Internship: Unpaid Student Internship (DoS)

Deadline for Applications: October 5, 2017

U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program (unpaid)

United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement No.: 
Position Title: U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program (Unpaid) – Summer 2018
Open Period: 9/1/2017 – 10/5/2017
Hiring Agency: U.S. Department of State
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies in Washington, DC, US
For More Info: Student Programs Office,

Who May Apply: Work Schedule for this announcement is for full time, unpaid, internships for Summer 2018. – Interns serve for a period of 10 consecutive weeks during the Summer 2018.

Security Clearance Required: Secret

Duration Appointment:

This announcement is for full time, unpaid, internships for Summer 2018. Interns serve for a period of 10 consecutive weeks during the Summer 2018.

Marketing Statement:

Announcing the U.S. Department of State 2018 Summer Student Unpaid Internship. The program offers U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in unpaid internships that provide professional experience and personal growth and learning within a foreign affairs environment.

Applicants can continue to use the “U.S. Department of State Internship Program” brochure on for basic information about the program, and information about bureaus and offices in the Department of State. Individual references to paid internships are no longer valid. Opportunities under the Student Internship Program are unpaid.


The U.S. Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency responsible for advancing freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The Department’s employees, Foreign Service Officers and Specialists, Civil Service professionals and Foreign Service Nationals work at more than 270 embassies, consulates, and missions. Together, they help to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.

The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is an unpaid, intensive internship offering U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students a chance to participate in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, working closely with representatives of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign and Civil Services. The program is both professionally and academically beneficial, providing participants with hands-on experience and insight into the substance and daily operations of U.S. foreign policy.

About half of U.S. Department of State Student Internship participants serve in Washington, D.C., with a limited number of opportunities available at Department field offices and facilities in other cities in the United States. Approximately half of these opportunities are offered in many of the over 270 U.S. embassies, consulates and missions to international organizations around the world. The U.S. Department of State Student Experience is also the only program within the agency that offers U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas.

Applicants are allowed to select two bureaus or overseas posts in which they would like to work. U.S. Department of State Student Internships generally last 10 weeks. Participants must be able to work a full time schedule (minimum of 32 hours per week).

The U.S. Department of State Student Internship is NOT part of the Pathways Program. Unpaid internships in the U.S. Department of State Student Internship program cannot be non-competitively converted to Pathways Internship appointments, nor can they be non-competitively converted to career positions in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign or Civil Services.

Supervisory Position: No

Key Requirements:

  • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student.
  • A continuing student and taking at least half-time academic course load.
  • Must be at least a college Junior.
  • Requires either a Public Trust, Secret or Top Secret security clearance
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher


The Department of State tries to provide Student Interns with opportunities both educationally and professionally substantive in nature. The purpose of the program is to provide students with insight into the work of U.S. foreign policy and the administration of the U.S. Department of State and its diplomatic facilities around the world. Specific duties and responsibilities vary according to the domestic office or overseas post of assignment. Former Department of State Student Interns have written reports on human rights issues, participated in trade negotiations, assisted with U.S. citizens services or visa work, helped Americans in distress abroad, supported and helped to coordinate international conferences and visits of high-level officials, researched economic or environmental issues, monitored and evaluated media reporting, supported educational and cultural exchange activities and identified U.S. experts to speak overseas, and worked on web pages and electronic journals.

Other examples include interns with scientific and technical backgrounds working on issues such as arms control, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), infectious diseases, and remote sensing.

Also, students interested in management and administration may use their expertise working on projects involving budgets, human resources, information systems, or general logistical support to posts abroad.

Student Experience Interns should also expect to do some routine administrative work.


To qualify you must:

  1. Be a United States citizen
  2. Be at least 16 years old
  3. Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  4. Be pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree.
  5. Be a college junior, senior, or graduate student.—You are considered a college junior if you will be starting your junior year immediately following the completion of your internship.
  6. Be enrolled in an accredited college or university on at least a half-time basis.
  7. Must be a continuing student—This means that you will be returning to or have the intention at the time of application of returning to your course of study the semester/quarter, immediately following the completion of your internship.
  8. Be able to receive and maintain a security clearance.

How You Will Be Evaluated

The complete applications of qualified applicants are forwarded for consideration to the bureaus to which they have applied. Representatives in these bureaus determine the extent to which an applicant’s education, experience, training, and background indicates that he/she possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the internship.

Representatives from the Bureaus and overseas posts may contact candidates directly for interviews. Others may make selections based solely on the quality of a candidate’s written application.

Selected interns will be officially notified by the Student Programs Branch by e-mail and in writing, per the timeline provided in the Internship Brochure.


Participants in the Student Internship Program are considered “student volunteers”. As such, they are not considered to be Federal employees for any purposes other than injury compensation or laws related to the Tort Claims Act. Service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits.

Other Information:


The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) advises that routine SECRET level clearances normally require 120 to 150 days to complete. Investigations may take substantially longer if you have a history of extensive overseas travel, education, residence and/or employment; or if you have dual citizenship, foreign contacts, immediate family, relatives, and/or a spouse or partner who is a citizen of a foreign country. In addition, if DS identifies a security, suitability, or medical issue, your investigation may require additional time to process and review. These issues could include, but are not limited to, a current or past history of drug or alcohol abuse, indications of a mental or emotional health condition, or indications of financial problems. You should consult the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Access to Classified Information ( to review how these considerations could affect your application. Such issues may not necessarily preclude DS from granting you a security clearance, but they will likely lengthen the time required to complete the clearance process.

