Internships

Eligibility

In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Please note that candidates who have immediate relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister) working as  staff members of UNHCR are not eligible.

*Recent graduates are to be considered those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying for an internship with UNHCR.

How to apply

Internships in Geneva, Switzerland

All internship opportunities based in Geneva are posted here:

Internship Pool

The primary aim of the Internship Pool is to allow you to submit a generic application for an internship. As and when the need arises, managers can consult this database to search for candidates with specific academic profiles. If your application interests one of our departments, the relevant manager will contact you directly. 

These opportunities could be in field or HQ locations. The pool is receiving applications throughout the year.

Learn more about the internship profile.

Duration

Internship can begin at any time during the year. Internships will initially be granted for a minimum period of two months, up to a maximum of six months.

Food and Local Transportation Allowance

Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party will receive an allowance to support costs related to cost of food, local transportation and living expenses. Interns should be ready to cover their own travel to the duty station as well as any additional costs above and beyond any allowance they may receive from UNHCR. It is the intern’s responsibility to arrange for a visa and to cover related costs. UNHCR can provide support with the required documents.

Medical insurance

Before the start of an internship with UNHCR, candidates are responsible for arranging medical insurance and for providing proof to UNHCR of a valid medical insurance covering the period of the contract. UNHCR accepts no responsibility for any costs connected to medical insurance of interns, nor does the organisation cover the costs for medical evacuation of interns. Interns working in locations where medical facilities are inadequate are advised to ensure that their medical insurance covers emergency medical evacuation. Furthermore, the health insurance selected by interns should provide the necessary geographical coverage for both accident and illness.

FAQs

Technical issues

If you experience problems with registration, please contact hqussd@unhcr.org.

Our interns said

Arsen Khanyan, Intern, Emergency Policy & Capacity Development Section:

"UNHCR has been an excellent hands-on source for knowledge and experience. I was constantly challenged to update my expertise and broaden my perspectives on current issues that refugees face."

Chrissy Sandwen, Intern, Community-Based Protection:

"The best part about interning at UNHCR has been working as a part of the Community-Based Protection team. They are all such incredibly kind, driven, and intelligent people. Being able to contribute to ensuring that the voices and capacities of refugees, IDPS, and stateless people are incorporated into all facets of protection work has been exceptionally rewarding. My internship has given me the passion and skills to continue this work in the next phase of my career."

Natasha Chabbra, Intern, Intern Energy and Environment Unit:

"My time interning with UNHCR was unforgettable. I was involved in procurement processes for core relief items including fuel efficient cookstoves and portable solar lamps with mobile charging. It was incredibly rewarding knowing that at the end of the process, refugees would have access to these items, making their day to day lives a little easier, whilst reducing environmental impact. Despite the monumental numbers of refugees that continue to be created by conflict, persecution and soon, climate change, I have faith that the passionate and driven people I worked with at UNHCR will continue to find ways to provide protection to those in need."

Amen Kouyou, Intern, DO/Bureau for Africa/East and Horn of Africa, Chad and Sudan:

Working with the Regional Africa Bureau has been a tremendously rich and exciting experience. It was a unique opportunity for me to work with senior skilled professionals specialized in the humanitarian sector. I contributed in drafting SMC (Senior Management Committee) notes and compiled budget information on Excel files for the East and Horn pillar. Moreover I had the pleasure of meeting refugees from all around the world and listening to their daily struggles, in order to best respond to their needs.  Working with UNHCR is not just a job that one has to fulfil, but working together for the greater good."