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An internship is an on-site work experience that is directly related either to your major field of study or your career interest. Job duties are professional in nature. Although many overseas internships are unpaid, they can greatly enhance your international career.

A number of international internships are actually based in the United States, particularly in Washington D.C. and New York City. For example, CDS International,, facilitates internships in Germany, Spain, Argentina, and Switzerland. CDS is a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of international practical training opportunities for young professionals, students, educators, as well as labor, business and government representatives. CDS started out small, arranging internships in U.S. companies for young German professionals and exchanging farmers between Germany and the United States. Today, CDS serves almost 1,400 individuals annually from over 50 other countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

Contact foreign embassies in the U.S. using EmbassyWeb as part of your internship search. Several offer summer and/or semester-long experiential learning. Positions with these organizations are often overlooked by students, and are less competitive than internships with well-known entities.

The US Department of State offers Spring, Summer, and Fall internships. Students must be returning to their academic institution following their internship. While most of the internships are usually in Washington DC, there are opportunities for students to go abroad as junior Foreign Service Officers.

The US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (PDF) also offers an International Internship Program that provides international agricultural experience to college students that will assist them in making career choices.

Large multi-government organizations, such as The United Nations offer internship opportunities through different UN offices for graduate and post-graduate students. The World Bank offers undergraduate and graduate interns practical knowledge management experience with members of thematic groups (TG) in a mutual learning and sharing environment. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works with organizations around the world to analyze how global trade agreements affect domestic farm and food policies, and to advocate for fair trade, safe food, human rights and transparent, accountable global institutions.

Association for International Practical Training (AIPT) is a non-profit international educational exchange organization that sponsors and facilitates on-the-job and in-the-laboratory practical training exchanges for students and professionals between the United States and more than 60 other countries. AIPT also offers short-term experiential learning programs for professionals and students from many fields and countries.

AISEC- International Student Exchange Organization is an international, student-run organization that offers students the possibility to work abroad in one of 87 countries; placing them in paid positions in management economic or computer science positions. Placements can range from 8 to 78 weeks.

The European Union internships are available in Washington, Luxembourg and Brussels and provide interns with the possibility of gaining knowledge of the European Union. A working knowledge of French is useful but not essential. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) offers internships designed to meet the research interests of students including development research, policy analysis, international trade. Interested applicants should submit an application form and outline their preferred research or work that they would like to undertake

The World Sport Program provides funded internships in amateur and professional sport management and administration. The internship program, offered by the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union and MiWorld Communications and Consulting offers positions with World University sporting events and professional soccer teams in the United States and Europe.

Association for International Practical Training facilitates opportunities in a variety of fields for American students and professionals interested in gaining practical work experience. AIPT promotes international understanding through cross-cultural, on-the-job, practical training exchanges for students and professionals in over 50 countries around the world. Most full-time internships last for 8-12 weeks during the summer, but longer stays are available. AIPT programs include: the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) to assist students majoring in technical subjects, the Student Exchanges program (mostly hospitality/tourism) to assist students in non-technical majors, and the Career Development program for professionals and recent graduates in nearly any career field.

Council on International Education Exchange offers summer, semester, academic year and full year study programs with internships and research opportunities in France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. Programs include studies in culture, history, business, politics and other subjects, along with the languages of the host countries.

Institute for European Studies offers academic year and semester programs with internships in Austria, France, and the UK. Some programs have language prerequisites and some offer internships.

Internships International offers internships in France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The placements are professional, full-time, non-paying positions and are open to recent college graduates and current graduate students in all fields. There are often opportunities to also secure a part-time paying job. maintains an extensive web site listing internship programs by

Short-Term Work

Several programs exist to provide you with a temporary (three to six months) work permit in certain countries of Europe, the U.K., Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. While these programs do not provide jobs, they do offer the opportunity to legally apply for jobs in participating countries. Most students participating in these programs have little difficulty finding jobs once they have arrived at their foreign destination. Applications and information about these programs can be found in the CDC library or by calling the Council on International Educational Exchange (212-661-1414) or the BUNAC-Work in Britain Programme (212-316-5312).

Tourism is another opportunity for short-term work. In fact, the tourism and hospitality industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries. Students may find positions in tour agencies, resorts, cruise lines, hotels, or restaurants/pubs. Working in this industry can reward you by meeting new people and possible contacts for future employment, but it also has its drawbacks. Long hours, weekend hours and working conditions that aren’t always the cleanest should be a consideration when applying for this type of employment. Most tourism and hospitality jobs are seasonal and many companies recruit months before the start of the season, i.e., application should be submitted in March for Summer employment. If applying directly to an international employer, it is preferable to write in their native language. Otherwise, start with U.S. companies that are global, such as Carnival Cruise Lines and Marriott Hotels, etc.  There are no formal training or education requirements. The skills you need are specific to each segment within the industry, and they are best acquired on the job. The salary may be 20 to 30% lower than other international industries, but you may get special benefits such as free accommodations and meals.

Look in the Job Listing Sites - International section for links to tourism and hospitality opportunities. has comprehensive job information on cruise lines, resorts and attractions, land tours, air transportation, and other tourism and hospitality industries.