Discover opportunities that allow you to contribute your experiences, knowledge, and expertise to work on foreign policies, technology, security systems, buildings, and more, around the world. Join the diplomatic workforce that reflects and represents America, one where diversity and inclusion make us stronger, smarter, more creative, and more innovative. Help the United States gain a significant competitive advantage on the world stage.
This is a paid internship with the opportunity to work in U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world, as well as in various bureaus located in Washington, D.C. and at Department offices around the United States. This program is designed to provide substantive learning experiences in a foreign affairs environment.
Wondering if a State Department internship is right for you? Check out which office is the best fit for your major.
While the duties of the U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program participants vary from bureau to bureau, office to office, and embassy to embassy, it is not uncommon for these students to:
- Participate in meetings with senior-level U.S. Government or foreign government officials
- Draft, edit, or contribute to cables, reports, communications, talking points, or other materials used by policymakers in furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives
- Support events, including international and/or multilateral meetings and conferences or
- Engage directly with U.S. audiences in helping to explain the work of the Department of State or foreign audiences in helping to promote U.S. foreign policy and improve understanding of U.S. culture and society.
To be eligible for the U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Have a minimum 3.2 GPA
- Be able to receive either a Public Trust, Secret or Top Secret clearance
- Be a Undergraduate (juniors and seniors) or Graduate Student
Compensation and Benefits
- Paid interns will receive compensation as a GS-04/Step 1 base pay, and be a temporary employee of the U.S. Department of State.
- The program covers reasonable travel expenses to and from the internship and assists with housing.
THOMAS R. PICKERING FOREIGN AFFAIRS
GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program honors one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. It, along with the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, are the Department’s flagship programs for attracting diverse, top talent into the Foreign Service to make it more inclusive and representative of our nation’s richness and diversity.
The program includes:
- Graduate fellowships to qualified college seniors and college graduates
- Financial assistance for a two-year graduate program
- Two summer internships – one domestic and one abroad
- Mentoring and other professional development opportunities
- Five-year Foreign Service commitment
Visit the Pickering Fellowship to learn more about the program and take the first step to become a U.S. diplomat.
CHARLES B. RANGEL INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PROGRAM
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program honors former Congressman Rangel for his long-standing and commitment to showing the world that diversity is the strength of America, as well as for his example of global leadership. by encouraging diverse individuals to pursue a career in diplomacy. It, along with the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program, are the Department’s flagship programs for attracting diverse, top talent into the Foreign Service to make it more inclusive and representative of our nation’s richness and diversity.
There are two components to the Rangel Program:
- International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program – provides support for graduate school and two summer internships, professional development, mentoring, and entry into the U.S. Foreign Service. Participation requires a five-year commitment to serve in the Foreign Service.
- International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program – provides undergraduates with the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding about U.S. foreign policy and careers in international affairs, particularly in the State Department’s Foreign and Civil Service.
Visit the Rangel Program to learn more and discover how you can represent America to the world in a Foreign Service career.
Foreign Service Careers
As a Foreign Service Officer, you can use your background and analytical skills in the following career tracks: consular, economic, management, political, and public diplomacy. Those studying STEM fields may find the economic career track where you can sub-specialize in energy or environment, science, technology, and health (EST&H) rewarding. Or promote U.S. business, entrepreneurship, and trade as an economic officer. Have a background in public relations, media, education, or the arts, then the public diplomacy career track might be for you. If you’re passionate about human rights, refugees, or security issues, you may enjoy the political career track. Want to manage and mentor large teams and ensure the efficient running of systems while supporting diplomacy, then consider the management career track. Interested in legal issues with a desire to help people and put your customer service skills to use then take a look at the consular career track. These are just a few examples of the many ways you can find a fulfilling career in the Foreign Service. Take our quiz to see which one(s) may be a good fit for you!
The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is typically offered three times a year, normally in February, June, and October. Take our practice test to confirm your readiness or identify areas you need to strengthen. Applicants need to submit six short personal narratives to finalize registration for the FSOT. Learn more about the application process here and consult resources on writing personal narratives and changes to the FSOT. Consult the 13 dimensions or skills we seek in candidates. Create a list drawing from your work, academic, and/or personal life to assess how you have developed and demonstrated these skills. This exercise will help you craft the personal narratives and prepare you for the next steps in the application process. Based on the results of the practice FSOT and your 13 dimensions self-assessment, you can develop a strategy and timeline to prepare yourself for the application process. For information on registration for the Foreign Service Officer Test, please go to this link.
As a Foreign Service Specialist (or what I like to call “diplomats with special skills”), you can use your specialized education and experience to begin a career with the U.S. Department of State. There are opportunities in financial management, human resources, general services/logistics, office management, construction, facilities maintenance, engineering, IT, English teaching, information resources/library outreach, law enforcement and security, and medicine. Learn more about the various career tracks here. Consult resources on writing personal narratives and the 12 dimensions or skills we seek in candidates. Create a list drawing from your work, academic, and/or personal life to assess how you have developed and demonstrated those skills.
Do you speak fluent Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic or Mandarin? Consider our Consular Fellows Program and work for up to five years as a Foreign Service Officer doing critical consular work at our missions overseas. You can learn more about these non-career positions here: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/consular-fellows/.
For those interested in learning more about the work of the State Department and diplomatic adventures of the Foreign Service, check out the podcast “American Diplomat” or listen to archived stories at: https://amdipstories.org
Civil Service Careers
You may also want to consider a career as a Civil Service professional, serving in a rank-in-position structure. Civil Service professionals help to drive diplomatic principles and initiatives worldwide through conscientious work from their location in the United States (most typically, our Washington, D.C. headquarters). You’ll work on everything from improving trade opportunities for U.S. businesses, to helping American couples adopt children from overseas, to monitoring human rights issues. A career with the Civil Service means that you can make a difference in the world. Learn more about the various job categories. Follow the application steps and get advice on crafting a Civil Service resume on the USAJobs web portal. You always have access to open Civil Service positions with us here. Students can also pursue the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) or Pathways Recent Graduates programs as a means to enter the Civil Service.