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Q: How many interns are accepted?
A: There are approximately 250 interns at the UN Secretariat at any given time.
Q: What are the deadlines for applying?

There are no longer fixed sessions for internships. Departments post openings for different occupational groups throughout the year, as and when available. Deadlines will vary depending on the needs of a department.

Q: Can I still send my application when the deadline is over?
A: No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
Q: Will I be informed of the receipt of my application?
Yes. Online applications will be automatically acknowledged where an email address has been provided. Please note that you will receive a confirmation email for registering, for creating a Personal History Profile (PHP) and for applying for an internship by submitting your PHP to the Internship “Job Opening”. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission confirming your application to the Job Opening (the number of Job Opening should be stated), your application may have not been received. In such cases, please go to “My UN” page and check the status of your application by clicking on “View Application History”, and resubmit the application, if necessary.
Q: Is a CV enough for an application? What do I need for the application?

The following is the application procedure

  • Register as a user
    Fill in the form, choose a user name and password, and click ‘submit’. Please remember your user name and password as you will need it for later logins.
  • Create a Personal History Profile (PHP)
    The PHP is an online CV. Complete all pages (General, Address, Relations, Education, Languages, References), save the PHP and close it. The PHP can be updated and used for future applications. Technically, the PHP form does not allow you to select a date in the future. Thus please state your date of application when you would like to enter a future date.
  • Find the Internship Job Openings
    Go to ‘All Vacancies (Compendium)’, then go to ‘Internship Job Openings’.
  • Apply for the Internship Job Openings
    Go to ‘Apply online’ at the bottom left of the Internship Job Opening, submit a description of how your experience, qualifications and competencies match the position for which you are applying (cover letter, 3900 characters), answer all five questions you will be asked, certify that all your replies are correct by checking the box and click ‘submit’.
Q: Do I need to attach recommendations to my application?
A: No. This is not required for internships.
Q: Should I contact the UN to check the status of my application?
A: No. You will be informed about the outcome of the results as soon as the selection process is finalized. The decision-making process may vary from case to case. Please do not contact the UN regarding the status of the application.
Q: How soon may I be informed about the outcome of my application?
A: It varies from case to case. In the majority of cases, selected applicants are notified about two months prior to the commencement of the internship.
Q: May I be informed earlier to enable me make preparations, such as funding, university approval or visa application?
A: No. In each case the applicant will be informed as soon as a decision is made.
Q: Can I be based at the United Nations in Geneva?
A: No. This Internship Programme is only for the United Nations Headquarters in New York. If you want to do an internship in another UN Office/Agency/Programme, you should contact the respective UN office directly since they have separate internship arrangements.



Q: I have a Bachelor's Degree. Am I eligible to apply for the internship programme?
A: No, applicants have to be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school or be in the 5th year of a countinuous degree programme (second university or higher) at the time of application and during the entire internship.

I am enrolled in a Master's Programme. Can I apply?

I am enrolled in a PhD Programme. Can I apply?

A: Yes, applicants have to be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school or be in the 5th year of a countinuous degree programme (second university or higher) at the time of application and during the entire internship.
Q: I just finished my studies. Can I apply?
A: No. applicants have to be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school or be in the 5th year of a countinuous degree programme (second university or higher) at the time of application and during the entire internship.
Q: Does an internship give credit for my studies?
A: Check with your university/educational institution.
Q: What kind of skills are you looking for?
A: Good academic and analytical skills, good drafting and language skills, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, good IT skills.
Q: Do I get a certificate?
A: Yes, everyone who has completed an internship receives a certificate stating the period of the internship and the name of the department or office to which she/he was assigned.



Q: I am a citizen of a non-UN member state. Can I apply for an internship?
A: Yes, you may apply even if you are a citizen of a non-UN member state.
Q: Is there a nationality quota on how many candidates may be selected from each country?
A: No. However, preference is given to candidates from developing, underrepresented or unrepresented countries in the UN.


Visa Requirements:

Q: What type of visa do I need for a UN internship?

UN interns must have a valid visa. Most common is the B-1 visa. Depending on your nationality and student status (for instance whether you are studying in your home country or abroad), this may vary. Nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program also need to apply for this type of Visa. Please check with the United States of America Embassy/Consulate in your country of current residence.


Internship per se:

Q: What kind of job will I be requested to do?

This will depend on your background, the department in which you are assigned and the period during which you will do your internship.

Here are some examples:

  • Assistance in drafting and preparing official documents
  • Attending and summarizing conferences and meetings
  • Document, legal and internet research
  • Assistance during conferences
  • Working on the web-presentation
  • Evaluation of projects
  • Compiling statistics
  • Media analysis
  • Speech-writing
Q: Which Departments are there in the UN Secretariat?
A: Please check the following website:
Q: When is the starting date of my internship?
A: Selected candidates will be provided with an internship offer. All details will be in the letter (dates of the internship, departments assigned to, name of supervisor).
Q: Will I be provided with a UN tour?
A: Yes. UN interns are entitled to take a free UN guided tour.


Possibility of adjusting internship periods:

Q: Can I do a one-month internship?
A: No. The minimum duration of an internship is two months. This can be extended however.
Q: Can I do a part-time internship?
A: Internships are full-time only. Under exceptional circumstances part-time arrangements may be agreed by receiving office, if the minimum duration of two months is alreay met.
Q: Can I postpone my internship until later?
A: No. An internship offer is valid only for the initial internship period. If the applicant declines this offer, s/he must reapply and the reapplication will be considered along with all the applications received.