We cannot guarantee that every potential intern will be able to obtain a security clearance before the start of an internship, if at all. Because the timeframe between conditional selection for an internship and entry on duty is relatively short (six to eight months), DS may not be able to adjudicate a non-routine case in time for the student to participate in the scheduled internship. In addition, where the applicant has strong foreign ties to a particular country, approval for an internship in that country may be problematic. We therefore encourage students to seek internship assignments in countries where they do not have substantial foreign ties.

Transportation: Transportation to and from Washington or overseas posts is the responsibility of the intern.

Housing: Housing is not provided for domestic internships. Arrangements and associated costs are the responsibility of the interns.

As noted above, participants in the Student Internship Program are considered “student volunteers” and are not considered to be Federal employees for any purposes other than injury compensation or laws related to the Tort Claims Act.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION – The U.S. Department of State provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Office of Employee Relations, Disability/Reasonable Accommodations Division, at (202) 261-8163 or The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply:

We are accepting applications for this position at this time.
Apply now at

Applications must be submitted electronically through the “Gateway to State” system. To begin the application process, please click on the “Apply Online” button to the right.

You have until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process. This includes submitting your online application as well as any required documents as defined in the Required Documents section. Candidates are encouraged to complete their applications well before the application deadline to be assured of consideration.

Please read all instructions carefully.

There are three parts to the application process:

  • Applicant Profile (For applicants new to USAJOBS)
  • Internship Application, including Statement of Interest
  • Required Documents—Official Transcripts

Part I-Applicant Profile

Applicants new to USAJOBS must create an applicant profile by providing biographic and prior Federal government employment information. You must answer all “required” fields in order to proceed through the application process. (If you are not new to USAJOBS, you can proceed directly to the intern application.) All applicants must also “build” a USAJOBS resume. You must complete these two steps in order to be able to move forward to the application in the Gateway to State.

Note: Attaching a personal resume to your USAJobs profile is not sufficient. You must build a USAJOBS resume.

Part II-Internship Application

The second part of the online application process is specific to the internship program. In this section, you will be required to:

  • Identify up to two bureaus for which you wish to be considered for an internship assignment.

    Note: Applicants interested in interning in overseas posts or branch offices outside of Washington D.C. must first indicate the bureau with responsibility over that location. For example: An applicant interested in interning at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia will select WHA or the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Later in the application, they will be given a chance to identify the specific country in which the embassy or consulate is located.

  • Answer questions regarding your personal, academic and employment credentials to be used by bureau representatives in making their selections.
  • Submit a one-page (maximum 2500 characters-spaces included) Statement of Interest that describes your objectives and motivation in seeking an internship. This is not an attachement.

Note: Bureau representatives rely heavily on statements of interest in making their selections. Therefore, your statement of interest should be concise, well written, and it should tell your story. Explain how your academic courses and other personal experiences relate to the bureau(s), office(s), or overseas post(s) to which you are applying. You may discuss what you will bring to the work of the office or post, and what you hope to take away from the internship experience. You might highlight any disadvantages you may have overcome or relevant unique experiences. Also, you can expand on any of your answers to questions asked in the application, such as language ability or other special skills.

Required Documents:

The third part of the application process is the submission of required documents. These documents MUST be included in your online application for it to be considered complete. Incomplete applications (applications submitted before the deadline, but without required documents attached) will not be considered.

Transcripts: Your current or most recent transcript must be included in your online application per the instructions below. Both official AND unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. However, if you are selected for an internship, you will be required to provide official transcripts before starting your internship. Once your official transcript is officially received, if it is discovered that you are not an eligible student, your internship offer will be rescinded.

Once you have completed the online questionnaire and Statement of Interest, you will be prompted to attach your required documents to your application. This can be accomplished by one of two methods:

  1. By uploading them (preferred method); or
  2. By using the application generated fax coversheet (it will include a barcode and system generated phone number).

If attaching your required documents by fax, it is extremely important that only the system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate cover sheet.

If a document is faxed successfully, you will receive a system-generated e-mail confirming receipt.

Please note the following:

  • Applications received without the required documents included are automatically disqualified for consideration, and will not be reconsidered.
  • Documents mailed or fax directly to the U.S. Department of State, or any Department of State office either before or after the vacancy announcement has closed, will not be accepted.
  • Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONISBLITY OF THE STUDENT TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached.

Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.

Technical questions about attaching required documents to your application, either via upload or fax using the system-generated coversheet and phone number, should be addressed to the Help Desk at 1-866-656-6830 or

What to Expect Next:

Application Status

Applicants may view the status of their application on the Gateway to State site. CLICK HERE and enter your login information. Click “Applications,” under the “Application Status” heading select “More Information.” On the following screen, you will be able to verify your application status.

Application Timeline

Application Deadline (including all supporting documents): October 5, 2017

Selectees notified of selection by Student Programs Office via e-mail: December 2017

Non-selects notified by e-mail by Student Programs Office: Dectember 2017

Selectees complete and submit security clearance paperwork, and submit official transcripts: December 2017

Interns Enter on Duty: May to August (last date for students to enter on duty is July 16, 2018 with a requirement to receive a security clearance no later than July 13, 2018).

Internship Ends: Late August