5 Steps to get a job in the United Nations

How to get Paid internships in the UN?

photo Demir Sรถnmez

Securing a paid internship at the United Nations (UN) or other international humanitarian organizations is a valuable opportunity for gaining experience in international development, human rights, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and other fields. Here's a list of organizations known to offer paid internships, providing a brief overview of each entity and the focus of their internship programs:

We received hundreds of requests for paid internships. Unfortunately, some years ago the United Nations implemented not very sufficient policy that internships are not paid anymore. We disagree with such statements and requires because every job and internship should be paid. OK, the payment shouldn't be high because of the nature of the internship, but it must cover basics needs for a specified location like accommodation, insurance, transport plus some small additional money for daily spending. Also, internships payment should differ for various locations because the cost of living in Geneva and Congo are very different.

It leads to the situation that young people who canโ€™t afford to get free internship couldn't even dream about UN values.

Last year the situation is changed a little bit. Here is you may find a list of NGOs that joint initiative to provide paid internships. Also sometimes you may find paid internships in some UN agencies like:

UNICEF (partly paid).

WFP - World Food Programme

International Organization for Migration

ILO - International Labour Organization


United Nations (UN) Agencies

  1. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): Offers paid internships for qualified students in various fields such as international development, child protection, nutrition, and communication. Interns gain insight into UNICEF's efforts to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
  2. World Health Organization (WHO): Provides paid internships for students and recent graduates in public health, medical research, and related fields. Interns work on projects that contribute to WHO's objective of promoting health, keeping the world safe, and serving the vulnerable.
  3. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Offers opportunities for paid internships in areas related to sustainable development, democratic governance and peacebuilding, and climate and disaster resilience. Interns gain practical experience in UNDP's projects and initiatives around the world.
  4. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Provides paid internships for students and young professionals interested in contributing to areas such as food security, nutrition, agricultural development, and sustainable natural resource management.
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International Humanitarian Organizations

  1. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): Offers paid internships in humanitarian law, communication, cooperation with national societies, and other areas related to its mission to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
  2. Mรฉdecins Sans Frontiรจres (Doctors Without Borders): Although primarily known for volunteer positions, MSF occasionally offers paid internships in their offices for roles in medical affairs, logistics, human resources, and administration. Interns support the organization's mission to provide lifesaving medical humanitarian care and speak out about the plight of the populations they help.
  3. Amnesty International: Offers paid internships in several of its regional offices, providing opportunities for interns to work in the field of human rights. Internship areas include research, advocacy, communication, and fundraising.
  4. International Rescue Committee (IRC): Provides paid internships in areas such as emergency response, health, education, women's protection and empowerment, and economic recovery and development. Interns support IRC's work to respond to the worldโ€™s worst humanitarian crises and help people to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.

Other Notable Organizations

  1. World Bank Group: Offers paid internships for graduate students to work in economic and social development fields. Interns gain practical experience in projects that contribute to the World Bank Group's mission to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.
  2. International Monetary Fund (IMF): Provides opportunities for paid internships to students in economics, finance, public policy, and related fields. Interns contribute to the IMF's work on economic surveillance, financial assistance, and capacity development.

Additional United Nations Agencies

  1. International Labour Organization (ILO): Offers paid internships in areas related to labor standards, employment, social protection, and social dialogue. Interns gain practical experience in contributing to the ILO's mission to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection, and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.
  2. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Provides paid internship opportunities for students and recent graduates to support its mission to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration, or resettlement to a third country.
  3. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): Offers paid internships for individuals looking to gain experience in environmental policy, climate change, resource efficiency, and other areas related to environmental protection and sustainability.

Other International Organizations

  1. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Provides paid internships for students in economics, statistics, development, environment, and other areas. Interns contribute to the OECD's mission to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
  2. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Offers paid internships for students and young professionals interested in nuclear science, technology, and international security. Interns gain experience in supporting the IAEA's mission to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
  3. International Organization for Migration (IOM): Provides paid internships in areas related to migration, such as emergency response, project development, policy analysis, and public information. Interns support IOM's work to promote humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.

Non-Governmental Organizations and Think Tanks

  1. Human Rights Watch (HRW): Offers paid internships for students and recent graduates interested in human rights advocacy. Interns gain experience in research, reporting, and engaging in advocacy to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice worldwide.
  2. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Provides paid internships to students and recent graduates interested in international affairs, diplomacy, security, and peace. Interns contribute to the Endowment's work on developing policy ideas and engaging with policymakers, scholars, and the public on ways to address global challenges.
  3. Transparency International: Offers paid internships in its Secretariat and various national chapters, focusing on anti-corruption and governance. Interns support Transparency International's mission to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability, and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.