Q: Is there any financial or organizational support for housing issues?
A: There is no financial or organizational support for housing issues.
Q: Are there any information available for accomodation possibilities?
A: It is the responsibility of the intern to arrange for his/her accommodation.
Q: Where can I stay in New York? What does it cost?
A: It depends on the type of accommodation you prefer. Depending also on the period of the internship, the availability of accommodation varies. Most commonly, students choose to share apartments. An average studio apartment ranges from $800 to $2000 per month. Low-range accommodations such as the YMCA/YWCA cost approximately $1400 per month.
Q: Does the UN subsidize the rent for interns?
A: No. Unfortunately, the UN does not subsidize rent for interns.


Cancellation/Refusal of offer:

Q: What is the procedure for cancelling or refusing the internship offer?
A: Selected applicants must notify the supervisor whether they will accept the internship or not no later than two weeks after receipt of the written offer.


Financial Aid:

Q: How much does it generally cost to live in New York City during the internship?
A: It costs approximately $2,500 per month to cover accomodation, meals and other living expenses.

Interns at the United Nations Headquarters are not paid. All costs of travel and accommodation, including living expenses, must be covered by the intern or the sponsoring institution. The following information is intended to assist you in estimating the cost of your internship (all figures indicated in US dollars):

  • Travel expenses:
    • Round trip air/train/bus tickets to/from New York: variable;
    • Passport/visa application fees: variable;
    • Ground transportation from/to airport/train/bus terminal: $45 + tip
    • Travel insurance: $30;
  • Accommodation in New York City:
    • Hotel/motel: $90 - 300 per night
    • YMCA/YWCA: $70 - 150 per night
    • Dormitory/ residence house: $200 - 400 per week / $25 - 30 per night
    • Apartment: $800 - 2000,- per month
  • Living expenses:
    • Transportation:
      • Subway/bus: $2.50 per trip or $104 for an unlimited 30-day pass, $29 for a 7-day unlimited pass;
      • Taxi: $2.50 inital, $0.40 per 1/4 mile.
    • Meals:
      • The United Nations has a cafeteria in the Secretariat Building open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday to Friday. Meals cost $4.00 and up;
      • Outside the Secretariat all kinds of food outlets are available within walking distance. (Fast food: $4 and up; Restaurants: $7 and up per meal).
  • Insurance expenses:
    • Medical insurance: $50 (variable);
    • Liability insurance: $25 (variable).
  • Other expenses: (additional 10-20% of the budget)

Internship Budgeting Form  (per person)

Travel expenses: Round trip tickets:

Passport/visa fees:

Ground transportation:

Travel insurance:

Insurance: Medical insurance:

Liability insurance:

Accommodation: First week in hotel/motel:

Remaining period:

Living expenses: Transportation ($ per day x 70):

Meals ($ per day x 70):

Other expenses: (add 10-20% of your budget) Personal communication expenses:

Formal attire:

Luggage for traveling:

Entertainment and
weekend activities:

Emergency expenses:

Q: Can I get any financial support from UN?

Unfortunately, the UN cannot provide financial support to interns. All expenses connected with the internship will have to be borne by the intern or sponsoring institution. You may find additional information about external scholarships and funding here. It is strongly suggested that you contact various institutions, organizations, foundations, etc. as they may fund your internship.

Q: Can interns take on part-time jobs to cover living expenses in New York?
A: No. The visa status of interns does not allow them to undertake paid employment in the United States of America.



Q: What kind of documents do I need to provide to the assigned department?

You need to send:

  • the signed offer letter and the internship agreement (no later than 2 weeks after receiving them);
  • the medical certificate of good health;
  • proof of enrolment in a health insurance plan;
  • proof of enrolment in a degree programme in a graduate school (second university degree or higher) at the time of the application and during the internship. Students pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages must be enrolled in their fifth year (or higher) at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.
Q: What is the medical certificate of good health?
A: The certificate of good health is a medical document stating that you are in good health. There is neither a specific nor a required format. It does not have to be in English.
Q: Do I need to have a health insurance plan?
A: Yes. You must have a valid health insurance covering your medical expenses in the United States of America.


Extension of Internship:

Q: What is the procedure for extending my internship period?
A: Once the intern has completed part of the internship, s/he may request an extension from his/her supervisor. The supervisor will then submit the request to the Executive Office, where the request will be reviewed. The Executive Office will then inform the intern and the supervisor of the outcome. The intern must have a visa covering the additional period and still be enrolled in graduate studies throughout the extended period. Alternatively, the intern may agree on a longer period of duration (maximum: 6 months) with the supervisor prior to the start of the internship.
Q: What is the maximum time allowed for an internship?
A: The normal duration of an internship is two months, which may be extended to a maximum of six months.



Q: What are my chances of employment at the United Nations after the internship?
A: The Internship Programme is not related to employment in the United Nations. There should be no expectation of employment within the UN after an internship.

Interns shall not be eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, positions at the professional level and above carrying international recruitment status in the Secretariat for a period of six months following the end of their internship.

Entry-level professional posts reserved for external recruitment are filled through competitive examinations (YPP) organized each year in a number of Member States. For further information, please check the Examinations and Tests Section's website.

A possible source of employment would be the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV). The UNV is the volunteer arm of the United Nations. It was created by the UN General Assembly in 1970 at the request of member states to serve as an operational partner in development cooperation. It reports to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and works through UNDP's country offices around the world. 

Another potential source of employment would be the Associate Expert Programme. Associate Experts are sponsored by their respective governments. Please consult the Associate Expert Homepage-homepage for further information.




Q: How do I reach the United Nations Headquarters Internship Programme?





Updated by DOD/OHRM, June 2011. Due to our limited resources, we might not be able to update our website as frequently as we would wish. Information may be subject to change without prior notification. Important notice: This site may contain links and references to third-party websites. The link sites are not under the control of the United Nations and the United Nations is not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. The United Nations provides these links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the United Nations.