciences and Computer science can apply for this program. Fluency in English is a must.
The internship lasts for about two months and is offered three times a year in the spring, summer and fall.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Internships
UNICEF internships are offered to eligible students at country offices and headquarters. You can become eligible for this internship, if you are enrolled in a graduate or post graduate degree program in the field that is related to the interests of UNICEF. Excellent academic performance, fluency in English and other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Spanish or Russian is also crucial.
Needless to say, you will have a chance to make a big impact on the lives of children in need all over the world. As an intern, you will need to work under the supervision of a UNICEF Staff.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Internships
The UNHCR is the Refugee Agency of the UN. The UNHCR has offices in Budapest and Geneva, and offer internship programs all through the year. Depending on the needs, capacity of offices and availability of assignments, internships are offered on a need basis.
As an intern, you will need to work in various fields like public affairs, refugee protection and international relations.
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Internships
The UNEP offers internships to undergraduate students studying in the third or fourth year of their coursework or pursuing a graduate or post graduate degree. The candidates need to be available for full time work for five days in a week for three to six months. They need to submit an endorsement letter from the Registrar, Dean of Faculty or placement office. Fluency in English is a must and knowledge of French or Spanish is an added advantage.
Benefits of United Nations (UN) Internships
United Nations internships are offered to give students exposure to the activities of the UN. You will get a chance to put your schoolwork and life experience to use. They also provide you with an opportunity to help the UN achieve its mission of helping those in need around the world.
The United Nations internships may also help you get academic credit from your college or university. Though they are unpaid, they can help boost your resume and increase your chances of getting a good job in future, especially if you plan on going the non-profit route. You will also get a chance to work with veteran professionals and senior staff members in your field, take part in meetings, participating in research and review works, high profile conferences and contribute to the policy of the UN. You will get an opportunity to meet students from all parts of the world and exchange information.
Surely, an internship with the UN will provide you with a unique experience that can only help you in your career. Good luck!