Application Tips

For those interested in applying for paid internships with these organizations:

  • Check Official Websites: Regularly visit the career sections of the organizations' official websites for the most current internship opportunities and application deadlines.
  • Prepare Your Application: Tailor your resume/CV and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and motivation for applying to the specific internship.
  • Network: Engage with professionals from these organizations through LinkedIn, career fairs, and relevant events to gain insights and advice on securing an internship.
  • Be Persistent: Competition for paid internships is intense. Apply to multiple opportunities and donโ€™t be discouraged by rejections. Persistence and a well-prepared application improve your chances of success.

Securing a paid internship with these prestigious organizations can offer invaluable professional experience, networking opportunities, and insights into global issues, significantly benefiting your career in international relations, development, humanitarian aid, or related fields.

It's important to note that the availability of paid internships, application deadlines, and eligibility criteria can vary widely between organizations and even between different departments within the same organization. Prospective interns should carefully research the specific requirements and application procedures for each organization and program of interest.

As of 2021, the United Nations began offering stipends for internships across its agencies. The amount of the stipend varies depending on the agency and the location of the internship, as living costs differ across countries and cities.

In general, the stipend aims to cover basic living expenses such as accommodation, meals, and local transportation. The UN does not typically provide additional financial support for travel or visa expenses.

To get an accurate idea of the stipend amount for a specific internship, visit the website of the respective UN agency or refer to the internship posting, which should include information on the stipend and any additional benefits provided.

Keep in mind that stipends may be subject to change, so always confirm the details with the agency during the application process.

It's important to note that stipend amounts for internships within the United Nations agencies are subject to change and depend on the agency, the location of the internship, and the associated living expenses. Here are some examples based on information available at the time of writing, but keep in mind that these figures may not be current or universally applicable:

  1. United Nations Headquarters (New York, USA): Interns at the UN Headquarters in New York might receive a monthly stipend of around $1,000 to cover basic living expenses such as housing, food, and local transportation.
  2. World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland): Interns at WHO in Geneva could expect a stipend of approximately CHF 1,600 (Swiss Francs) per month, which is roughly equivalent to $1,750.
  3. United Nations Development Programme (Bangkok, Thailand): Interns at the UNDP in Bangkok might receive a monthly stipend of around THB 12,000 (Thai Baht), which is approximately $360, to cover basic living costs.

Please note that these examples should not be considered definitive, as stipend amounts may vary across different UN agencies and locations, and may change over time. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information on stipend amounts for specific internships, visit the website of the respective UN agency or check the internship posting.

If you know some other UN agencies who provide paid/partly paid internships please share with us uncareer.net@gmail.com

๐Ÿ“š ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—š๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐—๐—ผ๐—ฏ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—จ๐—ก ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ! ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿค ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ก๐—˜๐—ช ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—š๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—จ๐—ก ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—จ๐—ก๐—›๐—–๐—ฅ, ๐—ช๐—™๐—ฃ, ๐—จ๐—ก๐—œ๐—–๐—˜๐—™, ๐—จ๐—ก๐——๐—ฆ๐—ฆ, ๐—จ๐—ก๐—™๐—ฃ๐—”, ๐—œ๐—ข๐—  ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€! ๐ŸŒ

โš ๏ธ ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐‹๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฐ: ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐“๐ž๐œ๐ก๐ง๐ข๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐š ๐ฃ๐จ๐› ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐๐Ž๐–!

If you would like to get notices about paid internships daily, we have great news for you! Our partners develop a web site that devoted initiative to provide paid internships, scholarships, traineeships. They are collecting all paid internships and publish them on the web recourse Pay Your Interns Foundation from different UN agencies and NGOs like Amnesty International, Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and so on.

Daily, they are looking for paid internships and published them on the web site, also they publish paid traineeships and jobs for young professionals. So there is no need anymore to spend a time and try to find in internship announcement the word about reimbursement. Everything is already done. It's a great job.

For students and graduates, you will be happy to find fully paid scholarships, publication of Erasmus programs, master programs and LLM in Human Rights area. It could really help to implement your dream to become a Human Rights lawyer, Gender equality specialist.

The Independent publish a very good article on this topic. Every year, the UN plays host to thousands of interns around the world. Yet the majority receive no pay and have inadequate access to basic employment rights. Access to sufficient funds remains an unspoken requirement for internship eligibility at the UN, thus excluding many candidates based on their background. This shouldnโ€™t be happening in 2019. It should be a given that internships are awarded on merit, without contingency on financial status.

This is a problem that extends far beyond the UN; itโ€™s estimated that across Europe over 3 million young people a year work as unpaid interns (equivalent to the entire workforce of Denmark).

Thank you very much for the reading. Stay tuned with us!

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